The Bandits’ hopes of gelling quickly are off to a promising start with an impressive 82-72 win over Frankston on Saturday night.
Of the club’s best starting five, only Deba George remains from last year.
When the Bandits have missed playoffs in recent years, the inability to mix quickly and efficiently has often been a contributing factor.
But one of the newcomers says the club worked tirelessly on short-circuiting any issues.
“I guess you’ve got to give praise to (coach) Brad (Chalmers) and coaching staff on who they recruit,” Tevin Jackson said.
“If they recruit guys with massive egos or too concerned about themselves (it makes it difficult), but we’re buying into that team culture and I think that’s one of the reasons why we’ve been able to gel so quickly.”
Jackson posted 11 points in his debut, while Deba George (24 points and 12 rebounds), imports Lamar Mallory (22 points) and Rashad Hassan (19 points and 13 rebounds) also featured.
“I’d say probably (the most impressive part) we were able to gel together so quickly in preparation for the game and then during the game, I guess it was how we implemented everything we talked about and were able to execute both offensively and defensively,” he said.
“We have a team where if a couple of people aren’t having their best game, then another will step up, it’s that next man up mentality.”
British Basketball League championship-winner Hassan fired an impressive 75 per cent from the field, missing only three of his 12 shots.
I’d say probably (the most impressive part) we were able to gel together so quickly in preparation for the game and then during the game.Tevin Jackson
Mallory hit 10 from 16, while George landed half of his six three-point attempts.
The other bonus was the bumper crowd.
A rollicking crowd of around 800 witnessed one of the few times both the Bandits and Lady Bandits have won their season-opening games at home.
And the fun times are set to continue with the club cleverly introducing its first Heritage Night for the next home game.
The Bandits will play in a replica of their uniform from the first season in 1985.
The proud history of the club, which includes multiple championships, will be displayed, with a function immediately after the game.
Lauren Jackson will be the special guest of the event, which the club will look to promote heavily in the coming days.
The Bandits host North West Tasmania that night on April 21, with a 6pm start to cater for the function.
But, before the celebrations, the men face a tough road test this weekend.
The Bandits face powerhouse Mount Gambier on Friday night, followed by Melbourne Tigers 24 hours later.
Mt Gambier, in particular, will be hurting after falling to Geelong by 10 points on Saturday night.