A strong showing from Adelaide's Trentyn Flowers has led the way for the NBL Next Stars contingent in Round 8.

20 Nov
By Dan Woods for

NBL24's class of Next Stars is looming as one of the top groups of emerging hoops talent anywhere in the world. 

Stay informed as to how each of the competition's brightest stars played on the weekend with NBL Media's Next Stars Wrap.

Adelaide’s Trentyn Flowers has continued to establish himself as one of the best game-changing talents on the bench this season, and has thrown the gauntlet down to head coach CJ Bruton for a starting role, following the 36ers’ comeback win over South East Melbourne.

Flowers was injected to the game during a first half where the 36ers looked all at sea on both ends of the floor, and brought energy and intensity on the boards to help inspire the team to one of the best comeback wins in recent NBL history.

Flowers finished just one rebound short of his first professional career double-double, and also added 13 points, a steal and a block.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">X-Factor ?<br>noun<br>1. a variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome.<br><br>Sums up Trentyn Flowers pretty well ?‍? <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; NBL (@NBL) <a href="">November 17, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Perth’s Alexandre Sarr continued to play a strong contributing role in the Wildcats’ shortened rotation and has helped guide the side to a competition-best five game winning streak.

The Wildcats have jumped into the top four for the first time this season, following their pair of Round 8 wins over Cairns and Brisbane.

Sarr finished with 12 points and a pair of blocks against the Taipans, and was thrown in alongside the starting unit due to starting center Keanu Pinder’s foul trouble.

He then matched up with NBA veteran Aron Baynes in the Wildcats’ second game of the weekend, and had six points, four rebounds and two blocks in the victory.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Defence to offence for Alex Sarr. ?<br><br>Watch live on ESPN via Kayo <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Perth Wildcats (@PerthWildcats) <a href="">November 18, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Sydney’s Alex Toohey opened proceedings strongly against Melbourne in Sunday’s heavyweight clash between the Kings and United, but was eventually powerless to stop his side from falling to the ladder-leaders in another incredible comeback win.

Toohey continued his role as the Kings’ starting small forward and drained an early corner three to kick his game off, and also registered a block on Melbourne’s star center Jo Lual-Acuil Jr.

He ended the game with 10 points and four rebounds.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Toohey so smoothly ?<br><br>Catch the second game of today&#39;s double-header live on ESPN via Kayo Freebies | 10 Peach and 10 Play ? <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; NBL (@NBL) <a href="">November 19, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Illawarra’s AJ Johnson provided one of the highlights of the round with a monster dunk over New Zealand’s Dane Pineau, and experienced more burn in interim head coach Justin Tatum’s first game in charge since taking over from former head coach Jacob Jackomas.

A converted and-one free throw from the jam gave Johnson his three points for the game, and he also pulled in two boards in just under eight minutes of action.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Catching bodies is what AJ Johnson DOES ??<br><br>Catch the action live on ESPN via Kayo Freebies | 10 Peach and 10 Play | Sky Sports in NZ ? <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; NBL (@NBL) <a href="">November 19, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Brisbane continued to use Rocco Zikarsky in short, sharp bursts in Round 8, following head coach Justin Schueller’s admission to trying to place him in positions to succeed this early into his development.

The 2025-centimetre NBA Draft prospect added two points and pulled down four rebounds in just over eight minutes of action against Perth.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Biggest, and best ?<br><br>Big Blocko Zikarsky is averaging more blocks per 36 minutes than any player in the NBL ?<br><br>Not bad from the 17-year-old Next Star ?<br><br>Catch Zikarsky in action tonight at 8pm AEDT on ESPN via Kayo ? <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; NBL (@NBL) <a href="">November 18, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Melbourne’s Ariel Hukporti struggled to impose himself on proceedings against the Kings, however the defensive stopper pulled down five boards and added two points in the win over Sydney.

The Kings were without starting center Jordan Hunter and elected to cover for the loss by utilising a small ball lineup, which may explain Hukporti’s limited time on court.

Cairns’ Bobi Klintman made his return to the court following a hip injury, but after he played just over six minutes against Perth, he sat out of Cairns’ clash with Tasmania due to hip soreness.

New Zealand’s Mantas Rubstavicius did not take to the court in Round 8 as he continues his recovery from a groin injury.

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