The basketball World Cup will be taking place in Spain at the end of August and beginning of September. Over the weekend, Australia announced the 12-man roster that they will be sending to compete.
There are a couple of notable names on there for college basketball fans: former Washington State star Brock Motum made it, as did Matthew Dellavedova, who was a standout for Saint Mary’s. Fresh off of an all-american season with New Mexico and a new contract with the Chicago Bulls, Cameron Bairstow made the cut, as well as former Valpo star Ryan Broekhoff — who did this.
Aron Baynes of the Spurs will play as well, but both Patty Mills and Andrew Bogut will miss the event with injuries.
They’re not the only big names that won’t be playing.
The future of Australian basketball lies in the youngsters. Dante Exum was just the No. 5 pick in the NBA Draft. He made the team. But Ben Simmons, the top player in the Class of 2015, missed the cut. Thon Maker, the top player in 2016 and an Australian citizen by way of Sudan, will not be participating, either.
Maker not making it isn’t a huge surprise, as Australia actually has a fairly deep front line. In addition to Baynes and Bairstow, there’s longtime national team member David Andersen, and as much of a prospect as Maker is, he’s not beating out those guys for minutes. Simmons is a bit of a surprise, as his talent is undeniable and his skill set would probably allow him to at least hold his own in practice or in a game.
But if Australia is looking to win immediately, their best bet is probably bringing in the guys that will be able to make a major impact right away.