|Host City: Kayseri|
|Host City: Istanbul|
|Host City: Ankara|
|5. Puerto Rico||1/4||6|
|6. Cote d'Ivoire||1/4||6|
|Host City: Izmir|
|3. New Zealand||3/2||8|
|#||Name||P||Height||DOB||Place Of Birth||Club|
|21/03/1990||Sèvres, France||Paris-Levallois Basket, Pro A (FRA)|
|14/12/1988||Lisieux, France||Portland Trail Blazers, NBA (USA)|
|-/-||16/06/1987||Brest, France||Le Havre, Pro A (FRA)|
|23/11/1983||Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire||DKV Joventut, ACB (ESP)|
|05/11/1986||Rouen, France||Dallas Mavericks, NBA (USA)|
|18/09/1989||Pau, France||Asvel, Pro A (FRA)|
|19/06/1985||Kinshasa, Dem.Rep. of Congo||Gravelines Dunkerque, Pro A (FRA)|
|19/01/1981||Abymes, France||Valencia, ACB (ESP)|
|23/06/1987||Sainte Catherine, France||Valencia, ACB (ESP)|
|16/04/1982||Cormeilles, France||Bobcats, NBA (USA)|
|22/05/1983||Pointe Noire, France||(FRA)|
|-/-||28/02/1985||Treichville, Cote d'Ivoire||Virtus Roma, Seria A (ITA)|
|N. De Colo||6||135||18/37||48.6||9/16||56.2||9/21||42.9||8/8||100||1||10||11||13||16||11||5||0||53|
|Min||Minutes played||Tot||Total rebounds||BS||Block Shots|
|%||Shooting percentage||PF||Personal fouls||G||Played Games|
Will the “eternal potential” of France ever be seen?
With Tony Parker, Joakim Noah, Mike Piétrus and Ronny Turiaf, France would have had a good chance to play for the podium. However, by mid-July, three of those four had bailed out and Noah was very likely to do the same. Now some youngsters are coming along. So how good will France actually be?
Since EuroBasket 1999 – played at home and ended on two “no shows” both during the semi-final and during the Bronze medal game – France has made a habit of missing great opportunities, blossoming for good and helping basketball develop in a country where competition between sports is as tough as anywhere else. Why is this? Well simply because French hoops has to compete with rugby (a sport unknown almost anywhere else), handball, and some huge events such as the Tour de France or Roland Garros in tennis, before even mentioning football.
Popular enthusiasm and following of the Franch National Team has on occasion been held back by sheer bad luck, as was the case during the 2000 Olympic Games, when Antoine Rigaudeau and his team-mates won silver, receiving the biggest TV viewing figures of the event. The only problem was that those Olympics were in Sydney, Australia, so the final game versus the Dream Team, at 3am was seen by 800,000 sports fans, while there could have been up to 15 million had the game been played in the daytime or evening.
Now, 10 years on, France is still talking about the potential basketball powerhouse they could become, with its 20 players drafted by NBA franchises and dozen or so guys under contract in the world’s top flight league. Using the great 1982 born ‘golden generation’ (Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, Mike Piétrus etc.), France came close to matching Lithuania in the EuroBasket 2003 semis before losing. Leading Greece by seven points with 40 seconds to go in the same Championship two years later, again in the semis, les ‘Bleus’ were beaten by a last second Dimitris Diamantidis shot. Their bad fortune can also be summed up by EuroBasket 2009 during which they lost only once, albeit to eventual champions Spain. Since 2003, France has always fallen to the eventual champion - Lithuania in 2003, Greece in 2005, Russia in 2007 and Spain last summer.
Ahead of this summer’s FIBA World Championship, France is facing the prospect of playing without a number of key players missing – as are the tournament’s main contenders. Indeed France, who could have come for the first time with a very performing point guard-center tandem of All-Star Parker and Noah, will have to do without both of them in Turkey. Although this is somewhat understandable, following the soccer National Team’s farcical football World Cup, basketball in France could have gained much had charismatic players like Parker and Noah competed in Turkey. It’s just too bad for French basketball that it will probably not happen.
Focusing on those who will be present, there was some good news. Dallas’ combo guard, Rodrigue Beaubois, proved this season, via his sublime 40-point performance against Minnesota that he has every chance of becoming the “new TP”. But the bad news came quickly, since Beaubois broke his foot early in preparation and is now out for the whole summer. Coach Collet called Andrew Albicy, the 20-year-old MVP of the U20 European Championship this summer, to replace Rodrigue.
Nicolas Batum, in Portland, was injured for part of the season but he was so good that when he came back, that he pushed Rudy Fernandez, a European basketball superstar, further down the bench than expected. At the guard, Nando De Colo has had an impressive first year in Liga ACB and Yannick Bokolo, a combo guard from Gravelines, can help.
Waiting in the wings is former Sonic, Mike Gelabale, who is enjoying a good comeback. Boris Diaw, from Charlotte, is also always there for the National Team but he is increasingly becoming a power forward rather than a “3”. Who are we missing? Mike Piétrus, who has gained a reputation for providing very good excuses for not coming.
France’s force could therefore for once be in the paint where they have three NBA players to use - Ajinça, Mahinmi or Petro. The only problem is that those three have not played hoops these past years and Vincent Collet would certainly love to be able to use inside players who actually play some basketball, such as Ali Traoré, who just transferred from ASVEL to Virtus Roma.
So what can we expect from France? Its difficult to say. Once more, the potential is there – but how high can this potential bring them? The first games of preparation, with two large losses versus Canada in Toronto, made all observers quite worried…
|12||Nando De Colo||G|
|15||Badara Ali Traore|
Head coach: Vincent COLLET