Not much, if anything, has changed in the past fortnight when it comes to our Aussie NBA heroes. Bogut is still on the sidelines injured and Patty Mills remains in the gyms shooting around waiting for his release to come through. Good news however is that Patty is fit and well. Where he will end up we will soon find out.

Aussies in the NCAA Division 1

This week the focus is on Angus Brandt, Ryan Broekhoff, Matthew Dellavedova, Clint Steinal, Mitchell Young and Anthony Drmic.

Matty, Clint and Mitch all contributed to the Gaels against the fourteenth ranked Murray State. nevertheless. Saint Mary’s were unable to defeat the dynamic State outfit. Dellavedova dropped 17 points and six assists – all this under an injury cloud.

Steinal sunk seven points, ripped down three rebounds and recorded one steal. Young was impressive with six points in 18 minutes.

Angus Brandt continues to play well for Oregon State including the two most recent games against Stanford and California, finishing with 11 points in both appearances.

The other to impress is Broekhoff. In the last fives games, Broekhoff has recorded three double-doubles and three wins. Ryan was instrumental against Loyola of Chicago, sinking two free throws near the end to seal the win.

Some hypothetical fun… Longley or Bogut?

Play the position of general manager for a moment. You have the first selection in the NBA draft and the clock is running. You’re team is short of a solid big man and two centres are at the top of your scouting sheet.

Luc Longley. Andrew Bogut. Who are you going to draft?

Let’s assume you have the benefit of hindsight looking back on their careers (with Bogut’s still in progress). It’s a tough decision to make. If you went on numbers alone then you’d more than likely take Bogut, but to purely go on numbers would be remiss and lazy.

Longley played eleven seasons in the NBA with Minnesota, Chicago and finishing his career with the New York Knicks. Selected by the Timberwolves with the seventh overall pick in the 1991 draft, Longley averaged 4.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg and 1 bpg in his rookie year playing 66 games (starting in three) and averaging 15 mpg. It wasn’t till Longley’s eighth season in the NBA that he started all games and gained greater court time, although only averaging around 25 mpg for the next several years.

Longley’s best season was with the Bulls in 1997-98, which happened to be the Bulls 6th championship of the decade. Longley averaged 29.4 mpg, with solid numbers across the board: 11.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.8 apg and 1.1 bpg. He ended his career with averages of 7.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.5 apg and 0.9 bpg, and of course,  Longley can say he is a three-time NBA champion.

Both Longley and Bogut both have played against star centres however Longley’s competition was superior. Shaq, Mutombo, David Robinson, Zo Mourning, Hakeem the Dream, Ewing, Shawn Bradley, Divac and Laettner – several greats of the game in that list (and also Laettner).

Switching sides, the Bucks selected Bogut with the first overall pick in the draft. In 82 games (starting 77 games), Bogut dropped 9.4 ppg, 7 rpg and just under 1 bpg in 28.6 mpg in his rookie year. A far greater output than Longley’s first year without doubt, but that’s no surprise given Bogut was such a highly touted draft prospect.

Bogut’s career averages to date are 12.7 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 2.3 apg and 1.6 bpg in 32.7 mpg – comfortably besting Longley in every category except assists. Of course, we have to remember the calibre of the team mates Longley played with, explaining not only his reduced rebounding numbers (in his prime he played with Dennis Rodman who dominated the boards), but also his higher assist numbers because he had a bloke by the name of Michael Jordan to pass to (Scottie Pippen wasn’t a bad option either).

Bogut’s competition at the 5-spot over the years has included Ben Wallace, Dampier, Dwight Howard, an older Shaq, Camby, Dalembert and Andrew Bynum. Comparing this list with Longley’s is, quite frankly, insulting.

So how do we make sense of it? What is our decision as GM?

Without Jordan or Scottie around him Longley would no doubt have had less team success, but would he have prospered as a far greater individual player with bigger and better numbers?

How do you compare a player who was fundamentally key on a three-straight championships as a role player, to a #1 draft pick who has struggled to reach the lofty heights many expected of him?

In terms of potential and skill, Bogut probably comes out on top. But my choice would be with Longley.

Agree or disagree? I’m all ears.


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