The Tall Blacks obviously face a dilemma caused by the well-documented misbehavior of the Southland Sharks trio Reuben Te Rangi, Leon Henry and Shea Ili.
It will be difficult, probably impossible for the NZ management team to select any of these players given that the sentencing resulting from their recent court case will not be handed down until August 1st.
By then the Tall Blacks preparation for the upcoming World Cup in Spain will be well underway. Three home internationals will have been completed against South Korea and the team will have departed on the overseas section of their pre World Cup build up.
Te Rangi and Henry were due to contest the back up three spot behind Tom Abercrombie at the upcoming Tall Blacks trials. That opportunity will now surely be given to other players.
One who may benefit is Duane Bailey, the James Blond Super City Rangers forward has had an outstanding NBL season. He is the leading Kiwi in the NBL rebounding stat category, pulling down 9.5 rebounds per game. In addition he is the second highest Kiwi point’s scorer, averaging 20 points per game. Only Corey Webster has scored more points amongst NZ born players in the NBL. His free throw shooting (56%) is a concern but his three-point percentage (41%) is up there with the best in the NBL.
At 199cm the 22 year old is probably undersized to play the forward spot at international level and possibly even in the Australian NBL. The three spot is perhaps his better position long term, is Bailey about to profit from the misconduct of the Sharks duo?