The Team Canada 12 man roster for the FIBA Americup has been released and it is a roster that Canada can be proud of.
2017 SMNT AMERICUP ROSTER
Jermaine Anderson Guard 6’2 Toronto, ON
Joel Anthony Centre 6’9 Montreal, QC
Richard Amardi Forward 6’9 Toronto, ON
Murphy Burnatowski Power Forward 6’7 Kitchener, ON
Junior Cadougan Guard 6’2 Toronto, ON
Ammanuel Diressa Guard 6’5 Toronto, ON
Grandy Glaze Forward 6’7 Toronto, ON
Olivier Hanlan Guard 6’4 Gatineau, QC
Brady Heslip Guard 6’2 Oakville, ON
Xavier Rathan-Mayes Guard 6’4 Scarborough, ON
Andrew Nicholson Power Forward 6’9 Mississauga, ON
Dyshawn Pierre Small Forward 6’6 Whitby, ON
One common thread Canada basketball fans may be noticing is that a lot of these players got to see eachother in action at the Nike Crown league. The Crown League is just the most recent high profile example of the players on this roster playing with and against eachother. Many of the players on this roster have been playing with and or against eachother for quite some time. Thus, these players may already have some chemistry even before practice starts. This is even more important due to the fact that Team Canada unfortunately does not get to have an exhibition games.
“It’s a pretty tight knit group. A lot of these guys have grown up together, a lot of these played played on national teams together. So hopefully the chemistry so up on the court because it has in training camp.”
Said Team Canada head coach Roy Rana. Another common thread is that many of these players have played important minutes for their professional team and some have donned the Red and White before. Coach Rana also commented on this development as well.
“We have some of our veteran guys and then we got some guys who have never played for team Canada. So it’s a unique mix, but certainty that experience that some of young players have and some of our vets have will help us moving forward.”
Even Canada does not have a lot of their ‘Big Guns’ (i.e. Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Olynyk) at this event, this roster is much has a lot of talent. Therefore every player on this team is capable of doing damage for their country and coach Rana agrees.
“I was really impressed with how we played and the way they shared it (in practice)”
If there is one knock on the team it is that they do lack a center and the rim protection a center can provide. Granted the center position is being relied on less and less in many leagues due to the rise of the stretch 4. However, fans of basketball have seen what rim protection can do for a team defensively. For head coach Roy Rana this was not tactical but taking the best available.
“It was just kind of what we had. If Sim Bhullar was here, we would be one of the tallest teams in the world but this is what we had and we’ll take it.”
All in all, On paper this current edition of team Canada definitely has the talent to make an impact at the Americup. Nonetheless, impact at the Americup and qualifying for the FIBA World Cup are two different things. This is especially due to the fact that there are no World Cup qualification implications. With that being said, veteran team Canada guard Jermaine Anderson sees the importance of using this as a positive experiences towards the World Cup Qualifiers. “We can use this opportunity to learn how to mesh.”
Overall expect Team Canada to give it their all in the Americup and even be a threat to win it all.