Tall Blacks Oceania Qualifying Triallists Named
Tom Abercrombie, Steven Adams, Duane Bailey, Everard Bartlett, Finn Delany, Isaac Fotu, Leon Henry, Shea Ili, Jarrod Kenny, Rob Loe, Jordan Ngatai, Dion Prewster, Ethan Rusbatch, Lindsay Tait, Reuben Te Rangi, Sam Timmins, Mika Vukona, Corey Webster, Tai Wynyard, Matt Freeman, Casey Frank, Izayah Mauriohooho-Le'afa.
BJ Anthony (recovering from injury), Alex Pledger (recovering from injury), Kirk Penney (retired from International Basketball?), Tai Webster (School Commitments?), Brooke Roscoe,
I think we are likely to see a team similar to:
Lindsay Tait/ Jarrod Kenny
Corey Webster/ Everard Bartlett
Tom Abercrombie/ Duane Bailey/ Reuben TeRangi
Mika Vukona/ Isaac Fotu
Steven Adams/ Rob Loe
Lindsay Tait is the most reliable ball handling option at PG with Jarrod Kenny's deficiencies being exposed by Patty Mills last time they played and Shea Illi still developing his game and unexperienced and untested. Bartlett may even get the backup PG spot if TeRangi gets the backup SG spot behind Corey Webster.
Webster is capable of running the point with the ability to create his own shot and will have the resposibilty off being NZ's number #1 scoring option
Abercrombie will start at SF and then its between TeRangi, Henry and Bailey. I'd expect Duane Bailey to get this spot. I think Duane Bailey has surpassed TeRangi at the 3 and has developed into a more confident scorer inside & out whilst being a comparable defender. Leon Henry has the same ability defensively as Bailey with both players able to slide up to play the 4. TeRangi may slip behind Webster at SG like he has at the Breakers but still play more of a SF role.
I expect Mika Vukona to start at PF and Isaac Fotu to back him up for the last time before becoming our #1 option at PF in the near future. The young trio of Freeman, Wynyard and Timmins will all be unlucky not to get a spot but will have their time in a few years and will be better for having a run at the trials.
Hopefully Steven Adams gets the green light from Donovan and OKC and debuts at starting Centre. Stretch PF Rob Loe to back him up with Alex Pledger still coming off the surgery for Turf Toe.
NZ's biggest deficiencies are at PG. Mills is too quick for Tait & Kenny and Dellavadova will have no problem hounding them into poor decisions and the combination Exum's athleticism and speed will cause all sorts of issues.
The Boomers are also at an advantage at SF with the Boomers swingmen having had their way with Abercrombie many times before, bullying him with their strength and matching his athleticism. Bailey doesn't offer anything to trouble the likes of Joe Ingles and Brad Newley.
PF and Centre are the only 2 positions I don't see the Tall Blacks being at any major disadvantage although Alex Pledgers inclusion (if healthy) would offer more confidence with his International experience and size offering more of a hurdle than the smaller more perimeter orientated Rob Loe.