Wednesday, 22 August 2007

USA Today's Quick Tournament Preview

Here is a quick nugget from USA Today summarizing all teams in the tournament other than USA. Note that ex-Arkansas "40 minutes of hell" Head Coach Nolan Richardson is leading Mexico, which is rated as the worst team in the tournament by this preview and they have already upset Puerto Rico 100-89 earlier today.

TOURNAMENT OF THE AMERICAS SUMMARY The top two finishers will qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Host China and defending world champion Spain have already qualified for the 12-team Olympic tourney. USA TODAY's David DuPree looks at the nine teams challenging the United States in Las Vegas (in order of strength):

Brazil: won last month's Pan Am Games; led by Leandro Barbosa of the Suns, Nene of the Nuggets and Tiago Splitter, 2007 first-round draft pick of the Spurs

Argentina: defending Olympic champion; Manu Ginobili and Fabricio Oberto of the Spurs, Andres Nocioni of the Bulls and Walter Hermann of the Bobcats are sitting out this one, but Carlos Delfino of the Raptors and international star Luis Scola, who has signed with the Rockets, will play

Puerto Rico: Pan Am Games runner-up boasts point guard Carlos Arroyo of the Magic; first of three teams to beat Team USA in 2004 Olympics

Uruguay: led by Hawks center Esteban Batista; Pan Am bronze medal winner is 31st in the FIBA world rankings

Canada: Suns point guard Steve Nash isn't with the team, but 76er Samuel Dalembert will play

Panama: no current NBA players on roster; team went 0-5 in 2006 world championship

Venezuela: former Warriors and Rockets guard Oscar Torres is the big gun; team was 1-4 in the 2006 world championship

U.S. Virgin Islands: Suns three-point specialist Raja Bell is expected to play for the team, which will still have a tough time scoring

Mexico: Nuggets forward Eduardo Najera isn't expected to play for the squad, which lacks the speed and depth to be a contender. Here is an excellent article by ESPN's Andy Katz on Richardson and the Mexican program (includes video interview) Richardson gets a second chance with Mexico

No comments: