hoopie
Years ago

So what needs to happen to fix the Boomers?

We won the World Junior Champs in the 90s and many of that golden generation starred for us through the 90s and into the 2000s. We had 5 players in the NBA at one stage. We played off for medals, and had genuine chances at getting a medal.

10 - 15 years on, we have 2 players in the NBA, some in the higher leagues in Europe, lots in college, and a weak NBL. Us bloggers aren't confident of getting into the last 8 of the Olympics. The only true scorer in the Boomers is PC, who we weren't even confident would make the team.

What's gone wrong? Is it too easy for players to make a buck, and so the fight and the passion aren't there any more? Has the game changed so that players don't need to be outside scorers any more? Are the days of shooting hundreds of shots a day long gone? Are our big guys too 'nice' on court? Is the AIS really effective these days, when so many go to college?


What suggestions can we give the new CEO so that we can realistically challenge for a medal within the next 10 years?

Topic #28590 | Report this topic


Isaac  
Years ago

I would call Mills a true scorer. Had 20ish a few times in NBA garbage games and 38 in the D-League. Often picked up for looking to score more than pass. Wouldn't call PC a true scorer actually.

Reply #367620 | Report this post


Vart  
Years ago

Mills was top-10 in points per 48 minutes this past NBA season, so this shows that he's definitely a true scorer.

2011-12 NBA leaders in points per 48 minutes

1. Kevin Durant
2. Kobe Bryant
3. LeBron James
4. Brook Lopez
5. Russell Westbrook
6. Kevin Love
7. Dwyane Wade
8. Carmelo Anthony
9. Dirk Nowitzki
10. Patty Mills

I'm sure we can all agree that's some pretty impressive company to be in.

Reply #367625 | Report this post


BJF  
Years ago

The world is a lot different now compared to 1990

The bust up of USSR and Yugoslavia has created more competitive teams in the global competition

We have gone from competing for 4th to competing for 8th basically.

In 2000 we competed for a medal despite having a 500 record at the tournament

AIS has produced more pro ballers of late than of anytime in its history





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paul  
Years ago

If you actually analyse how we perform against top European teams and the USA, little has really changed from the Australian point of view.

From 1988-2000 we were 8-16 against European teams with an average losing margin of 16 points. Since then we are 3-8 with an average losing margin of 15 points.

Against the USA our average losing margin from 88 to 00 (with 3 of 5 games the USA having no NBA players) was 26 points. Since then the average loss is 27 points against all NBA teams.

What has changed is international basketball has gone through the roof, especially in Europe, and there are far more good teams competing at international tournaments now. Getting to the medal rounds is so tough these days.

At the majority of international tournaments since I started following in 1988 we have had a 3-2 pool record. Three times we have managed to win the QF crossover and make the medal rounds, where we were 0-6 with an average losing margin of 21 points.

1996 is the only year where we could claim to be close to some of the power teams, so the viewpoint that we were great for an era in the 90s really is a myth.

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paul  
Years ago

More to what Isaac and Vart said re: Mills (this is going on memory from an article I wrote), Patty made the top 20 in scoring in both 08 and 10, and along with Durant was the only player under 23 to make either list. That is pretty impressive.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

There's a whole heap of reasons why the Boomers aren't as good as we think they could be...BUT If we make the last 8 of the Olympics we're doing very well.

We've always punched above our weight with Basketball, given what the sport is in this country and the funding/support it gets.

We might be able to crack it for an Olympic semi and thus a playoff for Bronze every so often - that might happen again at this Olympics - but it might be slim pickings for the next couple of Olympics.

One thing I think gets overlooked is the number of great athletes playing the sport - we don't/can't attract them because they play AFL. That's where the hole is. We seem to produce small guards OK. Same with legit big men. But it's the 2/3 spot where we struggle (I'm not talking about a country producing one guy, either, but 3 or 4 guys of genuine talent that can play the position).

The other thing is we can't shoot it. One game yes, consistently no.

Reply #367635 | Report this post


Vart  
Years ago

The 2/3 spots (fingers crossed) will (read should) be filled by Dante Exum and Ben Simmons in the future, but I agree with your comments. Unfortunately those 6'5" and 6'6" guys that fill those spots are as equally appealing to AFL club's these days as they are to basketball. This wasn't the case 20, perhaps even 10 years ago, but as we all know AFL has changed a lot.

Reply #367637 | Report this post


paul  
Years ago

Realistically though, we havent ever produced many top range athletic swingman. The AFL might hurt, but we werent producing them before they got their act together either. Mackinnon, Saville, J Smith, Newley, Ingles and Barlow are the only ones who have really kicked on. Crawford has come good late.

Mackinnon and Newley are the only ones who have excelled at a major FIBA tourny, and Sam was playing the 4-spot that year!

We have Broekhoff, Bose, Blanchfield, Creek, Drmic, Odigie, Simmons and Exum coing through. Hopefully some of those guys can really push on.

Reply #367647 | Report this post


Vart  
Years ago

Fair point Paul. And you're right, there's a few good ones coming through at the moment. It's great to see.

