STAR Bendigo Braves import Ray Turner is confident he has returned to the club as a more consistent player following his late-season stint in the NBL.
The 29-year-old played 10 games, including a pair of playoff matches for Sydney Kings, and believes he is a far better player for the experience.
"I have learned a lot being around veterans at that (NBL) level, like (Andrew) Bogut and Kevin (Lisch) and those types of guys," he said.
"It was a great challenge ... the physicality at that level I really enjoyed a lot.
"You can bang a lot and really mix it up with guys and I liked that.
"It was a great experience and hopefully I can use that to make this team (the Braves) a better one."
Turner was the undoubted star of the Braves 89-73 win against Hobart Huskies last Friday night at Bendigo Stadium.
The reigning club MVP scored 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. He continues to lead all Braves players with averages of 21.8 points per game and 11.2 rebounds per game.
After a 2018 season in which he was named in the All-SEABL First Team, Turner's start to the season has been on par with his brilliant Braves debut (22.6 ppg and 11 rpg), and in many statistical categories, even better.
"Consistency is the key ... and I will continue to work on my game and elevating my game to make sure I'm getting the job done and are there for my team when I'm needed," he said.
With more than half of this season's roster new from 2018, including fellow import Deonta Burton and new signing Mathiang Muo, who scored 10 points and had nine rebounds against the Huskies, Turner believed the Braves were slowly finding their feet together, and at 4-3, were building towards a stronger finish to the season.
"It's very much a new team, but one with the right pieces - we just have to get those pieces familiar with each other," he said.
"Right now it's all an adjustment, especially with Mathiang coming into the team late, and Deonta.
"Even the local contingent with a few of the guys coming from Shepparton, making the drive and the sacrifices, for the most part it's been a good adjustment and everyone is enjoying it.
"I think over the next few weeks we will get it all together and things will start to flow nicely going into the second half of the season."
For now the immediate focus is on Geelong Supercats, a team with a similar 4-3 record to the Braves and coming off an impressive win of its own against Waverley Falcons.
Turner said the Braves could expect nothing less than a strong challenge from a Supercats team, led by their star DeMarcus Gatlin (22.1 ppg and 7 rpg).
"We've only lost one home game this year and what we need to do is protect our home court (advantage," he said.
"They will have something to prove, but I'm sure we have something to prove as well."
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