Q: What goes 5-5-12-16-24?
A: Jeremy Kendle’s game-by-game scoring column in the NBL.
Kendle’s scoring prowess was a clear statistical standout for the Bullets in Round 17.
Signed on an injury replacement contract, he had 16 points against the Kings on Friday night and a team-high 24 points against the Taipans on Sunday.
Having waited almost two years in Australia for an opportunity in the NBL, the 28-year-old American guard has certainly made the most of his belated opportunity to prove he has a future in the country’s premier competition.
Kendle, making only his second and third starting appearance, shared with Bullets teammate Torey Craig of being the leading scorer in the League in Round 17. Each had 40.
Sydney’s Kevin Lisch (38), Cairns’ Travis Trice (35) and the New Zealand Breakers’ Kirk Penney (31) were the only others to top 30.
Kendle became the 7th different Bullets player to head the team scoring in a game this season when he shot 10-14 from the field, including 1-2 three-pointers, and 3-3 free-throws.
He joins a list which is headed by Craig, who has led the Bullets in scoring 11 times (including ties), and also includes Dan Kickert (9), Jermaine Beal (3), Cam Bairstow (2), Adam Gibson (2) and Tom Jervis (2).
Also, the former Toowoomba Mountaineers and Bendigo Braves scoring machine posted the 19th Bullets single-game score of 20 points or more for the season.
Craig (8) and Kickert (5) head this list from Beal (3), Bairstow (2), Gibson (1) and Anthony Petrie (1).
Kendle’s numbers after a total of 123 minutes’ court-time in the NBL stack up well.
He’s averaged 12.4 points per game. Only Craig (15.08ppg), Kickert (13.27ppg) and Bairstow (12.85ppg) among his Bullets teammates average more.
He’s shot the ball at 53.2%. Only Kickert (57.1%) and Mitch Young (56.5%) among the Bullets have a better clip.
Even more impressively, among all players across the entire League who have taken more than 100 shots Kendle ranks 17th in field goal percentage. And first among guards.
Also, Kendle’s 41.7% three-point shooting percentage has been bettered only by Kickert (50%) and Anthony Petrie (45.5%) in the Bullets camp.
And among all players who have taken more than 50 three-point shots Kendle’s shooting percentage ranks 7th in the League behind only Kickert, NZ’s Tom Abercrombie (44.6%), Melbourne’s Todd Blanchfield (43.0%), NZ’s Kirk Penney (42.9%), Melbourne’s Chris Goulding (42.8%) and Adelaide’s Nathan Sobey (41.8%).
Kendle’s average efficiency score is also a measure of his overall statistical contribution to the team, it is a more than creditable 11.40 despite playing limited court time off the bench in his first two games.
Only Craig (16.54), Kickert (14.35), Bairstow (13.31) and Gibson (11.71) rank higher, and he ranks 32nd among a total of 123 players to play in the NBL this season.
Kendle’s backcourt partner Shaun Bruce, elevated to the starting line-up for the last five games after captain Gibson’s season-ended calf injury, was the Bullets’ other statistical standout last weekend.
He collected a season-high 13 points against Sydney and 11 against Cairns, giving him three consecutive double-figure games after he had two in the first 21 games.
Bruce’s six assists against Cairns was a season high.
Significantly, Bruce’s average efficiency score of 11.0 in five games as a starter is more than three times his average efficiency score of 3.4 in his first 21 games even though his average court time has not even doubled.
Bench guard Matt Kenyon, too, posted some season-high numbers in Round 17.
After making his first NBL assist against Sydney he dished off three assists against Cairns, while he netted two three-point baskets against Sydney after just one in 13 previous games.
Craig, who averaged 20 points and seven rebounds across the weekend, added a major milestone to his outstanding 2016-17 season when he passed 1000 NBL points against his former Cairns team.
Craig has now averaged 11.6 points and 6.5 rebounds across 86 NBL games.
Coincidentally, Kickert also passed 1000 career points against his former side Melbourne in Round 12.
The Bullets will play their penultimate game of the season against the Perth Wildcats in Perth on Friday night before closing out the season against the Illawarra Hawks in Wollongong on 11 February.
Content written and produced for bullets.com.au by Peter Blucher