They're finally here, but it's not what we expected. Earlier this morning, news broke on the official 12-man Australian Boomers squad that will head into the coming exhibition games at home, and also the FIBA 2019 World Cup tournament in China. Several names were unexpectedly absent.
Continuity and experience makes up a big part of this roster. Most of the veteran Boomers from the training camp squad --especially the NBA athletes-- that played in the 2016 Rio Olympics, will be playing. This includes Andrew Bogut, Aron Baynes, Chris Goulding, Joe Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova and Patty Mills.
The lone exception? Forward Brock Motum.
“[Rio] is something that doesn’t go away,” Dellavedova said in a recent interview. “It’s kind of bubbling under the surface.
“I think I read an article that someone had written – I’m not sure, but it was probably one of you guys [Ben Mallis] – about a recap on Rio and things like that. I’d tried not to think about it too much because, obviously it was bitterly disappointing. But that kind of hunger in the belly and that sick feeling of disappointment has been there all summer [in the US], and that’s why I have been really working hard and getting ready so we can give it a good crack.”
Another logical point of emphasis was thought to be on NBA-tier talent, but two names were surprisingly absent from the final squad.
Mitch Creek and Deng Adel, both of whom had played in the NBA last season, were not selected for the World Cup, and are very significant omissions. Both players, especially Creek, had been assumed to be locks. Creek, who had represented the Boomers in earlier games, had been active in the NBA landscape with the Minnesota Timberwolves throughout Summer League, while Adel had a 20-point performance in his last game with the Houston Rockets.
Jock Landale and Jonah Bolden will provide a fresh infusion of talent and front court depth on this year's squad. Bolden got his first taste of a full NBA season with the Philadelphia 76ers, while Landale had an excellent performance during the recent NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Landale led the tournament in scoring efficiency along with Creek.
Several NBL names made the roster. This includes Goulding, forward Nick Kay, who made an impression during the first day of training camp, 6'6 sharpshooting swingman Cameron Gliddon, and shooting guard Nathan Sobey, whose scoring abilities will add an additional punch to the Boomers' depth.
Gliddon's sharpshooting skills will definitely come in handy in the absence of Ryan Broekhoff, who declined participation this year in light of his growing family. Sobey left the Adelaide 36ers for the Brisbane Bullets earlier this year, and suited up in Boomers green and gold in the recent FIBA World Cup qualifiers, averaging 6.6 points and 3.1 assists.
Cooks --who also played in the recent NBA Summer League-- along with Bolden will be making their debut as an Australian Boomer in this tournament.
Players not in final Boomers World Cup roster
Australian Boomers World Cup 12-man roster
Australian Boomers 2019 FIBA World Cup schedule (All times AEST)
September 1: Boomers vs. Canada, 5:30pm
September 3: Boomers vs. Senegal, 5:30pm
September 5: Boomers vs. Lithuania, 9:30pm
September 7 & 9: Round of 16
September 10 & 11: Quarter-finals
September 13: Semi-finals
September 15: Medal games