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Canada announces final Americup roster

Midway through their brief training camp for the FIBA Americup tournament that begins Sunday, Canada Basketball announced their final roster for the event.

Name        Position Height     Hometown 2016-17 Team
Jermaine Anderson Guard 6’2 Toronto, ON Chalons-Reims (France)
Joel Anthony Centre 6’9 Montreal, QC San Antonio Spurs (NBA)
Richard Amardi Forward 6’9 Toronto, ON Niagara River Lions (NBL)
Murphy Burnatowski Power Forward 6’7 Kitchener, ON Fribourg (Switzerland)
Junior Cadougan Guard 6’2 Toronto, ON London Lightning (NBL)
Ammanuel Diressa Guard 6’5 Toronto, ON Ryerson University (U SPORTS)
Grandy Glaze Forward 6’7 Toronto, ON Caballeros de Culiacan (Mexico)
Olivier Hanlan Guard 6’4 Gatineau, QC Le Mans (France)
Brady Heslip Guard 6’2 Oakville, ON Raptors 905 (G-League)
Xavier Rathan-Mayes Guard 6’4 Scarborough, ON Florida State (NCAA)
Andrew Nicholson Power Forward 6’9 Mississauga, ON Washington Wizards /
Brooklyn Nets (NBA)
Dyshawn Pierre Small Forward 6’6 Whitby, ON Banco di Srd (Italy)

Missing from that list are six cuts from camp: Naz Mitrou-Long, Warren Ward, Daniel Mullings, Ransford Brempong, Joel Friesen, and Justin Edwards.

While the list is a bit underwhelming with just one current NBA player on it, some context is necessary here. I’ll re-post what I put up when the 18-man camp roster was announced last week:

As expected, the group of 18 is fairly light on NBA talent. That owes not only to the somewhat lesser importance of this year’s Americup compared to recent years (it’s no longer an automatic qualifier for the World Cup), as well as some up-in-the-air availability statuses for key and even fringe Canadian names. Mostly, though, this has to do with the convoluted new FIBA World Cup and Olympic qualification procedure, which will see teams play qualification games during the course of the NBA season. So while Canada would love to do well at the Americup – and still very well could – they’ll also want to breed some familiarity ahead of qualification games in November and February, when NBA talent won’t be available to them.

That simply has to be kept in mind looking at the roster and putting the notable absences in context – stalwarts like Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson aren’t even playing, let alone the more difficult names like Andrew Wiggins (or even R.J. Barrett). (To get ahead of questions: The reason Player X is missing will be due to some combination of contract/collegiate status, availability for the qualifiers, and the usual factors that cause guys to miss these events, but I’d guess availability for the qualifiers is the big one for high-end guys in NBA/EuroLeague/NCAA.) That means the group going to Argentina later this month will be heavy on CIS and NBL names, which, to be honest, is a pretty cool wrinkle in a tournament that doesn’t have a ton of big-picture implication for the program and speaks to the growing depth of Canadian basketball talent, even outside of the NBA.

It’s not as if the other teams in the tournament are bringing their heavy-hitters, either, and this Canadian roster should still prove competitive.

As a reminder, we won’t be doing full game recaps for Canada in the three-game preliminary stage (Aug. 27-29) but will probably do so for the knockout stage. The same goes for Brazil, where Bruno Caboclo just had 23-and-14 in a friendly against Argentina (coming off of an earlier exhibition performance against Uruguay that was said to be shakier than the box score might indicate), and Lithuania (with Jonas Valanciunas in EuroBasket). Here’s the schedule for all three teams, with games likely available to stream on FIBA.com or FIBA’s YouTube page:

Aug. 25 – Brazil v Colmbia, 9pm ET
Aug. 26 – Brazil v Mexico, 6:30pm ET
Aug. 27 – Brazil v Puerto Rico, 4:30pm ET
Aug. 27 – Canada v US Virgin Islands, 6:30pm ET
Aug. 28 – Canada v Argentina, 6:30pm ET
Aug. 29 – Canada v Venezuela, 6:30pm ET
Aug. 31 – Lithuania v Georgia, 11:30am ET
Sept. 2 – Americup semifinals, time TBD
Sept. 2 – Lithuania v Israel, 2:30pm ET
Sept. 3 – Americup final & third-place, time TBD
Sept. 3 – Lithuania v Italy, 11:30am ET
Sept. 5 – Lithuania v Ukraine, 8:45am ET
Sept. 6 – Lithuania v Germany, 7:45am ET
Sept. 9-17 – Eurobasket knockout stage, times TBD

We’ll post updates and highlights as applicable.

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