World Cup Rumors
Team USA will face Puerto Rico, Mexico and Cuba in the first round of qualifying for the 2023 Basketball World Cup. The Americans, who won a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal in Tokyo but finished only seventh at the most recent Basketball World Cup two years ago, found out their qualifying opponents Tuesday when the draw was held at FIBA headquarters in Mies, Switzerland. It will also be the first major tournament for USA Basketball with Grant Hill as managing director. Hill is succeeding Jerry Colangelo in that role; Colangelo oversaw each of the last four Olympics for the U.S., helping assemble teams that won gold medals each time.
Defending World Cup champion Spain, trying to become one of the 12 European qualifiers for the tournament, opens with games against Ukraine, Georgia and North Macedonia in the opening round. As hosts, the Philippines and Japan are already in the 32-team World Cup field. The other 30 spots will be decided through qualifying. Indonesia does not get an automatic spot as a host country.
As for the players, Colangelo pointed to injuries to Kyle Kuzma, Jayson Tatum, and Marcus Smart that did them in during the World Cup, and the pandemic-condensed schedule that kept a quarter of the roster away because they were in the Finals. And also, this team, as constructed, can still win gold. “If we had everyone in training camp at one time and we were working collectively toward all of our goals and objectives, we would have been much further along. … If all things were equal, we all had the same time to practice, we all had our rosters set, blah blah blah, I don’t think we’d be having this discussion. I don’t. But that’s not the case. So we are gonna do everything we can to overcome it now, and I believe we will.” — Colangelo
Argentina, the winner of the 2004 Olympic tournament and the 2019 World Cup silver medalist, will begin the games in Tokyo against reigning world champion Spain, Luka Doncic’s Slovenia and host Japan in Group C. The top two teams from each of the three groups will automatically advance to the quarterfinals while two third-placed teams will also qualify based on ranking criteria. The full roster of Argentina is as follows: Point guards: Facundo Campazzo: 1.80 – 30 – Denver Nuggets. Nicolas Laprovittola: 1.88 – 31- free agent. Luca Vildoza: 1.89 – 25 – New York Knicks. Shooting guards: Nicolas Brussino: 2.05 – 27 – Granada. Leandro Bolmaro: 2.00 – 20 – Barcelona. Small Forwards: Gabriel Deck: 1.98 – 26 – Oklahoma City Thunder. Patricio Garino: 1.98 – 28 – free agent. Juan Pablo Vaulet: 1.99 – 25 – AEK Athens. Power forwards: Luis Scola: 2.07 – 41 – Varese. Centers: Marcos Delia: 2.09 – 29 – Trieste. Tayavek Gallizzi: 2.04 – 28 – Regatas Corrientes. Francisco Cáffaro: 2.14 – 21 – Virginia University.
Udoka, 43, separated himself quickly in the search process, sources said, and his candidacy was boosted with strong recommendations from key Celtics stars — including Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart — who played for Udoka on Team USA in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
However, Dellavedova was back on the court that summer for Team Australia, competing in the FIBA World Cup in China. His love of country and dedication to the Australian national team is playing a role in his continued fight to return to the court, sources said.