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The world's top basketball event tips off on August 25th, and all eyes are on the electric scorers who will participate in the tournament.
The favorite to win top scorer at this year's FIBA World Cup is Slovenian superstar Luka Doncic. However, the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup top scorer, Bogdan Bogdanovic, won't make it easy for Doncic to win. Rounding out the group of contenders for the top scorer award are American rising star Anthony Edwards and Canadian All-NBA First Team talent Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The competition will be fierce!
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Unsurprisingly, Luka Doncic is a favorite to win top scorer at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. The Slovenian superstar is one of the world's most electric scorers, an excellent playmaker, and a solid rebounder for his size and position.
Doncic has had great success at both the domestic and international levels. He is coming off a 32.4 point per game season with the Dallas Mavericks, on top of posting an impressive 26.0 points per game on 49.6% shooting from the field at Eurobasket 2022.
Slovenia was fortunate to be drawn into Group F, Cape Verde, Venezuela, and Georgia. Luka Doncic's Slovenia projects to be on a different tier to its fellow group members, which will benefit his scoring efforts. Expect Doncic to gain an early lead off the benefit of his group alone.
Vaulting into the conversation about top performers at the FIBA World Cup, along with his nation, is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of Canada. The 6'6 guard put on the best performance of his club career with the Oklahoma City Thunder last season, earning a spot on the All-NBA First Team alongside names like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, and Luka Doncic.
Gilgeous-Alexander's last club season saw him score 31.4 points per game on 51.0% from the field and 34.5% from three-point range. He was also excellent through his pre-exhibition appearances, averaging 19.7 points on 46.4% shooting from the field. His scoring numbers are also skewed from a minor role in their last exhibition, contributing just six points in 13 minutes of play.
Canada was drawn into a competitive group with France, Latvia, and Lebanon. France, in particular, with their rim protection, may present issues for Gilgeous-Alexander. Regardless, Gilgeous-Alexander has scoring potential as great as any player in the tournament, and with a long cup run, he could surprise many with his production.
One of the top rising stars in the basketball world is Anthony Edwards. In just his third NBA season, he's been named an NBA All-Star for his Minnesota Timberwolves. Touted by United States head coach Steve Kerr as "The Guy" for Team USA, expect Edwards to receive the bulk of offensive responsibility on a team that sports names like Jayson Tatum, Brandon Ingram, and Jalen Brunson.
In 79 games with his club side, Anthony Edwards posted 24.6 points on 45.9% from the field and 36.9% from three-point range on 2.7 made per game. Through Team USA's preparation process, Edwards averaged a modest 18.8 points per game on 49.2% shooting from the field. The turning point for fans and bettors was his final exhibition match against Germany, where he scored 34 points on 52.4% shooting en route to a 91-99 win.
Edwards projects to be one of the top players in the tournament, and it's easy to see why. He's a great individual scorer and one of the tournament's most potent players on the break and getting to the line. The only issue is the talent that surrounds him, as players like Jayson Tatum and Brandon Ingram can easily take the spotlight and scoring opportunities from the more junior Edwards.
The least touted of the contenders to win FIBA World Cup top scorer is Bogdan Bogdanovic of Serbia. He may be a role player for his club side, the Atlanta Hawks, but for Serbia, he is a potent scorer and will be the focus of the offense with star man Nikola Jokic unavailable.
In his last club season with the Atlanta Hawks, Bogdanovic averaged 14.0 points on 44.7% from the field and 40.6% from three-point range in 54 games. He played two warm-up games for Serbia in early August against Italy and Greece, averaging 14.5 points on 40.7% shooting from the field.
Serbia's chances of a long tournament run were harmed with Nikola Jokic unavailable, and they now face an upstart group including Puerto Rico, China, and South Sudan. Expect Bogdanovic to be the offense's focal point for Serbia, but be wary of how long their cup run may last.
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Nikos Galis of Greece was the all-time top scorer in one FIBA Basketball World Cup. In 1986, Galis scored 337 total points en route to a tenth-place finish.
Oscar Schmidt of Brazil is the all-time top scorer at the FIBA Basketball World Cup. In 33 games played, Schmidt scored 843 points for his home country.
Oscar Schmidt of Brazil is the player with the highest all-time scoring average at the FIBA Basketball World Cup. In 33 appearances at the FIBA World Cup, Schmidt averaged 25.6 points per game.
Hur Jae of South Korea set the highest single-game scoring record at the FIBA Basketball World Cup. In 1990, Hur Jae led South Korea with 54 points in a 117-115 victory over Egypt.
Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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