ILLAWARRA coach Rob Beveridge will have his full roster at his disposal when the Hawks host arch-rivals Sydney at the Snakepit on Saturday night.
Sharp-shooting forward Cody Ellis has overcome a bout of chicken pox that kept him out of last week’s NBL Blitz while Tim Coenraad will also play despite nursing a niggling back complaint.
“It hurt us last week not having Cody but he’s got the all-clear and he’s trained the last couple of days so he’s 100 per cent playing,” Beveridge said.
“Tim picked up a bit of an injury in game one [of the Blitz] but he’ll be playing as well. We’ll have all 11 contracted guys there and we’ve got to because I think we are a bit underdone.
We played Texas with six players, we played the Blitz with nine players. We haven’t had all 11 yet so I need them all to play.”
Illawarra got off to a shaky start at last week’s NBL Blitz, going down convincingly to Melbourne before bouncing back to beat Cairns and Sydney convincingly.
Beveridge saw enough in those performances to be confident his side is on the right track less than a month out from their season-opener.
“I was pretty disappointed with our first game,” Beveridge said.
“The players had been working hard, as good as I’ve seen in a long time, so we felt really good going in but we were a lead balloon.
“We let ourselves down in all of our non-negotiables and we did everything as if we’d never played before. We went back and watched the video tape and I challenged the guys and asked ‘is this really us?’.
“It just wasn’t our standards but the guys reacted and I was really happy with our next two games. It was a really good bounce back.”
The Hawks 96-80 victory came against a depleted Kings, but Beveridge is expecting a full strength Sydney outfit to take the floor at the Snakepit on Saturday.
“Sydney didn’t have Lisch, they didn’t have Newley,” Beveridge said.
“There’s a bit of smoke and mirrors that happens at the Blitz but think it’ll be good for us to really see where we’re at.”