'It's massive for Plymouth Raiders to have Colin O'Reilly back at his best'
COLIN O'REILLY has rediscovered his rhythm in training, says Marjon Plymouth Raiders boss Gavin Love.
The 29-year-old guard/forward was a vital part of Raiders' starting line-up earlier this season in the BBL Championship.
However, O'Reilly has increasingly struggled for form and lacked confidence, and dropped out of Raiders' line-up in their last three contests.
In those games, the Irishman, who joined from BBL rivals Cheshire Phoenix last summer, averaged 2.7 points in 16 minutes per game off Raiders' bench.
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Love and his players are currently coming to the end of the second of a three-week break in their schedule, and O'Reilly has had welcome time to find his form again.
"Colin has been dominating in practice for two weeks," said Love.
"Everybody has peaks and troughs throughout the season, and it's massive for us to have Colin back at his best. He's so important for us.
"Colin has just looked really sharp."
O'Reilly, overall, is still averaging 11.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game this season, such was his dominance earlier in the campaign as Raiders' starting small-forward on the wing.
O'Reilly is now set to see more minutes at shooting-guard in Raiders' backcourt in a reduced seven-man rotation following guard Rod Brown's move to London Lions late last week.
Love is set to rotate Drew Lasker, Michael Ojo and O'Reilly in Raiders' backcourt in the final month of the regular season.
Javarris Barnett, Jamal Williams, Matt Schneck and Andreas Schreiber will provide the options up front.
Raiders play their first of nine remaining regular season games next Friday (March 15) at defending champions Newcastle Eagles.
That contest is the first of five in 10 busy and draining days.
Love said: "I don't think other teams look at us and think, 'He's the guy we have to lock down'. We don't have any stars on our team.
"But we have seven professionals who can all play. Our ball movement and execution has been brilliant in practice the last two weeks.
"We just have to turn that form into wins now, because our schedule in the run-in is frankly crazy."
Of Raiders' current enforced break, Love said: "It does feel strange. The unfortunate thing is we're going to have to fit in so many games after it.
"We'd rather not but it's not possible to avoid it.
"At the end of the day it happens. We just have to get on with it.
"We had a good week in practice; we worked on things and we're changing a few things.
"We can be a better rebounding team.
"That's not a criticism, but we can improve so that's what we've been working on. Offensively, we've worked on getting different people involved in different areas."