There has never been a moment in time where you could have so much hope for Canada Basketball and its future. While hope is one thing to get results and deliver on that hope is another. Canada has made it through the first round with only one loss on their ledger. Even in that game versus Puerto Rico Canada at one point held a lead briefly. In the games they have won they have been dominate with wins over Jamaica, Brazil and last night over Uruguay.
The win over Uruguay was done under less than ideal conditions for both teams thanks to a blackout that impacted on 75 percent of Venezuela. The game originally scheduled for early afternoon would be re-scheduled to 10:30 pm. Canada stormed out of the gates and never looked back. This group has perhaps the best overall talent Canada has but on a basketball court to compete for Canada. Keep in mind, that this team still will likely add Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett the first pick in the most recent NBA draft and Kelly Olynyk who was also a lottery pick in the most recent draft.
Cory Joseph is having a similar experience to what Steve Nash had with national team. Joseph has really stood out in this tournament and been a consistent performer for this group. The other player that has really stood out is Andrew Nicholson who was drafted in the first round by the Orlando Magic. He has been on fire in this tournament producing at a high level. Tristan Thompson meanwhile has changed his shooting hand which has been a pretty incredible in and of its self. It is also showing some dramatic results in his free throw shooting. Thompson has struggled at the line through his career at Texas and with the Cavs. In this tournament he has been shooting at level far beyond anything we have seen from him.
Canada now moves on to the next round facing Mexico, Argentina, Dominican Republic and the hosts Venezuela. This should be much more challenging but Canada does carry two of their three wins to the next round. They also only need to finish in to the top four to qualify for the World Cup in Spain next year.
As they enter this second round they have a real shot at doing just that. When you consider the roster could be better and in reality the real target for this program is Rio 2016 and the following Olympics in 2020. This has been a good start to what many are considering the start of golden age for Canada basketball.