The Boomers squad for this month’s qualifying games for the FIBA World cup was announced on 23/1/18. The 12-man squad, to face off against the Philippines and Chinese Taipei, are similar to last year’s team. Selected by Andre Lemanis, the only changes being Kevin Lisch and Jessie Wagstaff, taking the places of Damian Martin and Brad Newley respectfully.
The full squad, including a breakdown of what they bring to the boomers, is as follows:
Angus Brandt Perth Wildcats
Brandt was selected for his big, low post presence. His major strength is his jump hook on both the left and right sides.
Jason Cadee Sydney Kings
Cadee coming off the bench brings 3-point shooting. This spreads the floor for the interior players in Kickert, Brandt, Hodgson and Kay. He is also able to take on the role of point if needed.
Mitch Creek Adelaide 36ers
Swingman Creek can play and defend multiple positions, namely, shooting guard, small forward, and power forward. He brings intensity and athleticism, with an unmatched competitive spirit and is a natural leader on and off the court.
Cameron Gliddon Cairns Taipans
A calming factor to any team. Gliddon brings steady, slow and strategic guard play, the ultimate team man. He is able to take control offensively and shoot the three to help spread the floor when he is open.
Chris Goulding Melbourne United
Brings flair and skill offensively. Hard for opposition to guard as he is able to shoot from anywhere. Additionally, Goulding has improved defensively as the current NBL season has progressed. Is a late withdrawll due to an ankle injury.
Matt Hodgson Adelaide 36ers
Has a nice touch around the basket. Shot blocking, good interior defender and rebounder. Hasn’t played well lately, needs to play at high intensity to have an impact.
Nick Kay Illawarra Hawks
A much underrated player who can play at multiple positions. Strong rebounder on both ends, can take the rebound and lead the break, excellent finisher around the hoop.
Daniel Kickert Brisbane Bullets
After the first two qualifiers late last year, he led the Asian division in scoring at 18.5 points per game. Versatile big man brings experience, and an inside and outside game to the Boomers.
Kevin Lisch Sydney Kings
Stepping in for Damian Martin, the only 2016 Olympian left on the squad, Lisch brings high intensity on ball defence, excellent shooting and worldly experience to the boomers.
Mitch McCarron Cairns Taipans
One of the best rebounders in the NBL at only 6ft3inches tall. Crashes the offensive glass, has athleticism in spades. Will play hard no matter the score. He is capable and currently plays out of position as a small forward in the NBL but will be taking on the role of shooting guard for the Boomers.
Nathan Sobey Adelaide 36ers
Super athletic, can shoot the three, and lead the fast break. Like most of his Adelaide team mates brings lots of intensity to the Boomers. Expect fireworks when he plays.
Jesse Wagstaff Perth Wildcats
Wagstaff is a surprise selection (was coming off the Perth bench until recently). He brings toughness, sets lots of screens, and has three-point range so he can’t be left open. Can play power forward or small forward.
Why this squad?
Coach Andre Lemanis has gone for a versatile team. He has included players that can play multiple positions which gives the team more scope at both ends of the court. All players have agile ability to think quickly and switch into any role at any stage of the play, and fast feet to add full-court pressure and speed the tempo of the game up.
With Daniel Kickert, Angus Brandt and Matt Hodgson inside, plus Nick Kay who can play inside or out, give the Boomers a good inside presence. All can score in close, all play with a chip on their shoulder and are highly competitive off the glass.
With Jason Cadee, Chris Goulding and Cam Gliddon to spread the defence with their three-point shooting abilities, and slashers like Mitch Creek, Nathan Sobey and Mitch McCarron on the perimeter, the boomers have a nice balance both in the key and on the perimeter.
There has already been much speculation on the makeup of the current squad which Coach Andre Lemanis defends and claims that he wants a youthful component to the side. Not giving young Adelaide big man Daniel Johnson a chance, who at one point was leading the NBL scoring, may be a vital mistake, and also bringing in Wagstaff for the experienced Newley. An interesting choice so to speak. However, Lemanis’ focus on keeping the squad from 2017 together, they can focus on good continuity and the fact that the players know each other well. The Philippines and Chinese Taipei will be up against some stiff competition in fast-paced, athletic and action filled games
If you are in Melbourne this week, get down to Hisense Arena and support Australia. FIBA World Cup Qualification is on the line.