McBlurter
Earlier this month

1996 Olympics - original team

The team was forecast to have Luc Longley, until he didn't. They replaced Longley with Ray Borner and John Dorge moved up to the back up centre. The naturalised spot went to Scott Fisher as another 'quality big man'.

I was under the impression Ricky Grace was preferred as the naturalised player leading up to 1996, and obviously they made it up to him in 2000.

But if all went to plan, does anyone know who would have gone as the extra forward if Longley was fit? By minutes the rotation was;

Heal, Gaze, Vlahov, Ronaldson, Bradtke...

Reidy, Fisher, Dorge, was the main 8.

Sam Mac got some minutes.

Maher, Jensen and Borner warmed the pine.


So we'd be looking at...

Heal, Gaze, Vlahov, Bradtke, Longley

Grace, Ronaldson, ?

Reidy, Dorge, Sam Mac and Maher? (albiet Jensen's 95 season with the Falcons, and 96 season with the Giants were more impressive than Maher's, this could be a toss up)

Again, was there a defined roster spot, based on previous tournaments? Or would this be one of the "what if's"?

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Yup  
Two weeks ago

I was around grade 6 at the the time but my recollection is similar to yours and I've thought about the same hypothetical many times.

Back in 1996 heal n gaze would legit play 40 minutes in the important games, there was no guard depth, Reidy barely played either. Vlahov played 99% minutes at the sf.

I figure grace would have played meaningful minutes off the bench with gaze virtually the backup SF and heal spending time at sg

Perimeter rotation 1,2,3
Heal, gaze, grace, vlahov

Bigs rotation 4,5
Longley, bradtke, ronaldson, dorge

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Anonymous  
Two weeks ago

Lol

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McBlurter  
Two weeks ago

Gaze played 313/320 minutes over the 8 games, so yeah... not a lot of relief there.

The pine riders in 94 were Mike McKay, Damien Keogh, Greg Hubbard and Paul Rees. I'm not looking at many holdovers there.

I don't think Gaze would move the SF, it'd be a 3 guard rotation, plus Maher/Jensen.

If you recall, Heal was recruited by the Kings as a SG at the beginning of 96, with Tony Bennett being the import PG. He had an acute injury, and Justin Withers hurt himself bad with a prolonged lay off time.

Grace would have likely seen Heal and Gaze rest more, and Heal move to SG with Grace's court time

Thus Bennett was dropped, and they went after a swing man. 6'5" Isaac Burton who shrunk 2 inches crossing the equator, lol!

Anyway, Vlahov played 5th or 6th most minutes, the forward minutes were pretty equal across Ronaldson/Vlahov/Fisher.

In Fisher's absence, I'm thinking it'd be a 3/4. A lot of names won the following year with the u/23's, Sam Mac, MacGregor, Drmic, Melmeth, Dwight... but I don't think any were ready.

Cattalini obviously made strides by 2000, but I think he was stuck on the bench with the wildcats

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