John Ireland has marvelled at Quayshun Hawkins' "unique ability to find the open man in scoring positions" after the Tamworth Thunderbolts overpowered defending State League Division 1 champions St George on Saturday night.
Hawkins was prominent offensively as the Thunderbolts claimed a 102-74 win - their third of the season.
Ireland said he would have easily had 10-15 assists to go with a second-top 16 points.
He also remarked on the understanding that Hawkins and Chris Skilton have developed in a short space of time.
"Skilto's effectiveness shone through," Ireland said.
The co-captain was only on court for about 15 minutes but was the Thunderbolts' top-scorer with 18 points.
The magnitude of the win was clouded a bit by the fact that the Saints weren't at full strength. They were missing a couple of their big guns which impacted them at both ends of the court, and Ireland said, makes it hard to really get an accurate benchmark of where they are at.
"It is really difficult to get a gauge unless you're playing sides at full strength and full capacity," he said.
"It will be a completely different ball game when we play them on their home court down in Sydney."
The rematch will be on July 13.
Still, Ireland said there were a lot of positives to take out of Saturday night.
"There were patches of some really good basketball," he said.
"I thought when we controlled the tempo and really pushed the pace of the basketball that's when we were at our best."
"The way we shared the ball too was fantastic."
That was reflected on the scoreboard with five players scoring in double figures, and another couple falling just short. It was something Ireland said they spoke about before the game, and testament to their depth and guys knowing their roles.
"Billy Parsons was the epitome of that," he said.
"He's young guy that's still finding his way in men's basketball. He knocked down shots, got a couple of rebounds and a couple of assists."
He finished with 12 points - his highest haul of the season.
"Toby Whale had one of the best games I've seen him play for us since making the transition from juniors," Ireland added.
"He knocked down a few shoes, rebounded well, and defended well."
Whale netted 11 points while Rhys Chillingworth chipped in with 15.
"A big guy that can stretch the floor", he said Chillingworth needs to a key focus for them and really stepped up again on the weekend.
Collectively he thought they also stepped up defensively.
"One of our biggest focuses was on our help defence and rotational defence and I thought we did a much better job of that on Saturday night," he said.
They have this weekend off and are then on the road against Newcastle Hunters.
"Playing them at home probably be first real test or gauge of where we are at," Ireland said.
"They have started the season exceptionally well with five wins from five games."