*=Projected to advance out of group stage
*Brazil: The Brazilians should be one of the better teams in the group led by an NBA frontcourt of Anderson Varejão, Nené, and Tiago Splitter. Explosive combo guard Leandro Barbosa will be one of the top Brazilians as well with plenty of NBA experience and a new contract with the Golden State Warriors. Lead guard Marcelinho Huertas will be an exciting one to watch. Brazil should advance to the knockout round due to an array of NBA veterans.
Egypt: Without a single NBA player on the roster, it will be a huge upset if Egypt can advance to the knockout round. Former USC center Omar Oraby won’t be in attendance and the Egyptians are pretty much an unknown team headed into the event.
*France: It will be interesting to watch versatile NBA veterans Boris Diaw and Nicolas Batum play in the same frontcourt with young 7-foot-2 center Rudy Gobert. Indiana big man Ian Mahinmi will also see plenty of action in the rotation. A big question will be at the point guard position as Tony Parker will not be participating. Evan Fournier should be a solid option off the ball.
Iran: The big men will need to lead Iran out of the group stage as former NBA center Hamed Haddadi and second round pick Arsalan Kazemi highlight the roster. Samad Nikkhah Bahrami will be one to watch, however, this team may lack the star power to advance out of the group.
*Serbia: The Serbians will have plenty of size led by 7-foot center and former first round pick Nenad Krstic leading the way. Newest Los Angeles Clipper Miroslav Raduljica is another massive center to watch on Serbia’s squad. Bogdan Bogdanovic, a first round pick by the Phoenix Suns in this year’s draft, will be looked to score the basketball during tournament play. Milos Teodosic is an experienced point guard who should run the squad.
*Spain: Spain should be the second best team in attendance and the favorite the reach the finals. Marc and Pau Gasol are talented NBA starters ready to make an impact alongside Oklahoma City shot blocker Serge Ibaka. Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio will be an excellent set-up man while Jose Calderon is coming off a solid NBA season. Rudy Fernandez and Juan-Carlos Navarro are two quality players on the wing. If the United States is somehow upset, Spain should be the favorite.
*Argentina: The Argentinians should have somewhat of a “Big Three” with NBA players Pablo Prigioni and Luis Scola on the roster alongside former Chicago Bull Andres Nocioni. Forward Walter Herrmann is also a one-time NBA player who will be a major contributor. Argentina should be a veteran squad, however, this could be a weakness as well with four players over the age of 33. The team will miss Manu Ginobili, but should have enough firepower to compete with Croatia.
*Croatia: Brooklyn Nets wing Bojan Bogdanovic will lead Croatia alongside recent first round pick Dario Saric. Roko Leni Ukic is a former NBA player while Ante Tomic is a former second round pick by the Utah Jazz. Krunoslav Simon and Damjan Rudez will be two more to follow. This team should be the favorite to win the group.
*Greece: To no surprise, this squad will be led by the “Greek Freak” – also known as Milwaukee Bucks rising superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. The 6-foot-11 wing should be a mismatch due to his size and versatility. Memphis Grizzlies guard Nick Calathes will key at both backcourt spots and Kostas Papanikolaou is an NBA wing with the Houston Rockets. With a mixture of youth and experience, Greece will be an interesting team to follow.
Philippines: Brooklyn big man Andray Blatche will lead the squad that lacks a strong supporting cast. The Philippines will also be without much size outside of the NBA veteran.
*Puerto Rico: Point guards Carlos Arroyo and J.J. Barea highlight the Puerto Rico roster along with former Knick Renaldo Balkman. With strong guard play, a major question mark will come down to the big men. As an undersized but tough squad, look for Puerto Rico as a possible surprise team.
Senegal: After surpassing expectations in his rookie season, Gorgui Dieng will be the star for Senegal. The lengthy shot-blocker will be joined inside by Hamady Ndiaye, a second round pick back in 2010. With two solid big men, Senegal will need the guards to step up on the big stage if they hope to advance.
Dominican Republic: Without Al Horford and Karl Towns, the Dominican Republic is lacking some NBA caliber talent on the roster. Veteran Francisco Garcia will be the primary scorer while Ronald Roberts should be one to watch after a solid showing in the summer league.
*Finland: Erik Murphy is the only NBA player on the roster but there are some shooters to spread the floor offensively. The backcourt of Petteri Koponen and Susu Salin should make a strong defensive duo that could affect the tempo. While this team may lack a star, there’s some intrigue with Finland.
New Zealand: Kirk Penney played at Wisconsin over a decade ago but should be the top player for New Zealand. Rob Loe had a nice season for St. Louis and Hawaii’s Isaac Fotu will also see a big role this tournament.
*Turkey: Turkish big man Omer Asik is the only NBA player on the roster although Furkan Aldemir and Emir Preldzic have their NBA rights owned by the 76ers and Mavericks respectively. Up-and-coming guard Cedi Osman is a future draft prospect to monitor as well. With some talented bigs and promising guards, Turkey should be in good shape to advance out of the group.
*Ukraine: The backcourt of Eugene “Pooh” Jeter and Sergii Gladyr will need to lead Ukraine if they hope to get out of the group. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk should also be one to watch as a late addition to Kansas’ 2014 recruiting class. With plenty of firepower at the guard spots, the frontcourt will need to perform well enough to compliment.
*USA: The clear favorite in this tournament, all 12 players are featured on an NBA roster and plenty are considered superstars. James Harden and Anthony Davis should make a nice inside-out duo while Golden State teammates Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will provide plenty of shooting. Derrick Rose will be fun to watch – as long as he stays healthy – and Rudy Gay will play a big role despite his late addition. Kenneth Faried could be the X-Factor late in the tournament, especially against a bigger squad such as Spain. Still, anything less than a championship will be considered underachieving.
Angola: This may be the top African team, but there isn’t a single NBA player or future star on the roster. Angola’s energy and drive got them here, but it’s going to be tough for them to make it out of the group.
*Australia: With underrated NBA players Matthew Dellavedova and Aron Baynes on the squad to compliment rookies Dante Exum and Cameron Bairstow, Australia should contend for the top team in the group. Exum will be a versatile weapon while Baynes will be playing hard in hopes of earning a new NBA contract. Joe Ingles will be another player to watch. Even without international superstar Patty Mills, Australia should easily advance into the knockout round.
Korea: An undersized team without any household names, Korea will likely struggle on the bigger stage. If the team can win one game it will be a huge success for the country.
*Lithuania: NBA big men Jonas Valanciunas and Donatas Motiejunas will be the stars for a strong Lithuanian unit. Point guard Mantas Kalnietis is another talented player to watch. As a solid overall squad, Lithuania should win the group and make some noise in the knockout rounds.
*Mexico: Jorge Gutierrez became the fourth Mexican-born player to play in the NBA this season and will lead Mexico in the FIBA tournament. His defensive prowess should frustrate opposing ball handlers while his NBA experience should help him on the offensive end. Gustavo Ayon should be a notable presence down low and will be crucial on a team that lacks size.
*Slovenia: Goran Dragic nearly had an All-Star caliber season for Phoenix last year and will be the leader for Slovenia. His brother, Zoran, will also be a big contributor in the backcourt. The key will be in the production of the frontcourt and if the big men can compete well enough to compliment the Dragic brothers.
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