27 Jul
    10 Aug 2024

    Qualified Team Focus - France: All hands on deck for gold hopefuls

    MIES (Switzerland) - France crashed out at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 with an 18th-place finish. Now Les Bleus are looking to forget last summer and focus on a medal at the home 2024 Olympics.

    MIES (Switzerland) - The draw for the Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament Paris 2024 was held on March 19. It is now time to meet the teams that have already qualified for the Olympics with the dream of becoming Olympic champions this summer.

    Here is the number 9 team in the FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike, the three-time silver medalists France. The Europeans finished second at the Olympics in 1948, 2000 and 2020 and will be playing in their 11th Games - their first as hosts.

    How they qualified

    Evan Fournier and Rudy Gobert could not help France get out of the First Round of last summer's FIBA World Cup

    France were already qualified for this summer's global spectacle as hosts of the Olympics. Still, the team went to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 with high expectations considering the strong roster they brought in Asia.

    Things did not click for Vincent Collet's team right from the start though as France were battered by Canada 95-65 to tip off Group H play. The second game didn't provide much relief though as Latvia shocked Les Bleus 88-86. That eliminated France from contention before even the Second Round.

    ...


    The French did not look convincing in their final group game either, defeating Lebanon only 85-79. France went into the Classification 17-32 pool and beat Iran by 27 points and then knocked off C么te d'Ivoire 87-77.

    France eventually finished in 18th place - their worst showing in history at FIBA's flagship event.

    Record at the Olympics

    France took silver in 2020

    Appearances: 10 - 1936 (19th), 1948 (2nd), 1952 (8th), 1956 (4th), 1960 (10th), 1984 (11th), 2000 (2nd), 2012 (6th), 2016 (6th), 2020 (2nd)
    Medals: 3 - 馃(1948, 2000, 2020)

    Last appearance

    Nicolas Batum blocks Klemen Prepelic's shot to send France to the 2020 Gold Medal Game

    France arrived in Tokyo after losing in the Quarter-Finals of the last two Olympics - both times to Spain in 2012 and 2016. The French were also coming off a second straight third-place showing at the FIBA World Cup in 2019.

    Vincent Collet's men pulled off a surprise to start the Olympics, beating United States 83-76 in their Group A opener. France followed that with a 20-point win over Czechia and a 17-point victory over Iran to take first place in the group.

    France advanced past the Quarters for the first time since 2000 when they beat Italy 84-75 and then were saved by a last second block from Nicolas Batum on Klemen Prepelic in a 90-89 victory in the Semi-Finals.聽

    ...


    In their first Gold Medal Game since 2000, France had to face off against USA again. The Europeans could not knock off the Americans a second time though as France lost 87-82. France ended up winning their third silver medal following 1948 and 2000.

    The Group Phase聽

    France will open their 2024 Olympics against the winner of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament Latvia. And the French might actually want to see the OQT hosts advance from the tournament so that they can get some revenge for the loss at the FIBA World Cup last summer. The other teams in the OQT Latvia are Brazil, Cameroon, Georgia, Montenegro, and the Philippines.

    The next game for France will be against Japan, which the French cannot look past knowing the magnitude of the final game of the group. That will be against reigning world champions Germany and is considered one of the top games of the Group Phase as it could decide first place in the group. France and Germany squared off in their opening game of FIBA EuroBasket 2022 and Germany prevailed 76-63. France have lost three of the last four showdowns at major events.

    France Group Phase games

    vs Winner OQT Latvia (July 27)
    vs Japan (July 30)
    vs Germany (August 2)聽

    Players to watch

    Victor Wembanyama is ready to excite the France fans in Paris

    France will have no lack of superstar firepower when the Paris Olympics roll around. The player most people will want to see is Victor Wembanyama, the San Antonio rookie who took the NBA by storm. Wembanyama did not play at the World Cup last summer but will come to the Olympics with all the confidence and motivation after a stellar first season in the NBA.

    Vincent Collet of course will also have stars like Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier while Nicolas Batum knows this will most likely be his last Olympics at age 35. Nando De Colo is another veteran who announced this summer will be the last with the National Team.

    Frank Ntilikina at the 2020 Olympics

    Still, there are many, many more leading players who can have major impact on games for France. Andrew Albicy, Frank Ntilikina, Sylvain Francisco and Nadir Hifi are dynamic point guards; Elie Okobo,Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Isaia Cordinier are some of the wings and other bigs include Vincent Poirier, Mathias Lessort and Guerschon Yabusele.

    The health of the players will play a major role as to who will get selected, and Collet will have to mix and match and see who he wants to play alongside whom. But the depth of stars is there. The roster will be officially announced by the French Federation on May 16.

    Qualified Team Focus series

    During coming weeks and months, we will continue to check out all teams aiming for a medal at Paris 2024 as part of our Qualified Team Focus series. Check out the first installment: USA, Germany,Serbia, Australia and Canada.

    FIBA

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    Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament Paris 2024

    Group Phase 路 Group A
    AUS
    OQT-ESP
    Villeneuve d'ASCQ (FRA)
    Sat, Jul 27

    09:00

    Group Phase 路 Group B
    FRA
    OQT-LAT
    Villeneuve d'ASCQ (FRA)
    Sat, Jul 27

    15:15

    Group Phase 路 Group A
    OQT-GRE
    CAN
    Villeneuve d'ASCQ (FRA)
    Sat, Jul 27

    19:00