Monday, July 21, 2008

Germany Thru, Australia To Play Croatia First & Relive OZ97

Dirk finally gets to play at an Olympics. Dirk could lend Chris Kaman some of his wig though.

Germany has grabbed the final spot at for the Olympic Games. Dirk Nowitzki and his team defeated the Carlos Arroyoless Puerto Rico, 96-82.

I was a little naive in my thinking that Greece and Croatia would play off for the tournament title. Since both these teams qualified for the Olympics the previous day, no title game was necessary. That is just a little odd to me. Play a tournament and have no winner!

With the Games field finalized the draw is now available and the Aussies have drawn the European qualifying Croatia first up.

Having just come off three games against them (2-1 Croatia) the good news for the Aussies is they know what to expect when it comes tip off time in Beijing.

With Lithuania, Argentina, Iran and Russia in this pool as well, the Boomers first game result could determine whether they make it through to the next round.

The way it works is; you need to finish in the top 4 of your pool to advance to the next round. If you don't, you party hard for the remainder of the Olympics. I'm speaking from experience here.

So, the Aussies need to win 3 games to secure a spot in the next round. Win 2 and it could be determined by count back.

All teams in this pool have Iran marked as a "W". I feel as though Argentina is the number 1 team while the Lithos and Russians will battle for the next two spots, leaving the Boomers and the Croats to battle it out for the remaining spot.
There is no doubt that both Croatia and Australia can take games away from any of these teams, but I will play the percentages and say the Aussies need to win the first game to give themselves the best chance of reaching the medal round.

Aussie fans will get a better feel for how our team is progressing when they play in the Diamond Ball Tournament next week.

They follow this up with a game against the USA. Although knocking off the USA any time is a good thing, I think you need to keep that "one off" performance for the Olympics.

If Australia finishes with the 4th seed, there is a very good chance that they will meet the USA in the first cross over game.

Although Boomers coach Brian Goorjian has talked about the depth in this pool, I feel that the Boomers have a great chance of advancing to the final round of eight with Croatia in the pool.

Check out this ABC interview with Andrew Bogut talking about the Boomers chances.

Other News

Dusty Rychart has signed with the Wollongong Hawks.

The Hawks finally got Rychart to put pen to paper after the negotiating process taking some time.

The attraction for the Hawks with the USA born Rychart is, all things going well Rychart will play as a Aussie next year.

If my sources are worth their money, Rychart was trying to do the right thing by himself and only wanting to sign for one year, then renegotiate new year as an Aussie.

In the meantime the Hawks were trying their hardest to lock up the "Garbage Man" for three years.

Reading between the lines, both parties must have compromised and agreed to two years.

There is no doubting that Rychart has shown he has a great knack for accumulating points and rebounds in the NBL, without taking shots away from the "studs" on the roster.

In saying this, isn't that what the NBL's 2007/08 Most Improved Player Cam Tragardh does for them. I will be interested to see how these two coexist.

The NBL's Prospects Camp got underway in Melbourne today.

This camp allows 63 of Australia's best prospects to go and show their skills in front of an array of coaches from around the country.

This is a great concept and idea by Ian Stacker. It will only get better as time goes on and players on the fringe of the NBL realize this is a good forum to showcase their talent.

A reliable source of mine said that the best players from Day 1 were Adelaide's Matt Sutton and Gold Coast's Anthony Olah.

It will be interesting to see who shines during Day 2's action.

Perth Wildcat's rookie signing Stephen Weigh, talks up his QABL Rockhampton Rockets.

Portland TrailBlazers Rookie guard Jerryd Bayless is lighting up Vegas. For all other things happening at the Vegas Summer League, click here.

The Utah Jazz Summer League had a rest day.

Tully Bevilaqua will land in Brissy on Tuesday morning. This means that the World Champion Australian Opals will finally have their full squad together as they prepare to win their first gold medal at an Olympic Games.

Andrew Bogut is down to earth?

OZ97 - Australia vs Argentina (Check out the names in this game plus you will get goose bumps if you are an Aussie.)


Glockers said...

Nice call about Olah. the kid can downright play with nice slashing moves to the basket, solid ball-hnadling, a decent j and natural athleticism.

I also want to give a shout out to Luke Cann, an ex Townsville player who has really stepped up for Bundy as the season progressed. he has earnt his spot down there.

Another guy you might want to find out about is PJ Issacson. if my waratah contacts are correct he is a nice player.

MAtt said...

That OZ97 game shows that Anstey's 3 point fetish was developing back then. Get inside you lanky goon!

DJ Rod said...

If Matty Reece is reading - DONOT WATCH ANSTEY PLAY - you are a big, get inside!!!

I coach him in U23's & I feel like roping him to the keyway sometimes!

John Rillie said...


I have been keeping a eye on PJ before he went to school in the USA. My report from day 1 is he is still very rough around the edges.

John Rillie said...


I'm sure you are echoing many peoples thoughts, but the big fella has landed some daggers in his career.

John Rillie said...

DJ Rod:

I have to say Reece is improving but he gets his ass handed to him every Wednesday night though.