I think a lot of the Victorian people (though I don't think there are many of us on here) are waiting for the VC finals to finish before making predictions on those teams.
I think you'd have to go with Melbourne, they haven't lost a game in VC and were undefeated at the Junior Classic.
I've seen a bit of Geelong who are second but they don't seem to have that killer instinct or a real go-to kid in a clutch game.
I can't comment on the SA teams, but I'd say Sturt would be close as they finished 4th at the Junior Classic.
I'm from NSW & I saw Sturt over at Classics and thought they were impressive until they got to the semi & bronze playoff, then were out classed. One of the very few SA teams I've seen recently with the size to play with the Vics though, so they could compete quite well. Saw Eastern play, they only seemed to have a couple of contributors in the game I saw, so either some guys didn't perform or they're a bit shallow. The other SA teams I saw weren't too good.
Obviously Melbourne were a class above everyone else in June and looking at the ladder, it seems they still are. Geelong were good in getting 3rd. Some decent bigs & quick guards. Not sure beyond that - Sandringham maybe? They were a clear step below the top Vic teams though. Who is actually going from Vic? I assume Geelong & Melbourne, who are the other teams?
From my state - Hills are quite good. Beat Sturt in January I think? Finished top 8 at Classics. Definitely NSW's best shot of competing with the top Vic teams.
Melbourne 2 would give a good run at nationals. Their vc season is going really well and they are the only team to get within 5 points to Melbourne 1(who are the heavy favorites)but their strongest defence is a zone. Is the no-zone rule going to apply at nationals>
Prisoner of Gravity
"Melbourne are undefeated in the vc" "geelong don't have a go to player" ....... Geelong 43 to Melbourne(1) 41 final score last night in VJBL. Melbourne were up by as much as 13 in the 3rd quarter.
Clearly Geelong found someone to get the ball in the hole. Maybe not relying on one "go to player" is not a bad thing. Hard to shut down "the one player" when you dont know who that player is going to be. Just a thought.
It is a good thing that Melb-1 lost - the nationals will be a good tournament now...
For those believing the zone is easy to play and teaches kids nothing - you are dead wrong since it requires a good coordination of all players, not just "standing". It is mainly applied when a technical advantage (read greater skill) of one team is taken away by physical presence of the other. In any case a good team (read skilled) can beat a lousy zone at any time.
My two cents...
Re Zone - depends what you are trying to teach. Zone does have a technical component to it, it is also used to hide poor footwork, lack of speed and less agile players. May win you the game, but hardly teaches kids about good defence. When you can play man to man you can play any defence - hence why one should only allow it at the younger levels.
Also no zone allows oppositions kids (young) to develop the driving aspect of their game. Nothing worse that watching an under 10 game where zone is played to the detriment of the development of kids!
Prisoner of Gravity
Sorry. I dont have a connection to either of the teams so i am not sure whether either teams were at full strength. I was actually watching the game on the other court but looked over at time outs, quarter time etc. In those brief glimpses Geelong appeared to have better d and a fair spread of contributors. However i would take that with a grain of salt. It was based on very limited attention on my part.
Nobody is saying Melbourne 2 will just lay down and give up their spot. I think the majority of the people involved would just rather see a Doncaster team there, rather than a second Melbourne team qualify, that is essentially a by-product of a program that went out of their way to recruit players to make a 'super team'.
Doncaster are a small club, that have always been good in this age group, and always competed hard. Their kids are nice kids (dont play dirty, or trash talk), their coach is a good young kid that works hard with what he's got, and I think with Doncaster qualifying it would be a great advertisement for a few of the smaller club players, that you can in fact be successful without having to change clubs to a bigger club.
Sadly, zone won't be banned for this contest (I seem to recall a Werribee team that zoned for a whole game in a qualifier a few years back), and consequently, I would expect Melbourne 2 to get through. But I agree, it should be banned in this game to get a real indication on who deserves to go. Doesn't take a whole lot of coaching ability to stand a 6'3 kid in the middle of a zone, and be successful.
Actually lb, zones win games at U12 and U14 levels solely because players are physically not able to shoot from range with correct technique, their bodies are not strong enough yet. It has nothing to do with being a better skilled team. There is a reason it is banned at 14 Nationals, and at state level in several states (including ours).
and if zone d was the first thing you learned whilst playing basketball, I am very glad I am not associated with your club!
