Cameron Larkin .com

Aussie basketballers representing big in the States

TWO things.

Firstly, without Bogut in the Milwaukee lineup, the Bucks are almost unbackable to lose … they may even struggle somewhat against Washington when the 2005 number one draft pick doesn’t lace his boots up.

Secondly, the Bucks need a good backup big man to support Bogut.

The Australian, in this 2011-12 NBA season, has played in 10 of the 15 Milwaukee games with each absence resulting in an L. The five defeats have come at the hands of Utah, Sacramento, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix and the reigning champions from Dallas.

Bogut has been reasonably consistent thus far if you take out the loss to Denver when he played only 19-minutes and scoring a season-low two points. To highlight his importance, when he wasn’t on the court, the Bucks were minus 17 on the scoreboard.

Since the loss to Denver, Milwaukee, in my eyes earned a B+ due to wins over Melo, Amare, Chandler and Co. of NY at Madison Square Garden then two nights later in Miami. The Bucks most recent battle was against Atlanta at home that resulted in a defeat.

Without Wade and coming off wins against the Spurs, Lakers and 76ers in a five-day span. It was a definitely a game which the Bucks took advantage of a Heat team that had nothing in the tank … but in the end, you do what you need to do to get the W.  The win was the first time the Bucks had won consecutive road games since December 2010.

For Bogut, he has settled on his eight to 10 attempts from the field, been up and down if you look at his rebounding stats, he has been in foul trouble (more so the Knicks and Heat games), and in the game on Monday he only partook in 25 minutes of the content.

Thus far Bogut has racked up just three double-doubles and his scoring and shooting efficiency percentages are at their lowest since being drafted. What is interesting with Bogut when you take a look at his stats, when the Bucks lose with the big guy in the lineup, he records more rebounds, assists, blocks and fewer points (down 1.3) and fouls. When Milwaukee wins, Bogut records just over four fouls … when the get beat, that foul percentage is 1.8. Also, when on the road, Bogut is dropping more points than when taking the court at home as well as an increased percentage in blocks and steals.

He might not be racking up big, big minutes yet the Bucks need Bogut fit. They need him down low on the post for both his offensive and defensive presence.

In my opinion, the Bucks won’t make the playoffs. For Milwaukee fans they may not like that but be honest to yourself in answering this question…

…Would you rather make the playoffs and get swept in the first round – or – finish out, get the lottery pick and draft a promising tall?player such as Arnett Moultrie, a 6’10’’ 240lbs junior from Mississippi State would be a nice selection. A projected PF in the NBA, Moultrie has skills. He is averaging a double-double (16.4 and 11.2) this year and has really upped his percentage from the free-throw line. Moultrie is a good offensive rebounder who runs the floor well however, he would need to work on his strength and spend more time inside, not at the three line.

Then there is the seven-footer playing at Illinois, Meyers Leonard. Leonard has been ranked in the top three in his position of C. He is currently putting up numbers similar to Bogut. Key traits of this 19-year old are his size and defensive abilities. Leonard is still working things out thus there is a tonne of improvement and promise within him.

The Bucks aren’t going to get Anthony Davis, Andrew Drummond, Perry Jones or Jared Sullinger but for where Milwaukee will finish, Moultrie and Leonard would be a good fit behind the big Australia.

IN other news, there have been articles written about Cleveland first overall draft selection Kyrie Irving playing for Australian in the Olympics. I will put an end to this right now and I know it is only trying to generate interest in the sport, however, rules state that if a player represents one country, then they will never be able to play for another. Irving was the number one pick. He will be in the USA squad be it for the next Olympics of the games after.

COLLEGE update … Jackson Aldridge from Sydney who is a freshman with Butler hasn’t been getting much court time however a performance I wanted to point out was Sunday 15. Aldridge was on the court for 16 minutes and dropped 10 points including two from downtown. His Butler side takes to the court next on Thursday against Milwaukee.

Another from Sydney is Angus Brandt, a junior with the Oregon State Beavers. Brandt is having an OK season so far with recent games against Arizona, UCLA and USC. Against the Cats, Brandt scored seven points, pulled down six boards and gave three assists. He dropped 13, five and five against the Bruins and nine points against the Trojans. Keep an eye on him … he stands at 6’1’0’’.

St Mary’s have provided several Aussie graduates and at present have a 19-2 record. A big reason for that win/loss record is country Victorian export Matthew Dellavedova. The 6’4’’ G is this year averaging 15.8 points, 6.5 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 steal per game. On Saturday against Santa Clara, the Aussie nailed 11-20 from the field, scoring 26 points.

Anthony Drmic from Melbourne, now playing at Boise State is another going well in the NCAA. Drmic is averaging 13.1 points, over four rebounds and more than two assists per game. In his last five games, Drmic has been up and down however when he delivers, he does it big.

When Washington State take to the court this week against Arizona, Brock Motum, the 6’10’’ F from Brisbane will need to put up solid numbers. For those that have followed Brock this year, the confidence that he will produce will be high. The junior has seen a high increase in court time which has resulted in increased points-per-game average (15.4) and rebounds-per-game (6.3). On Saturday against Cal, Brock recorded a double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds). When he played Bogut’s former college, Utah, Brock scored 27 and pulled down eight boards.

STAY tuned for more next week.


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