CHEZ Marks has won a place in the inaugural BBL team of the week – as well as a pat on the back from coach Paul Smith.
The BiG Storage Cheshire Jets guard piled on 34 points against Worcester Wolves on his home debut on Sunday.
His performance was enough to see him named in the league’s team of the week, which will be picked throughout the course of the season after each weekend round of fixtures.
Summer recruit Marks, from Lexington, Kentucky, was recommended to Jets by former Chester boss Robbie Peers, who worked with the 28-year-old while he was in charge of London Towers.
Smith said: “I have to thank Robbie. Chez played for Robbie a few years ago and Robbie and I speak on a regular basis.
“He put me in touch with Chez and I took Robbie’s recommendation on it. It takes a lot for Robbie to recommend a player. He’s got very high standards and Chez has turned out to be everything Robbie said.
“He’s a good guy to have around and we’re really pleased to have him.”
Despite singling Marks out for special praise, Smith put Sunday’s resounding win over Worcester down to “a good team performance”.
The Northgate fans were treated to a high-scoring, free-flowing contest – although Smith was far from happy at seeing his team concede more than 100 points for the second time in three days. Jets had lost 106-92 at Milton Keynes last Friday.
Smith said: “I’ve recruited an offensive team and I have to coach defence. That’s not going to come overnight. We’ve got a lot of hard work to do there.”
Smith, however, won’t compromise on Jets’ traditional attacking brand of basketball.
He added: “As a club, we’ve got a history of having good offensive players – real talented athletes.
“Hopefully in our first game in front of our home crowd we’ve shown that, with lots of offence and some nice interplay and nice dunks.
“I hope the crowd enjoyed it.”
This weekend sees Jets travel to Leicester Riders tomorrow (7.30pm) before hosting reigning champions Guildford Heat at the Northgate on Sunday (5.30pm)
“Leicester will be a very tough game, particularly on their court,” said Smith. “They are a quick, athletic team with some good BBL vets combined with some exciting new talent.”
Looking ahead to Sunday’s trip to the Northgate, Guildford coach Paul James said: “I have not seen the Jets play this season but I know that any team with calibre players like Shawn Myers, Chez Marks and Calvin Davis in their line-up will cause you a lot of problems.”