live Infotainment Factory: Boomers coach reveals how he'll use Simmons

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Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Boomers coach reveals how he'll use Simmons


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Patty Mills helped secure Ben Simmons' services now the Boomers hope he can help them secure a maiden international medal.

Philadelphia 76ers star Simmons took to social media on Wednesday to confirm his World Cup availability in China later this year.

Australian coach Andrej Lemanis will announce a squad next week that should feature the 22-year-old NBA All-Star alongside San Antonio guard Mills and fellow NBA championship winners Aron Baynes, Andrew Bogut and Matthew Dellavedova for the first time.

The Boomers came within a whisker of Olympic bronze in Rio and with Melbourne-born Simmons on board now shape as legitimate prospects in China, from August 31, and Tokyo's 2020 Games.

Simmons commits to Boomers

Eyeing his fourth Olympic campaign, Mills publicly challenged Basketball Australia to better cater for players' needs to "make sure he's (Simmons) a part of our team".

Lemanis said Mills' passion for the national program had helped lift the standards and ultimately land the big fish in Simmons.

"Those guys have carried the mantle for some time now," the coach said of the Boomers' core members.

"They've been wonderful to be around to see how much it means to them and how invested they are in the whole process.

"They continue to let him (Simmons) know how much it would mean for them to come and play for the Boomers and what he might be able to get out of the experience as well.

"They're trying to raise the bar and it's up to us (BA) to go with it."

76ers coach Brett Brown and Ben Simmons

Lemanis, who coaches Brisbane in the NBL, said the "intelligent" play would be the use Simmons in the same way Brett Brown does at the Sixers.

That would see him handle the ball and provide for shooters like Mills and Joe Ingles, while bigs Bogut, Baynes and Thon Maker would benefit from his craft closer to the rim.

"He's so skilled in transition and open court ... just his basketball IQ and ability to pass the ball," Lemanis said.

"I think that's really going to fit in the team ethos ... everyone's willing to sacrifice for the good of the group."

The squad will assemble in early August for double headers against Canada and USA in Perth and Melbourne respectively.

Lemanis said Dante Exum (knee) and Ryan Broekhoff, who will be expecting his first child at the time, won't be part of the World Cup campaign.

That could open the door for NBL hopefuls like Cameron Gliddon, Mitch McCarron, Nathan Sobey and Chris Goulding, who all played key roles in the qualification process.

- AAP

Patty Mills helped secure Ben Simmons' services now the Boomers hope he can help them secure a maiden international medal.

Philadelphia 76ers star Simmons took to social media on Wednesday to confirm his World Cup availability in China later this year.

Australian coach Andrej Lemanis will announce a squad next week that should feature the 22-year-old NBA All-Star alongside San Antonio guard Mills and fellow NBA championship winners Aron Baynes, Andrew Bogut and Matthew Dellavedova for the first time.

The Boomers came within a whisker of Olympic bronze in Rio and with Melbourne-born Simmons on board now shape as legitimate prospects in China, from August 31, and Tokyo's 2020 Games.

Simmons commits to Boomers

Eyeing his fourth Olympic campaign, Mills publicly challenged Basketball Australia to better cater for players' needs to "make sure he's (Simmons) a part of our team".

Lemanis said Mills' passion for the national program had helped lift the standards and ultimately land the big fish in Simmons.

"Those guys have carried the mantle for some time now," the coach said of the Boomers' core members.

"They've been wonderful to be around to see how much it means to them and how invested they are in the whole process.

"They continue to let him (Simmons) know how much it would mean for them to come and play for the Boomers and what he might be able to get out of the experience as well.

"They're trying to raise the bar and it's up to us (BA) to go with it."

76ers coach Brett Brown and Ben Simmons

Lemanis, who coaches Brisbane in the NBL, said the "intelligent" play would be the use Simmons in the same way Brett Brown does at the Sixers.

That would see him handle the ball and provide for shooters like Mills and Joe Ingles, while bigs Bogut, Baynes and Thon Maker would benefit from his craft closer to the rim.

"He's so skilled in transition and open court ... just his basketball IQ and ability to pass the ball," Lemanis said.

"I think that's really going to fit in the team ethos ... everyone's willing to sacrifice for the good of the group."

The squad will assemble in early August for double headers against Canada and USA in Perth and Melbourne respectively.

Lemanis said Dante Exum (knee) and Ryan Broekhoff, who will be expecting his first child at the time, won't be part of the World Cup campaign.

That could open the door for NBL hopefuls like Cameron Gliddon, Mitch McCarron, Nathan Sobey and Chris Goulding, who all played key roles in the qualification process.

- AAP

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