Just two days after announcing the Development Women’s National Team player invites Canada Basketball has announced the Development Men’s National Team that will be representing the Red and White at the FISU Games in Korea.
The DMNT list is full of some big time basketball talent but do you notice a difference between the two? In almost stark contrast from the women, the men’s team this time around is made up of exclusively all CIS players.
All CIS, No Canadian NCAA Content
Incidentally this is pretty cool but it’s a very different make up from the last FISU men’s team from 2013. The last team Canada sent to the FISU Games featured names like Pangos, Wiltjer, Bachynski, Ejim, Powell and Heslip. The CIS players on that squad were Acadia’s Owen Klassen and Carleton’s Phil and Thomas Scrubb. Ironically, Scrubbs will not be on this team even though they are eligible to play (and there may be a reason for that, ahem, Senior Men’s camp). The lone player who’s played on this team in the past is Ryerson’s Jahmal Jones.
Even though there are a few names from the NCAA level that could easily be considered for the DMNT this is still a pretty impressive set of players. Going through the resumes you can count 11 of the 12 being named to a conference all star team this past season with five making All CIS honors (Johnny Berhanemeskal, Chris McLaughlin on the First Team, Jones, Tommy Nixon and Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson on the Second Team) plus the CIS Player of the Year in Berhanemeskal. The one player who didn’t make a team this year, Bishop’s Mike Andrews, was a former all conference first teamer and defensive player of the year the previous season. Even though you could have theoretically just put the ten guys on the All CIS Teams onto the roster this is still a very good set to go to basketball war with.
Since we’re talking about players, this list of players is it. There isn’t a tryout process like with the women’s side so these guys were likely on a list before this the official announcement. I’m sure the pool for this team could easily be expanded to double or triple the size if the tryout process was in effect. There will be no fat trimming here, what you see is what you get with this DMNT.
No AUS Representation?
The other note is that there isn’t a representative from the AUS conference. Of course there are a lot of players that we can make cases for to be on this team (Javon Masters, Meshack Lufile, Ty Scott, etc) but it just seems a little odd that not even one player from the AUS wasn’t selected. I’m not sure if there were any players invited that maybe declined (and that is indeed possible) or could be injured (also possible) but not having a guy from out east on the team just doesn’t look right.
With that all being said the Development Men’s National Team, like the DWNT, has been a training ground for players that could potentially be in the Senior Men’s talent pool going forward so maybe there is purpose behind the selection.
Even though this is an international competition it’s not on the same prestige level as a FIBA championship or even the Commonwealth Games (which didn’t even have a basketball event the last time around) so it would makes sense for the National Program to put together a team of CIS players that have shown some interest and potential to wear the Red and White that haven’t already been selected to training camps in the past. This is a great setting to see where there needs improvement and if these players would be reasonable additions to the player pool.