Andrej Lemanis has named his first Australian Boomers squad this week to take on China in the Sino-Australia Challenge. I have written in regards to weak Boomers squads in the past but this takes the cake.
Three of the starting five for Adelaide who came dead last in the National League is picked. Daniel Johnson should be picked, he is one of the top 3 centres in the league no question. I think he has come along way this season and is only going to get better. Hopefully new assistant coach Luc Longley can show him some mental toughness he needs to go that extra step. Adam Gibson has taken a step backwards after the Olympics. Adelaide needed him to be big time this season but he didn’t show it. I think maybe being dropped from the squad might have been a good kick in the backside. Jason Cadee should not be included in any Australian squad. This is the pinnacle of our sport. Jason is not up to this standard, not even close in my opinion.
They are calling Cameron Gliddon the headline name of the squad. He averaged 7 points and 2 assists per game in the NBL this season. Are they handing out Boomers jerseys for fun?
Ben Madgen thoroughly deserves his spot after a break out NBL season. Ben is a born leader and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do on the international stage. Ben is the type of player the Boomers need, not just guys that are going to fill the numbers. His tenacity and leadership should get him a spot in the 12 man final squad. I think they are going to need his scoring ability as there isn’t many guys that can create quality shots for themselves on this squad.
How is Chris Goulding a Boomer? Unless he is jacking up 25 shots a game his attitude is horrendous and plays zero defense. The same can be said for Clint Steindl. He barely got minutes in the NBL and now he is a Boomer. I’d love someone to explain this to me. It’s not like Andrej Lemanis didn’t coach the NBL. He watched all these guys play, he probably targeted their inefficiencies and now he picks them on his squad. This is mind-boggling.
I think Jesse Wagstaff deserves a chance at a Boomers jersey. The guy gives 100% every night and brings that aggression that is needed on the world stage. Many fans don’t like how the Perth Wildcats play but this is what is needed when playing against the physical European teams. I’m hoping Jesse brings this physicality into camp. If so he will make this team no question and play a big part in this challenge.
I’m happy that Andrej has brought in some college guys to gain some experience but this is too many. Six out of 20 guys in the squad don’t play professional basketball. I’d understand if they were standout players for their college but they aren’t.
If Australia were a top 5-basketball nation in the world I’d understand this make-up squad, but we aren’t. We continue to under achieve at the Olympics and World Champs but we still pick weak squads and hope that when our full strength guys come back from overseas they can just click. It doesn’t work like that at all. We don’t have an all-star team like the USA or Spain.
I believe not one of the guys in this 20-man squad will make the World Championships team let alone the squad. This does nothing to help our chances at any world event and this is purely a waste of time for Lemanis and Longley. They will have to start all over again when the big name players eventually come back.
I look forward to seeing how Lemanis is going to approach this series. In the past it has been butt ugly with score lines even worse than the NBL put up this year. If I were in his position I’d be running and gunning and making it entertaining for the fans. I don’t see how this squad is going to create offense and good shots for each other.
Here is to hoping the Chinese bring a weaker squad than we have put up. Basketball Australia needs some big results. It will look absolutely horrendous if we are losing exhibition games to China especially with Aussie players in the news playing in the NBA and Euro-League Finals.