The groups for the Olympics are set, and the U.S. has at least two tough opponents in Group B:
- FIBA World Champ Spain
- Africa zone champion Angola
- Two teams that will be determined through the Olympic Qualifying Tournament
- European champion Russia
- defending Olympic champion Argentina
- One team that will be determined through the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
There's no telling who will come out of the Athens tournament, but there are some quality teams that aren't in yet, like Puerto Rico, France, conceivably an improving England perhaps with Luol Deng and Ben Gordon, Canada and perhaps Venezuela.
What is for certain is that the U.S. has a very tough opening matchup with China. We haven't kept up with Angola, but presumably they've continued to improve over the years and like the rest of the world are no longer overawed by the U.S.
We're looking forward to seeing Spain, too, not least of all to see if the hype about Ricky Rubio is for real. This is from an under 16 Championship game, but the stats are eyepopping: 51 points, 24 boards, 12 assists, and seven steals.
One more Olympic note: do we remember that Trajan Langdon had gained Russian citizenship? If so, would he be eligible for their team?