Scottish CUP holders Edinburgh Kings have certainly been dealt no favours in the first-round draw for this winter’s competition.
Not only have they not been seeded – an “open” draw has once again been favoured over seeding – but, while most of their Scottish League rivals have been awarded a bye, Kings face a tricky away tie at last year’s giant killers Glasgow University.
The West students knocked out Falkirk Fury, then the defending champions, in a first-round shock while they also put paid to Fury’s league title hopes with an upset win. Fury have since avenged those defeats this season by twice beating Glasgow in the league, but their second win last weekend by 87-72 was sufficiently close to suggest they could make a game of it against Kings at the Stevenson Building tomorrow (3.30pm). “Tomorrow’s the first of hopefully a run of games in both the Scottish and BBL Cups,” said Kings coach Doug Reilly. “But we’ll not be underestimating GU.”
Kings may again be without their dynamic Edinburgh University vet student Mike Kirkpatrick who has decided to take a break to concentrate on his studies. That could hurt the team when they come to play their BBL Cup game against the Glasgow Rocks at the Kelvin Hall two weeks on Sunday. To prepare for that game, however, Kings have made the bold move of fixing up a friendly against new BBL side Durham Wildcats, whose veteran coach Dave Elderkin is no stranger to the Capital.
The Wildcats game will be at Portobello High School on Wednesday night. “Hopefully this game will act as a benchmark and identify what we need to work on prior to our game with the Rocks,” said Reilly. Durham have already played the Rocks, going down narrowly 75-70 in Glasgow last Sunday, and the two meet again in the Trophy at Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre tomorrow (6pm).
There are two men’s Scottish League games tonight, Troon Tornadoes at home to St Mirren at Ayr’s Citadel SC (8.15pm) and Stirling Knights at home to Glasgow Rocks at the Peak Centre (8pm), while St Mirren host Glasgow Rocks in the women’s league (8.15pm).