Tall Blacks coach Vucinic finds new club
Tall Blacks coach Nenad Vucinic has quit his BC Kalev/Cramo team in the Estonian MKL and joined Darussafaka in the Turkish Basketball League.
He began his tenure with the TBL cellar dwellers, guiding them to their first win of the season - 75-66 over Antalya. They are now 1-12, two games behind the Kepez Bld outfit coached by former Tall Blacks coach Tab Baldwin.
Vucinic led Kalev to the Estonian championship last year, but they got off to a rocky start in the current season with injuries and import changes. They had a 7-5 record in the national league when Vucinic announced his departure on December 30.
Three days later, he was at the helm of struggling Darussafaka, a team featuring former NBA performers Quincy Douby and Jermareo Davidson, as they enjoyed a rebounding (37-28) and free-throw (20-12) advantage to overcome Antalya.
Meanwhile, one spot above on the competition ladder, Baldwin's outfit slumped to their seventh straight loss, a 51-88 result against league leaders Efes Pilsen. Kepez are now 3-10 for the season.
In Germany, Tall Black BJ Anthony double-doubled to help Herzoege Wolfenbuettel overcome Hertener Loewen 93-85 in the Pro B league. Anthony had 16 points, 10 rebounds, a steal and an assist in 26 minutes.
In the Australian NBL, veteran Kiwi Phill Jones epitomised the contrasting fortunes of hit Cairns Taipans in their home-and-away double header against cellar dwellers Melbourne Tigers.
At home, on New Year's Eve, Jones had 20 points (6/10 FG, 3/5 3pt, 5/6 FT), four assists and three rebounds in 30 minutes to help the Snakes prevail 76-69.
But two days later, on the road, he barely got going, scoring just two points (1/6 FG) in a 64-87 loss. Fellow Kiwi Tony Rampton fared better in Melbourne with four points, seven rebounds and two assists.
Cairns are now 9-12 and sit just one spot ahead of the Tigers on the table.
In US college play, Tall Ferns guard Micaela Cocks proved the difference as University of Oregon rallied past Washington State 98-92 at home.
Cocks led her team in scoring with 22 points (8/20 FG, 2/7 3pt, 4/4 FT) and five rebounds, including a trey that put the Ducks ahead for good at 82-80.
The result gives Oregon an 11-3 record, their best start to a season since 2000/01. They have a 2-0 record in the Pac-10 Conference.
The Kiwi had seen her three-point shooting streak ended just before Christmas during an 89-96 loss to University of Utah. She had connected from the arc in 27 consecutive games, but did not even attempt from long range in the loss.
NZ centre Rebecca Dew helped University of Hawaii to a pair of home victories over Kent State, providing nine points (4/8 FG, 1/2 FT), 15 rebounds and three blocks in the 63-60 series clincher.
She had six points, five rebounds and a block in the 54-53 opening win. The Rainbow Wahine are now 6-7 for the season.
Ferns centre Kim Barnes had four points, four rebounds and a block before fouling out of UC Irvine's 48-54 loss to UC Santa Barbara, their opening Big West Conference game.
The Anteaters are 3-10 for the season.