WORCESTER Wolves head coach Paul James is confident he has assembled a “more talented team” than last season.

The British Basketball League club have been busy in the transfer market since losing to Newcastle Eagles in the play-off semi-finals in May.

James insists he did his upmost to retain most of the 2016/17 group who finished fifth after winning 15 of their last 17 league games.

Only Ashton Khan, Alex Navajas and Jermel Kennedy returned but James has been delighted with the players he has brought on board.

Elvisi Dusha, Dallin Bachynski, Trayvon Palmer, George Beamon and Brandon Parrish have arrived while Zachariah Noble and Dominic Ives will combine studying at club owners University of Worcester with providing support for the first team.

Wolves open their BBL season on Friday against London Lions at the University of Worcester Arena (7.30pm).

“The chemistry is good. Everyone is working really hard and we feel we have got a more talented team than we had last season,” James said.

“We have got more quality and I think we have got players who can genuinely play in two or three different positions.

“Last season we had players who were one dimensional and were very good at doing what they did but we were having to paper over the cracks.

“This year we have got guys who have come from really good basketball programmes and want to play at both ends of the floor and they have shown that in training.”

Marek Klassen, Maurice Walker, Trevor Setty, Andrew Bachman, Danny Huffor and Trey Zeigler parted ways at the end of last term.

“We did our utmost to try to retain some of those players,” James said.

“Sometimes if they have it in their mind they want to do something else then that’s just the way it is.

“There is no disappointment as that’s sport. You move on.

“I am sure the fans who have been to see two or three of our games will be delighted with what we have recruited so we need to get behind them.”

Wolves have struggled to keep hold of their players in recent years which has led to a rebuilding job in the summer.

But Khan, Navajas and Kennedy bucked the trend when they committed to Worcester for this term.

“Last year we retained one (player) and the year before that we kept hold of one so having three (agree to stay) is a step in the right direction and we got the three guys we wanted back,” James added.

“Alex was probably our outstanding player in the play-offs last year, Jermel is a very versatile player and a crowd favourite and Ashton is now our captain.

“Having that continuity really helps the younger players come through.

“We have also got George who has been around a bit and is a tremendous scorer and Dallin who is getting better with every session and is going to be a real handful in the BBL.”