Canada

Angola                    Australia            Brazil                 Canada               China               Croatia              

Czech Republic     France                Great Britain     Russia                Turkey             United States

NO
NAME
POS
HGT
DOB
CLUB TEAM SCHOOL HOMETOWN
WGT
11
Natalie Achonwa
F
6-3
11/22/92
N/A Notre Dame Guelph
150
14
Chelsea Aubry F
6-2
06/27/84
Bendigo Spirit (AUS) Nebraska Kitchener
161
9
Miranda Ayim
F
6-3
05/06/88
Istanbul University (TUR) Pepperdine Chatham
170
Tulsa Shock - 2011 (USA)
5
Teresa Gabriele*
G
5-5
01/23/79
N/A Simon Fraser University (CAN) Mission
137
12
Lizanne Murphy
SF
6-1
03/15/84
Aix-en-Provence (FRA) Hofstra Beaconsfield
 
4
Krista Phillips
C
6-6
05/18/88
Dangdengon Rangers (AUS) Michigan Saskatoon
228
7
Courtnay Pilypaitis
G
6-1
02/11/88
VICI Aistes Kaunas (LIT)/Asst. Coach, Vermont Vermont Orleans
198
15
Michelle Plouffe
SF
6-4
09/15/92
N/A Utah Edmonton
180
8
Kim Smith*
SF
6-1
05/07/84
Phoenix Mercury - 2009 (USA) Utah Mission
 
 
10
Alisha Tatham
G
5-11
11/14/86
Point Chaud - 2011 (BEL) Massachusetts Brampton
143
13
Tamara Tatham
 F
6-1
08/19/85
Halle (GER) Massachusetts Brampton
159
6
Shona Thorburn
PG
5-10
08/07/82
Aix-en-Provence (FRA) Utah Hamilton (ENG)
141
Seattle Storm - 2007 (USA)
2012 Canadian Olympic Team Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Alison McNiell
Assistant Coach: Mike McNiell
Assistant Coach: Lisa Thomaidis
Notes: * indicates team captain(s). Roster announced Jul. 3, 2012. Roster may be altered until Jul. 27, 2012. All teams and hometowns in Canada unless otherwise indicated. All colleges in USA unless otherwise indicated.

Flag artwork courtesy of www.icondrawer.com

 

FIBA World Ranking No. 11
How qualified 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women
Key veterans Guards Teresa Gabrielle and Kim Smith
Rising star Courtnay Pilypaitis (Vermont)
Olympic medals None (previous Olympic appearances in Sydney 2000, Atlanta 1996, Los Angeles 1984 and Montreal 1976)
World Championship medals None (appearances in 2010, 2006, 1994, 1990, 1983, 1975, 1971)
Preliminary round group Group B

With a win in the final game of this month's FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women, the Canadians return to the Olympic field for the first time in 12 years. So even though Canada appears to be a team on the rise, the question is whether the North Americans have yet reached the level where they can expect to make it out of the preliminary rounds and into the quarterfinals, with a realistic chance of contending for a medal.

The answer for now, and against this field, is no.

The Canadian roster has capitalized on the NCAA experience and training by most of the squad but nonetheless, while they are a strong defensive team and play with great heart and will to win, at times they struggle to put points on the scoreboard. Although longtime national team veterans Kim Smith (formerly with the WNBA's Sacramento Monarchs) and Teresa Gabrielle are the heart and soul of the team and must perform well for the Canadians, the key to exceeding expectations is 23-year-old Courtnay Pilypaitis, who emerged as the team's scoring leader at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Pilypaitis, who starred at Vermont, fillled the void when Smith found herself in a scoring slump, and she will have to match that performance in London, even if Smith is back in form.

That said, Canada is a team with no megastar, depending heavily on team play. Even Pilypaitis managed just 12.6 ppg at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, and no other Canadian player averaged double figures.

Moreover, while the Canadians boast a 10-6 record in its preparatory games in the run-up to the Olympics, they have had very little success against the teams they will need to beat if they are to get through to the quarterfinals. Canada battled its way to a 2-1 record in an exhibition series against China, but the Chinese are in Group A, while Canada finds itself in Group B where they will have to get past host Great Britain -- an achievable goal, but by no means a certainty, given the 1-1 split with the British in exhibition play last month when the Canadians won one game (63-50) and lost the other (70-57).

Canada would also have to outperform at least one of the other teams in Group B -- Australia, Brazil, France or Russia -- and though that is not impossible, it's far from likely. The best bet would be a win over France, a team to which the Canadians have lost twice in recent international competition, falling 56-47, just two weeks ago at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, in a game in which the Canadian forward Tamara Tatham "led" the team with only seven points. In 2010, they lost by two, 49-47, on a buzzer-beater at the 2010 Women's World Championships, so there is hope of an upset.

On the other hand, the Canadians lost badly to Brazil, the ultimate champion of the 2011 FIBA Americas Tournament, 56-39, in preliminary-round play, and suffered a 72-47 rout by Australia the last time they met, at the 2010 World Championships.

Bottom line: It's good to see the Canadians back in the field with the world's elite women's basketball teams, but they'll like be chalking this Olympic campaign up to experience.