Demos wary of Kings linchpin Madgen

BASKETBALL 

Never one to take a backward step, Wollongong back-court enforcer Tyson Demos gladly volunteered for one of the NBL's toughest defensive assignments tomorrow night at WIN Entertainment Centre.

The Hawks will square off with long-time rivals Sydney for the first time this season and Demos is salivating at the prospect of locking horns with Kings linchpin Ben Madgen.

Hawks coach Gordie McLeod is sure to throw a few different defensive looks at the sharp-shooting Madgen, one of the league's top players.

Demos is his team's best on-ball defender and has the foot speed and upper body strength to make Madgen work hard for his points.

"It's not official but I'll be wanting to match up on him, and I'll be trying to hint that to Gordie," a grinning Demos said.

"Madgen's a very dangerous player. Once he starts making shots there's not much you can do about it, so you don't want him to get hot.

"We'll mix up the defence against him, but when I'm out there I'll definitely have my eye on him and hopefully do as much as I can to force him into tougher shots.

"He's going to make some but it's a game of percentages and I'll be trying my best to make it hard for him."

A former Illawarra junior standout, Demos is in his fourth season with the Hawks.

He continues to expand his game and has held a spot in the starting line-up since the season started.

"My role is a bit different this year," the 25-year-old said.

"I'm not really looking to score as much. I'm just trying to get the shooters the ball as much as possible, and bring some defence and energy.

"I think it's working for me at the moment. I feel pretty confident in the way I'm playing."

Sydney are third on the ladder with a 5-4 record and will be confident of chalking up a sixth win at Wollongong's expense.

Demos said both clubs have a knack for bringing out the best in each other.

"This rivalry basically goes back to the when the NBL started, so everyone's pumped up to get out there and take on the Kings," he said.

"It's going to be a pretty physical match-up and a very entertaining game."

The Kings beat Melbourne on the road last week and were ecstatic with recently signed import Sam Young's 27-point haul.

"Young has had another week of practice under his belt and that's definitely going to help them," Demos said.

"We're going to try and defend him different ways, try to force him to the perimeter and mix up our defence.

"We'll try and get AJ [Ogilvy] out of the paint as much as possible because he's a pretty big factor in them being successful."

The Hawks (2-7) went down by a point to second-placed Adelaide last week, but morale and confidence hasn't suffered.

"Aside from Perth and Adelaide, all the other teams are pretty close with wins and losses, so we'll definitely take confidence into the game and hopefully come away with a win," Demos said.

"We have got a few home games coming up, so we are certainly looking to string a few wins together.

"We have to take it game by game and series by series.

"Once we start winning a few games, we'll get the confidence and hopefully that will get the ball rolling."

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