Sunday, June 27, 2010


Kyle Wiltjer
Canada's Junior Men's basketball team qualified for the 2011 U19 World basketball Championships...pulling out a hard-earned 100-83 victory over Puerto Rico at the Fiba Americas U18 Basketball Championships for Men in San Antonio, Texas improving to 2-0 in the tournament.
The difference in the game was the 1st quarter as Canada led by 11 going into the 2nd as the two teams basically played evenly for the rest of the contest as they won it going away by 17.
The Canucks were led by Kyle Wiltjer who dropped a game-high 31 points to go with 10 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks in a complete game by the Oregon native. He's eligible to play for Canada because his father Greg Wiltjer is Canadian.
Star point guard Myck Kabongo rebounded from a average game yesterday against Uruguay as he scored 22 points with 8 assists and 10 rebounds. Kabongo got to the line often tallying 8 points at the charity stripe.
Other Canadian notables include Khem Birch who hauled down 10 rebounds and 6 blocked shots and Kemy Osse  who scored 20 for the victors.
Gary Browne  led the Puerto Ricans with 19 points in defeat.
With the win Canada qualifies for the 2011 U19 World Championships and signalling Canada's improving basketball fortunes on the World stage.
Brazil also qualified for the 2011 Championships with a scrappy 71-64 defeat of Uruguay.
The other two probable qualifiers look to be the U.S. and Argentina as both teams are considered the powerhouses of the FIBA Americas zone.
Check out the game summary HERE...and the box score right HERE.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


                                 Myck Kabongo

Canada played a solid team game today in San Antonio, Texas as they put a beating on Uruguay to the tune of 76-52 in their first game of the Fiba America's U18 Championships.
The Canadian team is a very talented squad...led by concensus top 15 Class of 2011 player Myck Kabongo.
Kabongo was recently back in his home town of Toronto playing in Phase 1's All Canada Classic where he dropped a phenomenal 39 points to lead his team white over Daniel Mullings and team red.
Canada led 21-4 after one read it right...up 17 after 1 quarter! They led by 22 points at the half to cruise to a 24 point victory.
The Canucks were led by Kyle Wiltjer and Kevin Thomas who both poured in 14 points each.
Wiltjer was on fire from 3 point land going 4-for-5 from that distance to go along with 7 rebounds.
Thomas was very efficient from the field shooting 63% while adding 5 rebounds in the ballgame.
As for Kabongo, who played a team-high 32 minutes, he was a bit off going 1-for-6 from the field but made 8 free throws to finish with 10 points and a team-high 3 assists.
Khem Birch led the Canadian U-18's with 9 rebounds, 5 blocks while scoring 8 points.
7'4" center Sim Bhullar saw only 10 minutes of action and hauled in 6 rebounds while on the court.
Phillip Scrubb also added 10 points and 3 rebounds to the Canadian cause.
Ivan Loriente Peres led Uruguay with 18 points and 8 rebounds in the loss.
The tournament consists of 2 pools of 4 teams. Canada is in Group A which includes Uruguay, Puerto Rico and Brazil who should be Canada's toughest opponent.
Group B includes the powerful U.S.A., Virgin Islands, Argentina and Mexico.
Canada plays Puerto Rico on Sunday June 27th and then face Brazil on Monday June 28th. Both games are at 1pm eastern time and you can check out the action live via web stream from the Fiba Americas website.
Check out the site and game action right HERE! The full schedule is HERE as well.
The top 4 teams will qualify for the 2011 U19 FIBA World Championships!
Canada's hoops programs are improving by leaps and bounds and this team should be in that tournament barring a major upset.
Check back here at for updates as the tournament progresses.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Andy Rautins tears up the twine at the Chicago NBA Draft Combine.

If the NBA was mainly a shooters league then Andy Rautins would be a guaranteed Lottery pick. Top 5 even...Unfortunately athleticism and scoring ability is just as valuable in the world's greatest basketball league.
But Rautins...who of course comes from great basketball pedigree with father Leo Rautins a former NBA player...has a great shot of making the League due to his ability to make shots and play a heady type of basketball. Rautins Syracuse career is over...but his pro career whether in the NBA or an overseas league is looking very bright! He's a natural leader and great team player who really showed his all-round game this past season with the Orange.

Now Rautins is not all shooter and no game...he's got pretty good lateral quickness and ups...and can definitely make team-positive basketball plays on the court.
Some people will simply say he'll get selected in the draft because of his father's name and influence...but that's baloney. He's put in a lot of work and it shows. Here's an article in the Toronto Sun by Steve Buffery that talks about Rautins work ethic and winning attitude.

At the recent Chicago NBA Draft combine featuring some of the top college players...Rautins shot a blistering 77.7%...good for first overall...making 87 out of the 112 shots he took. Only 4 players shot over 75% and Rautins was one of them.
He shot 66.7% right elbow to baseline...83.3% elbow to elbow and 71.4% left elbow to baseline.
On spot up shooting he drained  80% from the college 3-point line and just slightly lower at 76% from the NBA 3-point line. He also drained 83.3% of his 15' to 18' jumpers off the dribble.

Rautins clearly has turned heads with his performance. In my opinion his shooting ability and size at 6'5" will enable him to get his shot off especially if aided by screens and miss direction kick outs to the 3-point line.
He's also a team-first guy who is a winner. I don't see him as a star but I do see him as a situational PG/SG who can come in and run the offence and/or make crucial shots and spell the starter or backup at those positions. NBA comparable...JJ Redick

He will also gain valuable experience and confidence playing for Canada this summer at the World Championships in Turkey. He's played for the national team before and will be looked upon to be one
of the leaders of the relatively young squad.

As the draft approaches Rautins will have to prove himself against competition in one-on-ones etc but I can see Rautins stock rising as more GM's realize that the NBA is a shooters league after all and a hungry kid like Rautins can do some damage if afforded the opportunity to do what he does best...SHOOT THE BASKETBALL!

Check out the results of the combine here...courtesy of NBADRAFT.NET...