Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Flournoy: Smith can be Eagles X-factor

Fabulous Flournoy believes Charles Smith’s willingness to come off the bench is a major reason why Newcastle Eagles remain a contender for the BBL title.

The reigning champions, looking to bounce back from a sub-standard first half of the campaign, have gone with a smaller quicker line-up in recent weeks in their attempt to overhaul rivals Sheffield.

Flournoy admits that rotation is unlikely to change as the Tyneside outfit bid to defend their crown and achieve the consistency that has eluded them to date.

And although the American is still looking to add to his squad in January, he acknowledges that Smith’s 17 points and 5 rebounds contribution will be a vital component as their side moves forward.

“Everyone has solidified their roles now in our team and Charles is a phenomenal scorer,” Flournoy said.

“He can play inside and outside and gives us some different things, whether it is that veteran leadership, a crucial rebound, or a vital basket.

“To have Charles, a sixth man, coming off the bench, is great for our team, as he should be starting in this league, so he is our X-Factor player.”

Newcastle can close the gap at the top of the table to just two points with a win at Cheshire on Sunday. However Flournoy is demanding an improvement from his team on the road after a damaging four losses already this term.

“This is definitely our weakness at the moment and I think with teams hitting their form, it is important that we keep our rhythm that we had before the break,” he underlined.


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