Team Australia was ranked 3rd overall heading into the 2023 FIBA World Cup, but instead of dominating, the Boomers got a reality check, while Dyson Daniels barely got any time at all.
Team Australia was ranked third overall going into the 2023 FIBA World Cup, but the Boomers got a reality check, while New Orleans Pelicans guard Dyson Daniels barely got any time at all. Australia missed a chance to clinch a second-round spot early and were left playing for their tournament lives instead of having time to get Daniels some much-needed developmental reps. Now, the program and the player have to regroup quickly. Training camp and the last of the Olympic qualifyers are just around the corner.
Daniels, who barely made the team, got just under 4 minutes (3:39, to be exact) in a group stage opening win over Finland – tallying up a rebound, an assist, and a steal. However, he missed his only shot and did not play in the 82-85 loss to Germany in the second game. Daniels logged 75 seconds in a 20-point win over Japan to move on to the second round.
The Boomers went bust from then on, losing to Slovenia before winning a consolation game versus Georgia. The Australian basketball program is looking at an overhaul and did not give a potential contributor to the next generation of Team Australia a chance to see the court and possibly be the spark plug to save the day.
Dyson had only scored three points in two minutes and committed one foul by the time the game against Luka Doncic’s Slovenia was out of reach. There were 55 seconds on the clock when Daniels got Australia within 11 points to make the scoreline somewhat more respectable for the supposed 3rd best team in the world. He missed both shots against Georgia, playing just under three and a half minutes.
Daniels averaged 14.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.2 blocks over five games as an attacking guard in Las Vegas Summer League action but made only one shot in 5 games during FIBA World Cup play. That’s not good enough for either his NBA team or his native country going forward. Will he shake off this slump, or will the prospect from Down Under become a borderline bust with no jump shot?
“I think we’re in the process of [changing our] style of play – both offensively and defensively – and we’re all disappointed but I’m excited where this thing can go,” Australia coach Brian Goorjian said after the fifth game. “Definitely a clearer picture after playing this tournament.”