[phpwiki]Cairns Taipans

Team Info

 Founded       1999
 Stadium       The Snakepit, Cairns Convention Centre
 Capacity      5,300
 Owner         Cairns Taipans Basketball Inc
 CEO           Mark Beecroft
 Head          Aaron Fearne
 Championships None


 2014-15 Cairns Roster
 2013-14 Cairns Roster
 2012-13 Cairns Roster
 2011-12 Cairns Roster
 2010-11 Cairns Roster

All Stars

 Chris Burgess 2005
 Clint Steindl 2013
 Cameron Tragardh 2013
 Jamar Wilson 2013
 Kevin Owens 2007
 Larry Abney 2008
 Martin Cattalini 2006, 2007
 Marcus Timmons 2004
 Nathan Jawai 2008
 Stephen Black 2008

Retired Jerseys

 #8 Aaron Grabau

Player Game Records

 Most points in a game      51 Martin Cattalini, 22/11/06
 3 Pointers made in a game  9  Anthony Stewart, 23/02/03
 Most Assists in a game     14 Brad Davidson, 21/01/04
 Most Blocks in a game      6  Chris Burgess, 3 times
 Most Steals in a game      7  Ron Dorsey, 08/04/11
 Most Rebounds in a game    28 Chris Burgess, 16/10/04

Team Records

 Largest Win               43, 10/01/04 V Hunter Pirates
 Largest Loss              54, 03/03/00 V Adelaide 36ers
 Longest Winning Streak     6, 23/11/03 - 14/12/03
 Longest Losing Streak     21, 02/01/00 - 02/12/00
 Most Team Points         129, 04/11/05 V Brisbane Bullets
 Most 1st Half Points      77, 01/12/01 V Sydney Kings
 Most 2nd Half Points      78, 02/11/01 V Sydney Kings
 Most Points in a Quarter  43, 11/12/05 V Wollongong Hawks
 Lowest Team Points        43, 17/02/12 V Townsville Crocs
 Most Free Throw Attempts  56, 31/12/03 V Brisbane Bullets
 Most Free Throws Made     42, 31/12/07 V Brisbane Bullets
 Most 3 Pointers Made      18, 01/12/01 V Sydney Kings
 Most Assists              32, 21/01/04 V Melbourne Tigers
 Most Blocks               12, 25/09/05 V NZ Breakers
 Most Steals               18, 03/10/03 V NZ Breakers

All Time Team Leaders

 Games Played                407  Aaron Grabau
 Points                      3187 Anthony Stewart
 Three Pointers Made         590  Anthony Stewart
 Three Pointers Attempted    1678 Anthony Stewart
 Assists                     671  Anthony Stewart
 Blocks                      125  Chris Burgess
 Steals                           Aaron Grabau
 Rebounds                         Aaron Grabau

Club History

Season Results

 1999/00 11th (2-26)
 2000/01 9th  (6-22)
 2001/02 11th (9-21)
 2002/03 8th  (13-17)
 2003/04 6th  (16-17) Quarter-Finalists
 2004/05 10th (11-21)
 2005/06 5th  (18-14) Semi-Finalists
 2006/07 7th  (17-16) Semi-Finalists
 2007/08 6th  (16-14) Quarter Finalists
 2008/09 9th  (11-19)
 2009/10 7th  (11-17)
 2010/11 3rd  (16-12) Grand Finalists
 2011/12 5th  (15-13)
 2012/13 6th  (11-17)

Start of the club

The first coach in franchise history was former Cairns Marlins ABA coach Rod Popp. Playing at the newly expanded Cairns Convention Centre, the Taipans played their first game against the Sydney Kings in front of 4,407 fans. However, there would be few highlights in their first season, finishing last with a 2-26 record.

With a large turn-over of players in their second season, expectations for Cairns were low. Headed by Guy Molloy, a former South East Melbourne Magic and Australian women's national team assistant coach, the Taipans would improve to 6-22, sell out five of fourteen home games and attract over 4,963 spectators per match.

Midway through the 2001/02 season, Taipans released import forward Matt Garrison replacing him with the exciting Jayson Wells, who made an immediate impact on the team averaging over 22 points and 10 rebounds per game including a season high 40 points against Canberra and 39 points against reigning NBL champions Wollongong. During the season the club registered their first ever wins against North Queensland rivals Townsville, Wollongong, Adelaide and Victoria. The club also recorded their biggest winning margin in a match against Canberra and won the best of head to head battles against reigning title holders Wollongong and the Victoria Titans. The club again showed significant improvement to earn nine victories.

In 2002/03, the Taipans took another significant step forward by winning 13 games while finishing in eighth position, showing that the club should make the playoffs for the first time in the near future.

The 2003/04 season proved to be an exciting one for the Taipans, with the recruitment of experienced NBL championship-winning forwards Melvin Thomas and Marcus Timmons helping the Taipans to reach their first playoffs in franchise history. The Taipans first finals appearance resulted in a win, as Cairns upset Perth 103-96. Ultimately, the Taipans maiden post-season foray was stopped by the West Sydney Razorbacks who would go on to come within a single game of the title. Timmons earned his teamís MVP award for the season.

