American Blaylock is real star, says Fulton
It was always going to be an arduous task for Belfast Star to replace the brilliance of American professional Mike Davis but coach Adrian Fulton is confident he has found the man.
Delaney Blaylock made a solid start to All Ireland Superleague life at Star and then sparked to another level last Saturday night as the Belfast men defeated Maree. A top score of 27 points in a performance of poise and athleticism had Fulton purring at how he can continue to drive Star's bid for silverware.
As Star prepare to face Moycullen tomorrow night in La Salle College (6.30pm) Fulton expects Blaylock to deliver a similar display with the rest of his side also seeking to lift their level of consistency.
"Last season Mike was terrific for us. He was a real winner and a team player so of course there was some apprehension when we were having to replace him. Getting the right American professional is critical for every team and I must say I'm delighted with how Delaney has settled in," said Fulton.
"I think we're now starting to see the best of him and I'm very pleased with how he is getting on with the rest of the squad. The chemistry between everyone is growing and that showed last weekend. We had our best defensive performance of the season and offensively we are improving all the time.
"Everyone will naturally look to the 27 points that Delaney scored but defensively he was immense, keeping their American to just 10 points. When it comes to rebounding he is terrific and we needed that this season."
Fulton is still waiting for captain Conor Johnston to return from injury, while Conor Quinn will not return until Christmas. In their absence, Fulton will be seeking big performances from starters such as Keelan Cairns, Aidan Quinn and son CJ, while he has been very pleased with the recent contributions of Liam Pettigrew and Dominic Lynn.
Star will go into the clash with Moycullen as slight favourites but Fulton admits that this is a Superleague in which many teams have raised their level from last year.
"It's not going to be easy against Moycullen. They have made a good start and I expect a tough game," he said.
"We need to keep delivering the kind of defensive performance we had last week and improve offensively. I want to see a 40-minute performance from the lads."