Reply #367652 | Report this post


LC  
Years ago

We do have some fair talent coming through at the younger levels at the 2/3 spot...let's hope they materialise into the players we all hope they will become.

Reply #367659 | Report this post


MELHOOPS  
Years ago

Where would Scott Pendlebury (24) and Jack Watts (21) fit into the current group? 2 players that both walked from the AIS that were tipped for Boomers inclusion.

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LC  
Years ago

Pendlebury was a guard...not sure about Watts

Reply #367680 | Report this post


XY  
Years ago

Hoopie, when did we have 5 players in the NBA at any one time?

I assume we must be talking in the period from 96-99, but all I can find are:

Longley 1991/2 - 1999/2000;
Gaze 1993-94, 1998-99;
Heal 1996-97, 2003-04;
Bradtke 1996-97;
Anstey 1997/8 - 1999/2000.

That is at best 3 at any one time (Longley, Heal and Bradtke) something we reproduced last year with Bogut, Anderson and Mills all playing at once.

Not sure that can be considered a drop off, particularly given that on any view the Bogut, Anderson and Mills combination had more influential roles on their teams than Longley, Heal and Bradtke.

Reply #367688 | Report this post


young ozzies  
Years ago

There is no shame in being a top eight candidate in a truly international sport.More young Australian sportsmen aspire to the $ and publicity that surrounds the afl. They may or may not be better athletes but the potential to develop a career is far greater. 17 clubs with 40 plus on a list with a minimum salary of $60K with potential to earn the average salary of $300k. Fringe or failed NBL basketballers are being snapped up by afl clubs. There are only about 60 spots available to Australians in the NBL. Those young players that pursue basketball as their career are committed and passionate basketball people with a dream of representing Australia and maybe earning $ that reflect their talent in Europe. The NBL is a very good competition, it may lack profile and star power,
due to lack of media coverage, but it is a super competitive competition that rates very well with many of the middle of the road European competitions.
We may not be far from some international success, put Bogut, Mills,and our best supporting cast together at the next WC and we could medal. It will be no shame if we dont as international Basketball
is a tough "world" competition.

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hoopie  
Years ago

Fair point, XY - I didn't check the hard facts before contributing.

Did we have any who were drafted but didn't end up playing? There were a few who we felt were knocking on the door, eg McKinnon.

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Isaac  
Years ago

Paul Rogers was drafted but never played.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Broekhoff, Bose, Blanchfield, Creek, Drmic.

I don't think any of these guys can lead the country in scoring (or fill it up) at a Worlds or an Olympics.

Each has their flaws which get magnified internationally - Broekhoff footspeed is poor, same with Drmic. Creek's shooting is abysmal, etc.


Odigie, Simmons and Exum

These players seem more equipped. Odigie is the closest thing Australia has to a seriously legitimate athlete. Simmons and Exum could be it.

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rjd  
Years ago

We've had a few who were drafted but never played NBA: Pepper, Bruton, Newley. Im sure I'm missing some more. Was Mel-meth (btw, weird forum rules on his name) ever drafted?

Dwight had an NBA contract offer but refused it.

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rjd  
Years ago

Has the lack of quality shooters come in part to the focus and overemphasis on athletic and physical abilities rather than skills, particularly shooting?

Anon's post above exemplifies this attitude. Implying that a very raw Odigie is more promising that a versatile and skilled Drmic? Have we lost the value of elite shooting skills? I mean, look at someone like Penney, who was never a particularly good athlete, but his value on the NZ national team is huge.

Reply #367705 | Report this post


rjd  
Years ago

Just to add to that, I'd see value in having a player like Maher or Rillie around at the moment. Rillie carried the scoring load (along with Anstey) in a successful European tour in 2003. Maher was often underutilised at national level, but he also had some great tours. You don't need to be a great athlete to be effective or find a role on the team. It's well and good to want to have great athletes, but sometimes I feel people are too obsessed with size and athleticism, expecting great athletes to develop world class skill sets.

There is still great value in having a truly skilled shooter on the team. Not many athletes go from average shooters in juniors to automatic 3-point shooters. The vast majority of great shooters already had a very good stroke at a young age.

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Vart  
Years ago

Good post rjd. Are we slowly falling into the same trap as the USA did? Worrying to much about athleticism and the ability to make the highlight reels, rather that focusing on solid fundamentals, the most obvious being jump shooting? I posted last week about my concerns with the number of AIS scholarship players that graduate the program without a solid jump shot. It is certainly a concern that needs to be addressed.

Reply #367714 | Report this post


hoopie  
Years ago

Right on, Vart.

Barlow really annoyed me last night in the pre-game warm-ups - spent most of his time doing dunks and then missing his outside shots.

Wrong priority, I reckon, when it comes to what we'll need from him at the Olympics.

Reply #367720 | Report this post


paul  
Years ago

It's an interesting discussion. Certainly now there is a much greater emphasis on players being able to handle, pass, rebound and particularly defend. As the game has gotten faster and more physical the requirements have changed.

