In a few days, the Texas Longhorns will depart the heat-drenched August Austin hellscape for the heat-drenched August Australia hell -- wait, it’s winter there, scratch that — the pleasantly brisk August Australia hellscape to take in the sights, enjoy the beach, and play a handful of exhibition games against professional Australia basketball teams. The level of competition will be mixed, as the rosters fluctuate from ‘ripped up a Sydney junior college’ to ‘former WAC Player of the Year’. Texas can’t afford to take any of these teams lightly; between this being a young squad and the debacle of last season, Texas does not have the benefit of the doubt yet. Oklahoma is playing in Australia ahead of Texas and their wins have come with pretty wildly different margins of victory, it’s reasonable to think Texas will have a similar experience.
If you’re a degenerate basketball fan like me, you probably started to stock up on coffee and amphetamines -- both available in bulk at CostCo -- the moment you realized what the 15-hour time difference means for tip times on this trip. Every game Texas plays tips at 7 pm local time, so those of us in the Central time zone are going to be up at 4 am to watch these games online. Yes, it’s only online, because Texas has an entire channel devoted to Longhorns sports that is starved for content in August but they decided it was better to air reruns of Augie Garrdio wolfing down street tacos (spoiler alert: he liked them) & a women’s soccer exhibition against a private school than send a camera with the team to broadcast actual sports content. I can’t fathom why they’ve had issues getting picked up outside of Texas.
Fortunately for you, my roundball jonesing and/or need to watch film for the upcoming Smart Texas Basketball 2017 season preview — oh, BTW, that’s happening again this year — has led me to harass various Australian teams into posting their broadcasting plans. I’m still waiting on word back from a couple places for definitive info, I will update as I get confirmations. Some or all of these may be available after the live broadcast, but I wouldn’t assume they will be posted for re-air.
August 15th 4 am CT: Dandenong Rangers - Youtube
August 16th 4 am CT: Melbourne United - Facebook Live
August 18th 4 am CT: Cairns Taipans - TBD
Of all four games, this one seems the least likely to be broadcast anywhere. The Taipans haven’t responded to any of my messages I’ve sent them and their social media feeds are what I would gently describe as ‘underutilized’.
August 21st 4 am CT: Wollongong/Illawara Hawks - City of Sydney feed or Youtube
I have been working on this for weeks and I’m still not sure if they’re the Wollongong or Illawara Hawks. UT lists them as Wollongong, but their FB account says Illawara. Also, they have a guy named Bevo on staff. I haz confuse.
Regardless, this event is being run by the City of Sydney Basketball Association, who have been very friendly and keeping me posted on their plans. Basically, they’re trying to get the stadium internet up to spec so they can stream the game, but it’s not 100% confirmed they’ll be able to do it at this point. They said they’ll have it on Instagram Live as a backup option, but cross your fingers they get the primary option.
UPDATE: Added a Youtube feed for the Illawarra game.