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James: Wolves have something to prove
10:00am Saturday 19th January 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
WORCESTER Wolves visit Durham Wildcats tomorrow (4pm) searching for their first away win since October.
Wolves have lost their last four matches on the road in all competitions, the latest being a 89-82 defeat at British Basketball League title-chasers Leicester Riders earlier this month.
However, Paul James is confident of ending that sequence and avenging the opening-day-of-the-season 82-76 defeat to the Wildcats at the University of Worcester.
The Worcester director of basketball said: “We’re the ones with something to prove and we have to focus on our game-plan, stick with what we know and not do anything out of the ordinary.
“They are one of the teams we played early on without the likes of Sherrad Prezzie-Blue and Kai Williams but we’re a totally different team now, much more solid and I’d like to think we can get the win up there.”
Durham are sitting in 11th spot with five wins from 17 games but are still within touching distance of the play-offs.
James added: “The Wildcats have done a pretty good job this season in improving on what they achieved in the last campaign.
“They play hard for the whole game and have some decent scoring threats. Ralph Bucci and Paul Elderkin have been solid and consistent for them.
“We played them in the very first game of the season and we ended up on the wrong side of where we wanted to be.
“It was the first game of the season so it was a pretty scrappy affair and I would like to think that we are a better team today.”
Wildcats coach Dave Elderkin is anticipating a different kind of contest to the one his side edged back in September.
He said: “We started the BBL season with a hard-fought road win at Worcester, earned with a fourth-quarter spell of defence and three-point shooting.
“Since that first encounter we’ve made several changes to the way we play and Worcester have added Sherrad and Kai Williams.
“Arturas Masiulis has adapted to the BBL style of play and, with Arnas Kazlauskas and Stan Ocitti alongside, that’s a forward line with size.”
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