FIBA World Cup 2019 Quarter-Final - United States vs France: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

While the overall talent depth of the USA is still likely greater than that of France, Les Bleus have an impressive bench themselves that are sure to give the Americans problems.

How to Watch

What: Quarter-Final, United States vs France

Where: Shanghai Oriental Sports Center, Shanghai, China

When: Wednesday, 11 September 2019, 7:00 AM EST

How (TV): ESPN+

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France (Away)

Head Coach: Vincent Collet {SIG Basket}

Assistant Coach(es): Ruddy Nelhomme {Poitiers Basket 86}, Pascal Donnadieu {Nanterre 92}

Record: 4-1

Projected Starting Five: (G) Frank Ntilikina – (G) Evan Fournier – (F) Nicolas Batum – (F) Amath M’Baye – (C) Rudy Gobert

Last match against Australia:

Top Performers:

  • G Evan Fournier – 20.8 PPG | 4.0 RPG | 3.6 APG
  • G Nando De Colo – 16.8 PPG | 3.8 APG | .529 3P%
  • C Rudy Gobert – 11.0 PPG | 8.4 RPG | 2.2 BPG

France is coming off of a heart breaking loss to the Boomers. While it was a hotly contested match, the loss came at the slimmest of margins and a defensive error at the end of the game.

There were many positives to take from their last match though. Evan Fournier still looks to be the star of the tournament, Rudy Gobert is still a beast in the paint, and Nando De Colo is the tournaments best off the bench.

They will need all of the stars to align if they hope to take down the United States. While the USA’s roster doesn’t have the prestige of previous years, its talent and depth is still difficult to contend with.

USA (Home)

Head Coach: Gregg Popovich {San Antonio Spurs}

Assistant Coach(es): Steve Kerr {Golden State Warriors}, Lloyd Pierce {Atlanta Hawks}

Record: 5-0

Projected Starting Five: (G) Kemba Walker – (G) Donovan Mitchell – (F) Joe Harris – (F) Harrison Barnes – (C) Myles Turner

Last match against Brazil:

Top Performers:

  • G Kemba Walker – 14.6 PPG | 2.8 RPG | 6.0 APG
  • F Harrison Barnes – 11.4 PPG | 4.8 RPG | 1.6 SPG
  • C Myles Turner – 8.4 PPG | 8.0 RPG | 1.4 BPG

The United States are still the top of the world in terms of basketball. While the names on the roster are less known than usual, they certainly still maintain world-class quality.

Their play on the court has been in classic Gregg Popovich fashion. They are not only sharing the ball extremely well, but their defensive ability has been on display. They are dominating teams on the glass and in the paint.

France is one of the first teams in the world that look to be able to match their quality top to bottom. When the starters go to rest, the game will be defined by the bench matchups.

What’s At Stake?

This is the quarter-final matchup between the United States and France. The winner of this match will move on to the semi-final.

The winner of this match will face off against Argentina in the semi-final.

The loser of this match will challenge Serbia in the 5th-8th classification matches.

Will France’s Depth Tip the Scales?

While the overall talent depth of the USA is still likely greater than that of France, Les Bleus have an impressive bench themselves that are sure to give the Americans problems.

It all starts with Nando de Colo. The former Toronto Raptors guard has NBA quality, but has been plying his trade in Europe for the the past couple of years. He has been a force off of the bench, averaging almost 17 points, four assists, and is shooing over 52% from three.

His ability to lead the second unit will help the French quell the starter-less runs of the United States. It will be an uphill battle, but France’s depth certainly has the talent to stay in the game.

Can the USA Continue to Dominate the Glass?

The United States have dominated their competition, and it’s not just because of their scoring. Their dominance in the paint and on the boards have powered them to success. Despite not having many significant paint presences, they’ve been dominant.

It all comes down to a gang-rebounding mentality that Gregg Popovich has instituted. Of their top three rebounders, Jayson Tatum and Harrison Barnes are more famous for their wing play. Even shooting guard Donovan Mitchell’s athleticism has helped him to four rebounds per game.

They face off against one of the tournaments premiere rebounders in Gobert. While Turner is a strong match, it will take the guards and forwards to hit the glass to keep him off.

France Need to Feature Gobert

Were one to attempt to name a centre in the FIBA World Cup that is a match for Gobert, they would be hard-pressed. Even the United States, who have Myles Turner, Mason Plumlee, and Brook Lopez at their disposal, could struggle to stop the Stifle Tower.

Unfortunately, France failed to encourage his success in their loss to Australia. He played 31 minutes in the match. However Gobert attempted only four field-goals in that time. On a positive note his passing was excellent. Consistently doubled by Australia, Gobert accumulated six assists to punish the Australian defences.

Turner will be given the first shot at stopping Gobert, but his length and foot speed are difficult to overcome. If Gobert shows more aggression in the paint and an equal passing effort to his outing against Australia, France may look unstoppable.

The USA Are Not Getting to the Line

Due to their style of play, the USA haven’t really spent much time at the free-throw line. Despite their athleticism and creativity on offence, they’ve opted for a more motion-oriented offence to create open shots.

There are scoring approximately a third of their points from three-point range, but they are making it difficult by not attacking to get to the free throw line (15 attempts per game). Will they pull Gobert out of the paint or leave him in there to attack?

Should the USA not make their mark from deep, they will have to attack the paint. France is strong defending the rim, so getting easy points by getting to the free throw line will key their success.

France Roster Notes

France has no roster changes of note.

United States Roster Notes

United States has no roster changes of note.

X-Factors: G Frank Ntilikina (FRA) vs G Kemba Walker (USA)

The point guards are the first point of attack for a basketball team. This matchup will feature a defensive savant in Ntilikina taking on an offensive powerhouse in Kemba Walker. It should be fantastic.

(G) Frank Ntilikina





Frank Ntilikina’s output is understated when you look at the box score. He is a talented lead guard, but the production of Fournier and De Colo have forced him into the background.

His task against the USA will be locking up scoring-guard Kemba Walker, who is leading the USA in scoring. Ntilikina is a long and strong defender, who should be able to push Walker off of his spots.

Just as important for Ntilikina is to challenge Walker on the offensive end. Ntilikina is quite reserved shooting the ball, but can’t afford to sit in the corner. Being proactive on offence will help France to success.

(G) Kemba Walker





Kemba Walker has one task when he is on the court, that is score the ball. While the USA has depth in terms of shooting and scoring ability, Walker has been given the keys to the car entirely.

His scoring ability has been on full display throughout the tournament. While his output is modest compared to his professional scoring resume, his efficiency is incredible. For a point guard who focuses on the perimeter, his 50% mark from the field and 41% mark from range is fantastic.

Walker has also shown an ability to find the open man. His six assists per game is leading the USA and suggests that more than a singular focus on him will result in a kick-out and bucket. As Walker goes, so does the USA.

USA at France Predictions and Odds

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