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Canada's top performers so far at the FIBA World Cup

It's already been a successful 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup for Canada.

The country has qualified for the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics with their performance and the team has reached the World Cup semifinals for the first time.

They face Serbia in the final four on Friday, Sept. 8. The Canadians clinched their best World Cup finish ever with their win against Slovenia, surpassing sixth-placed finishes in 1978 and 1982.

Below is a brief review of Canada’s top performers through their first six World Cup games.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

SGA announced his presence in Canada’s opener against Group H favorites France. He scored 27 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out six assists in the team’s surprisingly easy 95-65 triumph.

He added 27 against Latvia to clinch the group, 23 in a tough second-round loss to Brazil, and 30 points, four rebounds and seven assists in a thrilling 88-85 win over defending World Cup champion Spain.

In the 100-89 quarterfinal win over Slovenia, SGA dropped 31 points with 10 rebounds and four assists.

For the tournament, Gilgeous-Alexander leads the team and is fifth overall at 25 points a game. He also leads Canada with 7.2 rebounds, five assists and 1.7 steals per contest, and is also shooting 89% from the line.

RJ Barrett

New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett has heated up as the World Cup has gone along.

He was held to five points in the France opener, although he did have six rebounds and five assists.

He followed that with 17 points against Lebanon, 22 points and five rebounds against Latvia and 16 points and five assists against Spain.

He went off for 24 points in the quarterfinals against Slovenia, his best scoring performance in the tournament.

Barrett is averaging nearly 14.7 points a game, five rebounds and two assists.

Kelly Olynyk

Ten-year NBA veteran and current Utah Jazz center Kelly Olynyk has been the model of consistency inside for Canada, as well as a great veteran presence for rising Purdue senior Zach Edey.

Olynyk reached double figures in scoring in each of the three pool play games, with a high of 18 against France.

He has filled the stat sheet, with 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists against Lebanon, 15 points, six rebounds and four assists against Latvia and nine points and seven rebounds against Brazil.

Olynyk is currently third in scoring on the team at 11.2 points a game, to go with 5.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

Dillon Brooks

Small forward Dillon Brooks, who joined the Houston Rockets this offseason, was brought to the World Cup to be a defensive presence for Canada.

He has done his job, and added some pop on the offensive end at times as well.

Brooks is second behind Gilgeous-Alexander in steals at 1.3 a game and has added 11 points, 2.5 assists and 2.7 rebounds a game.

He was huge in the victory over Spain, scoring 22 points and grabbing five rebounds.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker

Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker has been a clutch depth performer for Canada.

He had 12 points against France, 12 points and seven assists against Lebanon, 14 points and five rebounds against Latvia, and 14 points against Slovenia.

Canada FIBA World Cup Odds

Despite the Brazil loss, this has been a feel-good tournament for Canada, who are striving for a higher relevance on the world basketball stage. 

Making the tournament's championship game would be a big boost.

Canada are listed at +340 to win the World Cup, trailing only favourites USA (-167).

The Canadians’ semifinal opponents, Serbia, are listed at +700 to win it all.

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