U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball Draw And Preliminary Round Schedule Announced
FIBA (International Basketball Federation) conducted the 2016 Olympic Games men’s basketball draw today at FIBA's headquarters in Mies, Switzerland, and announced the Aug. 6-15 preliminary round game schedule. The XXXI Olympic Games men’s basketball competition will feature national teams from 12 countries competing Aug. 6-21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Defending Olympic champion United States (2014 FIBA World Cup gold medalist) was drawn into Group A, along with 2015 FIBA Oceania gold medalist Australia, 2015 FIBA Asia gold medalist China, 2015 FIBA Americas gold medalist Venezuela and two additional teams that will earn their Olympic berths by winning one of FIBA’s three World Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.
The field for Group B includes 2015 FIBA Americas silver medalist Argentina, host country Brazil, 2015 FIBA Europe silver medalist Lithuania, 2015 FIBA Africa gold medalist Nigeria, 2015 FIBA Europe gold medalist Spain and one team that will earn its Olympic berth by winning one of the three FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.
The American men will open 2016 Olympic preliminary round play on Saturday, Aug. 6 facing China (all game times to be announced by FIBA at a later date), then will meet Venezuela on Aug. 8, Australia on August 10, the Olympic Qualifying Tournament #2 seed on Aug. 12 and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament #1 seed on Aug.14.
The top four finishing teams from each of the two preliminary round groups will advance to the quarterfinals on Aug. 17, with the quarterfinals winners playing in the semifinals on Aug. 19 and the gold and bronze medal games being held on Aug. 21.
“The draw for the 2016 Olympics appears to be extremely balanced, and we know the entire competition will be really competitive,” said USA and head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who led the U.S. to perfect 8-0 records and the gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and is 75-1 since taking charge of USA National Team in 2006. “Our group, Group A, features the zone gold medalists from the Americas (Venezuela), Asia (China) and Oceania (Australia) and will also include two teams that will have won a FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, so we know that they’ll not only be excellent teams, but they will already be on a roll when they get to the Olympics.
“We know that repeating as gold medalists at the 2016 Olympics will be a challenge, and that’s what makes winning a gold medal such an amazing accomplishment.”
FIBA in 2016 will host three Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (OQT). A total of 18 nations, six teams in each tournament will take part, and the gold medalist from each of the three FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments will punch its ticket to the 2016 Olympic men’s basketball tournament.
Turin, Italy will host one OQT from July 4-10, and the field features Croatia, Greece, Iran, Italy, Mexico and Tunisia.
Belgrade, Serbia, will host the second OQT from July 4-10, including hopefuls Angola, Czech Republic, Latvia, Japan, Puerto Rico and Serbia.
The third and final FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament will be held in Manila, Philippines, July 5-11, and countries competing there include Canada, France, New Zealand, Philippines, Senegal and Turkey.
Krzyzewski will be assisted on the USA bench by Syracuse University’s Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim and NBA coaches Tom Thibodeau and Monty Williams (Oklahoma City Thunder).
The 31 finalists for the U.S. Men’s Olympic Team include: LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs); Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors); Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls); Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets); Andre Iguodala (Golden State Warriors); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers); DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs); Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers); Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors); John Wall (Washington Wizards); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).
The U.S. men have collected a medal in all 17 Olympics in which they have competed, including 14 gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals. The Americans own an impressive 130-5 (.963 winning percentage) all-time record in Olympic action, and since NBA players began representing the United States in 1992, the USA is 45-3 in six Olympics, capturing five gold medals and one bronze medal.
Since the formation of USA Basketball’s national team program in 2006, USA National Teams have compiled a spectacular 75-1 record and claimed top honors in five of six FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions.
Currently, USA national teams enjoy a 63-game win streak (45 straight wins in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions and 18 consecutive wins in exhibition games). The streaks dates back to the bronze medal game (Sept. 2, 2006) of the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan.
The USA also currently enjoys a 17-game Olympic win streak that dates back to the bronze medal game of the 2004 Athens Olympics.