The NCAA season has begun and 63 Aussie men are suiting up for college programs. Here is an update on the latest Aussie commits for the 2017/18 NCAA season which is already promising to be full of talent.
Tom Pupavac | Winthrop
Tom Pupavic is a 6’10 Geelong local who has committed to Winthrop University where he will play alongside fellow Australian forward Xavier Cooks next year.
The Pick and Roll spoke to Pupavac about his commitment.
“What attracted me to Winthrop was how much the people cared,” shared Pupavac.
“All the managers, players, coaches, academic advisors etc. All of them showed true care and that factored highly in my decision. The way the coaches described how I would fit into the team on the court was really appealing too, they’ve got a lot planned for me in the future.”
Xavier Cooks is off to a great start in his junior year, setting a new career high 30 points this past week. Cooks was also recently named Big South player of the week, with Pupavac explaining the impact Cooks had on his decision to attend Winthrop.
“Xavier [Cooks] and I caught up a lot over the visit, he came up to me when I got to the gym and greeted me and my Dad,” said Pupavac.
“His mum reached out to my mum, and I met his older brother Dom, who is such a genuine dude like Xav. He had a real positive impact on my decision as he’s also the kind of player I want to develop into over the next four years.”
The big man played his junior ball for the Geelong Supercats and has been a key member of the Victoria Country team throughout his junior career. Pupavac can bring real versatility to the floor at 6’10 for the Eagles.
“I can play hard inside because that’s all I’ve grown up doing,” outlined Pupavac.
“Recently my coach from home, Brenton O’Brien, threw me in the deep and played me completely outside so I can develop outside skills more. I’m a skilled big man with a strong defensive presence and a developing outside ability.”
Pupavac conducted visits to CS Fullerton, Elon University and Montana State, however Winthrop secured his commitment, with their winning culture a factor in his decision.
“The fact that they’re a winning team in their conference was attractive,” further explained Pupavac.
They will have a great season this year and hopefully end up at the NCAA tournament in March, and over the next four years I’m there, I’m sure we’ll go again.”
Angus Glover | Saint Mary’s
Glover announced he was committing to the Gael’s in April this year. On November 15, the Gaels published a release confirming that Glover had indeed signed a National Letter of intent.
— Saint Mary's Gaels (@smcgaels) November 15, 2016
The Wollongong local has played minutes in the NBL this season as a development player for the Illawarra Hawks. The 6’4 guard has represented Australia at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championships and is currently playing in the 2016 FIBA U18 Oceania Championships, which run through from the December 5-10.
Glover will add another chapter to the evergreen Aussie pipeline that has formed at Saint Mary’s.
Gabe Hadley | New Mexico State
Gabe Hadley has committed to the New Mexico State Aggies.
— Paul Weir (@paul_weir1) November 11, 2016
Gabe Hadley is a 6’3 scoring guard originally from Tasmania. In 2014 he moved to Victoria where he represented Victoria Metro, and at the 2015 U18 National Championships, he led the team in scoring with 17.5 points per game. Earlier this year Hadley represented Victoria White at the U20 Nationals, again led the team in scoring with 17.25 points per outing.
Hadley possesses a terrific outside stroke, highlighted by his 34 point performance against Queensland South in the 2015 U18 National Championships, a performance that featured 8 three-pointers.
New Mexico State head coach Paul Weir was quoted as saying that Hadley “is the best shooter in his class in Australia.”
“Gabe’s perimeter offensive skills will be a terrific fit for our style of play going forward,” said Weir.
Hadley is currently in Fiji this week playing alongside Angus Glover in the FIBA U18 Oceania Championships.