The Airbnb Australian U19 Men’s squad has been selected ahead of the 2014 FIBA Oceania Pacific Youth Championships, tipping off on the 1st of December in Fiji. A successful showing at that event would see Australia qualify for the FIBA U19 World Championship, held in Greece in June, 2015.
Airbnb Australian U19 Men’s Squad
George BLAGOJEVIC – VICC
Kyle CLARK – TAS
Harrison FROLING – QLDN
Isaac HUMPHRIES – NSWM
Tanner KREBS – TAS/COE
Jack MCVEIGH – QLDS/COE
Rhys VAGUE – WAM
Dejan VASILJEVIC – VICM
Jack WHITE – VICC
Tom WILSON – VICM
Jock PERRY – VICM
Joel SMITH – VICM
Kai WOODFALL – TAS
Head Coach – Adam Caporn
Assistant Coaches – Tim Mallon and Mark Radford
Manager – Bob McGugan
Doctor – TBC
Physiotherapist – Peter Suffolk
|vs New Caledonia||Monday, December 1||7:00pm||Vodafone Arena Court 2|
|vs Samoa||Tuesday, December 2||6:00pm||Vodafone Arena Court 2|
|vs Guam||Wednesday, December 3||2:00pm||Vodafone Arena Court 1|
|vs Solomon Islands||Thursday, December 4||7:00pm||Vodafone Arena Court 2|
- All times are local (GMT+13)
- The Finals games will be played on the 5th & 6th of December.
- All games are expected to be live-streamed. We’ll provide links to live-streams and live-stats as we receive them
- Isaac Humphries (quad injury) and Jack McVeigh (tonsillitis) have both been ruled out of the tournament and did not travel with the team.
- Abi Akintola and Jordan Hunter have joined the team as the injury replacements.
With no true point guard selected for this squad, look for Tanner Krebs to be amongst the squad’s primary ball handlers. Although Krebs is more of a combo guard, he’s shown that he’s more than comfortable playing at the point if needed. The St Mary’s signee averaged 12.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg & 1.8 apg during SEABL competition this year and was in last year’s U19 squad. As one of the most senior members of the team, Krebs’ leadership will play an important role in how far this team progresses.
Dejan Vasiljevic is coming off a very impressive FIBA U17 World Championship, averaging 17.4 ppg & 6.6 rpg on 36% FG & 37% 3pt and gaining all-tournament honours. The 6’1 guard, who was recently offered by LSU and St Mary’s, will be key for this squad – with his elite perimeter shooting opening up the lanes for the likes of McVeigh and Humphries.
Tom Wilson was also a key member for the Australian U17 squad, averaging 12.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg & 1.7 apg. Wilson’s ability to play the point guard position will again be put on show. He showed flashes of brilliance at the FIBA U17 World Championships earlier this year but didn’t look entirely comfortable. This squad primarily consists of CoE athletes so, with an air of familiarity around him, Wilson should be able to shine.
George Blagojevic averaged 5.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg & 1.8 apg for last year’s U19 squad at the Pacific Championships, starting all 6 games. At 6’8, he provides great size on the wing and has proven to be a knock-down shooter.
Kyle Clark’s game is eerily similar to Blagojevic. Clark provides another scoring option off the bench, his ability to hit the 3-ball making him one of the more deadly perimeter threats in this squad. The St Mary’s commit averaged 5.9 ppg & 2.9 rpg in significant minutes off the bench for the Australian U17 squad at the FIBA U17 World Championships earlier this year so look for him to play a similar role in this team.
The pressure will be on Jack McVeigh to lead this squad, on and off the court. He’s the only member of the squad with Boomers experience after being a part of the senior team for this year’s Sino Challenge. We chose McVeigh as our MVP of this year’s U20’s Australian Junior Championships after he led Queensland to the Championship game, averaging 27.5 ppg & 9.3 rpg on 55% FG. His ability to shoot from the perimeter, coupled with his unique finishing around the basket, makes him one of the primary offensive threats for the squad.
Jack White averaged 1.9 ppg & 1.1 rpg in limited minutes off the bench for the Australian U17 squad at the FIBA U17 World Championships and will likely play a similar role for this squad. His swift development earned him a scholarship offer from the CoE and his time there has clearly payed off. His athleticism sets him apart from the rest of this group so it will be interesting to see if he’ll get an extended run.
1 of only 3 legitimate big-men on this squad is Harrison Froling. Froling was another member of the Australian U17 squad that provided big minutes off the bench, averaging an impressive 7.1 ppg & 3.1 rpg in 7 games. He’ll likely be fighting for minutes with Rhys Vague, who played a big role for the Australian U19 team in the Pacific Championships last year, averaging 10 ppg, 4.5 rpg on 50% FG. Both rebound the ball extremely well and are able to step out and knock down perimeter jump shots.
The final, and perhaps the most important, player on the squad is Isaac Humphries. Humphries is coming off an extremely impressive showing at the FIBA U17 World Championships, averaging 18.9 ppg, 11.6 rpg & 3.3 bpg on 58% FG & 83% FT en route to all-tournament team honours. Humphries’ recruitment has picked up in the past few months – Arizona, Kansas and Illinois all offering the Aussie 7-footer. Humphries will man the paint on both ends of the floor, likely drawing double-teams on every touch. He’ll be extremely important guarding New Zealand’s bigs in what will likely be the marquee matchup of the tournament.
Many will question the omission of Australian talents Ben Simmons and Thon Maker, both of whom are amongst the most talented players in their respective draft classes. Both were unable to attend the training camp due to high school commitments in the US, these commitments would also have kept them out of these Pacific Youth Championships so their selection was never on the cards. If Australia qualifies for the World Championships, look for Ben Simmons and Thon Maker – as well as the likes of Matur Maker, Jonah Bolden, Deng Adel, Daniel Mading and William McDowell-White – to be in the mix for that squad.
The Airbnb U19 Men’s squad will be in Fiji from the 1st to the 6th of December.