Hughan: Creek a versatile ad­di­tion

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY COLIN MACGILLIVR­AY

Wim­mera bas­ket­ball guru Owen Hughan be­lieves star Horsham ex­port Mitch Creek is a chance to earn a medal with Aus­tralia at the up­com­ing FIBA Bas­ket­ball World Cup.

Creek was con­tro­ver­sially left out of Aus­tralia’s 12-man world cup team last week, but an in­jury to Xavier Cooks opened the door for head coach Andrej Le­ma­nis to pick Creek as a re­place­ment.

Creek has played for Aus­tralia in two Perth exhibition games against Canada and will play a fur­ther two games against the United States in Mel­bourne to­mor­row and Satur­day be­fore the world cup starts on Au­gust 31.

Creek played only six min­utes off the bench in Aus­tralia’s first-up 90-70 loss to Canada on Fri­day, but earned nearly 15 min­utes in a fol­low-up 81-73 win on Satur­day.

He scored five points, hit­ting one three-pointer, in the win.

Hughan said he had been sur­prised Creek was ini­tially left out of the team but was sure he would make the most of a fresh op­por­tu­nity.

De­spite NBA All Star Ben Sim­mons pulling out of the Aus­tralian team and the Boomers’ lack­lus­tre re­sults in its warm-up games against Canada, Hughan said the team re­mained a chance to earn its first medal at a ma­jor in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment.

“I think Aus­tralia will go very well,” he said. “In other years, even though we had NBA play­ers on the team, they were all role play­ers.

“This time around they’ve got blokes like Joe In­gles who are starters. Th­ese are the play­ers who set the tone of the game, and the oth­ers come in and sup­port.”

Hughan said he be­lieved the Horsham prod­uct would add ver­sa­til­ity off the bench.

“I don’t know what Le­ma­nis’ rea­son­ing was for why he picked him, but I think he would be used as a swing player in dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions,” he said.

“Look­ing at that team, I think per­son­ally the guards are too small and you’ve only re­ally got three of them. Mitch gives you a dif­fer­ent look.

“He’s not your typ­i­cal three-man be­cause gen­er­ally a three-man is some­one bang­ing the ball from the out­side as more of a shooter.

“He can hit the out­side ball, but the strength of Mitch’s game is his strength and quick­ness, and he can get to the hoop.”

Hughan said he be­lieved Creek was ini­tially over­looked be­cause of Le­ma­nis’ de­sire to fill the team with shoot­ers.

“How many shoot­ers do you need team?” he said.

“You don’t need that many peo­ple play­ing one role.

“If you’ve got a lot of play­ers with the same skillset, there’s no ver­sa­til­ity.” in a

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.