Ban it for the game because it's banned at U14 Nationals. The reason it's banned is due to some kids being overly developed in U14 level, and instead of defending properly, teams just plant them in the middle of a zone when nobody can score. At U14 level, kids generally aren't big or strong enough to make skip passes etc that can break down zones. As you can probably tell, I actually like the rule to ban it at this age. From U16 on, I'm happy for it to be used.
Actually, in every U8 & U10 team I've ever coached I've taught man to man as it's more fun for the kids, rather than 'stand there with your hands up' and wait for the offense to miss. Maybe I'm wrong though, matter of opinion I guess.
My daughters team ( from Vic) who were taught man to man defence right from bottom age Under 12's went to the under 14 Club Nationals a few years ago, and although there were teams ranked much higher from Victoria than us,we managed to come home with the silver medal!! Those higher ranked teams had always played zone, and therefore found it difficult at the nationals where zone was banned.
I completely agree. Melbourne (2) didn't play with any determination to win it and their defence was horrific. How could they expect to win against Doncaster, who are excellent shooters, with zone defence. Last night's match should be a lesson to them.
Hi I am the Melbourne 2 head coach and there are a few things i would like to address.
First of all the person who wrote i am a knob for celebrating a win into the classic grand final against one of the best teams in the country who is still now undefeated, I ask you would you not be happy?
Next, I am a little confused about the last two comments, yes you are correct zone was run on friday but as well as man to man and press back to zone so is it that you only saw what you wanted to?
Horrific is a harsh word dont you think, despite the loss i could not be more prouder of my kids and for me i could not be happier this is my first year as a head coach with no experience I am delighted how my kids turned out.
Now on the zone issue, There were many teams that ran zone against us the whole game I am curious why these teams are not yet mentioned? Because at the end of the day, its not about zone defence is it? its about Melbourne 2 and Melbourne 1 being so succesfull this year.
This will be my first and last comment so I would also like to congratulate Doncaster on the win they played nothing short of fantastic and wish them all the success in the finals.
Now all you anonymous losers can jump back on here with your fake names and behind your computer and bag me out becuase no doubt you will, but that is simply because you are nothing more than a waste of space in this country.
I'm from SA so I really have no views on any clubs in Vic and their internal politics etc.
Just because other clubs play zone against you doesn't mean it is right. In my view you can play for short term benefits for the team but at the expense of player development if you go down the zone approach too early in their development.
Well done on giving up your time to coach. It is only through the dedication of people like yourself that any kids get the opportunity to excell at this elite junior level of sport. Keep up the good work and dont let the naysayers get you down. Having said that less zone would be better for all teams at that level, not just Melbourne Tigers!!!!!
Good work Nick!
Just ignore all those who oppose you. You must of been a great first-time coach to have such a good record with Melbourne (2) in VC which is a huge achievement in itself. You also defied the odds at the Classic and leading your team to be the only team to have defeated Geelong and Melbourn (1) have yet to defeat them. Good Job!
The Tigers Under 14(2) have proven to be a very
successful team this season. Nobody expected them
to get into VC let alone the runner up in the Classic's. These kids got there because they had a
coach who supported them and shared their highs and
lows. Never once did he berate them or put them down
after a loss. The boys played with all their heart.
Maybe the season is over and they didn't get to the
Nationals, but success is not measured by the wins
but what they got out of the year and they got
Hi all, just thought I would throw my 2 cents in here ......
I think Melbourne will/should win the Championship, having said that, I would not just rave at their development quality rather at their poaching skills.
Without x, they would still be an excellent team but not unbeatable!!! And he is not the only kid poached last year for this year's Nationals! This is also why most of the previous Div 1 Under 12 Melbourne team has now been moved into their Melbourne 2 team making them still a very solid site! Also having such a great squad to train with will help the overall group development. Just to add one more comment, Sturt, who won this year's Adelaide Easter Classic, lost only by 1 point in the semi 2 years prior against Melbourne at the same event. Now they can't even get within 20 points of them!!!
