Basketball Intelligence for 8/23/23
The Day's Best Basketball Reporting
Dean Oliver on analytics, coaching, and much more
Ray LeBov/Mike Shearer, Basketball Intelligence
How South Sudan Built a World Cup Team From Scratch
Robert O’Connell, The Wall Street Journal
So in 2019, months after his last game with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Deng returned to the comfort of a challenge. He ran for and won the presidency of the South Sudan Basketball Federation, while the young country endured a protracted and bloody coda to its own civil war. Since gaining independence in 2011, South Sudan had never qualified for a top-flight international basketball tournament, a fact Deng attributed to a deficit not of ability but of direction.
“I knew that the national team would be great for a long time,” Deng said in a recent interview, “if we did things the right way.”
Less than four years after Deng’s election, the Bright Stars are among the 32 teams competing in the FIBA World Cup, starting with a game against Puerto Rico Saturday in the Philippines. Deng and his players consider reaching the tournament a triumph and a salve, for a region battered by strife. It is also a proof of concept—evidence of how quickly gaps in the global game can narrow, with the right investment.
Pieces appear in place for Canada's men's basketball team to qualify for 1st Olympics since 2000
Myles Dichter, CBC Sports
Only two teams will advance from each region to Manila for the medal round. That means one of France, Canada and Spain from Groups G and H in Jakarta isn't going to make it -- and those teams are loaded with NBA players, more than 20 in all. And one of Australia, Germany and Luka Doncic-led Slovenia in Group E isn't going to make it from Okinawa. Rough.
The only FIBA World Cup preview you need
Marc Stein, The Stein Line
In the basketball-crazed Philippines, the World Cup will be a shining moment
Tim Reynolds, Associated Press