The 2004/05 season witnessed the first-ever reversal of the Taipanís forward progress from the past five seasons, resulting in championship coach Alan Black being signed to replace Molloy. The addition of All-Star Martin Cattalini and Darnell Mee helped the Taipans to a fifth-place finish in 2005-06. Cairns defeated the Hunter Pirates in the first round, and Anthony Stewart hit a three late in overtime to help the Taipans past the Adelaide 36ers, and advance the Taipans to their first ever semi-final. The Taipans lost this to the defending champion Sydney Kings in two straight games, narrowly going down 84-82 in game two in Cairns.

The 2006/07 Taipans consolidated their form of the previous year with a 17-16 record and a sixth place finish. Many Taipans players enjoyed notable personal success. Martin Cattalini placed second in the NBL among scorers, behind New Zealand's Carlos Powell. Darnell Mee placed sixth in the league for assists, whilst new addition Kevin Owens was amongst the best rebounders and blockers in the league. The Taipans defeated the South Dragons 118-97 in the second quarter-final, and then beat the Perth Wildcats 82-78 in the fourth quarter-final to advance to the semi-final series against the Melbourne Tigers but were swept by the Tigers in 2.

Change to community model

Halfway through the 2008/09 season the Taipans were placed into voluntary administration. However a community based public ownership scheme was floated, and shares and syndicates were made available to purchase to the general public as a part of the team as a whole, in much the same way as the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League. These shares raised the necessary half a million dollars of operating capital required by the new NBL guidelines and made the Taipans the first publicly owned professional sporting franchise in Australia. This same scheme of public ownership was followed by the Wollongong Hawks, who also successfully attracted enough investment to be viable for the 2009/10 NBL season.

The 2010s

After two seasons near the bottom. Cairns finished in 3rd spot in 2010-11 and won their first ever semi final game by beating Townsville in Game 2 74-57 to even the series and force the series to the deciding game. At the Crocodiles' home, Cairns would eventually win the decider Game 3 with a 10-point win, allowing them to go into their first grand-final series where they faced the NZ Breakers. The Breakers won game 1 (85-67), before the Taipans fought a tough battle to win game 2 (85-81) in double overtime. With the series tied at 1-1, the grand-final went to game 3. The Breakers won 71-53, leaving the Taipans as runners-up for the 2010-11

At the start free agency, the Taipans lost three key players of their championship team to the Melbourne Tigers. Ron Dorsey, Daniel Dillon and Ayinde Ubaka signed with the Tigers, leaving a large hole in the Taipans roster. Aaron Fearne filled it by signing MVP candidate Jamar Wilson and sharp shooter Andrew Warren.

The Taipans were picked to finish last for 2011-12, but they defied all odds and kept in touch with the top 4 all year. It wasn't until mid to late in the season when the Taipans lost some key games against the Crocs, that they were knocked out of the playoff race (they tied the Crocs with W & L and for 4th place but finished 5th due to head to head results).

During the 2011-12 season, the Taipans set two records for the least points scored in franchise history. Both times failing to reach 50 points. The Taipans scored just 43 points against the Townsville Crocs on 17/02/2012. Second least in league history.

At the end of the 2011-12 season the Taipans re-signed Jamar Wilson & Brad Hill, they also added Cameron Tragardh from the Tigers, Clint Steindl from St Marys College and Cameron Gliddon. Ian Crosswhite left the club, choosing to sign with the Sydney Kings

With a new revamped roster for the 2012-13 season the Taipans had high hopes of making the playoffs but stumbled during the start of the season. Cameron Tragardh had a great start to his Cairns career as did rookie duo Cameron Gliddon and Clint Steindl. Steindl was selected to play in the 3 point shootout during the NBL All-Star game. He was also selected to play in the game. Cameron Tragardh lead all players in voting and started for the Northern All-Stars. Jamar Wilson was included as an injury replacement. With the improved play of import Shane Edwards the Taipans made a run for the playoffs after the All-Star break but fell short in the final round of the regular season. Steindl's minutes declined as the season progressed but Gliddon improved leaps and bounds, winning the praise of almost every coach around the league, taking out the 2013 rookie of the year award. Jamar Wilson was also named to the All NBL Third team.

At the end of the 2012-13 season Aaron Grabau retired from the NBL. Dusty Rhycart was not re-signed by the club and Kerry Williams retired despite only being in his mid-late 20s.

On May 15th 2013 the Taipans announced their first signing for the 2013-14 season, St Mary's big man Mitchell Young[1]. Cairns also went on to sign Australians Stephen Weigh, Matt Burston and promoting Shaun Bruce from Development Player to full contracted player. In August the Taipans shocked the NBL by signing another import guard, Demetri McCamey. After a 2-0 start to the season many predicted that the Taipans would return to the playoffs, however inconsistency plagued the team all season long and many fans took to social media calling for the sacking of Aaron Fearne. Fearne however was not let go by the club and finished the season. Cameron Tragardh went down with an ankle injury in early 2014 and did not return to the team, after which the Taipans went on a small run but could not make the top 4.

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