Atiba Lyons explains thinking behind Devearl Ramsey signing and mid-season shake-up at Sheffield Sharks

Atiba Lyons is under-taking a mid-season shake-up of his roster in a bid to revive Sheffield Sharks’ ailing BBL campaign.

Lyons has released two imports and brought one in, with another potentially joining before the team return to action against Thames Valley Cavaliers in the BBL Trophy next Sunday.

Out go centre Javion Ogunyemi, who had actually been scoring more points in recent weeks, and point guard Channel Banks Jr, who were both summer recruits.

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In comes Devearl Ramsay, a six-foot, 25-year-old shooting guard who was most recently playing with the Stockton Kings in the NBA development leagues.

New Sheffield Sharks signing Devearl Ramsey.New Sheffield Sharks signing Devearl Ramsey.
New Sheffield Sharks signing Devearl Ramsey.

"It was a last-minute decision, I got to the point where we needed a change,” Lyons told The Yorkshire Post.

"I wasn’t seeing the adjustments and the improvements I needed to see in the team, so it was time to make a change.

"We’re going to need someone else in as well to add that depth.

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"The BBL is extremely tough, everyone else has been improving and making changes so we kind of had to match that and make sure that depth is there.”

Javion Ogunyemi has been released by Sheffield Sharks (Picture: Adam Bates)Javion Ogunyemi has been released by Sheffield Sharks (Picture: Adam Bates)
Javion Ogunyemi has been released by Sheffield Sharks (Picture: Adam Bates)

Sharks are averaging fewer than 70 points in their last five games as they have dropped to eighth in the standings, increasing the necessity to bring in another scoing option.

"Devearl is a little more of a play-making guard, he can create for others as well as himself,” explained Lyons.

"We need a little help in getting more points out of players because our offence right now is not running at its most efficient, so hopefully he brings that dynamic that can help get our guys easier looks on the offensive end.

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"And on the defensive end, he’s fast, he’s energetic and he plays with passion – we need a bit of that.”

On the decision to release Ogunyemi and Banks earlier this week, Lyons added: "They were both solid players, good guys, I wish them nothing but the best, but unfortunately we just had to go in a different direction. They’re imports and they’re the first people that have to move on.

"Unfortunately that’s the life of an athlete, that’s the stress and pressure they deal with.

"They were extremely professional and hard-working which makes it even harder.

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"It’s the worst part of the job when you have to make those decisions on good people, good men.

"If they were lower-character individuals they’re easier decisions to make, but they were good guys so it is hard.”