Preview >> USA Women vs. France
Sept. 25 • Ostrava, Czech Republic
TV: Live on NBA TV, 9:15
In the 2010 World Championship
France is undefeated in its two games of the 2010 FIBA World Championship, including a 83-45 win over Senegal and a 69-55 victory over Greece.
A Little History
France defeated Russia 57-53 in the final, finished with a 9-0 record and captured the gold medal in the 2009 FIBA Europe Championship to earn its place in the 2010 Worlds. Overall in World Championship play, France is 27-30 in seven appearances, earning bronze in 1953 -- it's best finish. Most recently, France finished in 5th place with a 5-4 record in 2006.
All-time against the USA in past World Championships, France is 1-5, including a 76-41 loss in 2006. France's lone victory came in 1971 with a 68-51 win. The USA also recorded victories in 2002 (101-69), 1979 (80-59), 1964 (48-37) and 1953 (41-37).
Players To Watch
In each of France's 2010 FIBA World Championship games, three players have tallied double-figure scoring. In their first game against Senegal, Clemence Beikes and Celine Dumerc scored 12 points apiece, followed by 10 from Emmeline Ndongue. Against Greece, Nwal-Endene Miyem led with 19 points, Ndongue posted 10 points and 10 boards and Jennifer Digbeu contributed 11 points.
Dumerc and Ndongue were big contributors in the 2009 European Championshop as well, tying for France's second leading scorer with 8.1 ppg. each.
France's youngest player, 21-year-old Marielle Amant, who is playing in her
first major international tournament, has played with French national teams
every year since the 2005 U16 European Championship. Most recently, she averaged
12.4 ppg. and 7.4 rpg. at the 2009 U20 European Championship.
The Scouting Report
USA Assistant Coach Doug Bruno (DePaul University)
Do you expect France to be the USA's toughest opponent thus far?
Definitely. Having watched them for two games, I think for sure France is going to be the best team that we've faced so far. They have a great point guard, Celine Dumerc. We played against her last year when we played the Ekaterinburg team. She really runs things and reminds you of a Steve Nash. Everything runs through her, so that will be a key for us. They just really destroyed a Greece team last night that we had a little bit of trouble with.
What will be the points of emphasis for the USA?
We have to limit Dumerc and take care of that business. And then offensively, they are a better defensive team than you would expect, and we have to continue to grow our offense. We need to take advantage of our fast-break opportunities, and then in the half court we have to continue to improve our execution. That's really starting to happen as the late additions of Sue, Swin and Angel work into the mix, and with Sylvia getting more minutes. We are bringing in a very strong second group off the bench, people like Maya Moore, Tina Charles, Angel McCoughtry and Lindsay Whalen -- it's a very strong group, and they could all start for us. I think it's one of those games where all 12 people have to contribute. That will be a real key for us as we move forward.
Do you expect to see some zone from France?
Teams have to pick their poison against us, and I'm not sure what France will do. If they do go zone, we still have great 3-point shooters like Maya Moore and Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi can shoot the three, Angel McCoughtry and even Swin Cash is shooting threes. And when you go zone, there is still plenty of opportunity to work the ball inside, which is another area where we are strong. Teams may try to circle the wagons with a zone defense, but this team is good enough to execute either way.