Photo credit: Trung Ho / TrungHo.ca
Canada Basketball will make a small tweak to their FIBA qualifying roster for Monday afternoon’s game against the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Raptors 905 guard Aaron Best will be joining the team, drawing in for Tommy Scrubb.
The logic here could go a few different ways. Head coach Jay Triano mentioned during camp that he’d select a roster focused on their opponents rather than what’s necessarily the team’s best 12, and this could be geared a little toward USVI as a specific opponent compared to Dominican Republic, who Canada beat handily on Friday. It could also be a way of rewarding more than just 12 players for their commitment and participation in the program, allowing more players to gain valuable international experience – Best played in two in-season qualifiers earlier in the process and figures to be available again for the next round. This also makes Canada guard-heavy, with Dillon Brooks the closest thing to a small forward (not that traditional positions matter quite as much here with a smaller opponent and the perimeter skills of some of Canada’s frontcourt players).
Scrubb played three minutes in Friday’s game, hitting a three, grabbing a rebound, and dishing an assist.
The game against USVI matters significantly since records carry over to the next qualification phase, but Canada beat USVI by 29 last time out and has an even stronger roster this time. Canada enters Monday’s game atop their group and could enter the second round of qualification atop that table with a victory Monday.