Perth mport James Ennis is the red-hot favourite for NBL MVP honours, but Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson is making sure his star player doesn't get swept up in the hype.
Ennis has exploded on to the Australian basketball scene, averaging a league-high 24 points per game for the unbeaten Wildcats (5-0).
The 23-year-old looms as the main danger to the Wollongong Hawks in tonight's battle in Perth.
Gleeson knows he has a special player on his hands but is careful to keep Ennis's impressive start to the season in perspective.
"Everyone can have a couple of good games here and there, and now the challenge is to be consistent as a professional," Gleeson said.
"I was very fortunate when I first started coaching with the [Brisbane] Bullets, and two guys that spring to mind straight away are Leroy Loggins and Steve Woodberry because they were so consistent.
"Now it's going to be up to [Ennis's] consistency factor and being able to produce it every night.
"He's still young. It's his first professional stint after college and he's still learning the game, but he's got some tools that you can't teach. His athleticism, his shooting range is very deep. He certainly has some good tools to work with."
Despite being without starting centre Matt Knight, Gleeson is the frontrunner for the NBL Coach of the Month award for October after guiding the Cats to their perfect 5-0 record.
Last week, Perth accounted for the Breakers in New Zealand before beating the Kings three days later in Sydney.
"Things have clicked so far and hopefully that can continue," Gleeson said.
"The guys have really responded, but it's early days. We're certainly not at full tilt right now. We've had some good close games but we can still improve.
"We've got six new guys, and it's really been Damo [Damian Martin], Greg [Hire], Shawn [Redhage] and Jesse [Wegstaff] who've set the mark for the new guys coming in, and shown them what's expected.
"The work ethic and brotherhood to each other is pretty strong, and to have those guys there has been helpful for me coming in as a new coach."
The Hawks are not expected to get close to the Cats.
Bookmakers are giving the visitors 10 points start.
"One thing you know with the Hawks is they're tough and [coach] Gordie [McLeod] has them playing good team basketball," Gleeson said.
"It's not like you can take one or two guys out of the situation. Gordie has a team that plays a great style of basketball.
"They rely more on the team than the individual, and they've got some great scorers and guys who know how to play.
"The record [1-2] doesn't reflect how good they are.
"I think they're one of the best teams that actually plays together, and that's a credit to what Gordie's been able to do with that program.
"We know it's going to be tough," Gleeson said.
The Hawks return to Wollongong tomorrow afternoon and have to back up for Sunday's home game against New Zealand.