The Perth Wildcats have completed a clean sweep in the first voting period for the 2013/14 season.
Last year’s grand finalists added to their unbeaten start to the season, taking out the NBL’s Player of the Month and Coach of the Month awards for October.
The awards are voted on in a 3-2-1 format by a panel of eight journalists, each representing the city of an NBL team.
James Ennis is the NBL’s Player of the Month for October after averaging a league leading 24.0 points per game through the first five games of the season, leading the Wildcats to a perfect 5-0 record.
Ennis complemented his points haul by averaging 6.8 rebounds per contest, placing him in the top ten for this category. Additionally, Ennis is tied for second place in total made three-pointers, displaying the versatility of his game.
It has been a stunning start to his career in Australia with the high-flying NBA Draft pick quickly becoming a fan favourite. He previously won the Ray Borner Medal after being voted the MVP of the Loggins-Bruton Cup pre-season tournament.
Speaking of the honour, Ennis was quick to credit his teammates and coaching staff at the Wildcats.
“The award means a lot. I’ve been working hard to try and better myself in practice and it’s good to see when it translates to the game,” said Ennis.
“I’ve got to thank my teammates and the coaching staff here for a lot. Trevor (Gleeson) especially, he expects a lot from us and we need to deliver,” he added.
All voting journalists awarded Ennis three points, placing him first on their scorecards with a total of 24 points.
In second place for Player of the Month was another Perth Wildcat, as Shawn Redhage received 10 points.
Melbourne Tigers guard Chris Goulding was third on six votes, despite missing the opening game of the season with an ankle injury he suffered during the Blitz.
Check out video highlights of Ennis through his stellar debut month in the NBL:
The NBL’s Coach of the Month was another near-unanimous decision with Trevor Gleeson being given three points on all but one scorecard for a total of 23 points.
For Gleeson, it was a significant month following the passing of his mother.
“It was a big month for me personally because my mother passed away, but it’s good to reflect on it in a positive way because we started out of the blocks well with three games on the road,” Said Gleeson.
“We’ve had really good chemistry and that’s shown in how we are sharing the ball.”
“It’s pleasing to see that we started so consistently considering we are missing our centerpiece with Matty Knight,” he said.
Gleeson, who is in his first season with the Wildcats after joining the club following a stint with the Melbourne Tigers has pushed his side to first place on the competition ladder.
Even more impressive is the fact that the Wildcats have played five games in the month with extensive travel involved along the east coast of Australia and New Zealand.
Following Gleeson was Cairns Taipans head coach Aaron Fearne, who received 13 votes after his team’s 2-1 start to the season with wins over the Townsville Crocodiles and New Zealand Breakers.
Full voting results:
|James Ennis (Perth Wildcats)||24|
|Shawn Redhage (Perth Wildcats)||10|
|Chris Goulding (Melbourne Tigers)||6|
|AJ Ogilvy (Sydney Kings)||5|
|Daniel Johnson (Adelaide 36ers)||2|
|Trevor Gleeson (Perth Wildcats)||23|
|Aaron Fearne (Cairns Taipans)||13|
|Joey Wright (Adelaide 36ers)||9|
|Shawn Dennis (Townsville Crocodiles)||2|
|Gordie McLeod (Wollongong Hawks)||1|