VCARS.co.uk D2 Men preview: Season begins with all teams in action
All twelve teams are in action as the VCARS.co.uk Division 2 Men season begins this weekend.
Loughborough Students Riders v Mansfield Giants
Saturday 20 October, 1pm, Loughborough University
Lougborough and Mansfield are the first teams to take the court on Saturday afternoon at Loughborough University.
The teams have already met once this season in a Patrons Cup contest that Loughborough won 110-82 at Mansfield.
Riders are unbeaten so far on the season, having also made the last 16 of the National Cup. Mansfield finished 2-3 in Patrons Cup play, but are also into the third round of the Cup.
Mansfield have made a new signing in American Brian Reid in time for the start of the league campaign. Coach Dan Richards commented: "We are delighted to have signed Brian. He really impressed us in the game against USA Select and feel that his size, athleticism and smartness will really fit well into our style of play.
"We have really struggled to guard any quality big men in our league over the last two seasons. The introduction of Brian will bring a whole new dimension to the team."
Derbyshire Arrows v NASSA Neptunes
Saturday 20 October, 5:45pm, Killamarsh
NASSA Neptunes begin their first Division 2 season with a trip to Derbyshire Arrows on Saturday.
Neptunes finished 18-2 in Division 3 South last season and defeated both Loughborough and Manchester Magic on their way to winning the Playoff title.
Arrows had a turnaround in fortunes last season after a couple of down years. They finished at 10-10 in the league season at excelled in knockout games, making the Patrons Cup final and the Division 2 Playoff semi final.
Their success was down in no small part to import Robert Clyburn, who averaged 22.41 points and 10.36 rebounds per game, so this season's American Rob Valentine has large shoes to fill - and he has started in promising fashion with 23.67 points per game.
PAWS London Capital v Eastside Eagles
Saturday 20 October, 6pm, Capital City Academy
PAWS London Capital are starting the VCARS.co.uk Division 2 Men season on minus 12 points due to disciplinary reasons and their trek towards positive points begins with a home game against Eastside Eagles.
Capital won two of the three games they have played in the Patrons Cup this season (there also forfeited a game), which is one more win than was managed by Eagles in their campaign.
Both teams only have the league season to concentrate on from now on, having also been dumped out of the National Cup.
Manchester Magic v Birmingham Mets
Saturday 20 October, 6:30pm, Amaechi Centre
Manchester Magic host Birmingham Mets for the second time in three weeks on Saturday, having already defeated them in Patrons Cup pool play.
Magic won 76-64 on October 7 behind 19 plays from Josh Houghton, but Mets went unbeaten in their other Pool games and qualified for the semi finals by finishing top of Pool 2.
Mets finished 12-8 in their first season at this level last time around and will be hoping for another season of progress - as they have had every season since they entered the league in 2009/10.
London United v Team Solent
Sunday 21 October, 2pm, The Harefield Academy
Team Solent will be hoping to kickstart their 2012/13 campaign when they visit London United on Sunday.
Having finished 0-5 in Patrons Cup play and being eliminated from the National Cup with a loss to Westminster Warriors, they only have the VCARS.co.uk Division 2 season to look forward to.
They have happy memories of their contests against United last season as they won all three games, averaging over 100 points per game in the process.
United will be looking to improve on their 3-17 finish last term, but also find themsleves out of the Patrons Cup and the National Cup at this early stage of the season.
Glamorgan Gladiators v London Westside
Sunday 21 October, 4:30pm, Rhondda Fach
The weekend action is completed when Glamorgan Gladiators host London Westside on Sunday.
Westside finished in 7th spot at 9-11 last season, but made an improbable run to the Playoff final - only to be hammered by Team Northumbria.
Gladiators were impressive all season long to finish 14-6, including a pair of wins against Westside.
The teams have already played a game this season in the Patrons Cup, with Westside winning the game on the court. However the result was overturned and the game awarded to Gladiators due to Westside's court not meeting regulations.