It's time to see what national team's got in some real games
A little catch up with the national men’s team?
Sure, why not.
Talked electronically with Jay for a little bit yesterday after the Orlando portion of the training session wound up.
All I got was that everyone in Orlando is going to Puerto Rico for the Tutu Marchand tournament (which leads to the question: What kind of mother names her son “Tutu” but that’s a whole other discussion) so that would lead one to believe that Carl English is at least showing enough improvement that he’s a possibility for Venezuela and the World Cup qualifier.
No clue if he’s a certainty – and since he hadn’t done any on-court work before they left I still think it’s a bit of a longshot --but going is better than the alternative and they need someone with his experience and abilities, I’d say.
So did Jay, a few days ago.
“He was one of the leading scorers in one of the best leagues in Europe (Spain) last year. We think scoring points might be something that’s difficult for us, there’s a guy who does it for a living; it’s his job.”
The Tutu Tournament (I’d buy a t-shirt that had Tutu Tournament on it in a heart beat) kicks off Thursday and Canada gets Puerto Rico, Argentina, Dominican Republic and Brazil over the five days in the final World Cup tuneup.
What I gathered from the short chat with Jay yesterday is that he’s still mulling over the final 12-man roster he’ll have to take to Argentina and the World Cup qualifier and the most significant part of the Tutu will be seeing who earns those berths.
It’s all well and good to get into a practice gym and go against each other every day but it’s how players react to real competition that has to be the determining factor.
And the big questions will be at the wings and in the front court because I think the three point guards they have – Cory Joseph, Jermaine Anderson and Junior Cadougan – have to make the final team. They can’t take two, I don’t think, because of the risk of injury and the grind of what could be about nine games in 11 days is too great.
First World Problems
If you’re on the deck and the sun’s setting and the BBQ is on and you run out of Staropramen, do you move to the Moretti or the Kronenbourg?
Yes, vacation gets off to a solid start.
Some stream of consciousness chatter with friends, some iTunes time, some sitting around daydreaming and not really caring about much.
A fella could get used to it.
So the good folks over the NBL Canada held their draft last night – four Canadian kids went in the first round which is pretty cool – and they’re getting ready for a somewhat changed look to the league’s third season.
Montreal’s out, Oshawa’s gone, Brampton and Mississauga are in as things continue to shake out in what is still the infancy of the league.
Can’t say I’m at all surprised at the way things are turning out, you knew there would be blips along the way, there is in every start-up a pro sports league and while Montreal is a great city, I always wondered if minor league basketball would go there; ditto for Oshawa, which is a junior hockey city first and foremost and almost too connected to Toronto to be sustainable as a minor-league basketball city.
And that’s why I wonder about both Mississauga and Brampton coming in. Yes, they both have suitable facilities and there’s enough geographic distance that it might work but I wonder about the long-term viability of both. I hope it works, I’m sure I’ll get to a game or three depending on the schedule and other work commitments but whether both can survive because they are so close to each other and the big city remains a question in my mind.
But, overall, I think the league is doing just what it should. It’s centred in smaller cities where it can connect with the local business community and fan base and, from afar, I think franchises like London, Windsor and Ottawa (another newbie) are going about things in the right way. I’m sure that’s the case down East, it’s just that I’m not as familiar with those situations as I am with the Ontario ones.
The league is important for the game, it provides something for Canadian kids to shoot for, a chance to stay home and play professionally and I hope the men and women who run the franchises understand the importance of working toward a common goal rather than worrying too much about their own specific situations.
Another question from Vacation Night One:
How did I get Louis Prima on the iTunes thingy?
(There. Will that satisfy those of you complaining that I never mention them?)
Although I don’t think I mentioned how overjoyed I am that they have five of eight pre-season games here and there are only three one-game trips.
I know the lucky season ticket holders must be hugely impressed with five meaningless games instead of four and if I’m the Tall Foreheads I take one of those games out of the season ticket package and sell ever seat for $20 in the lower bowl and $10 in the upper deck.
I make one of ‘em free.
Yeah, that’s what I do. One of them costs nothing, get people in the building, let folks who wouldn’t normally go get to a game.
What do we think of that?