As far as this year's competitor I think leaving Melbourne at place 1, the other top spots will be contended by Geelong, Hills, Sturt and one Qld team with a great player in it, watch for him in the years to come, son of a very well known footballer!
To Toby ....
I am really sorry if I wasn't meant to mention names! I just assumed that I was making a positive comment on the kid and praising how good he is and I also assumed that all the kids' names are easily available via the Team Stats section in the Sporting Pulse web site anyway!
I realize that! Are you implying that Sturt is now weaker because of those changes? As I do not think this to be the case, this proves my point even more, Melbourne has increased their Gap even after the new addition of Sturt.
Which pool is looking the toughest in your opinions
POOL A POOL B POOL C
Canberra Geelong Eastern
Forestville Illawarra Knox
Melbourne Logan Northside
Sutherland Willetton Rockingham
POOL D POOL E POOL F
Diamond Valley Blackburn North West Tasmania
East Perth Gosford City NT North
Hills Northern Tasmania Sandringham
Doncaster South West Pirates Sturt
I Think POOL D with Diamond Valley, Hills and Doncaster is the toughest pool, 3 strong sides.
POOL F with Sandringham and Sturt will be tough.
All the other pools have 1 strong side, although i dont know much about the other teams outside of VIC/NSW and SA. Just going on recent nationals results from these other teams.
no opti the point I make is that the side is very different now and its difficult to compare. Plus all these kids are 2 years older and many have changed.
Lets face it its going to be a great week and both Eastern and Forrestville are also representing SA and they should never be taken lightly.
Two years ago it looked to us that Knox were the super power in this age group.
Hi BeeJay, assuming that there are no major contenders in the sites from WA, Tas and NT, then this is what I think. First of all, the initial Pool isn't everything. All the combination that follow need to be checked as well, as it could end up that it would be better to be in a tougher pool but with a better draw to follow. For example, being with Melbourne in the draw and ending up second might result in a good outcome as you would probably not meet Melbourne again until a Grand Final! Hills should/can qualify top of pool D easily. Sturt and Sandringham seem to constantly be placed in the same group! They have already played in the same starting pool several times: U12 Classic, U14 Dandenong, U14 Easter Classic, U14 Classic and they have also played the Grand Final of last April Easter Classic. Sturt has never lost to Sandringham but the games have always been absolute trillers! always won by a few points difference only and in Dandenong last January on a buzzer beater! As I said in my previous message and going from experience of Qld always bringing a decent team at least in the mix, my top 5 would be Melbourne, Hills or Geelong (who by the way beat Melbourne just recently), Sturt and a Qld Team. Of course the Draw, as always in these tournament, plays a huge role on the final outcome plus on the week anything can happen. My Top five team are based on the overall roster they bring to the table. These five team have certainly the best ones. This has been one of Sturt's main quality with their group. They really have 10 very solid and balanced kids and they do not rely uniquely on a few to win them a game (see Eastern) and even Forestville in SA and many more in Vic.
I disagree Anonymous. The core group is all there. The kids that have been so successful in the last 5 years are all there! There is a big group that includes a few very strong PG in the first years too, who have actually won the Classic last year in U12. With this in mind, the 2 PGs lost will be easily replaced in years to come. If you look at some of the new inclusions, they have actually been part of the Sturt squad all along, and one can only wonder! why these kids weren't brought up earlier!! There is really only 1 new kid to Sturt and if you remove the usual hard working 5 or 6 that have been there since day 1 five years ago, there wouldn't be much of a team. As I said for Melbourne earlier, the big group has allowed this group to keep developing well at training over the past 5 years.
I agree on not taking the Mavs and Eagles lightly. I like both teams and coaches but as I already mentioned I really believe they rely heavily on fewer kids. Mavs in particular, remove 1 kid and they would come last! As far as Eagles, Paul has done a real great job. They seem to be the only other team that has been developed well overall and this is making them a greater threat into the future. I see them starting to play like Sturt, a real team game with a solid defense and this is a welcome addition to the Comp. They have also added this year 2 new players and this "coincidentally" are their best 2 players by far. So definitely a big change in that team! Again remove those 2 and there will be no Eagles but Pigeons at best! As far as Sturt, remove any 2 you like, they will not do as well, but they will still be a top 10 team at the Nationals.
