South East Melbourne coach Simon Mitchell says import Jaye Crockett will suit up against Illawarra but NBA draft prospect Terry Armstrong has suffered another injury setback.
Crockett, who is an injury replacement for Tai Wesley, will make his NBL debut on Saturday night at Melbourne Arena after flying in on Wednesday from Lebanon.
Mitchell said Crockett was a very different player to Wesley but predicted he would fit in well and excite Phoenix fans against the Hawks, who featured top NBA draft prospect LaMelo Ball.
The American forward has had three practice sessions with his new teammates.
"You don't need to really run a play for him. He can go out and get his 15 (points) and eight (rebounds) just by sheer work," Mitchell said.
"But we will run a few things for him because he's a pretty gifted guy.
"He's got a bit of flavour to his game."
Crockett said he was still adjusting to the new time zone and finding his feet in the line-up.
He played college ball with SEM's other import John Roberson, with the pair sharing an agent.
"I'm learning all the terminology and stuff so it's getting easier," Crockett said.
"This is my first game and I don't know how many minutes I'll be playing.
"But when I go in, I'm going to try to be as effective as possible and not make any mistakes to try to keep this (winning) streak going."
Armstrong, part of the Next Stars program, suffered another injury setback on Friday while striving for his first NBL appearance.
On the comeback from foot and calf injuries, the 19-year-old was scheduled to join his teammates on court in the main training group.
However, the promising swingman strained a hip flexor early in the session.
"He got through a few minutes of the session and it looks like he's taken a little step backwards," Mitchell said.
"It's awful - the kid has just had some tough breaks.
"Right now, it's about getting him on the floor and unleashing him on the league but we keep hitting some hurdles."
Mitchell felt his team's winning start to the NBL had masked some deficiencies in their game.
The NBL newcomers opened with two victories but Mitchell said there was still plenty of improvement required to be a force throughout their debut season.
"From week one to week two, we were a better team and, hopefully, we're going to better again on Saturday night," Mitchell said.
"I think we're masking our deficiencies fairly well at the moment but we're working hard to overcome those."
Australian Associated Press