We heard a couple days ago that the Melbourne Tigers were going to be looking at making changes after a disappointing season. In spite of a season-long improvement and flashes of that old Devo brilliance, the smart money was on the Tigers cutting loose their American import.
Yesterday (or today, however it works), they did just that.
The sacking of Devendorf (14.6 ppg) came as no surprise, given he has been under pressure since the opening loss to the Sydney Kings. His numbers had improved over the season, even if his manner of scoring, relying on driving to the basket, had not.
"Eric was employed as a pure three-point shooter, but he didn't shoot the ball," McPeake said.
He didn't shoot the ball? For a guy who not shoot the ball and end up second on your team in scoring (14.6 PPG in 18 games) that seems slightly off.
One Melbourne writer disagreed with the move, citing Devo's willingness to learn on the fly and do what the coaches asked of him. It was his inability to meet specific expectations that did him in.
In regards to McPeake’s comments that Devendorf didn’t shoot the ball, while his three-point field-goal attempts aren’t high (ranked 19th in the NBL in total three-point attempts), Devendorf was third in the NBL in field-goal attempts.
Devendorf did score and he did shoot, the stats are the proof, he just didn’t score and shoot the way the Tigers’ board had envisioned.
Where does New Zealand's Greatest Basketball Player Of All Time go from here? The Wellington Saints would love to see Devo come back for another year. The article says Devo is likely to end up in Europe, but that might just be conjecture.