As far as Knox, you can always rely on the fact that they will bring a well drilled and competitive site that plays a very aggressive game of ball. With the simple sheer number of kids they have you can never discount them!
opti, the idea behind the 'no names of U18 players' (unless playing at ABL level) is that they don't get downtrodden or their ego unnaturally boosted. I believe the idea is that it's best if their instructions/constructive-criticism comes from their coaches rather than from critics on a forum.
I cant believe the misinformation about the Melb Team.
The whole team from 2 years ago is not now the Melb 2 team, in fact 3 of the starting 5 from 2 years ago are still the main players of the 14.1 team today.
When Sturt only lost to them by a few points, they had one or two kids on the bench unable to play including one of their main players who broke his arm or leg that weekend.
4 others in the Melb 1 team were playing for Melb last year
Lets not let facts get in the way of anything!
Sturt were lucky to win our game on Friday night. They have alot of talent but this does not extend much onto their bench. Your coach showed it, every close game only 6 or 7 players get court time. I think opti you would find if your bench started they would a middle of the table team.
Yep, lots of depth! As I said earlier, with the boys growing and changing into adults size will start playing a much bigger role and technical ability alone will not be enough! This will even out things a bit amongst clubs. Also the way the district comp is structured will not allow Sturt to retain all these kids as they are not able to play them all in Div1. This will cause kids to move to other clubs which in turn will also change the landscape once again.
Opti, That has been the theory that has lead to the lopsided competition.
The Sturt kids in Div 2 could have moved to other clubs, but ar happy with the coaching and opportunities like Eltham and Easter playing in grades that suit their ability.
They are playing with their mates and history has show that only 1 or 2 might leave to other clubs.
Kids play where they are happy, making Div 1 in a team that gets easily beaten at a club where they are getting poor coaching does not entice players to move.
I would suggest that more players will approach Sturt than will move.
Yes these are all very good points, but there are great coaches in all clubs, not just sturt. The big difference with sturt I think is they start with a huge number of kids at u10 / 12 level, so some have limited opportunities as they travel through the age groups. The second sad thought is that Sturt will keep recruiting in U16 and U18 players to make their teams better that will penalize those loyal good kids who have been there from the start.
I think history shows many more than 1 or 2 .... however I do agree that the concept of not allowing Clubs to fill more than one Div 1 team is very wrong. Having said this I really feel that where Sturt is far in front at a coaching level is only in the Div 1 - 2 groups, and playing at Div 2 level does not offer the best opportunity either! This is quite a hard one to master and it needs to be carefully analyzed for each individual circumstances. I also feel that the importance of coaching "the fundamentals of the game" is really concentrated in the U10 to U14 brackets, unless you have a late starter, from U18 onwards it is much more up to the kids and the time and effort they will dedicate to their sport. Talent and skills alone, as well as good coaching,will not take anyone anywhere if they are not prepared to do the hard work. And if kids are prepared to do the hard work they will succeed also at other clubs. Of course not any club!
As always, my $0.02
Fully agree with you 538! I think you have nailed it on the head there on all fronts! And if we look at the U14 boys Div 1 comp, it is without any question that the best Coach/Club this year in terms of pure development has been Paul Arnott's Eagles team. If you look at the gap Sturt had at the beginning of summer season with this group and the gap that they have now it is clear that Paul has done a wonderful job! As far as your last comment goes, you say something else very important. This comp should be all about developing kids and not clubs! And in an ideal world Clubs should interact and cooperate with each other a lot more in an effort to maximize the potential of all the kids in SA! A Div1 competition like the one we have now does not help any kids, Sturt included! Playing a couple of tournament a year, though very good, is certainly not enough as too discontinuous.
Yes, exactly my point! Div3 girls at Sturt that have become Div1 at South and have certainly improved more there than they would have if they had stayed Div3 at Sturt! These were first year girls U16 2 years ago who where promoted to Div1 as first year and have played 2 years of Div1 U16. Certainly a positive move for those girls.
