Questions will be answered as the big hoops moment arrives
A whole lot at stake down in Caracas at the FIBA Americas qualifier for the 2014 World Cup as this so-called “golden age of Canadian basketball’ dawns.
Ten teams, four berths in next year’s championships on the line and I’m not sure there’s been a more eagerly anticipated FIBA Americas tournament in Canada for decades, maybe ever.
Four burning questions:
What happens if they don’t qualify?
Not quite an utter disaster but awfully close to it.
Having a dead summer next year, when this young group should be getting significant experience at the World Cup, will cost not only in the on-court development but how hard do you think it will be for the Poobahs to go searching out financial support with no senior program to sell.
Now, I have said all along that this group of players will likely mature around the 2019 World Cup but it needs some global experience for that to happen and losing a summer and a first World Cup appearance would be a huge blow.
Of course, there is a back door – FIBA will add four “wild cards” to the World Cup field sometime this winter – but that’s a rather dicey proposition to count on and I don’t think anyone would feel too good taking a wild card berth.
What happens if they do qualify?
Let the good times roll.
There will be more money, more profile, more valuable experience and while I know injuries have really crushed this group right now, the thought a summer with the core of this team plus Kelly Olynyk, Anthony Bennett and perhaps Andrew Wiggins is kind of exciting, isn’t it?
I’m likely to get a trip to Spain out of it and that’s not a bad thing at all, either.
Plus, wouldn’t it be nice for the men’s senior team to accomplish what the women already have?
Can they qualify?
Sure. There’s enough talent there to be one of those top four teams but there is little to no room for error. As we’ve mentioned almost too many times, there isn’t a lot of experience on this team and this tournament in a bear.
The bigs have to learn to play a bit sneaky without getting into foul trouble every game (five personals bring about disqualification, a technical for an outburst at what’s sure to be shoddy officiating at times counts as a personal) and I don’t think they have a high-powered enough offence.
They are going to have to defend like mad, get away with the bumps and clutches and grabs that mark the international game, and execute cleanly down the stretch of what are sure to be some close games.
They need to be mentally tough because there will be unexpected losses that need to be followed by unexpected wins and it’s a grind that goes far beyond the physical.
Will they qualify?
I think so.
I am not as confident as some for a variety of reasons and they can’t be going in riding a wave of confidence.
But there is reason for confidence in the in-game coaching they’ll get, there’s reason to think the young big men can figure things out quickly.
I don’t know that there’s an overwhelming favourite in the field – I think Puerto Rico might have the best combination of talent and international experience – but I can probably make a case for Canada finishing anywhere from first to sixth.
It’ll be a wild ride, hope it’s fun.
Good sentiment, great song.
We’re all young forever, right? Age is just a number.
Remember when summer ended at Labour Day?
You went back to school, the weather seemed to change, any chance at vacation had passed and it was into the doldrums of another year.
Is it still like that or do we just go along and see what the weather and life brings?
Mail? Lots to do today but there will be some time and I need to get ahead on the weekend in case the chance comes to lie around and loaf tomorrow morning.
It’s firstname.lastname@example.org and I need to hear from some of you.
I spent about four hours loafing and catching up on the handful of episodes of this season’s The Newsroom before yesterday afternoon’s nap (yes, this vacation thingy is pretty much all it’s cracked up to be) and I have to say, I’m sure there’s lots of good TV out there but I cannot imagine a show that’s better.
No, I haven’t seen any of Breaking Bad and presume I won’t but no matter how acclaimed it is, I don’t think it can possibly match The Newsroom.
I know people who lay around catch up one episode at a time and I envy them, watching about four in rapid succession was almost too much and now I need to set aside some weekend early morning to view each week, I think.
But I will add this: I have lost pretty much all interest in serial television over the past few years. I think there’s a lot of crap out there pretending to be entertainment, I don’t have the time or schedule to set aside a particular time to watch a particular show and were it not for On Demand and the odd morning here or there, I don’t think I could follow any one show.
I bet I’m in the minority on that. Or am I? Does anyone have a consistent schedule like we did in the olden days, knowing we had destination viewing to get to?
Or has the advent of shows on demand or shows on a tablet or a computer rendered all scheduling moot? I guess that’s one of the blessings of the age in which we live: Except for live events we can watch what we want when we want.
And now that I know how, it’s going to be pretty easy to find the time.
Kind of sucks for Ricky Ray and the Argos, no?
Maybe six weeks without the ace quarterback, who seemed on pace for a season for the ages before screwing up his shoulder a week or so ago against Calgary.
Kind of takes some of the drama away from the big traditional Labour Day game with Hamilton, doesn’t it?
They don’t play? They play Montreal at home on the Tuesday after Labour Day?