Smart/Canada Basketball article in Globe & Mail


David Ebner of the Globe and Mail provides readers with a comprehensive piece on Canada Basketball Assistant Coach Dave Smart as Jay Triano and staff prepare for training camp to open this coming weekend in Toronto.  The wonderful piece on Carleton’s Smart notwithstanding, an unfortunate shroud of mystery continues to surround the program regarding who will play or not in the upcoming FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament in Manila between July 5th and 10th.  Of the notable N.B.A. stars eligible to play, only Canada Basketball’s version of Captain Canada, Pickering’s Cory Joseph, has publicly stated his intention to play for his country.  6’11” Kelly Olynyk will miss the entire summer with a shoulder injury which is expected to require about 5 months to heal after recent surgery.  6’10” Tristan Thompson had a strong Game 3 of the NBA final and is very likely to at a minimum require some form of rest after the long grind of the season – one would anticipate that the program would be accommodative going into early July given TT’s previous history with Canada.  Still no word from a pair of contributors to last summer’s campaign as 6’7″ Andrew Wiggins and 6’6″ Nik Stauskas – although both are under contract for next season – have not “officially” come out and said they are playing.  As well, 6’10” Trey Lyles who showed steady progress off the bench in Utah this past season and has a contract for next season has been silent on his participation.  Others who ordinarily would be in a position to play but are currently without contracts include 6’10” Andrew Nicholson and 6’10” Dwight Powell.  Both 7’0″ Robert Sacre and 6’6″ Anthony Bennett are unrestricted free agents who both could be looking for N.B.A. work through the summer – neither appear close to finding a contract at this point in the off-season.  On the positive side, most expect 6’1″ Tyler Ennis to be in camp.  Another loyal Canadian 6’9″ Joel Anthony has not been mentioned however in the worst case, Anthony’s services as an experienced mentor may be of service depending on the commitments from others.  With camp opening in the next 24-48 hours, the basketball world still awaits which players will start workouts for Canada – 25 days before Canada’s opening match in Manila on July 5th against Turkey, an uncertain situation that no doubt is grinding on Triano and staff trying to erase the memory of last summer’s semi-final qualifying game loss in Mexico.

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