Jump to content

2023 FIBA World Cup

Recommended Posts

My sports homepage is the ESPN site for Australia and since their NBL season is over their attention is now focused on the World Cup. I am actually excited that 32 teams participate now. Some of them are obviously going to get blown out of the water, but this will continue to help grow the sport globally by having more teams participate. The article below is from their site. Kinda cool to see how they feel about the Boomers chances going into the tournament. I think they should handily win their group, but Germany should give them a good game if Schroeder plays as well for the Germans as he did at the Euros. Franz Wagner might have a bit of a coming out party in Okinawa as well I think.



The Australian Boomers will begin their 2023 FIBA World Cup campaign on the island of Okinawa, and could very well be tested early on.

The draw for the World Cup was determined on Saturday evening, with Australia landing in Group E, alongside Germany, Japan, and Finland.

Those Group Phase games will be played in Okinawa, Japan and, though the Boomers will enter the tournament favoured to finish on top, there's no expectation that it'll be a walk in the park; Germany is coming off a third-place finish at the 2022 Eurobasket, Japan will have home court advantage, and Finland is expected to feature their NBA All-Star.

The Boomers could, once again, be among the tournament's most stacked teams. Josh Giddey, Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Jock Landale, Josh Green, Matisse Thybulle, and Dyson Daniels are among the elite of a talented pool Brian Goorjian has to select from, with Australia coming off a bronze medal finish at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"I'm really excited," Goorjian, who's in the third year of his second stint as Boomers head coach, said about the draw.

"It becomes more real now that we know where we're playing and who we're playing. Japan in Japan is going to be tough, we played Germany and it was line ball at the Olympic qualifications, Finland has played everyone tough over there and qualified, so there's a respect for these teams.

"I find this tournament really challenging because it's game after game and a lot of the teams that could beat anybody don't qualify for the Olympics, so they're all there and it's a real challenge."

The first two rounds being in Okinawa works out well for the Boomers, who are planning to end their pre-tournament preparations in Tokyo, Japan, following a training camp in Cairns and warmup games in Melbourne, sources told ESPN.

Here's what to expect from the Boomers' opponents - one of the tougher groups early in the piece - and why things appear more palatable for Brian Goorjian's team the more the tournament progresses.


Gordon Herbert's Germany side won't be quite as stacked with NBA talent as Australia's, but there's enough to make this an even battle.

That's obvious enough when considering the fact that Germany came third in the most recent Eurobasket, and when one rolls through the names of those who may end up on their World Cup roster.

It starts with Dennis Schröder, who's currently in the midst of a playoff run with the Los Angeles Lakers, and who averaged a team-high 22.1 points per game at the Eurobasket. The crafty point guard is very much the head of that German snake, and has proved to be elite at that role at every level he's played.


Franz Wagner was an impact fantasy player as a rookie last season. AP Photo/John Raoux

Then, there are the Wagner brothers. Franz, the second-year Orlando Magic wing, is the main one to keep an eye on. He averaged 15.2 points per game at the Eurobasket, with the versatile, 6'9 forward coming off another impressive season with the Magic. There's an argument to be made that, when this matchup begins - depending how one rates Giddey's overall game - Wagner may well be the best player on the floor.

Franz's older brother, Moritz, who also plays for the Magic, is one of a series of quality bigs Germany could throw out there for the World Cup. Daniel Theisprobably leads that conversation, as well as New York Knicks centre, Isaiah Hartenstein, who's eligible to represent Germany. Add Johannes Voigtmann - a 6'11 EuroLeague veteran - to the mix, and the Germans could very well enter this matchup with the advantage in the frontcourt.

Germany will also look to be one of the more prolific three-point shooting teams at the World Cup, putting up 32.7 attempts per game from downtown, shooting over 40 percent.

Herbert's team has a heap of versatile creation options, but Australia's athleticism makes them one of the better prepared teams to handle it. Keeping the pace relatively high would be one of the Boomers' key advantages going into a game where their opponents will likely want to keep things in the half-court.


There are three home nations during the group phases of this World Cup, and Japan is one of them.

Group E's games being in Okinawa mean the Japanese will have some version of home court advantage over Australia going into this matchup, and that's on top of some intriguing talents.

Rui Hachimura is the key name the Australians will be zoning in on during this matchup. The Los Angeles Lakers forward was extremely prolific for Japan during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics - averaging a team-high 22.3 points per game, as well as 6.7 rebounds a contest. Hachimura gives Japan an athletic, high-level creator out of the mid-post, and his versatility for his size makes him a difficult matchup for any team that doesn't have big wings.


Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Luckily for Australia, Goorjian should have multiple elite defensive options to throw at Hachimura, from Josh Green and Matisse Thybulle - both of whom give up size but make up for it in length, athleticism, and defensive IQ - and even someone like Nick Kay, who has the size and instincts on that end of the floor to stay in front effectively.

Yuta Watanabe is the other Japanese wing Australia will need to place a large focus on; he's another one of those 6'8 wings that's tough to match up with, and coming off a career shooting season with the Brooklyn Nets. The 28-year-old can do his work both on and off the ball, and gives Australia another big, crafty creator to deal with; containing both Watanabe and Hachimura will be tough for any team in Group E.

The overall size advantage will favour Australia, who are also a lot deeper. Japan, on the other hand, have select players who could make an impact; that will likely include former Melbourne United guard, Yudai Baba, and former Brisbane Bullets guard, Makoto Hiejima. Once again, it shouldn't be considered a given, but Australia should be the obvious favourite going into this game, even with what's expected to be a raucous home crowd behind Japan.


This will be Australia's first game of the tournament: a matchup with Lauri Markkanen's Finland.

Australia has the clear depth advantage here, of course, but Finland will enter the game with the obvious best player on the floor.

Markkanen is in the midst of the best 12 months of his career, coming off being named a first-time NBA All-Star and winning the league's Most Improved Player award. Before the NBA season started, he led the way for Finland in the 2022 Eurobasket, finishing the tournament second among all players in scoring: 27.9 points per game, only behind Giannis Antetokounmpo. The seven-footer also added 8.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, with his versatile skillset - he's an elite scorer at all three levels - lending itself to success in the international arena.


Getty Images

Finland finished an admirable seventh, among 24 teams, at the Eurobasket, with Markkanen flanked by veteran combo guard, Sasu Salin, who currently plays for Tenerife in the Liga ACB. Salin averaged 12 points per game in the tournament, shooting an impressive 46.8 percent from downtown, on 6.7 attempts per game.

Going into the matchup, one would probably favour the creation depth and overall top-end talent - and athletic defensive identity - of Australia, but Finland is a prolific and efficient three-point shooting team - 39.3 percent over the Eurobasket, on 32 attempts per game, which was among the most in the tournament - and have the most talented player on the floor, so there's no expectation that it should be an easy win.

Second Group Phase and beyond


Should the Boomers progress to the second round of Group Phase action, they'll cross over with Group F, which features Slovenia, Cape Verde, Georgia, and Venezuela. The second Group Phase games will also be played in Okinawa, Japan.

Group F is, on paper, among the weaker groups in the tournament so, while the stakes will continue to rise as the Boomers potentially progress through the World Cup, the competition would likely be easier to deal with.

Luka Dončić's Slovenia would be the hardest matchup among the Group F opponents; a team the Boomers defeated in the bronze medal game of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The top two teams of the second Group Phase will progress to the quarterfinals - to be played in Manila, Philippines - where the Boomers would then be aligned with the nations who were originally in Groups G and H. Spain, France, Canada, and Brazil are the teams most likely to perform well and progress; the former three all with the capacity to win a medal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...