Booking a Boomers ticket to Rio: The Aussies in Europe

After the 26-player squad was announced for the Olympics, the debate has moved on to just who will be on the Qantas A380 that touches down in Rio.

Last week we assessed the chance's of those who play in North America, and we now move across to our next continent; Europe.

With not many seats left up in first-class (or is that business class?), who will make the cut and be granted a coveted golden (and green) ticket by Head Coach Andrej Lemanis?


David ANDERSEN | ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne (France)

The Boomer's veteran is likely to be a key player in what could be his last international tournament. Andersen, who produced in the 2015 FIBA Oceania Championships, will look to play an important veteran leadership role.

https://twitter.com/PickandRollAU/status/695763789325561856

A French Pro A league All-Star, the ASVEL big man has put together a great year in averaging 11.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Just recently Andersen poured in 22 points in an important win over Chalon.

Likely to be part of a front-court unit which will include Aron Baynes, Andrew Bogut, and Cameron Bairstow, the Boomer's will be looking to send Dave Andersen out with a medal around his neck.

Prediction: Just about to leave for the airport, looking for a spot to hang up the kicks and the medal when he gets back.


Angus BRANDT | BC Neptunas Klaipeda (Lithuania)

The ex-NBL Rookie of the Year made the move to Lithuania after what was a solid NBL season. Brandt is very unlikely to make the final playing roster for Rio, however Basketball Australia has made a positive move getting the young gun into training camp.

After Julian Khazzouh went down, Brandt was forced to play a bigger role than expected for the Sydney Kings. He managed 8.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and continued to show why he is one of the country’s up and coming stars. Although he has hardly featured at his new club BC Neptunas Klaipeda.

https://twitter.com/SammyWSIG/status/706496641214373888

Angus Brandt will not feature in the Olympics, however it is likely he will surprise some people with his play in training camp, holding him in good stead for the future

Prediction: Held up in traffic on the way to the airport, plane has already left.


Ryan BROEKHOFF | Lokomotiv Kuban (Russia)

The Lokomotiv Kuban star has been a revelation, and is likely to feature heavily in Rio. Broekhoff will be an X-Factor for coach Andrej Lemanis, with his deadly outside game having the potential to tear games apart.

https://twitter.com/BballGideon/status/706964566832496640

Shooting 43% from beyond the arc, the man from Frankston has had an impressive year in the Russian league (10.7 points & 5.2 rebounds). His team has also just progressed to the Top 8 of the Euroleague.

Broekhoff could be the surprise element against many teams who may focus their scouting on the likes of Mills, Delly and Bogut. So be ready for at least one huge game from the Victorian.

Prediction: Breezed through customs, waiting to board, raining shots into the trash can from deep.


Cameron CLIDDON | AZS Koszalin (Poland)

After a solid season with the Cairns Taipans, Gliddon took his talents to Poland, to continue to push for an Olympics spot. However his chances at this point are very slim.

Another ex-NBL Rookie of the Year, the sharp shooter put together 13.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game for the Taipans. At his new club AZS Koszalin, he has stuck to his guns, shooting 11/26 three-point field goals, while shooting just 0/4 from inside the arc. In his latest game, Gliddon busted out for a 20-point explosion in which he rained down 4/5 triples.

https://twitter.com/azskoszalinsa/status/713847963328581632

Gliddon is an outsider to make the squad. It would take injuries from some other players if he were to make it to Rio.

Prediction: Going about his business, phone turned up to loud just in case someone can't make the flight.


Chris GOULDING| Auxilium Torino (Italy)

'Bubbles' had an interesting 2014 FIBA World Cup campaign. He only featured in two games, however showed his worth in the controversial game against Angola netting 22 points.

After a great year with Melbourne United (18.4 points per game) Goulding has moved to Italy to play with Serie A side Auxilium Torino. It's been a tough start for the Aussie though, despite getting decent minutes (20 per game) he has struggled to get the ball in his hands, putting up just 16 shots in four games.

https://twitter.com/MelbUnitedFans/status/704286504172941312

Goulding is a good chance to make the final twelve for Rio, however whether Andrej Lemanis will give him any substantial court time is another question.

Prediction: On the plane taking selfies with sleeping teammates.


Aleks MARIC | Buducnost VOLI Podgorica (Montenegro)

The big man otherwise known as 'Truck' had seemingly fallen out of favour with Australian coaches after the 2012 Olympics. So a spot on the 26-man roster would have been a pleasant surprise.

It's been a strong year for Maric, who starts for Buducnost and is also their leading rebounder (6.5 rebounds per game). Recently in the league playoffs he put in a good performance despite his side failing to avoid being knocked out.

https://twitter.com/PickandRollAU/status/655477013499645952

It is hard to see 'Truck' finding a spot on the twelve man team considering the side's strength in the front court. His only chance is if Lemanis decides he needs an enforcer to back up Aron Baynes.

Prediction: Stuck in the airport car park - isn't going to make it.


Brock MOTUM | BC Zalgiris Kaunas (Lithuania)

A decent season in Europe has meant that Brock Motum may have managed to reserve himself a spot in the final team for Rio. Although there will be others fighting for the position.

Motum's BC Zalgiris Kaunas side is sitting on the top of the table, and he has been an important part of their success. Earlier in the month he managed to show his worth and had a big game recording 20 points and 5 rebounds.

https://twitter.com/bczalgiris/status/691585432702820352

Training camp may well decide the fate of Brock Motum, however if he is to make the team then he will find himself playing behind Andersen, Baynes, Bogut, and Bairstow.

Prediction: Sprinting to buy the final ticket on an otherwise booked out plane.


Brad NEWLEY | Herbalife Gran Canaria (Spain)

A veteran of the Boomer's, Newley always provides hustle and intensity to the side. This will most likely be his third Olympic campaign.

In his fourth season with Herbalife Gran Canaria, the South Australian has been up and down with his output. However when he has gotten the opportunity, his defensive pressure has been crucial to his side's success.

https://twitter.com/PickandRollAU/status/705917669673832448

In what could be his last Olympics, Brad Newley will be an important spark off the bench, and is guaranteed to provide at least one exciting highlight play in the tournament.

Prediction: Waiting to get yet another stamp on his near full passport.


Our final stop is Australia, where we consider if anyone from the local NBL can manage to book one of the remaining tickets to Rio.

Last week: Aussies in North America

Australian Boomers Squad of 26