THE watchdogs of the future of basketball in both Tasmania and Australia have found plenty to get their teeth into at Launceston's Elphin Sports Centre this week.
The national under-20 championships represent the next crop of international talent and Ian Stacker and Justin Schueller, respective head basketball coaches for the Australian and Tasmanian institutes of sport, were good guides of who to look out for.
Both nominated Victorian Dante Exum and New South Wales's Mirko Djeric, who plays for Woolongong Hawks in the NBL, as the tournament's standout players.
The AIS attendees were both in the Australian team which won silver at the under-17 world championships in Lithuania last year.
"There are usually one or two standouts at these tournaments and if I had to pick it would be those two but a lot can happen in the next four or five years for these kids and the opportunities they get," Stacker said. "Only time will tell.
"As far as the development of players for national teams goes, the under-16 and under-18 nationals helps the talent identification process. Generally by the under-20s we have a fairly good idea who's out there but sometimes players appear on the scene and surprise us.
"But without doubt there will be future internationals playing here."
Having recently been appointed assistant coach of the national under-17 men's team for the 2014 world championships, Schueller agreed that the week-long titles were an encouraging showcase of Australian basketball.
However, both Tasmanian sides were disappointed to finish fourth and face tough quarter-finals against top- placed sides from the other pool.
"The men and women have both been in games they could have won but results did not go their way," he said. "TIS scholarship holder Grace Lennox injured herself coming in and without her the team is not at the level needed."
Schueller said Wynyard's Kyle Clark and Launceston duo David Finau and Gabe Hadley were the Tasmanians in contention for the 2014 under-17 worlds.