Simmons included in extended Australia squad for Olympics


Australia have named the man expected to be the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft in their extended squad for the Olympic Games.

LSU star Ben Simmons has been included among the 26 players in the extended squad, which will be reduced to 16 for a selection camp in July before the 12 players who will compete in the tournament are decided on.

Simmons, who is  averaging 19.7 points, 11.9 rebounds and 5.1 assists this season for LSU, is widely anticipated to be the first name called in June's draft.

Australia's squad features seven NBA players, including Andrew Bogut of the defending champion Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers' Matthew Dellavedova.

Speaking about his squad, Australia head coach Andrej Lemanis said: "What we've done is ensured we have depth in all positions which will help us if injuries ever occur.

"We have a fantastic core group of players that has been with us for a significant amount of time now and we have some exciting young talent that we have added to the squad.

"The time frame dictates that we can only have one camp but it is the way it has been for years so it's not unusual.

"It's a case of the selection staff taking into account previous history with the Boomers [Australia], current form, injuries, team balance and chemistry and putting all that together."