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Craig named NBL Defensive Player of the Year

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By Travis Jenkins

The team’s first year was up-and-down, but Torrey Craig’s first year with the team was nothing short of outstanding.

Craig, the former standout basketball player from Great Falls, was named the Australian NBL Defensive Player of the Year and was picked as the team MVP for the Brisbane Bullets. Brisbane had a successful team for many years, but folded the franchise for a few seasons before returning in 2017. The team only managed a 10-17 record, but the big off-season signing of Craig proved to be a an excellent one. Craig led the Bullets in minutes played, scoring (15.2 a game), rebounding (8.0 a game), steals (1.14 a game) and three-point shooting. Those numbers made him a second-team All-NBL selection. In a match-up with eventual League MVP Jerome Randle, Craig had 34 points and 11 rebounds while holding Randle to just seven points. He also posted a 30-point, 18-rebound effort on the season, making him only the second player in the last eight years to achieve those totals in a single game.

Craig played with the Wellington Saints in the New Zealand NBL last year, where he averaged more than 20 points and 10 rebounds per game and was named to the league's "All-Star Five." The Saints won the league title. The previous year, Craig was named MVP of that league. 
Craig spent his first two professional seasons in the Australian NBL playing for the Cairns Taipans, where he primarily served as the squad's sixth man. As a collegiate player at USC-Upstate, he was the first player in Atlantic Sun history to lead the league in scoring for three straight years and the Spartans made their first two Division I era post-season appearances during Craig's time at the school. At Great Falls (where he also played football), he helped the Red Devils to two state title games and won Class A Player of the Year honors as a senior.