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FIBA World Cup 2014: Utah Jazz players look to make sweet music

A look at the Jazzmen still playing basketball right now

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

This is an update, or sorts, on the Utah Jazz players who will be playing in the World Cup. So enjoy.


Raul Neto (PG, Brazil, Group A)

Neto looks to have made the squad, as his participation in the FIBA South American Tournament 2014 seems to indicate as much. (Previous information suggested that final cuts would be made based on performances there) Brazil finished the group stage 2-1 (with their only loss to Argentina), and then went out there and LOST in their first game in the knockout round to host nation Venezuela by one point. They would end up finishing with the Bronze medal a few days ago. Neto played in all five games and seems to be slotted in as the back-up point guard for his national team. In 25.4 mpg he averaged 10.2 ppg (.363 fg%, .158 3pt%, .636 ft%), 2.4 rpg, 2.2 apg, and 1.4 spg. I have zero footage of his play, but he shot like a Jazz guard (sadtrombone.wav), and had an assist to turn over ratio that was less than one.

He did one thing well, and that was get to the free throw line, where he was 9th best in the tournament with 4.4 FTA per game. It should be noted that he was second chuckiest on the team in terms of total 3PTA (shot 3/19 in five games). So he is getting open. He's just not making these shots. Perhaps it's the defensive design to get him to shoot those. I don't know, again, I haven't seen any action from this tournament. (I guess I could look for some)


Rudy Gobert (C, France, Group A)

Rudy Gobert is on the team outright because France's regular bigs are all injured right now. Or old. Or both. (I see you Kevin Seraphin, Alexis Ajinca, and Ronny Turiaf!) France just beat Belgium 79-57. By some accounts the route was started by putting Rudy Gobert in the game, and he played the part of a defensive intimidator who also cleaned things up near the rim on offense. He led France with 16 points, and 6 boards.

In the tournament he's going to be tested early and often, and it will be a good challenge for him after beasting the Summer League.


Ante Tomic (C, Croatia, Group B)

I have no idea on what's happening with this bruvah. But Paul Stimpson, FIBA director of something or another, was quoted as saying that "Croatia is tough with Ante Tomic . . . they were fourth in the European championships last year." That's cool, but I would have liked to at least have some stats or something from recent Team Croatia games. Oh well, I guess Ol' Amar isn't working hard enough to find you content that you aren't getting anywhere else . . .


Carlos Arroyo (PG, Puerto Rico, Group B)

The PR plays in Centrobasket 2014 later on in August, where Arroyo will face off against the powerful basketball nations like Jamaica, El Salvador, and the Bahamas . . . wait a sec. Apparently he didn't make the PR team for this tournament, even though they seem to have a 22 person roster right now.

Maybe he decided not to play in this tournament, because other sources list him as on the actual team going to the world cup. Meh.


Gordon Hayward (SF/SG, United States, Group C)

Kyle Korver (SF/SG, United States, Group C)

Paul Millsap (PF/SF, United States, Group C)

Trey Burke (PG, United States Select, Training Camp)

These four guys are involved in USA Basketball this summer. It is likely that one of Hayward or Korver will make the squad. Millsap may have an inside track because so many bigs have opted out. Burke is there to give the team hell. He does play the role of that smaller foreign point guard who has excellent range and never misses a free throw. So he is perfect for our squad to go up against. It's also great for him because he gets to play against the best point guards in the country every day right now.


Enes Kanter (PF/C, Turkey, Group C)

Enes is not playing. But I'm listing him here because . . . wow . . . I don't care how good their squad is getting, but you still need a guy like Enes Kanter on your team if you have some level of availability to him. The Jazz and Enes' people said no, though. So it's a no-go.


Dante Exum (PG, Australia, Group D)

I don't get a lot of info on what's happening down there, if only SLC Dunk had access to a FIBA basketball ref who lives there or something . . . but from the best I can tell he has gained some weight since that photo was taken. Also, something something Brock Motum. Love that guy. But I don't know if he's going to look as awesome when other teams actually scout him.

As for Dante, kid is going to be crazy good. And I don't have any stats that disprove that at this point in time.