Sunday, March 23, 2008

Baynes Left To Fly Aussie Flag Solo and Put Cairns On the Map

Aron Baynes, flying the flag for Cairns.

The NCAA Tourney has not even completed its first weekend, but Aron Baynes of Washington State is the only Aussie left after the first round.

The bigger names of Pat Mills and AJ Ogilvy suffered first round losses, so they will have to be happy to cheer on their fellow countryman from campus.

Baynes was instrumental in helping his Cougars defeat Winthrop in the first round of play. The final score of 71-40 does not tell the whole story. The scores were tied at the half but Baynes and his teammates lifted a few gears to run away with it by the end.

The Cairns native finished with 19pts and 8rebs to lead is team into a second round clash with high scoring Notre Dame. Boxscore vs Winthrop

Earlier today Baynes and his Cougars put the clamps on the Fighting Irish (Notre Dame) 61-41. Once again Baynes helped his team with 11rebs and 6 pts. Boxscore Highlights

This win by the Cougars puts them into the Sweet Sixteen for the first since 1941. (Can you name the last Aussie to reach the round of 16? Answer below.) This is quite an achievement and his profile will lift through the roof in the USA.

I remember talking to Baynes' parents when I was trying to convince them Gonzaga was the school for their son. Mr and Mrs Baynes did not really grasp the whole college concept but I just hope now they realize their son is living the college "dream" today.

I'm hear to tell them, their son will be "big time" right now on the other side of the Pacific. ESPN, magazines, newspapers etc will be wanting to get a piece of the big fella from Cairns. I just hope his parents get the chance to experience some of what he is. I would get on the next flight out of Cairns, and enjoy this experience with their son.

It is always great to see a fellow Aussie do well. I just felt felt Baynes would have had a few fellow countrymen joining him in the second week of the tournament.
Trivia Answer: Andrew Bogut 2005 vs Kentucky

All Boxscores from the NCAA Tourney:
Just an example of how far college fans will go!


Anonymous said...

hey jr the last aussie in the Sweet Sixteen was Luke Schenschet and they made it to 2 final game.wasnt Justin brown,Ryan Thompsonat un conn make it to the final 4 too?

DJ rod said...

Andrew Bogut went with Utah didn't he?

Anonymous said...

love the blog!

but you're wrong about the last aussie to make it to the sweet sixteen.

John Rillie said...

I'm sorry about the dodgie trivia question. Just trying to help Axel out here.

Big Luke Schenscher did go to the final game. How could I forget, because he had a cracker game to lead his team to the final game.

Bogut made the tourney just researching to see how he went.

Thanks for correcting me.