Head Coach of the Sydney Kings, Andrew Gaze.
Head Coach of the Sydney Kings, Andrew Gaze.

Sydney Kings’ ultimate show of trust in Gaze

THE Sydney Kings have confirmed what many expected: Andrew Gaze will remain the team's head coach for the 2018-19 NBL season.

The announcement came after another unsuccessful season, with the Kings finishing with an 11-17 record; the 10th straight year the club failed to qualify for the postseason.

A review of the Australian basketball great's most recent season at the helm of the team was undertaken by the club's owners AEG Ogden in conjunction with Kings managing director Jeff Van Groningen, 

"Some unfortunate, unavoidable injuries meant that the coach didn't have a full complement of players at any point in the season to call upon, which made the task extremely difficult," AEG Ogden chairman Harvey Lister said.

"As a club, the Kings are honoured to have Andrew on board during this process and we're pleased he will continue the task of overseeing the Kings reaching their full potential.

"We always anticipated it would take three years to stabilise this club and find success and I believe that we are on track to do that.

Andrew Gaze.
Andrew Gaze.

The announcement was no surprise, with Gaze set to enter the final season of a lucrative three-year deal.

Gaze hadn't coached at a professional level when he joined the Kings in 2016, and he surrounded himself with a relatively inexperienced coaching staff for the 2017-18 regular season.

As part of the announcement, Lister offered an ultimatum to Gaze and Van Groningen, that anything other than a post-season appearance would be a failed season.

"I have made it clear to the Managing Director and Head Coach heading into the 2018-19 season that anything other than reaching the playoffs will not be acceptable," Lister said.

"I am very encouraged by the retention and recruitment plans that they have outlined and look forward to the season ahead."

The Kings opened the 2017-18 season with a 2-7 record, before the addition of Jerome Randle and Jeremy Tyler. Tyler left the teams after just a few weeks.

Once Randle found his footing in Sydney, and Kevin Lisch returned from a calf injury, the team appeared on a semblance of the right track, eventually winning six of their last seven games to round out the season.

The Kings have Brad Newley, Kevin Lisch, Todd Blanchfield, and Jerome Randle contracted for the 2018-19 season. Tom Wilson and Dane Pineau both have team options, which the team is expected to pick up.


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