Hawks ready to muscle up


As the Hawks sweat on Larry Davidson's return from injury, Wollongong forward Tim Coenraad faces the monster task of stopping explosive Sydney Kings recruit Sam Young on Saturday.

Just three weeks after guarding Perth hotshot James Ennis, Coenraad is in line to guard former Indiana Pacer Young, who starred in his second appearance for the Kings on Sunday, scoring 27 points in a 67-63 away win over the Melbourne Tigers.

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But with Hawks' defensive leader Davidson working overtime to recover from an ankle injury, Coenraad is confident a team effort can quell Young's offensive talent.

"You just have to play the percentages. You don't want to give him a rip through to the basket because that is when he is at his most dangerous," Coenraad said.

"You want to make him shoot contested pull-up jump shots or contested threes.

"If you allow him to get to the basket or get by you, it is easier said than done because he is so explosive, but it is just going to have to be a team effort as well.

"When you have got such a great player on an opposing team usually it is not just one player's responsibility, it is a whole team."

While juggling the mammoth task of stopping Young, the Hawks must also subdue the league's leading rebounder, AJ Ogilvy.

The Kings centre boasts a double-double average so far this campaign and will be aiming to bounce back from a poor shooting performance - making just three of 11 - against the Tigers.

If Davidson plays, he will guard Ogilvy and provide Wollongong with a vital size boost in the key.

"Ogilvy has shown that he can dominate a game, so having that extra big and that extra guy that can guard a big man is going to be crucial for us," Coenraad said.

"AJ [Ogilvy] can cause problems, and with Larry out you look at us - across the board we are not the biggest team in the league, so having him back is obviously going to be extremely important for us."

Davidson (ankle) will attempt a full training session today and said he is working hard to return to the heart of the defence unit.

"That is my role, especially on defence, to try and man the middle and talk it up to the other guys and let them know that the help is there so they can get a bit more pressure or force them a certain way," Davidson said.

"I guess that is the basis of our defence, to always have a guy on the basket so we know we can get up and pressure the ball and not just let them run their offence easily."

He expects Young to play a large role, regardless of whether he returns on Saturday, as the Sydney import continues to adapt to the Kings' style of play.

"You could kind of see [on Sunday] Young was still trying to figure out how he was going to fit in," Davidson said.

"But I am sure having another week of training with him they are going to start to figure some stuff out."

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