27 July, 2024
10 August
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Qualified Team Focus - Australia: Boomers dream of back-to-back medals

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 5 team in the FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalists Australia. The Oceanian powers will be competing in the Olympics for the 16th time.

How they qualified

Josh Giddey shined on the global stage

Australia went to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 with high expectations after finally reaching the podium of a global event with their third-place finish at the 2020 Olympics. The Boomers started their campaign in Okinawa, Japan with a win over Finland. Australia could not knock off Germany in the next game but rebounded with a 20-point win over Japan.

Onto the Second Round, Australia were defeated 91-80 against Slovenia to be eliminated from contention for the Knockout Phase. Australia finished off their FIBA World Cup with a 16-point win over Georgia.

Australia ended the tournament with a final placing of 10th place, which was the best result from Oceania, meaning the Boomers were directly qualified for the Olympics.

Record at the Olympics

 2020 Olympic bronze medallists Australia

Appearances: 15 - 1956 (12th), 1964 (9th), 1972 (9th), 1976 (8th), 1980 (8th), 1984 (7th), 1988 (4th), 1992 (6th), 1996 (4th), 2000 (4th), 2004 (9th), 2008 (7th), 2012 (7th), 2016 (4th), 2020 (3rd)
Medals: 1 - 🥉(2020)

Last appearance

Australia came to Tokyo looking to finally win a medal on the big stage - having finished fourth at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 as well as four fourth-placed finishes at the Olympics (1988, 1996, 2000 and 2016).

The Boomers started Group B action with a 17-point victory over Nigeria and then fended off Italy 86-83 before finishing the group stage with an 89-76 win over Germany.

An 11th top-eight finish in the last 12 Olympics was not enough though for Australia, and the Oceania powers advanced to the Semi-Finals with a 97-59 blowout of Argentina. The Boomers' gold dreams ended at that stage though as United States registered a 97-78 win. 

That sent Australia to the Bronze Medal Game where they were taking on Luka Doncic and Slovenia. The Boomers led most of the way and pulled away in the final five minutes for a 107-93 victory. The long wait for a podium finish at a global event was finally over thanks to Patty Mills scoring 42 points..

The Group Phase 

 Joe Ingles will be hungry for another Olympic medal

Australia's quest for back-to-back Olympic medals could be a massively difficult undertaking depending on the results from the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments. Group A already includes Canada, who like Australia at the 2020 Olympics finally broke through with a historic medal as third-placed finishers at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023. The other two teams are the winners of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in Spain and Greece.

Australia will open Group A play against the OQT Spain winner, the top favorite of which is Spain but also includes the likes of Bahamas, Poland, and Finland. The Boomers' second game will be against Canada. And the final showdown will come against the OQT Greece winner. In addition to Greece, the tournament in Piraeus includes Slovenia, the Dominican Republic, and New Zealand. Should Slovenia make it through, it would be a rematch of the 2020 Olympic Bronze Medal Game and the Second Round game from the 2023 World Cup.

Australia Group Phase games

vs Winner OQT Spain (July 27)
vs Canada (July 31)
vs Winner OQT Greece (August 2) 

Players to watch

Australia announced earlier this month a 22-man preliminary roster.

The Boomers still are Patty Mills' team even though he turns 36 on the day of the Gold Medal Game. Mills ranked second on the Australia team in scoring, rebounds, and assists at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.

But Josh Giddey - who led the Boomers in scoring and assists last summer - is slowly ready to take over as the team leader. Brian Goorjian, who will be coaching at his fourth Olympics, will have a number of key players who were at both the 2020 Olympic Games and last summer's World Cup, including Joe Ingles, Dante Exum, Josh Green, Matisse Thybulle and Nick Kay.

Dante Exum

Jock Landale, Xavier Cooks and Matthew Dellavedova are also in the mix as well as youngsters Dyson Daniels, Jack White and Johnny Furphy.

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, and Serbia.