Fresh Rychart hits glass for Cairns Marlins
YOU can forgive Dusty Rychart for wanting it a little easier this time around.
The naturalised Australian, originally from Minnesota, was plagued by a foot injury in his 10th NBL year
after covering for other injuries during the Taipans’ extensive pre-season program.
With big men Alex Loughton and Ian Crosswhite battling their own health crisis, it was left to Rychart to do all the work around the ring.
And by the time the season started, it was Rychart who was battling injury.
He finished a frustrating season on the court though, and has returned to Cairns fresh after two months in the States with family and friends.
Known as one of the NBL's best off the glass, the Cairns Marlins had the luxury of suiting Rychart up on their road trip last weekend, and he will again be on show tonight at home against Maroochydore.
He needed little time to warm into the game on his return, hitting 26 points with 10 rebounds in their double overtime defeat of Rockhampton last Saturday.
"That was my Marlins debut last weekend and it was good to get out there; a lot of the guys are Taipans squad members so that was fun," he said.
"I've played ABA two times before and I know you can't compare with that game atmosphere."
His workload was lessened by coach Brad Burdon against Gladstone the following night as the side got home comfortably, something the journeyman is quite OK with.
"I'm just there as an extra, I don't want to do more than that, I want the other guys to run the show," he said.
And he also hopes the other Taipans' bigs are fit so there is no repeat of last season.
"I hope so, but there are still some little niggles around the squad at the moment, so hopefully they come good," he said.
The veteran is excited but cautious of the squad head coach Aaron Fearne is assembling for their latest tilt at a title, pointing out the recruitment of college pair Clint Steindl and Cam Gliddon as a risky move.
"It's always a risk recruiting two rookies, but Fearney's a great judge of talent and he has done well recruiting in the past," he said.
The Marlins will look to extend their four-game winning run against the Clippers at 8.30pm today at the Bendigo Bank Basketball Centre, preceded by the Dolphins' clash at 6.30pm.
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Rested: Taipans player Dusty Rychart has returned fresh from spending two months' rest in the US with family and friends. Picture: BRENDAN FRANCIS