We couldn’t have asked for a better ending to what was an extremely successful week for both the Men’s and Women’s U19 programs. Dejan Vasiljevic hit the shot of his life to break the hearts of the New Zealanders, ultimately sending Australia through to the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship.
We’d like to thank everyone who’s been following The Pick and Roll‘s coverage of the FIBA Oceania U19 Championships, as well as everyone who has helped provide information and content.
To cap off this eventful week of Aussie Hoops, we take a look back at each team’s journey toward qualification – as well as what we can expect from these squads for their respective 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship campaigns.
The Emus opened up the tournament with an impressive win over New Caledonia. Tanner Krebs led the way with a game-high 22 points off the bench while fellow Tasmanian, and fellow St Mary’s signee, Kyle Clark added a very efficient 17 points of his own.
Jordan Hunter had a career game with 25 pts & 19 rbs as the Australian U19 Emus put together a 104-point rout of Samoa, moving to 2-0 in the tournament.
The return of Harry Froling and Jack White to the lineup was an added bonus as the Emus claimed their 3rd victory in a row, defeating Guam 103-40. After both sitting out the previous game with illness, the Emus had the added luxury of having the Australian U17 silver medal winners back in the lineup – White posting 17 pts (7/8 FG) and 3 rbs while Froling added 22 (8/11 FG) and 9 rbs off the bench.
George Blagojevic had his most impressive game of the tournament with 24 points and 16 rebounds while Rhys Vague continued his impressive form with 24 points and 15 rebounds.
The Australian U19 squad advance to the Grand Final of the FIBA Oceania U19 Championships after a 112-34 defeat of Tahiti. George Blagojevic had his 2nd straight impressive game with 21 points and 7 rebounds while Jordan Hunter continued his solid form with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Dejan Vasiljevic hit a pull-up 3-pointer at the buzzer to defeat New Zealand 84-81, the win solidifying Australia’s spot in the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship. Vasiljevic finished the game with 15 points while Tanner Krebs had a team-high 18 points off the bench.
Our choice for MVP was the recent St Mary’s signee Tanner Krebs.
Krebs entered the tournament as the most senior member of the squad and one of the only carry-over players from last year’s Emus team.
The Grand Final game was where Krebs shined, hitting 4-of-5 from behind the arc as well as controlling the pace of the game. Krebs posted 18 points and 4 rebounds in 17 minutes of action off the bench.
Krebs was also named to the All-Star team for the tournament, along with fellow CoE guard Tom Wilson.
Statistics: 15 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.4 apg, 51% FG, 42% 3pt
It’s well known that the team sent to this FIBA Oceania U19 Championship was no-where near the full-strength team. In fact, it’s probable that no player that was a part of this Emus squad would even start for a full-strength Emus squad – which is more a compliment to those omitted players as opposed to a knock on the current players in the squad.
The Emus team that Basketball Australia could potentially put together for the U19 World Championship could be the best this country has ever seen.
Ben Simmons, Thon Maker, Matur Maker, Deng Adel, William McDowell-White, Daniel Mading and Jonah Bolden are names that head coach Adam Caporn would like to see commit to the campaign, as well as Isaac Humphries and Jack McVeigh, who missed this tournament due to injury.
The majority of the aforementioned athletes attend high school in the North America (Simmons, T. Maker, M. Maker, Adel, Mading) so they were unable to attend the Emus training camp due to scheduling conflicts.
The Maker brothers have re-iterated their intent to wear a green and gold jersey, so it’ll come down to Basketball Australia being proactive and getting them both involved in the program.
Jonah Bolden is in an interesting predicament. He’s been ruled ineligible for his 1st year of college at UCLA – a ruling that, although a negative consequence by nature, could see him commit to the Emus program.
Other names that could come into play include: Kai Healy (Santa Clara), Geremy McKay (Albany), Tad Dufelmeier Jr (Salt Lake City College), Jock Perry (BA CoE).
The Australian U19 ‘Gems’ open up their FIBA Oceania U19 Championship campaign with a blowout victory over American Samoa – clicking on all cylinders to win 113-8. The Gems shared the scoring load, with 8 different players scoring in double figures – Montana Farrah-Seaton and Alanna Smith leading the way with a game-high 18 points apiece.
The Gems put together another dominant performance at the FIBA Oceania U19 Championships, taking down an undermanned Papua New Guinea 104-16. Demi Skinner finished the game with a game-high 18 pts & 7 rbs while Stanford signee Alanna Smith added 16 pts & 9 rbs of her own.
Alanna Smith put on another impressive display of scoring, posting an efficient 28 points and 7 rebounds as the Australian U19 Gems win their 3rd in a row – defeating New Caledonia 125-22. Point guards Rachel Antoniadou and Montana Farrah-Seaton were also big off the bench, posting 17 and 18 points, respectively.
The Gems completed a clean sweep of Pool A of the FIBA Oceania U19 Championships, defeating Guam 131-9 to advance to the semi-finals. Alanna Smith once again had a team-high in scoring, scoring a very efficient 22 points, while Chantel Horvat stuffed the stat-sheet – going for 18 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists.
Australia advanced to the Grand Final of the FIBA U19 World Championships for Women after an impressive 122-13 win over Tahiti.
The Gems defeated New Zealand 98-65 to qualify for the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women, to be held in Russia next year. Alanna Smith had a game-high 21 points as the Gems capped off an undefeated FIBA Oceania campaign. Tahlia Tupaea also impressed with 18 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
Alanna Smith had a dominant showing throughout the week, leading the tournament in scoring.
The Stanford signee scored in double-digits in every game, scoring 20+ in her final 4 games of the tournament.
Along with Tahlia Tupaea, Smith was named to the All-Star team for the tournament.
Statistics: 21 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1 apg, 65% FG
The Gems team had a dominant showing during this FIBA Oceania U19 Championships, not only did they finish undefeated, but they also defeated every team by at least 33 points. This squad weren’t nearly as depleted as the Men’s squad, with the majority of their players able to play, but there were still a few players omitted that could be extremely useful on the 2015 Gems squad.
Kristy Wallace was the only senior member of the squad that was granted leave by her college (Baylor) to play in this tournament. The 2015 Gems squad could see the likes of Alicia Froling (SMU), Keely Froling (SMU) and Alliyah Fareo (LSU) join the ranks, all of whom would be welcome additions to the team.
Another name that would be in consideration for the team is Alex Sharp. Sharp is an extremely versatile wing out of Melbourne who was a key performer for the U17 Sapphires, as well as a current Centre of Excellence scholarship holder.
Both the Men’s and Women’s squads possess incredible talent, with both looking to medal at the upcoming World Championships.
The 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship (Men) will be held in Heraklion, Greece from July 27 to July 5.
The 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women will be held in Chekhov, Moscow in Russia from July 18 to July 26.