View Full Version : U19 Team Canada taking shape

06-24-2009, 09:09 AM
HAMILTON–The shrill whistle pierces the air and silences all the chatter in the gym.

Basketballs are held and so are tongues as Greg Francis brings members of his Canadian under-19 men's team together.

Someone had done something wrong, or not quite right enough, and the head coach isn't about to let the moment pass.

It is the story of the under-19 camp, where teaching comes above all else. It will be good, Francis hopes, for the team that will compete next month at the world championship in New Zealand. He also hopes it'll be good for the overall development of the national team programs.

"With kids at this age, it's about the teaching and it's about making sure these guys can play at the next level," said Francis, the one-time national team star who'll coach Canada at the worlds after running Canada Basketball's high school development program for two years.

"You want to win, but I want to make sure these guys understand the game better."

Francis and his assistants have little time to whip this team into shape to contend for a world championship medal. With a week of training camp and a couple of exhibition games the only opportunity to create a cohesive unit, his strategy is to keep things simple.

The juniors, who will be representing Canada for the second straight time at a world under-19 championship, got a boost with the arrival of U.S. prep standouts Tristan Thompson and Corey Joseph this weekend.

Still, the coach isn't exactly sure how good his team might be.

"It all comes down to how you start off and things like that, but we have a chance," he said. "Defensively, I think we have a chance to be as good as the top three or four teams in this tournament. Any national team at any level, if our best players are playing well, I think we've got a good chance to be in that final eight and have a chance to win a medal."

Canada is in a group with Spain, Australia and Syria in the first round of the 16-team tournament, and three will advance to a second round-robin. The top eight teams after the second round go into sudden-death quarter-finals.

06-24-2009, 09:48 AM
I hope Manny Arop is well enough to play at the level that he played at last summer.

06-24-2009, 10:14 AM
I like this coach's approach and positive attitude. I think Mangisto's knee will be good-to-go by NZ.

06-24-2009, 02:52 PM
The core group of NEDA players, including Manny and Kelly have had the benefit of Greg's insight for the last couple of years. The feedback that I get is that the guys really like his approach and he gets the best out of his players through this encouragement. Gonzaga's staff will be very happy with the sort of training and game experience both players will bring with them after the NEDA/U19 journey is over.

An extra note here, ZN posted that Matt was at Vince Carter's camp this week, it is interesting to see that ion the high school section(s) Cory Joseph was going to attend the Deron Williams camp and Tristan Thompson was to attend the Vince Carter one (with Matt), they have obviously made some sacrifices to attend the U19 training camp themselves......

06-24-2009, 05:30 PM
Here's a link to the U19 training camp roster. Note that our "under the radar secret recruit" ;) Kevin Pangos has been brought up from the U16 team. We've gotta get Steve Nash 2.0.


Here's a link to Pangos stats @ the U16 tourney.