As I said previously, Sturt is in my opinion without doubt the best overall Club in SA. In particular in the early stages of the development of a player. However there will always be circumstances where other clubs will fit individuals better than Sturt. In my opinion by not allowing a club to have multiple teams in Div 1 they are actually allowing badly run and managed clubs to survive which probably should be dead or have died. In fact, these same badly run club would probably succeed more if there was a promotion relegation system, as they would be forced to lift their act and run themselves better in order to avoid death. So what to me seem to be a system that should not allow "super clubs" in reality is simply a system that allows basketball mediocrity!
144, if you read my post of 21:34 5 Sep 10, as well as all my previous posts, it is all clearly explained. Marty's son is a good player but not an amazing one! Certainly one of the 2 I was referring to in that post. But Forestville gap had already closed immensely with Sturt at the State Champs, where in a semi Sturt only defeated them by approx 4 - 6 points. And that was without Marty's son. So as you can see he doesn't really make a huge difference. The other thing that is obvious to me in seeing them play is that they are the only other U14 team that is playing with a decent defensive and offensive team structure. Also all the kids in that group seem to have developed well and they are playing as a team. Having said this I have to say hat looking at the kids right now, they seem to also have a slight overall physical development advantage. As you can appreciate, these are 13yo boys, and most of the Sturt ones are all boys, but in Forestville there are some clear sign of manhood starting to show. This will equilize in the following years but right now these unsynchronized steps will favour one or the other team. In fact, talking about Marty's son, 6 of the Sturt boys played against him in the State SAPSASA last year in Newcastle when he was playing with ACT. If you watch the photos of that event just 1 year ago, you will not recognize him! He has had a big growth step.
Isaac are you implying what I think you are? If so I suggest that in future you could be clearer and more specifically address everyone, as it wasn't me bringing this in! I was asked a question and was replying to it. It had been brought in by someone else, to be specific. Also I do not think I was praising or bushing the kid. Just saying that in my opinion Paul's work has much more to do with how the team has developed that the simple addition of one player.
Also in another thread about the U12s final, people seem to have made quite clear names of a boy, younger and it is all about praising and bashing, yet you have not stepped in there at all! Any reasons?
Guys, I feel that Isaac is referring to the Terms and Condition rule that prevents us from discussing specifically of players Under 18. If you ask me in future and do not get a reply, you now know why!
Short term, as I do not feel this kid will grow much more, They do have a super versatile player, but overall they have super depth! 10 excellent players that can play 4 out of 5 roles each! They do not have any weakness in the U14 current national landscape. If you had to send them overseas to an international event they could possibly do with a very strong centre.
It is tough to stop any team that goes 10 deep and where most of the team can play 3 or 4 key roles. I think they have some pretty good shooters from the games I saw and their bigs are quite good. As you say who knows in the long term if they will be able to compete inside like they do at the moment.
The coaching must be quite good to see this level of depth and skill!
They have poached a lot! Every time you play a Victorian team U14 and mention to them how good Melbourne is, all the teams tell you that they have poached a lot of kids, offered free fees and transfers costs, etc. etc. I cannot personally confirm these rumors but I can certainly say that the overall judgment from other Victorian teams is that they have taken the easy approach rather than the coaching one! This to me is well confirmed by the fact that most of the U12 Div 1 team of 2 years ago is now sitting in their second site! They obviously must have had lots of new kids come in last year!
Sounds like sour grapes from other clubs.
I have heard so much about Melbourne poaching that I sought out the facts
This years team is made up of three boys from Melb 1 team last year, 4 from Melb 3 (the clubs bottom age team which played Metro 2 last year) and 3 kids who came to the club from outside!! At least two of the kids trialed with numerous clubs and chose Melbourne (ie they were on the look to move) Not sure about the third one! But doesnt sound much like poaching to me
I also understand that the coaches at Melbourne have all won numerious titles and Nationals. I think one of the coaches has worked with the boys over a few years!
Considering you are so well informed, how about digging into what happened the previous year as well? I think that you will find that at least 2 of the existing 4 were poached then! Making this an overall change of 5 new kids to the club since their U12 Div1 team. That to me sounds like a major change over 2 years leading to the U14 Nationals and justifies the perception of all the other clubs that have not had much change at all!
