U.S Men’s Basketball Team in Difficult Draw
The US Men’s basketball team found out today it was drawn in group A with Tunisia, France and Argentina for this summer’s London Olympic Games. There are two teams still to be determined that will also play in the group with the U.S. Those two teams will qualify in a tournament in Venezuela from June 2-8.
In Group B will be Australia, Brazil, Spain, Great Britain, Spain and one team that will play in a qualifying tournament. In the 2011 European Championships, Spain won and France was second. France will have a team that consists of NBA players Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, Joakim Noah and Nicolas Batum. Argentina, which was the gold medal winner in the Athens Olympics in 2004, will have NBA stars Luis Scola and Manu Ginobili. Once again, this year, the U.S. team is favored to win the gold medal. It won gold in Beijing in 2008 however; injuries to key players at the tail end of the NBA season may hurt the team’s roster.
Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard, two of the best players in the NBA will not play. Rose tore his ACL on Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers and Howard had back surgery that will side line him at least four months. U.S National team chairman Jerry Colangelo is concerned by the recent injuries.
“We have great depth, more than any of the other countries, and this is where our depth comes in handy,” said Colangelo.
The qualifying tournament that takes place in Caracas in June will have 12 teams. Angola, Macedonia, Greece, Dominican Republic, Jordan, Korea, New Zealand, Lithuania, Puerto Rico, Nigeria, Venezuela and Russia. The favorites at the tournament are expected to be Greece, Russia, Macedonia and Lithuania. Three teams will qualify, with two of them in Group A and one in Group B.