Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Canada Basketball Articles + 5 Part SCORE Series

For those who haven't seen them yet, the SCORE has recently telecast a 5 part series called "The Rebirth of Canada Basketball" during their evening slots. Luckily for those of us who missed them when first broadcast, each of the 5 pieces are available for viewing via the Internet Canada Basketball SCORE videos. Each of the 5 parts are a seperate video and they should be viewed chronologically i.e. 1 of 5 first through 5 of 5. The first of the series highlights Canada's CIS element in the program including Ozvaldo Jeanty, Aaron Doornekamp, Ryan Bell and Carleton Head Coach Dave Smart. An interesting clip in one of the pieces involves Canada Assistant Coach Mike Malone (Cleveland Cavaliers) touching on Canada's strategy in transition which essentially provides players with the flexibility, regardless of the position they are playing, to initiate and/or lead the break without concern for specifically getting the ball in the hands of a pre-identified point guard. One interpretation of this is that the Canadian roster really doesn't have a player in their rotation who can be deemed a point guard as defined how most purest would define a point guard and are simply making the best of what the roster has. If this is true, then bringing on a player such as Ryan Bell who, despite not having formal credentials such as All-Star or All-Canadian, has what many would say has true point guard skills at 6'4", can be justified. A question that could invoke deeper thought is who, besides the obvious in Steve Nash, could Canada have brought in at the point guard spot for this roster?

Articles from the print media on Canada's roster and chances at the FIBA Americas Qualifier including Michael Grange's article in the Globe and Mail Canada betting on team effort in Las Vegas Doug Smith's article in the Toronto Star Shooting for Beijing in '08 Mike Ganter's article in the Toronto Sun Rautins to roll the dice Matthew Sekeres' article in the National Post Wins, not stats, will be focus, Rautins says

For those who have not seen the tournament breakdown as of yet, there are 10 teams in the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifier in Las Vegas, broken down into 2 groups. Group A consists of (FIBA Top 20 ranking preceeding, NR = not ranked): #2 Argentina, #13 Puerto Rico, NR Mexico, NR Panama, NR Uruguay. Group B consists of #1 USA, #15 Canada, #17 Brazil, NR Venezuela, NR U.S. Virgin Islands. In the preliminary round, teams will play a 4 game round robin among opponents in their group. The top 4 teams in each group will move in to the round of 8 in which another set of round robin games will be played against teams they haven't met yet. The top 4 teams then play in the championship semi-finals with the two semi-final winners automatically qualifying for the Beijing Olympics. Apparently, the next 3 teams, finishing third to fifth, will advance to a secondary qualification tournament next summer just before the Olympics. However, sources indicate that there is some question as to whether or not those 3 teams are automatically invited to the secondary qualifier or whether the secondary qualifier is by invitation only using a wild card selection process. We will continue to seek the answer to this possibly very important question going forward.

Today's games in Las Vegas (all games Eastern time):

Group A: URUGUAY vs PANAMA 3:30 PM
Group B: CANADA vs BRAZIL 8:30 PM (The SCORE)
Group B: USA vs VENEZUELA 11:00 PM

For those who subscribe to the Raptors channel and/or have accessed to U.S. satellite with NBA TV/ESPN/ESPN2, many if not all games should be available. Check local listings.

Brazil named their 12 man roster yesterday and it includes several NBA and ex-NCAA stars:

4 'Marcelinho' MACHADO SG 6'7" Unitri Uberlandia, BNL (BRA)
5 'Nezinho' DOS SANTOS PG 6'1" Universo (BRA)
6 'Murilo' DA ROSA F/C 6'10" Franca Basquetbol (ESP)
7 'Marcelinho' HUERTAS PG 6'3" Iurbentia Bilbao (ESP)
8 'Alex' GARCIA G 6'2" Ribeirao Preto, BNL (BRA)
9 Valter DA SILVA 6'2" Unitri/Converse (ESP)
10 'Leandrinho'BARBOSA SG 6'4" Phoenix Suns, NBA (USA)
11 Joa Paulo BATISTA 6'10" Lietuvos Rytas (LTU)
12 'Guilherme' GIOVANNONI SF 6'8" Bologna (ITA)
13 'Néné' HILARIO 6'11" Denver Nuggets, NBA (USA)
14 Marcus DE SOUZA 6'9" New Orleans, NBA (USA)
15 'Tiago' SPLITTER F/C 6'11" Tau Ceramica (ESP)/drafted by San Antonio this year

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