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The World Championship Breakdown

Even though it's still up in the air about who's in and out for the National Team, whoever suits up will have a tough task at hand in Turkey.
Even though it's still up in the air about who's in and out for the National Team, whoever suits up will have a tough task at hand in Turkey.

After reading all the stuff leading up to now about the World Championships, we were able to get a colleague to provide a scouting report for the Senior Men in their quest to play into the second round.  Check out what our boy Freaknick over at had to say about the competition and what Canada needed to do to win ...


So in our short amount of time being up and on the world wide web, The Can Ball Report has managed to befriend some like minded souls that live and breathe the game we love, sometimes more than paid professionals I would imagine.  One of these like minded colleagues is Freaknick from  Now here is a guy that watches as much, if not more, Euro League ball games than some international scouts do.  Freak will frequently post podcasts on his time in whatever country he happens to be in at the time and has valuable insight into a game that many of us North Americans don't get to see up close.  We had managed to steal some of his time before he touched down in Turkey for the World Championships and he was able to give us a personalized scouting report on the teams in Canada's so called "Pool of Death".  Check out what he had to say below ...


Projected Record: 5-0
Key Players: Juan Carlos Navarro, Ricky Rubio, Marc Gasol
Canada should exploit Spain’s love affair with the triple. Play the roll on the pick, let them pop if they want to. Garbagejosa will miss more than he makes.
Canada cannot allow Spain to find balance on offense. They’re going to score, so it’s up to Coach Leo to decide whether it’ll be inside or outside. Pick one and pray they slump.

Projected Record: 4-1
Key Players: Linas Kleiza, Robertas Javtokas, Paulius Jankunas
Canada should exploit Lithuania’s point guard vacancy. If Mantas Kalnietis’ options are cut off then he’ll force things.
Canada cannot allow Kleiza to go one-on-one. Ever.

Projected Record: 2-3
Key Players: Nicolas Batum, Nando de Colo, Boris Diaw
Canada should exploit France’s reckless (sloppy) playing style. They’re fine once they’re a few passes deep, but pressure them from half and their guards will screw up royally. See: Nando de Colo’s 8 assists last time out vs. Canada. And when healthy, nobody in the NCAA got in the passing lanes as well as a healthy Rautins.
Canada cannot allow France to turn this game into a track meet. France is deeper and more athletic at every position. If this turns into a game of breaks and runs, Canada doesn’t stand a chance.

Projected Record: 2-3
Congratulations. Canada has hypothetically advanced to the medal rounds. But play around with either New Zealand or Lebanon and your spot’s gone. After Spain, this is the most evenly matched group of the four. If Lebanon ends up going winless, they’ll easily lay claim to "Best Worst Team."

New Zealand
Projected Record: 1-4
Key Players: Kirk Penney, K. Penney, Kirk P.
Canada should exploit New Zealand’s lack of depth. Canada’s second unit can beat the Kiwis’. 
Canada cannot allow Kirk Penney to get off 20 shots. Not a joke. He’d love to take 30 and his teammates wouldn’t mind. He’s kind of important to this team. If you couldn’t tell.

Projected Record: 1-4
Best Players: Jackson Vroman, Fadi El Khatib, Matt Frieje
Canada should exploit their lack of speed. Ball movement yields easy looks against these guys.
Canada cannot allow them to stick around. Outside of Spain this is the most emotionally resilient team in the. Give them hope and you’ll lose. Period.


We want to give a super big out to Freaknick for the scouting report.  Be sure to check out his time in Europe on and check for his updates and live Tweets throughout the World Championships at Euro_Adventures on Twitter.