The 2016/17 season has brought both ups and downs for a new look Newcastle University roster. An entirely new BUCS team and a rotating door of players in NBL always meant there would be an element of inconsistency this season. Despite the adversity and difficulties the Knights have continued to march forward, set new standards and achieved what the club always strived for. With the NBL play-offs still to take place much of the season is now over. Here is a review of the 2016/17 so far but no doubt the play-offs will bring more excitement, turns and twists.
Newcastle University Men's team competed in their debut season in BUCS Premiership North which hosts a number of great University Basketball powerhouses, despite this the new class of players fought hard to finish in 4th position in the Premiership North and battle their way into the Final Fours. After beating Brunel in the Final 16's and beating the number 1 South seed, UEL, with a tip in from young Undergraduate Alei Wol, in their first ever BUCS Super 8 quarter final. The Knights fought hard on day 2 in their Semi-Final versus a strong Durham University team but fell short and their journey ended despite outstanding performances from Richard Austin and Irving Eggleston. Although it was disappointing to lose, the Knights accomplished something no other Newcastle University Basketball team has for a long time and that is to finish top 4 in the Nation.
Team Newcastle University also had their opening debut season in NBL Division 2. After back to back promotions from NBL Division 4 and Division 3 the Knights had a good momentum going into a very strong league with some really well established clubs. Newcastle finished with a 19-3 record but finished behind Kent Crusaders on a head to head of 3 points. The league came down to the final game of the season as Team Newcastle hosted Kent but lost 67-71 despite an inspiring point guard performance from Romonn Nelson who has went from strength to strength since signing in September. This meant Newcastle finished runners up in NBL Division 2, sealing their third successive promotion this time to NBL Division 1. Earlier in the season the Knights had picked up their 3rd National Cup in 3 years after beating Kent in the final of the Patrons Cup, 77-65, with Richard Austin picking up the finals MVP.
Team Newcastle University start their play-off campaign this Sunday (2nd April) against local rivals Tees Valley Mohawks, come along and support the Knights at Queens Campus, Durham University, Tip off 3pm. All support is welcome as the Knights will look to finish the season on a high in the NBL Division 2 play-offs.
Team Newcastle's 2016 was a great one, winning the BUCS National Trophy, NBL Division 3 North and sealing promotions to BUCS Premiership and NBL Division 2. It also saw Chuck Duru, Tayo Oyefusi, Jack Beresford, George Beard, Prince Lartey, Alex Sfikas, Charlie Wallrapp, Robbie Lemons and Nathan Ensz graduate alongside Ben Chicken picking up a great work placement opportunity for the 2016/17 season. This meant that the 2016/17 season was going to be a one of change and challenges, with both, new leagues and new personnel the gauntlet was set but so far the Knights have exceeded expectations.
The Knights currently sit 4th in BUCS Premiership North with a 3-5 record and have sealed a BUCS Premiership place next year and have put themselves in a position where they will have a home final 16 draw. Team Newcastle University are also 4th in NBL Division 2 with a 7-2 record and have qualified for the Patron's Cup Semi-Final. The Knights return for training this Thursday and take on a tough Liverpool side at Liverpool on the 7th January in NBL Division 2.
You can check out our 2016/17 mid season highlights via YouTube:
Image courtesy of Mansoor Ahmed.
The 2015/16 Season has been a spectacular one for the Knights with the Newcastle team winning the NBL Division 3 North Championship, BUCS Division 1 North Championship, BUCS National Trophy and the BUCS Premiership Promotion Playoffs. As a club Newcastle University Basketball has shone brightly in BUCS this year finishing 5th amongst all Universities and will now have both the Men’s and Women’s team competing with the best in the BUCS Premiership. The Men’s NBL team should also have gained promotion to NBL Division 2 after finishing top of Division 3 North with a 19-1 record, with just the paperwork to go the Knights have surely done enough to earn back to back promotions.
The BUCS squad were outstanding throughout the season and slayed all in their path and finishing the season unbeaten. The Knights finished 10-0 in the league, dominated the BUCS Trophy Final and won the BUCS Premiership Promotion Final after a shootout with Derby that served up over 20 made 3 pointers. The squad was dominated by Postgraduates Robbie Lemons, Nathan Ensz, Tayo Oyefusi, Charlie Wallrapp, Chuck Duru, Prince Lartey and Jack Beresford who all leave for pastures new this year alongside Undergraduate sniper George Beard, which does mean the Knights will be rebuilding for the 2016/17 season which will surely produce another exciting squad. Young big man Ben Chicken is the only returner but watch out for the new student athletes who will be announced soon.
The NBL squad also had an exciting season with the NBL Division 3 North providing an exciting dual with the talented Danum Eagles and Division 3 having some really strong outfits in the South such as Thames Valley, Oxford Brookes and Brunel. The Knights had an excellent league campaign and until the last league game had been undefeated in the league for 39 games since their entry into NBL which was some feat! One of the highlights of the season was down at Danum where the Knights battled back to win the game by 9 points and all but sealed the league. The other highlight of the years was definitely the NBL Division 3 Playoff Final, unfortunately Newcastle just fell short of the mark on that occasion but show cased their team basketball, style of play and toughness against a very experience and talented Thames Valley squad.
As a club the Women were outstanding and fought to keep their place in the BUCS Premiership as well as making it to their first ever Final 8 tournament. The Women’s Second team were coached by Women’s First Team player, Noelia Quintas, who led the team to league victory and promotion. The Men’s Second team also won their respective league and gained another valuable BUCS Promotion. The club continue to strive to new heights and with the Men’s team stepping up weight classes and the Women’s First team going into their second year in BUCS Premiership it will certainly be an exciting 2016/17 season.
For more news, information and scholarship offers please follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram:
Facebook: Team Newcastle University Basketball
The Knights go into Christmas with a lot to be excited about come the New Year. The start of the 2015/16 season leaves the Knights unbeaten with a 19-0 record across the NBL and BUCS competitions. On the face of it the season has been very comfortable but behind the scenes the Knights have had to pull together through some very tough injuries and overcoming four surgeries. Despite this, the Knights have been emphatic and proved how deep both their BUCS squad and NBL squad are.
Team Newcastle are dominating NBL Division 3 as the newcomers, their closest rivals are currently Danum Eagles (9-2) but when the time came for the two teams to face off, both unbeaten at that time, the Knights came out winners with a heavy 100-58 victory and playing some exciting basketball. The Knights sit top of the table and also have two game's in hand (9-0) and extend their NBL league record to a total of 29 games unbeaten since entering the NBL last season. In the NBL National Shield the Knights have slayed through their opponents and now take on Oxford Brookes in a repeat of last years Semi Final. The Knights will do everything to defend the Shield and will be looking to book their place in the NBL National Shield Final at UEL in February.
Newcastle University are also dominating BUCS with a 7-0 record and a very comfortable win v Sheffield who currently sit in second place (4-3). The Knights only need to win one more game to seal the title and qualify for BUCS Premiership Play-Off's. The Knights will also take on Edinburgh in the new year in the final 16 of the BUCS Trophy which will certainly be a tough match up and exciting game.
Keep up to date with the Knights on social Media via Facebook (Team Newcastle University Basketball), Twitter (NKUBasketball) and Instagram (nkubasketball).
Have a Merry Christmas and get ready for the New Year!!