VAVEL UK's BBL 20/21 Season Previews: Scorchers look to shake off last season's struggles
Surrey Scorchers Twitter @surreyscorchers

After an exciting 2019/20 British Basketball League season was cut short in June with only half the season played, fans were robbed of what was sure to be an exciting end to the campaign.

At the time of the cancellation, the Surrey Scorchers sat third bottom of the table, having picked up 5 wins from their 14 played. 

Heading into this season, the Scorchers seem to have bigger intentions, making some good key signings to improve the team in different area's.

An improved squad could see the Scorchers push for a better championship position, with one eye on a playoff run and the other on the BBL Cup and Trophy.

  • Pre Season So Far

The Scorchers had their first runout as a team earlier in the month, facing off in a scrimmage against the [still] reigning champions, London Lions.

Head coach, Creon Raftopoulos - who has been in charge since the team formed in 2015 - was pleased with what he saw from the team, considering they hadn't played together since last season.

  • Off-Season moves

Surrey have managed to hold on to some important players during the offseason.

BBL veteran and Scorchers team captain, Tayo Ogedengbe, resigned with the team, having been with them since the teams inception in 2015, as well as the 3 years prior when they were the Guildford Heat.

The services of sharpshooter Skyler White have been retained after a very impressive first season with the team, which saw him make the most three-pointers in the league, as well as second most blocks.

Lovell Cook also returns for his second season. After finding a place in rotation, Cook was managing a cool 19 points a game, which saw him as the fourth-highest scorer in the BBL.

The staple of the teams second unit last season, Caylin Raftopoulos, will be returning for his fourth season with the team and will assume his role as the Head Coach of the Scorchers Basketball Academy.

As for new signings, the Scorchers have brought in new assets which they hope will bring success.

Rashad Hassan was the team's first signing. The BBL veteran brings along his 5 years of experience, something which head coach Raftopoulos was looking most for the team.

A big acquisition is that of decorated forward, TrayVonn Wright. Wright won 5 trophies in 4 years with the Leicester Riders, including the 2018 BBL Play-Off final MVP which helped the Riders to complete the treble.

Coming off the back of an impressive rookie season with the Sheffield Sharks, the Scorchers turn to a potential future star in the shape of Connor Cashaw.

The final signing sees the return to the BBL for Martelle McLemore. Last suiting up for the Guildford Heat seven years ago, the 32-year-old re-unites with head coach Cleon, who hopes the veteran will bring some added firepower to the team.

  • Writer's verdict

The Scorchers have definitely taken the right steps towards a better challenge in all competitions. They have improved on both ends of the court through their acquisitions and retentions.

The idea of bringing in more veterans is a smart move. The more experience the team has, the more likely they are to keep a level head in tougher situations.

That being said, the signing of Connor Cashaw is quote remarkable and can't wait to see how great he can turn out to be. Through leading the Sharks in scoring last season and averaging a very cool 16.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists, Cashaw could have a very bright future ahead of him. With the right minutes and usage this year, we could be seeing the next big thing in the league.

Overall, It's difficult to see the Scorchers not making a serious push for some silverware this campaign.

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