Since U12 (the last 2 years) our team has only had one new addition and this kid trialed and got selected. Also this was his first year of District basketball and he had not been involved with any other clubs! I do not call this poaching!
I also think some adjustments are quite acceptable from all clubs, but 5 new players (that is a new starting 5) in 2 years!!! that cannot be considered normal! And in particular you cannot rave about your coaching standards if you are that dominant with 2 teams when you have achieved this dominance in this way.
Bottom line .... fine if you want to poach, but don't tell us you have done a good job at developing these kids!
As always, my $0.02
Opti, yes two kids came from another club, not because they were poached but because their older brother and sister played for Tigers and the parents were waiting until 14 before commiting to the extra travel. They were not poached and according to one of the parents certainly do not get any dispensation. There was one other kid who came but not sure why! That is it from the year before! The bulk of the 14.1 and 2 team are home grown!
In some respects I agree with some of Gaze's comments, however given his direct involvement with the Melbourne Tigers junior's, his view is ultimately very much biased.
The Melbourne Tigers representative program has more to lose that any other based on the new VJBL rules as the Tigers are the only rep-ball club in Vic (as far as I am aware) that does not run their own domestic junior comeptition. Therefore they will have greater difficulty in poaching, ahem, 'attracting' players from other associations because they will no longer be able to place any more than 2 new players in the one team in any given season.
If Melbourne were not offering incentives like free uniforms and fee's, then a number of kids movig would be dramastically reduced. AS other clubs would not feel the need to respond with similar offers.
Gaze in his article actaully agree that "more strategic recruitment of players from club to club" will take place. Surely this ays that it is currently occuring. What is more unaustralian than essentially paying 11 and 12 year old kids to play basketball so that your club can win? (Norwood)
Perhaps if there wasn't any strategic recruitment in the first place the rule wouldn't need to be implemented.
Can some-one clarify if they believe this is poaching or not. A club runs a domestic competition, like a scoial competition where anyone can play including players from other clubs. The club coaches attend these afternoons and are aware of players from other clubs. They then speak to these players and "suggest" they attend trials and don't worry there will be a spot for you.
Is this above board?
Sturt have a Domestic Comp with Unley. Not surehow it works but it seems that is Sturt's plan moving forward.
That would be the only 'Domestic' Comp run in SA.
And yes it is poaching but its not breaking a rule.
Poaching by rule only relates to SASI/State players moving to the club of their SASI/State coach.
Everything else is simply considered recruiting by BSA.
And that kid you are talking about that has moved from Sturt to Norwood wasn't definetely poached. I know the case very well, they simply decided to leave Sturt and considered 2 clubs, eventually choosing Norwood as it was a better fit seeing the role the kid plays.
Most clubs offer incentives to country clubs, in respect of the massive financial commitment made by the parents of these kids.
As the parent of a country player, I can categorically state that it is common knowledge amongst the SA country group that this is the case.
This is certainly not unique to Norwood.
As I correctly predicted in my above post 288297 of the 21:11 5 Sep 10 ......
Here are the Top 4
It would be fantastic to have some upset both in the Gold or Bronze Finals, though I cannot see this happening! Well done to Sturt & Hills for making SA and NSW proud and for spoiling the usual VICs party!
Good pick opti
Some fantastic basketball being played. The quality of some of the games today and yesterday was very high. Geelong are yet to be tested and may be the dark horse! See how they go tomorrow against Hills. Gosford were unlucky not to make the top 4, they looked like a title contender!
Go figure Opti you are the man! - can you pick sat night x lotto numbers for me too? Congratulations to the Sturt boys - who would have thought they would get this far and to beat Sandringham today by 21 is a fine effort.
Whatever the outcome in the game against Melbourne they should all be very proud of themselves.
749, I fully agree, Geelong have been super solid all week. Hopefully they can bring it up to Melbourne who where tested today by Gosford. The draw has a very important role to the outcome of a tournament such as this. In particular as you get to QF or Semi.
751, I obviously did. Sturt should have won the Winter season Grand Final too but unfortunately some "unusual" internal club problems have created a lot of upsetting to the boys. And it has taken a few games for them to get back on track. Everything is looking good now and they can have a real good go at the Hills, not easy but certainly doable. Last time they played there were only 5 points in the 4th Quarter with 3 minutes to go and we through the game away! As you say, Bronze would be amazing seeing the value of Melbourne and Geelong but regardless of the outcome of that last game they can certainly come back to SA very satisfied with the week in Canberra.
