We’ll have to wait and see if Doug Plumb will be at the helm of the St. John’s Edge as they begin a new National Basketball of Canada season Sunday in London, Ont.
Last week, the league announced Plumb had been fined and suspended two games for violating NBL Canada’s tampering rules. No details of the alleged transgression were made available, although such charges usually involve unpermitted contact with a player whose rights belong to another club.
What is known is the Edge are appealing Plumb’s suspension, meaning he still could be on the bench as St. John’s opens its 2018-19 regular-season against the two-time defending champion London Lightning.
If that’s the case, Plumb will be making his NBLC head coaching debut in London; he was appointed head coach this off-season, taking over for Jeff Dunlap, who had guided the Edge through its inaugural campaign. Plumb was the top assistant on Dunlap’s staff in 2017-18 after holding the same job with the Lightning the previous season.
We’re also waiting to find out the make-up of the team Plumb will (or won’t) be coaching Sunday.
All 10 NBL Canada clubs must submit season-opening rosters by midnight tonight and it looks like the Edge will be making adjustments right up to the cut-off time.
Three new players are expected to be officially added by the Edge today, including Americans Maverick Morgan, a 24-year-old who has already arrived in St. John’s, and 29-year-old forward/centre Keith Wright Jr., who is expected today.
The two bring impressive size and credentials to the Edge.
The 6-8 Wright is a native of Suffolk, Va., a suburb of Norfolk, and a former star at Harvard University, where he was the Ivy League player of the year in 2011. A two-time conference all-star, Wright also helped the Crimson to an NCAA tournament berth in 2012, the first time that had happened in 66 years.
After graduating from Harvard as the school’s all-time leading shot-blocker, the 240-pound Wright played professionally in Sweden and Poland, then returned to North America where he suited up for the Austin Spurs and Westchester Knicks in the NBA Development League (now G League). He then went back overseas, playing in the Philippines in 2016-17 and in Greece last season.
Morgan, listed at 6-10 and 245 pounds, is just a year from playing for the University of Illinois, where the Springboro, Ohio native spent four seasons, including 2016-17, when he was the team’s primary starter at post, averaging 10 points and just under five rebounds a game.
Last season, he turned professional with a team in Poland, and moved to Skycop Prienai, in the Lithuania Basketball League this fall. However, he left that club four weeks ago.
The Edge are also adding Canadian shooting guard Diego Kapelan,
NBL Canada clubs are required to have five Canadians on their 12-man active rosters and as of Monday, that’s exactly how many St. John’s was carrying — reigning league MVP Carl English, Jarryn Skeete, Junior Cadougan, Guillaume Boucard and Kevin Zabo.
But carrying the bare minimum of domestic players can be problematic. If one is lost to injury, for example, and the team has no replacement, then it would be allowed to dress just 11 players for a game until getting back up to five active Canadians.
The 31-year-old Kapelan is a native of Vancouver who played four years of NCAA Division One hoops at McNeese State University.
Since leaving the collegiate ranks, the 6-4 Kapelan has been in Europe, playing for teams in Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Germany, Austria and Spain. Like Morgan, he began this season with a team in Lithuania.
As of Monday night, there was no announcement Morgan, Wright and/or Kapelan have been signed, but they are listed as being part of the team on the Edge’s official website. And it would be difficult to believe the team would bring in the players at this stage without intending to add them to the official roster.
Any additions will lead to subtractions, as the Edge began the week with 13 signed players. NBL Canada teams can have 12 players on the active roster and two more on the official inactive list.
And indeed, even though there has been no official notice they’ve been released, the Edge’s online roster shows Bryce Washington and Nick Banyard, who had been signed, and tryout player Travele Jones are no longer with the team. All three took part in the portion of training camp held last week in Grand Falls-Windsor.
But the St. John’s roster continues to show forward Ted Kapita, a native of the Congo who played one season (2016-17) at North Carolina State. The 6-8 Kapita was supposed to have attended training camp on a tryout, but was not in Grand Falls-Windsor.
If Kapita is still part of the team and Washington, Banyard and Travele Jones are out of the picture, the Edge have 15 players as of this morning.
The St. John’s Edge’s numerical roster as listed on the team website (sjedge.ca):
1 Ted Kapita, F
5 Desmond Lee, G
6 Kevin Zabo, G
9 Guillaume Boucard, F
10 Jarryn Skeete, G
11 Jared Nickens, F
12 Maurice Jones Sr., G
13 Diego Kapelan, G
21 Todd Brown Jr., F
22 Maverick Morgan, F
23 Carl English, G
25 Gabe Freeman , F
44 Keith Wright Jr., F
52 Satnam Singh, C
55 Junior Cadougan, G