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Tips for College Coaches: Finding and measuring Aussie talent

September 9, 2016

Jacob Rigoni, Lat Mayen, Isaac White.  Winners, that show the Aussie Style, all have dominated at National Championships and have the talent, personalities and character traits that build winning programs.    


Having seen some world champs first hand (Olympics, U17 worlds) international basketball is different, every country had differing styles of play and it is apparant whenever you see an international tournament.  When recruiting internationally it must be a challenge as to what look for, with so many different systems and playing styles.  I hope this article helps coaches understands the Aussie system and style of game.


"In Vegas for the AAU circuit, game sense, and team mentality of the Aussies we see is generally far ahead. The difference is the that US teams play with raw athleticism. Unfortunately for them I think most college programs take the path of basing their game around this, rather than skill and IQ "

- quote, changed slightly, from a very high level, successful college coach, who has worked with top Aussies.   This coach will not be identified.


I'm constantly learning from college coaches across the US.  I believe in a growth mindset and whilst the conversations revolve around the Featured Athletes, and educating US coaches on Australian Pathways, I am also always learning lots in the process.  


If you look at our population and participation numbers in basketball compared to every country, including the US, we are doing well.  Our men's Olympic team at the recent Olympics epitomises our Aussie style, including our mindset to representing something bigger than ourself.  




It is obvious that this style also transfers to success in the College system, one only needs to look at programs like St Marys, Albany, Boise State etc, schools that have being extremely successful with the involvement and significant contribution of Aussie talent.  Even take it to the NBA and the 4 teams in the last 2 NBA final's series have all had an Aussie in them (Dellavedova, Mills, Bogut). You could argue the Aussie style of game wins.  


Larry Brown, former Head Coach of SMU, another program starting to build a cohort of Aussies, and looking to expand that sums it up really well in this article ( when talking about Dellavedova:

“I look at Dellavedova. I don’t think anything blows you away, except his IQ and competitiveness, and what a great teammate he is. I’m the biggest Andrew Bogut fan of all time. I just marvel at him.”

I think it is fair to sum this up in my words and say Larry just thinks Aussies help team's win!  If you are still not sure, do this.  Compare the number of NBA rings between the Aussie Boomer's players and coaches (EG: Longley) and t