Birmingham Knights Logo 568It’s not been a triumphant beginning for new-boys Birmingham with no wins in six but Josh Rolls-Tyson believes that victories are on the way as the Knights come to terms with life in the BBL.

The 23 year-old said: “It’s been tough being new to the league, playing against well-established sides- a real baptism of fire for us. We’re still adjusting and need to start building some momentum.”

Birmingham were handed a tough opening to their campaign and their first four victors occupy the top 4 places in the table. The Knights’ heaviest defeat was inflicted by Newcastle in a 129-70 rout while Worcester and Leicester also enjoyed comfortable victories.

Rolls-Tyson has been impressed with the level of opposition so far and believes the league’s front-runners can be a big benefit to the way the BBL is perceived.

“Newcastle were a really strong team and Worcester and Leicester both have solid teams too. I think those 3 teams are really pushing the BBL forward with their high-level of basketball which will help the league get recognised and be more respected.”

On a personal note, the former GB under-20 forward is enjoying the challenge of playing professional basketball for the first time having spent the past few seasons playing for Butte Junior College in America. Rolls-Tyson is a regular starter and currently averages a steady 9 points per game and 5.2 rebounds.

“This is my first year as a pro and I’m just trying to get used to the level. I want to build my way in and be consistent,” he admitted.

“It’s a great opportunity to be playing in the BBL and especially for a club in the city I was raised in. Being around a group of guys I’ve played with, and against before is great and we just just want to show what we can do.”

Head-coach Paul Douglas formed the core of his squad around local talent whilst adding vital experience through import, Brent Benson. The American has been the stand-out figure for the Knights so far with 120 points in four league outings, putting him at the top of the league’s scoring averages.

Rolls-Tyson was appreciative of his team-mate’s attributes: “Brent is great! He’s almost like a player-coach at times because he always has positive pointers to put in. He’s a great guard with great vision and awareness, a real talent.”

The lack of experience is evident but that will come in time. An immediate concern for the Knights is the amount of points they are letting up with only Leicester failing to pass the century mark so far but Rolls-Tyson is still confident things can come together.

“We come up against something different each week and a problem has been our defence because we’re letting teams score over 100 points against us. We need to focus on boxing out their bigger guys and keep an eye on their shooters.

“In practice, we play well together and execute but we find it hard to bring it when it matters. It all starts in practice and we have to begin making the transition into games.

“We’re a young team with not much experience asides from the coaching staff and Brent so we’re still learning and I think we can start to get better and gain experience to steal a few wins.

Birmingham return to league action with a double-header next weekend and Rolls-Tyson feels the extra rest period can be a positive for the Knights.

“I think it is (a benefit). We have to stay fluent, keep our heads and tighten our defence. We’ll take this week and the next to re-gather as a team and begin looking forward to our next game against London.”

The Knights recently recruited British centre Glen Izevgibie to add some extra height to their squad while they are again without Armond Battle, who picked up an injury after making his long-awaited debut.


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