NBL Division One preview - Week 8 (16/17 November 2019)

Excitement for D1M fans this week with a marquee match up in Solent, and six other intriguing fixtures fill the week 8 lineup. Will the Kestrels taste defeat for the first time this season? We'll find out by Saturday night!

Game of the Week

Team Solent Kestrels (7-0) v Reading Rockets (6-1)

The Kestrels sit in the midst of a four game home stand that has already produced wins against Bradford and Derby, with joint 2nd place Reading heading to Solent Sport Complex tomorrow.

Elliott Sentance's return to the NBL after a spell in Germany continues to go well, the 6'5" wing averages a team best 22.7ppg at present. Import Travis Charles (20ppg, 9.4rpg) looks every bit the player who won last season's D1M Playoff Final MVP, and the talented forward top scored in both Solent's D1M games against the Rockets last season. 

Reading's Nick Richards appears to be in the midst of the MVP conversation at present, averaging 23.4ppg, 3.7apg and 2.3spg in his first season of NBL action. If he can keep that production going against a team like the Kestrels remains to be seen, but Liam Davis (16.6ppg) and A.J. Carr (16.2ppg) will both need to contribute and stop the hosts keying in on the former Wilmington University guard tomorrow.

Elsewhere in D1M

Hoping to take advantage of the Solent Reading clash, Hemel Storm (6-1) host Worthing Thunder (5-2) in what should be another compelling match up in week 8. A Storm win and a Kestrels loss will create a three way 7-1 tie at the top of the division, an exciting prospect as the season heads towards the halfway stage.

Thames Valley (5-2) are 4-1 in their last five games, including wins against Worthing and Leicester. The Cavs head to Barking Abbey (1-6) looking for further success and a potentially entertaining match up on the glass between BA's 7'0" big Theo Hughes and TVC's Abdoulaye Sylla, who pulled down 23 boards last time out against Essex.

Derby Trailblazers (4-3) have looked good in patches this season, but losses to Worthing, Loughborough and Solent have derailed their momentum. A visit from Essex & Herts Leopards (0-7) could be a good opportunity to snap the Trailblazers' two game losing streak.

Elsewhere, Liverpool (2-5) welcome T.J. Henderson and the Leicester Warriors (3-4) to Merseyside tomorrow before embarking on a lengthy stretch of road games. 8 of Liverpool's next 10 games are away from Archbishop Beck, a run that takes their schedule all the way through to late January.. 

Westminster Warriors (3-4) grabbed a win last weekend, and they'll be looking for more of the same as they entertain Loughborough (4-3), no easy task against Rasheed Worrall (18.7ppg, 9.3rpg) and co.

Finally, Bradford Dragons (2-5) are on the road against Nottingham Hoods (1-6) as both teams look to put a little distance between themselves and the foot of the table.

Full fixtures and stats

Saturday 16 November 2019

4:00pm - Barking Abbey Crusaders v Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS
5:00pm - Liverpool v Leicester Warriors - LIVE STATS
5:30pm - Westminster Warriors v Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS
6:00pm - Team Solent Kestrels v Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS
6:30pm - Nottingham Hoods v Bradford Dragons - LIVE STATS
7:15pm - Derby Trailblazers v Essex & Herts Leopards - LIVE STATS
7:30pm - Hemel Storm v Worthing Thunder - LIVE STATS

Main image credit - Luke Simcock