As far as the Mavs go I think they were pretty unlucky in their initial pool. They really ended up top with 2 other teams and only got out of top 12 because of points difference. Then they stuffed up a couple of games and it Game Over. I still maintain that their major problem is to rely to much on one player!
On a different note we almost had 2 great upsets! In the end only one. Hills destroyed Geelong playing a wonderful game and will play Melbourne in the Grand Final. Hopefully Hills will play like tonight and win. Sturt played a magnificent game and had Melbourne shaking the all game. They were in front with 5 min to the end of the game, then they ended up loosing by 2. What a sensational job by the boys, who have proven to fully deserve Top 4! Tomorrows bronze final will be tough but they have nothing to lose.
Hills and Melbourne are the rightful finals contenders.
Melbourne tonight showed great composure in the last few minutes to take back the lead by 6 points at one stage although Sturt hit some huge 3 pointers!
Hopefully Melbourne bring their A game and this creates a great match for a final.
And it was a Melbourne Hills replay with Melbourne taking the honours by 17 points Excellent defence from the Tigers who were back to their usual dominant selves after a very below par game against Sturt. Geelong beat Sturt in the bronze medal playoff
It is funny how things turn out!
Geelong has been the most solid team throughout the week and yet they missed one game, made the Hills look good, and missed on a GrandFinal.
Melbourne played several below their standard game during the week, just got through Sturt in the Semi, only to be given an easy Grand Final by Hills!
I would have rather had seen Melbourne win more comfortably with Sturt and Geelong get passed Hills. Then in a Grand Final Melbourne Geelong I think Geelong would have provided a much better opposition to Melbourne and a more enjoyable Grand Final!
Also, I forgot to ask earlier ..........
I got the impression that this Melbourne team was slightly different from the Dandenong and Classic one. Was this due to the fact that Melbourne was not allowed 2 teams in the Nationals hence they decided to mix a bit the 2 teams? If so, this could be the reason why they did not look as dominant as in previous tournament!
An explanation from someone with inside knowledge would be appreciated.
Well done to the the boys of the Illawarra Hawks.
Had a difficult pool draw drawing the top teams from Vic, Queensland and WA.
Gave them all a scare at stages in the games.
Not bad from an association that has only 8 top age kids to choose from!
Only 6 top ages in the team.
Well done boys.
no sour grapes Charon. At the end of winter season, just prior to finals, the boys were told that there had been a change of coach. This created havoc with 2 finals games ahead + Nationals. New coach changed structure of play. Then 5 days prior to Grand Final boys were told that the old coach was back! These are 12-13 years boys who had grown attached and used to their coach and a change like this is a massive thing, not sour grape!
I looked at the stats from both tournaments and the Melbourne team is exactly the same.
Difference to me was that they seemed to go 8-9 deep. Their stats dont have anyone standing out as scorers with 6 or 7 playres ranging from 6-10 point per game. That is always going to be hard to guard.
They shot well inside and out. Great three point shooter in the team and the big guys are solid.
Give Sturt their credit they played an awesome semi final - they shot the lights outs from the 3 point line. Rather than Melbourne being below par, I think teams just played their very best against Melbourne knowing they had nothing to loose. All credit to them!
Also hard to say Hills were below par. Melbourne chocked them with their defence. They just went at them every time and blocked out every shot, not giving any second shot opportunities. I dont know Geelong would have performed any better, until Hills they were not tested, and Melbourne beat them only 2 weeks ago in the Vic Final by 27. Assume Melbourne played the same type of aggressive defence.
As someone mentioned earlier, the draw plays a huge part in this tournament. Sandringham (lots of great athletes) only lose one game for the week (unfortunately picked the wrong one), and come 5th. DV (their big is sensational) run into Hills twice and Melbourne once, and come 6th. Doncaster (small but play hard) get Hills and DV in their first pool, and don't make the top 12. Give them a different pool and they probably do. All 3 of those teams are very well coached and have some great kids. Was really impressed with the support all the Vic teams gave each other - in particular the Doncaster, DV, and Blackburn kids. Would frequently walk in to see these teams supporting each other in the stands, even when they were scheduled to play each other the next game!
