After the Australia—U.S. match-up I came to a couple conclusions: The United States team doesn’t have enough chemistry to win the gold in the Olympics and Patrick Mills is the point guard of the future, playing in the present.
This 19-year-old Aussie may be faster than any point guard in the NBA or Europe. He can also dish the ball and handle it comfortably with both hands.
These statements may sound a bit premature, and I will most definitely will get slack for them, but in three years Patrick Mills will be a star in the NBA. After watching him play in the Olympic Games and in college, I can see that he is better than any up-and-coming guard in the league now.
This is what Mills had to say after his performance against the Dream Team:
“It was my first experience playing against the USA," he said. "I was a little bit nervous at the beginning, but once you get on the court it is all excitement. This is one game that I learned a lot from. From the point guards to their big men and just the style of play the USA has…I learned a lot."
He learned more than a lot. At one point, he had Chris Paul trying to verbally distract him because the Hornets star just couldn’t keep up.
The third-ever aboriginal Australian to put on the green and yellow had the night of his life. Just like his fellow countrymen Shane Heal and Andrew Bogut, he may be the next Australian to play in the NBA.
You may think I’m over exaggerating because he only had 13 points, but it was the way he scored those points on the tough North American defense. Mills is the only college player in the Olympics, but he dished the ball and maintained a keen vision of the floor like a pro.
Mills's performance makes one wonder how many great prospects the world has in store for the NBA.
After seeing the Aussie’s play Tuesday, the Chinese media began to question whether it is really that tough to penetrate the U.S. defense.
According to Mills, it wasn't as easy as he made it look.
"Definitely not. It's very intimidating for someone my size," Mills said. "It's definitely not easy."
Mills just finished a solid freshman year in St. Mary’s.
Here are some of his credentials:
- 2008—WCC Newcomer of the Year, All-WCC First Team
- 2007—MVP Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic, Saint Mary's College Tournament Champions
- 2007—West Coast Conference Player of the Month: December 2007
- 2007—West Coast Conference Player of the Week: November 26, 2007 and December 26, 2007
- 2007—In just his fourth NCAA game for Saint Mary's, Patrick dominated with 37 points against Oregon—the sixth best return in the school's history, and best by a first year player.
- 2007—Australia Post Boomers squad member; Under 19 Men's squad member;
- 2006—Boomers squad member (youngest at 17 years of age); AIS scholarship; Australian Junior Camp; U20 World team at Nike Hoops Summit (USA); U20 National Championships representing ACT and RE Staunton Medalist
- 2005—AIS scholarship; Australian Junior Camp; Youth Olympic Festival Australian Men’s team (gold); U18 National Championships representing ACT
- 2004—U18 National Championships representing ACT
- 2003—Marist All Ages Basketball Tournament—MVP