Greece, Brazil highlight Group C
Future NBA first-round pick Tiago Splitter was the youngest player (17) in the 2002 World Championship and he has since played in many big games in Europe. The elder statesman of this group, 31-year-old Marcelinho Machado, can fill it up from deep.
At 6-foot-7, Theo Papaloukas is one of the best playmaking guards in Europe and 6-5 Dimitrios Diamantidis is the best defensive guard on the continent. Lazaros Papadopoulos is an NBA-level post player as well. However, the MVP of this team may be the coach. Panagiotis Yannakis, a Jerry Sloan double, was one of Europe's great guards in the 1980s and is one of its best coaches today.
Instead, Turkey will be led by veterans Ibrahim Kutluay, who had a brief stint with the Seattle Sonics, and Serkan Erdogan. There's not enough firepower to make any noise in this tournament.
Baylor's Aaron Bruce and Nebraska's Aleks Maric are two talented young players who Big 12 fans are familiar with. Brad Newley, a 6-5 shooting guard, is a potential NBA draft pick next June. The country's best player, 6-11 David Andersen of CSKA Moscow, is one of Europe's top inside forces, but he was injured late in the season and has not recovered in time to be of any help. You can count on feistiness from the Aussies, and that, historically, has made them a team you can't sleep on.
An overtime loss to Turkey gives Qatar some hope, but it's very likely they will be going home after the preliminary round.
MORE NBA HEADLINES
- Knicks' Acy suspended, Wall fined for fight
- Binded by science? Bucks use facial coding
- Green: Warriors were 'too nice' against Clips
- Clips send Warriors to another Staples loss