Team Australia may be missing two of their best players for the 2014 FIBA World Cup, but the Boomers still enter the international competition ranked ninth overall and have a tremendous chance of advancing in an easier group. Despite playing with No. 4 Lithuania and No. 13 Slovenia, the Aussies are the second highest ranked team in the group and have a couple of NBA players to help their cause.
Despite missing Andrew Bogut and Patrick Mills for the World Cup, these perennial favorites for the FIBA Oceania Championship have a relatively loaded backcourt comprised of Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova and recent Utah Jazz draft pick Dante Exum. Australia qualified for the FIBA World Cup by winning the 2013 FIBA Oceania Championship.
The Boomers have won the Oceania Championship four of the last six times, and the two times they didn’t, they placed second. In the 2012 Summer Olympics, the Aussies reached the quarterfinals before being blown out by the unstoppable Americans.
Australia is in Group D along with Lithuania, Slovenia, Angola, Mexico and Korea. Here’s a look at the Boomers’ schedule for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Championships.
Australia vs. Slovenia — Aug. 30
Korea vs. Australia — Aug. 31
Australia vs. Lithuania – Sept. 2
Mexico vs. Australia — Sept. 3
Australia vs. Angola — Sept. 4
The top four teams from Group D advance to the knockout stage of the tournament. Here are the dates for bracket play:
Round of 16 — Sept. 6-7
Quarterfinals — Sept. 9-10
Semifinals — Sept. 11-12
Bronze Medal Game — Sept. 13
Gold Medal Game — Sept. 14