Team USA News: Americans Keep No. 1 Spot in FIBA Rankings

Jul 26, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Team USA basketball head coach Gregg Popovich talks to his players at the start of the 2018 USA Basketball National Team Minicamp at Mendenhall Center. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Despite failing to defend the gold medal at the FIBA World Cup in China this summer, and winning a disappointing seventh place, Team USA is still at the top of the FIBA rankings.

This makes it nine consecutive years at the top of the world for the Americans when it comes to FIBA rankings, but the latest disappointment cannot be forgotten quickly. Spain, who won the World Cup in China, stayed the second-placed team; Australia moved from the 11th position to third, World Cup finalist Argentina is in the 4th while France is currently the fifth-best team on the planet.

The Americans are still at the top because FIBA counts the last eight years, and we know that Team USA won the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, and also the 2014 World Cup.

“In this day and age, basketball in other countries is not a secret,” US coach Gregg Popovich said after the most recent World Cup. “So it’s not like there’s an epiphany or a revelation to be made. There are wonderful teams and wonderful coaches all over the world. You go compete and the best teams win.”

The Americans are expected to keep the No. 1 spot until the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, where they should go with a much stronger squad. Several top NBA players, including Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and Draymond Green already made themselves available for the Olympics. They will try to help the team to win its fourth straight gold medal.

“I’m expecting them to be so strong next year,” Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said about Team USA.

Team USA qualified for the Olympics along with Argentina, Nigeria, Spain, France, Iran, Australia, and home nation Japan. The 12-team Olympic tournament needs four more teams to qualify, and 24 teams will fight for open four spots in June next year.


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