I dont think it's something specific to Australia though, because the three-point shooting in the NBL is on par with most of the better leagues around the world.

I guess for coaches it's about weighing up the pros and cons - how much do they give us offensively vs how much do we lose defensively with them on the court?

It's also about getting your players rhythm shots they are comfortable with. The Boomers were second in 3pt shooting at the last Olympics but dropped to 21st in 2010.

It's a really interesting debate with a lot of layers eg the harder your guys are working defensively the less likely theyll hit shots.

Reply #367721 | Report this post


Isaac  
Years ago

Jawai & Majok are a couple of other draftees that haven't really been mentioned yet. And we've had other decent options that are at that level. Not all in the NBA at once, but then I don't think we've ever really had five active NBA players at one time.

Reply #367727 | Report this post


MELHOOPS  
Years ago

Paul,

Where did you get the stats that the Boomers were 2nd at China and 21st at worlds.

I was at an Ian Stacker coaching clinic a few months back and he said that 3pt shooting has historically been the same as our final placing. i.e. 8-9th in 3 pt shooting equals 8-9th overall in tournament placing. Not the way I measure performance, but interesting nonetheless.

Reply #367729 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Years ago

Hoopie, when did we have 5 players in the NBA at any one time?


We haven't. But we have had four players in the NBA at the same time twice:

1998-99

Longley, Suns
Gaze, Spurs
Anstey, Mavs
Rogers, Raptors (never played a game)

2009-10

Bogut, Bucks
Jawai, Wolves
Mills, Blazers
Andersen, Rockets

Reply #367754 | Report this post


Ricey  
Years ago

The only real drop off I've noticed in the boomers since the 90s and early 00s and now, is that we play like soft cocks in comparison. What ever happened to USA hating to draw a game with us because we banged bodies better than anyone else and set real screens that left some of the best in the world in a daze... Get some men playing again, and we will probably elevate our position on the international circuit by a few notches. Obviously we need a legit 6'6"+ swing man each tournament also who can get to the basket and shoot, and be athletic at an NBA level not an NBL level

Reply #367766 | Report this post


rjd  
Years ago

Just curious, how many of the basketball superpowers, apart from USA, have that? Spain, Lithuania, Argentina etc. typically have 3s who can drive and shoot, but are they *that* athletic?

Reply #367773 | Report this post


fstos  
Years ago

I agree with the shooting comments. All elite programs ITCP, state institutes of sport, AIS should keep a few spots open for the best natural shooters, with them obviously having some size and game and then work on their athleticism, speed, defence and other skills. At present they go for the athletes and try and get them to be better shooters. IMO it is rare that you can turn a poor shooter into a good one after they reach 17-18 years old if they have been long term junior players. If the pure shooters don't improve in other areas they will go the same way as the athletes that we carry now who end up without the skill/shot/size to progress to the next level.No loss but it will give encouragement to the young shooters as they will not be cast aside to early.



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fstos  
Years ago

I take an opposite view to the OP in that I believe we have done really well to remain in the second tier (1st tier currently USA Spain Argentina)for a long period of time considering the profile of the game in Australia compared to other nations. I would even argue that Argentina are just in that one in a couple of generation golden eras as they were not considered a powerhouse before the current group emerged and may well drop off the radar once they age/retire. Russia, Greece, Lithuania, Croatia, Serbia, Brazil, France, Italy have all hovered up and down over that same period of time and Basketball is the number 2 team sport in each country. The Boomers have also had a lot of bad luck with Bogut's injuries.

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paul  
Years ago

Mel, I find stats in the fiba archive (archive.fiba.com). Im not sure where Ian got that from but in pretty much every major tournament in the past 20 years we have been top 4 or 5 in 3pt%, if not higher.

2010 was a horrid exception to that rule, coinciding with the first time in a long time (or ever) where we didnt run a passing, cutting, high ball movement offence.

Reply #367781 | Report this post


paul  
Years ago

I agree fstos, and I point again to the starts where our performances against European teams and the USA have been almost identical in the past 10 years to the 1988-2000 period.

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paul  
Years ago

That was meant to be stats, not starts! I like the toughness comment too Ricey, it gives a real edge. Although I will say both Australia and NZ have a rep for being very physical teams.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

"I dont think it's something specific to Australia though, because the three-point shooting in the NBL is on par with most of the better leagues around the world..."

I agree. But when Crawford shoots a 3 in London, he's being closed out by Durant, not Cadee.

We can be as physical and tough (national characteristic) as we like. It's great. But it only gets you so far.

You need that mix: athleticism and skill. And the Boomers having the perfect mix has been an elusive beast. If they can make a Semi in London they have done extremely well.

Reply #367914 | Report this post


paul  
Years ago

Durant isnt closing out too many players in leagues around the world, so the NBL comparison stands. Your point that once you go to the highest level the shots have to be quicker etc is a good one, but Aussies have dealt with that fine over the years until 2010 when we didnt for some reason.

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