WHEN it comes to unearthing hoops talent, the Hervey Bay Hurricanes are certainly starting to improve their track record.
According to Hurricanes player-coach Glenn Jordan, a 203cm-tall veteran of the game, the current crop of youngsters are some of the most exciting players he has watched.
So when Blair McKenzie made his Regional Basketball League debut at the weekend, it was no surprise Jordan was eager to see the impact the young guard could have at the next level.
The 17 year old had to bide his time on the bench, getting limited court time in the Hurricanes victories over Cooloola (56-32) and Dalby (61-24) at Hervey Bay PCYC on Saturday.
But after showing glimpses of promise, McKenzie took a huge step toward proving he deserves a bigger role with Hervey Bay this season with a starring display in the Hurricanes' 38-32 victory over the Amazing Clean Beavers on Sunday.
Jordan, 40, said McKenzie showed explosive potential. "He was the standout for me," he said.
"I started him on the bench, but in the last game he pretty much played the whole game because he showed his worth and a couple of things I asked him to change he did and played awesome.
"He took it strongly to the basket and got some points on the board when we were struggling and played a big role."
Having stepped down to the reserve grade competition to give promising young players like McKenzie the chance to show their wares, the Hurricanes have set their sights on the title after a perfect 3-0 sweep of the opening round.
Josh Sewell and Trevor Sauvageot were consistent and brought their best to the table in both of Saturday's high-scoring battles, but Jordan was most impressed by the defensive effort shown by his men in Sunday's triumph.
"It was good to get a nice tight game in the end to push us," he said.
"Our shooting was off in the last game, but our defence held them to such a low score we didn't have to do a lot of offence to win the game."
While Hervey Bay can be viewed as a real contender, Jordan said the Hurricanes still need to prove they can win on the road.
The Hurricanes travel to Dalby at the end of the month for the next round of matches.
"The guys are pretty excited and it means the good thing is everyone will be keen to get on the road because everyone still wants to be part of the team," he said.
"In years gone by people haven't really wanted to travel away because of the expense and time, but everyone is keen so we're looking forward to it."
RBL ROUND 1
Hurricanes 56 def Cooloola 32
Hurricanes 61 def Dalby 24
Hurricanes 38 def Amazing Clean Beavers 32