Interesting talking to a few of the coaches during the week. Lot of talk about poaching by 2 clubs in particular (I won't mention which two).
Sturt's players and coaches should be congratulated for their effort against Melbourne in the semi final. The coaches had put a lot of work into getting the kids up for that game, and almost pulled off a great upset. Rather than say Melbourne were poor, I think credit should go to Sturt's players and coaches, who it's really easy to take pot shots at. The kids were great, and had nothing left for the Bronze medal game. Not sure what happended to Geelong against Hills in the other semi to cause that big a margin. I had to fly out and missed the final so don't know what happened there.
020, yes I can confirm that Melb was the same team. I have double checked and it was a wrong personal impression. Also it was mentioned by others that Melb must have had a bad game and I simply assumed that possibly it could have been a slightly different team. I still maintain that they didn't just struggle with Sturt, they also had other games were they did not look that dominant, in particular with Diamond Valley and Gosford, won respectively buy only 17 and 16. Sandringham for example beat DV and Gos respectively by 8 and 10. I would have expected better wins from Melbourne seeing the results of previous tourneys. I also do understand that it is more difficult to develop stronger when you are at the top of the chain, see Sturt this year in SA. As far as Mel vs Sturt, in the end time will tell, as I am sure that Sturt will play them again and again! So let's not rave too much until we have had a few more competitive games with them!
Charon, I repeat no sour grape, if you read my old posts I simply said that overall, Forestville to me is the most improved team this year and also on the night they deserved to win the Winter Final. Why they did win it is another story!!!
I thought Gosford were a very strong team. They only went down to Hills by 4 points with both teams playing very aggresively.
I saw the DV vs Melb game. This was probably one of the highest quality games I have seen at U/14 level.
Both teams played physically and so well DV threw everything at Melbourne. If they played like that every game they should/would have been in the final.
Rivalries are something that are built on over years if the teams stay the same, u14s are unlikely to be the same in 16s and 18s. Squads will change players will come and go for many reasons. Highly unlikely that the same teams will play off ever again.
Gosford were very good, much like DV, unlucky to be drawn against Hills and Melbourne. Put either of those teams on the other side of the draw, and they make the top 4.
Saw the DV vs Melb game too, and agree it was a great game. Couple of mistakes from DV cost them, and the margin skipped out at the end. 17 points certainly isn't a true reflection of the game. DV had nowhere near the depth that Melb have, but the coach got the most out of his players and did a great job with them. Although Sturt got closer, DV and Gosford should also be very proud of their efforts against Melb.
This will certainly be an interesting group to watch at the U16 National level; plenty of depth in all the states, with both country and metro.
And also well done to Basketball ACT, tournament seemed to run very smoothly with no problems at all.
Both DV and Gosford could not get passed Sandrigham so I doubt they would have done much better on the other side of the draw! Also Sturt won with DV in June at the Classic.
I agree about the teams changing in Under 16. Also U14 boys is a very tricky age in terms of physical development. You see kids across all the spectrum! From full men to still boys. By Under 16 things are bit more settled and by Under 18 they will be mostly men and some of the dominant U14 men that have dominated during this tournament will be history! So I think we can expect big changes in the years to come!
I agree about the fact that boys are starting to get to know each other. I am glad to hear your boys were actually able to build friendships. I think this should be an aspect encouraged by the organizers at this year level through a series of well structured activities. There again, some clubs probably might not like this as they place a lot of emphasis on this tournament as it is the only one National at Club level.
I agree Right On - the teams will change over years as will the dominant players!
I also agree with Annon that if Gosford or DV were on other side of the draw they may have made top 4. You cant guage the team for the final games as a lot has happened by that time. Had either team met Sandy or Sturt earlier the scores may have been very different!
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An Australian basketball forum covering NBL, WNBL, ABL, Juniors plus NBA, WNBA, NZ, Europe, etc | Forum time is: 4:36 pm, Thu 1 Oct 2020 | Posts: 845,656 | Last 7 days: 458