UL Eagles and Neptune have been busy on the recruitment front as the two clubs look to make a serious impression in the forthcoming 2010/11 Nivea For Men's SuperLeague campaign.
UL Eagles have been linked with a number of players this summer but they made a concrete announcement on Monday that vastly experienced head coach Mark Bernsen would be in charge of the SuperLeague side this season.
Bernsen has already experienced that winning feeling in Ireland's top flight, having lead Tralee Tigers to the championship crown in 2008.
The American boasts a wealth of experience after a career which has seen him coach in his own country at the highest level.
Mark's CV includes spells at high school, community college, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division I and he has coached in professional basketball in recent years.
"We are all excited about the arrival of Mark," said UL point guard Matt Hall. "He comes with a great reputation and knows the league well.
"As a team we had a great season last year after a few barren years, so we are hoping to build on that and hopefully win some silverware," added the Welsh international.
"With the exception of Stuart Robbins and Glen Wong, the rest of the team is returning with hopefully one or two new additions. Mark comes with the reputation of being hard working and very knowledgeable so it promises to be a tough but hopefully enjoyable season."
Cork giants Neptune will once again have Pat Price at the helm and he has managed to add US power forward Robinson Louisme and former Shamrock Hoops standout Phil Taylor to his squad.
Six foot seven, Florida-born forward Louisme has been acquired to replace Neptune's success story of last season, Juwann James.
Louisme followed an outstanding career at NCAA Division One Tulane University (New Orleans) with a very good first professional season in Nuernberger, Germany, where he averaged 11 points and six rebounds per game in the very competitive Germany's Pro B division. As one of six imports on the Nuernberger side, Louisme posted season-highs of 27 points and 13 rebounds last year.
"I was very excited to accept the offer to be with Neptune Basketball for the 2010-2011 season," said Louisme.
"Coach (Pat) Price and I have been talking all through the summer and we actually established our relationship last summer around this time. My goals are to get better as a player and teammate and to follow that, Neptune basketball will get better."
Meanwhile, Phil Taylor averaged 18.4 points and led the Superleague in three-point shooting with Hoops last season, and gives additional size at 6'4 to the Neptune perimeter.