The U17 Crocs have just wrapped up a solid international campaign for 2022.
The Aussies were prolific in their FIBA U17 Asia Cup campaign in Qatar, winning a second straight championship and going undefeated throughout the competition.
Young gun, Rocco Zikarsky was named in the All-Star five, recording an efficiency rating of 20.3. The 2.17M (7’1”) centre played just under 20 minutes per game, but managed to produce 11.5 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks on 66.0 per cent shooting from the field.
Next up, the Aussies faced the best teams in the world at the FIBA U17 World Cup in Spain.
The Crocs started off strong against Poland, getting their first win 85-68. They backed it up again with a dominant win against Egypt 91-46, and defeated Argentina 86-50 to finish undefeated in the group phase. Finally getting another big win over Lebanon 93-43 in the round of 16, before heading into the quarterfinals.
The Crocs faced a tough match up against Spain. Zikarsky was kept more quiet than usual, but this allowed all-rounder Joshua Dent to fire, top scoring for the Aussies with 16 points, four rebounds and five assists. The Aussies just fell short against Spain, going down in a thriller 68-70.
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The Crocs were then playing in class 5-8 for their final standings in the competition. They had another close match against Slovenia but triumphed 86-74.
Zikarsky and Jacob Furphy combined to hit big on the scoreboard, scoring 22 points, 10 rebounds and 20 points, seven rebounds, respectively.
The final match of the tournament came down to another absolute thriller against Serbia. Dent was superb with 20 points, four rebounds and three assists. James O’Donnell was also impressive with a double-double of 11 points, 12 rebounds. The Aussies fought hard but just fell short 67-69 and finished sixth overall.
The number one team in Asia and sixth in the world is an amazing effort from the team. With Zikarsky up with the top performers in the World Cup. With 20.3 efficiency and averaging 13.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game Zikarsky scored the MVP for Australia’s group.
Dent also had an impressive campaign, placing third in the World Cup overall for assists, averaging 4.4 assists per game.
Huge congratulations to the team, coach, Justin Schueller and assistant coaches, Samuel Jack Gruggen and Greg Vanderjagt on their amazing work.
Congratulations also go to Australian Referee, Scott Beker who was appointed to the bronze medal game between France and Lithuania.