Qualified Team Focus - Germany: Schroder and co. out to build on EuroBasket success
MIES (Switzerland) - The draw for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 will be held in Manila, Philippines, on April 29. It is now time to meet the 32 teams that try to become World Champions in a few months.
After Spain and Australia, France, Slovenia, Lithuania, Greece and Italy, next up is the number 11 team in the FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike, 2002 World Cup third placed finishers and FIBA EuroBasket 2022 bronze medallists Germany.
🎟️ Germany are heading to the #FIBAWC 2023 after their 94-80 win against Finland! #WinForGermany 🇩🇪 pic.twitter.com/9HATZ6tclD— FIBA Basketball World Cup (@FIBAWC) November 11, 2022
How did they qualify
Before Germany started their campaign, they decided to change directions at the top and replaced Henrik Rodl with Gordon Herbert - despite Rodl guiding Germany through the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament to the Tokyo Games and their first Olympics Quarter-Finals in 29 years.
Germany's spot to the 2023 World Cup was locked up with one window to spare as the team started slowly but stormed through the competition - including an impressive statement win over Slovenia.
Germany actually suffered a hiccup right at the start, falling 69-66 at home to Estonia. The core of Christian Sengfelder, David Kramer and Justus Hollatz helped Germany rebound and pick up three straight tight wins by 4 points or fewer.
Dennis Schroder came back for the June/July 2022 window and he shined with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists in a 31-point revenge victory at Estonia. Schroder then poured in a European Qualifiers record 38 points in a 93-83 home win over Poland.
The August 2022 window was just impressive starting with Franz Wagner coming up with a great debut for Germany with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in a 17-point win at Sweden. Germany then showed their strength with a strong 90-71 victory over Slovenia with Schroder and Johannes Voigtmann both picking up double-doubles.
Germany built on that performance and played superbly at the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 at home and ended up grabbing third place for the country's first podium finish since 2005. The reserves took over the reins for the November 2022 window and the trio of Sengfelder, Kramer and Hollatz combined for 56 points, 12 rebounds and 16 assists in a 94-80 home win over Finland to lock up the spot at Indonesia, Japan and Philippines.
With the goal already achieved, Germany saw their eight-game winning streak snapped in a loss to Slovenia in the second game of the window.
Best result at the World Cup
Germany will be playing at the World Cup for the seventh time, including the fifth in the last six editions. After missing out in 1998, Germany and Dirk Nowitzki beat Spain in the Quarter-Finals to reach the 2002 Semi-Finals. The Germans lost to Argentina in the last four but then bounced back to beat New Zealand to take third place - the country's best result.
Last World Cup appearances
After grabbing third in 2002, Germany returned to the Quarter-Finals in 2006 but fell to United States. Four years later, Germany beat Serbia in double overtime in the group stage but were thrashed by Australia and then lost in overtime to Angola to miss out on the Round of 16.
Germany failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, but came back to the global stage for China 2019 with high expectations. The Germans lost in the opening game to France by four points and then crashed out with a two-point loss to Dominican Republic. Dennis Schroder and co. ended up finishing 18th.
Players to watch
Germany's top leader still is Dennis Schroder but the playmaker will have plenty of help. Franz Wagner showed at FIBA EuroBasket 2022 that he can be a real pillar upon which the team can rely. There is also Wagner's brother Moritz Wagner as well as Daniel Theis, Maxi Kleber and Isaiah Hartenstein from the NBA.
Coach Herbert has plenty of important figures from Europe as well, including Maodo Lo, Johannes Voigtmann, Isaac Bonga, Niels Giffey, Andi Obst, Nick Weiler-Babb, Paul Zipser and Danilo Barthel. There are also European Qualifiers regulars Christian Sengfelder, Justus Hollatz, David Kramer and Jonas Wohlfarth-Bottermann in the mix.
One more option could be big man Tibor Pleiss, who had won the EuroLeague twice with Anadolu Efes Istanbul.