Hawks to unveil Jahii Carson-Gary Ervin double act

Impressive Hawks recruit Jahii Carson in action for US College Arizona State. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Impressive Hawks recruit Jahii Carson in action for US College Arizona State. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

BASKETBALL

The Wollongong Hawks will unleash their exciting new double act in Saturday night's trial game at the Snakepit.

Imports Jahii Carson and Gary Ervin are set to make their first pre-season appearances for the Hawks against the Dongguan Leopards, a team coached by Brian Goorjian in the Chinese national league.

Carson will be making his debut in Wollongong colours, while Ervin is playing his first game for the Hawks since leaving the club at the end of the 2010-11 season.

"This will be the first time I've actually ever played in the Snakepit with a crowd," Ervin said.

"It's a good chance to take what we've been doing on the practice court into a game against somebody else."

Ervin and Carson will form Wollongong's starting backcourt when the 2014-15 NBL tips off, though Tyson Demos may start against the Leopards.

Despite being the Hawks' smallest import duo in club history, Ervin and Carson are confident it will be more of a problem for rivals.

"To play with another import at the guard position, we can help each other," Ervin said.

"Teams can't double-team as much and focus on one person. I'm looking forward to that."

While 2011 NBL MVP Ervin is a proven performer in Australia, Carson is tipped to be a match-winning crowd-pleaser.

The former University of Arizona State star boasts a 119cm vertical leap and just missed being selected in the NBA Draft in June.

Aside from injured centre Larry Davidson (knee), the Hawks hope to be at full strength against the tourists.

Training has been sharp and off-season recruits Ervin, Carson, Brad Hill and Adam Ballinger have blended smoothly with the existing nucleus of players.

"That's what I expected, that it would come together like it has," Ervin said.

The Hawks plan to showcase their new and improved running game in Saturday's trial.

"That's a given. That's when we're going to be at our best," Ervin said.

"Running in transition, getting the ball to open guys ... but as always it starts on the defensive end."

The Wollongong Roller Hawks will take on Victoria in a National Wheelchair Basketball League game prior to the Hawks' match.

Wollongong's next pre-season game is against the Sydney Kings next Saturday at Moss Vale.

The Hawks start the 2014-15 NBL season on October 10 against Townsville at WIN Entertainment Centre.

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