It's fantastic to see the amount of senior guys committing to this series. It's just what I was hoping would happen, especially being Lemanis' first championship series.
I would have liked the BA release to address the absence of Jawai. I understand he may be injured, but he was named on the 10-man squad for the recent July camp that was billed as being for 'core' Boomers, yet he's not named for this camp? I think an explanation should have been provided.
As far as the final team goes, I think all eight London Olympians will play, leaving seven players to battle for the remaining four spots.
I personally would play Exum and Simmons, even if they only play limited minutes as 11th and 12th men. These guys are the future of the Boomers. Playing against a sub-par New Zealand team in a two-game series, surrounded by eight Olympians would be the perfect place for them to make their Boomers debuts.
As for the remaining two spots, with five players to choose from, I would say Ogilvy is in fifth spot, just on the basis that he hasn't been part of any other Boomers work so far this off-season. I'm personally finding it really hard to split up the other four, Bairstow, Nevill, Petrie and Broekhoff all deserve a chance to play.
Given that Newley and Barlow will most likely play, there probably isn't room for Broekhoff, especially if Simmons also plays.
I think Lemanis might lean towards his preference to have a mobile four-man, therefore Petrie will probably get the nod over Bairstow, though Cam would be really unlucky to miss given the stellar off-season he has had in the green and gold.
Nevill would also be unlucky to miss. I think Baynes will start at centre, and Andersen will back him up, but Nevill will get a gig as third string centre, to cover Baynes' usual foul trouble. Though this spot could easily go to Bairstow as well.
It's good to have to make tough decisions I suppose!
So I guess, based on the above, I've got;
The above line-up probably highlights everyone's questions about Goulding, given there is a gaping hole behind Patty at shooting guard. I was certain that Goulding would play in this series, so to see him not even make the squad is a real surprise. I hope Lemanis goes away from Brett Brown's preference to swing Patty between shooting guard and point guard. I'd like to see Delly play the majority of minutes at point guard, and just let Patty focus on scoring the basketball off well run plays that get him some decent open looks. Gibson can spot Delly for a few minutes, and Ingles and Newley can spend some time filling in for Patty at two-guard.
Anyway, again, great to see the commitment from the senior guys. I'm really looking forward to watching this series, kicking some Kiwi butt, and getting the 'Road to Rio' underway.