Bogut, Delly and Exum to suit up for Boomers
Australian NBA Finals heroes Andrew Bogut and Matthew Dellavedova headline a star-studded Boomers outfit named for an upcoming European tour and the 2015 FIBA Oceania Championships.
Bogut and Dellavedova will be joined by promising Utah Jazz point guard Dante Exum and Chicago Bull Cameron Bairstow.
The NBA quartet will be supported by a host of European and NBL based talent that will look to deliver a berth in the 2016 Olympics with victory over the New Zealand Tall Blacks in the two-match series.
Game one will feature a double-header with the Boomers and Opals meeting the Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns at Rod Laver Arena on August 15. With such a quality line-up, the double-header will be broadcast live on free-to-air on the Nine Network on Gem (Channel 90).
"The best Australian basketball talent, on one of the greatest sporting stages in the world – an unforgettable night of basketball.”
Though the team is deep with NBA talent, Patty Mills, Aron Baynes and Joe Ingles are all unavailable for the tour.
San Antonio Spurs playmaker Patty Mills is unavailable having failed to meet the selection criteria following a serious shoulder injury.
"Patty has a proud and passionate commitment to the Australian Boomers and I’m looking forward to working with him, Joe and Aron in our determined push for a long-awaited medal at the Rio Olympics."
The Boomers will also be without the Detroit Piston’s latest signing Aron Baynes as he recovers from ankle surgery. As has been expected, Joe Ingles will rest following a tiring debut NBA campaign for the Utah Jazz alongside Exum.
Returning ten of the 12 man squad that finished 12th at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, the loss of Baynes who was the leading points scorer (15.8) and rebounder (7.0) for the Boomers at that event on face value would be tough to replace. However former number 1 NBA Draft pick and current NBA Champion Bogut is an ideal replacement.
Bogut will step in and carry the defensive load but Lemanis has options in the front court for offensive firepower with Nate Jawai (Andorra), Ryan Broekhoff (Besiktas Integral Forex Istanbul) and David Andersen (ASVEL-Lyon Villeurbanne) all playing and finishing the season off strongly in Europe.
The versatility of the roster will enable adjustments to be made frequently as the Boomers will be tested both home and abroad. While Turkish All-Star Broekhoff and Bogut have the potential to be a potent four/five combo if Lemanis decides to go small.
It will be Bogut’s first match for the Boomers since the 2008 Olympics and first in Australia since 2006, as the centre looks to reignite his national career following several injury plagued years. Bogut’s Australian return looks destined to be a classic, with an Olympic berth on the line and less than 2,000 tickets remaining, the stage is set for a blockbuster showdown.
The omission of Patty Mills should not be understated, with his ability to score surely to be missed by the Boomers. With Exum having recently hurt his ankle in NBA Summerleague, Lemanis appears to have acted with caution by including Damian Martin in the side along with the return of Adam Gibson.
The Tall Blacks will be looking to record their 4th Oceania Championship and their first since 2009. With the Boomers winning 19 of the last 22 FIBA Oceania Championships, they head into the match with high expectations and the talent to match.
Following Dellavadova’s success in the NBA Finals and a record number of Aussies playing in the NBA. Basketball is returning to mainstream culture with free-to-air television coverage and a near sell-out crowd, basketball is building momentum that it hasn’t had in Australia for a long time.
Boomers squad: David Andersen, Cameron Bairstow, Andrew Bogut, Ryan Broekhoff, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Adam Gibson, Chris Goulding, Nate Jawai, Damian Martin, Brock Motum and Brad Newley.
2015 Boomers European tour
July 29, vs Lithuania - Klaipeda
July 31, vs Lithuania - Siauliai
August 3, vs Slovenia - Ljubljana
August 4, vs Slovenia - Ljubljana
2015 FIBA Oceania Qualifying Series
Melbourne, Australia - August 15, 2015: Jayco Australian Opals v NZ Tall Ferns Airbnb Australian Boomers v NZ Tall Blacks
Tauranga, New Zealand - August 17, 2015: NZ Tall Ferns v Jayco Australian Opals
Wellington, New Zealand - August 18, 2015: NZ Tall Blacks v Airbnb Boomers