Team Northumbria began the new campaign in winning fashion with a 78-58 win at Lancashire Spinners in the EBL National Trophy.
TN head coach Marc Steutel was pleased to open the season with a 20-point win but believes the team still has plenty of room for improvement before they reach their full potential.
“It was a little bit of an unknown, we haven’t really had the full squad in yet and with Freshers week training has been sporadic,” said Steutel.
“So I didn’t really know what to expect but there were elements I was pleased with. We need to become a little more consistent but having only been together for two weeks I’m happy we were able to show some elements of our basketball early on.
“You want to keep your feet on the ground even though it was a 20-point win. Individually there were a lot of pleasing aspects but as a team we have a way to go.”
This season has seen TN bring in some new additions to the squad and Steutel was pleased with the immediate impact provided by the fresh faces.
“There were positive signs from the new guys,” added Steutel. “Tayo Oyefusi was an animal on the boards (signed from Newcastle University Knights), Blayne Freckleton (from London Lions) controlled the tempo and his decision making was good.
“He (Freckleton) has some ways to go but in terms of what he brings to the team and how he fits it in it’s really positive.
“Sam Speight, who was playing his first minutes in Division One, came in and made an impact. He guarded and rebounded well and Sam Ireland made a nuisance of himself on the boards.”
Steutel’s men now turn their attention to their next fixture in Pool Three against Bradford Dragons at Sport Central on September 25th (4pm tipoff).
In the revamped format, this year’s competition sees the winner of each of the four pools progress to the semi- finals stage, meaning TN will look to maintain an unbeaten to start the season in order to gain a semi-final berth.
“We have to get Dragons next week,” added TN’s head coach. “They have recruited well this summer and are well coached so our full focus for this week is to improve on areas we need to and get ready for Bradford.”