I only caught the 2nd half of the Mens game against Norths, and unfortunately have to say I found the COE team disappointing and underwhelming. BTW, I think they only lost by 9pts, although for most of what I saw they were down by 20 until the last couple of minutes. So the final score was maybe a little flattering.
Granted they're up against grown men and some with vastly higher/greater experience, but the COE team is meant to be the cream of the crop of our young basketball talent in the country right?
What I saw though really makes me wonder whether their identification and maybe development system isn't flawed.
While I agree with Aussie that King was the one clear stand-out, although Bannan certainly had his moments, the rest, well...
Last year I went to watch the COE play Creighton @ SHORE and back then it was again King and Giddey that were clear stand-outs. Shame Giddey wasn't playing against Norths. I really looking forward to seeing both of them get their shot in the NBL and hopefully beyond.
I saw a number of these kids a few years ago at the U16s Nationals in Perth and back then Wigness was a man amongst boys. Although he did have a great partner in crime for the back court of the QLD North team who I think didn't get enough praise and recognition for how dominant they were that year. Davies I think was his surname.
But back to Wigness, in 2017 there was a good bit of daylight between him and everyone else back then, King included. He was the player everyone at the tournament was buzzing about and rightly so.
Now fast forward almost 3 years from that tournament and I unfortunately have to wonder what happened. Considering all the extra/specialised training and development he's received at the NBA Global Academy/COE, the numerous opportunities of experience and exposure around the world he's received as a result, I don't see the proportional improvement in the way he plays. I just see a slightly taller version and physically stronger version of what I saw in Perth.
It's not just Wigness I've observed this about, because there's a few others in the COE team that were at those Perth u16 Nationals and got the chance to go to the COE/NBA Global Academy 2-3 years ago but I just don't see the improvement. King is probably the only exception who is now the one creating the daylight between himself and the rest.
Some might want to throw Giddey's name into that, hasn't he only been at the NBA Global Academy/COE for about a year (or less). So his surely his key development came elsewhere.
Dare I say they key benefit coming out of that NBA Global Academy/COE system may be the worldly exposure & experiences the kids get.
Because in terms of "cream of the crop" I've seen a few other players of comparable age (2001/02/03) who I'm sure could give the COE a good run for their money and then some (and I'm just thinking of kids from my lowly basketball state of NSW).