This is their first meeting at the world level since 1998 World Championship (CAN won, 70-57). Canada has a lot of momentum after beating higher ranked Turkey, and they have their sights set on one clear target - sweeping Group A and going to the semifinals as the top seed. Senegal, on the other hand, is hoping to open their account on a good note, but the absence of some key players (Gorgui Dieng and Xane D’Almeida) may prove to be the difference-maker in this match.

FIBA Rankings: CAN - 26, SEN - 31

CAN needs a strong start like they did against TUR, and they need to sustain it. They cannot let SEN get any momentum, especially heading into the final period, lest they find themselves on the wrong end of an upset. CAN also needs to play solid in the paint as the Senegalese are a slighlty bigger team with three 7-footers (Hamady N’Diaye, Ibrahima Thomas & Abdoulaye N’Doye).

SEN certainly has to tighten up on D, especially regarding CAN’s guard play and their sharp pick-and-roll execution. SEN has to maximize its size advantage in the paint and rebound like crazy, and their outside shooting has to get going. That means Clevin Hannah has to debut with aplomb.

CANADA roster
Joel Anthony - 6’9 - 33
Anthony Bennett - 6’7 - 23
Khem Birch - 6’9 - 23
Melvin Ejim - 6’6 - 25
Tyler Ennis - 6’2 - 21
Brady Heslip - 6’2 - 26
Cory Joseph - 6’4 - 24
Levon Kendall - 6’11 - 32
Jamal Murray - 6’5 - 19
Kevin Pangos - 6’1 - 23
Philip Scrubb - 6’3 - 23
Thomas Scrubb - 6’5 - 24
Tristan Thompson - 6’9 - 25

SENEGAL roster
Louis Adams - 6’1 - 26
Bamba Gueye - 6’3 - 24
Clevin Hannah - 5’11 - 28
Cheikh Mbodj - 6’10 - 28
Antoine Mendy - 6’7 - 32
Malick Ndiaye - 6’5 - 29
Hamady Ndiaye - 7’0 - 29
Maurice Ndour - 6’9 - 24
Maleye Ndoye - 6’8 - 35
Abdoulaye Ndoye - 6’11 - 20
Thierno Niang - 6’1 - 26
Ibrahima Thomas - 6’11 - 29

Key Players:
Cory Joseph - Joseph was the best player in CAN’s win over TUR, and if he can impose his will again, SEN will be in big trouble. 

Brady Heslip - Heslip hit some big shots for CAN to keep TUR at bay yesterday, and he’ll need to do that again against a dangerous SEN squad.

Khem Birch - The Olympiacos big man was solid against Omer Asik and Semih Erden yesterday, and he should have another good outing here against a big and lanky SEN side. 
Tristan Thompson - Thompson was hampered by foul trouble a bit yesterday, but if he is able to log in good minutes here, he should stamp his class around the basket.

Clevin Hannah - Hannah needs to have a big game here for SEN to have a shot. TUR’s naturalized PG Bobby Dixon couldn’t buy a bucket last night, and Hannah has to definitely play much better. 

Ibrahima Thomas - Big man Thomas will be one of SEN’s main frontliners, and he will have his hands full against Thompson, Anthony Bennett and Birch. Needless to say, he has to play solidly on the boards and around the bucket.

Antoine Mendy - Mendy was SEN’s 2nd best scorer in AfroBasket 2015, and his 3pt shooting will be crucial here. He hit 2.7 triples per game last year, and cannot shy away from raining it from downtown.

Key Match-up: Cory Joseph x Clevin Hannah
This duel of the PGs will be critical. Hannah has to find a way to contain the prolific Joseph, while the former Toronto Raptor must not underestimate SEN’s naturalized playmaker, who has a lot of experience in Euro hoops.

All images are from FIBA.com.




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