France Falls to Australia as Fournier Scores 9 Points
The French men’s senior national basketball team concluded their 3-game exhibition tournament in Antibes, France on Sunday with a 76-74 loss to Australia. Orlando Magic wing Evan Fournier finished with 9 points and 3 rebounds on 3-of-6 shooting (1-for-2 on 3-pointers). Just like against Ukraine yesterday, the French paid for keeping Evan on the bench in crunch time when they needed 3-point shooting in 16 minutes of action. Below is Evan’s shot chart.
Nicolas Batum led all players with 24 points. Boris Diaw tallied 14 points for France, but committed some horrible errors down the stretch that sealed their fate. Another San Antonio Spur, Aron Baynes led Australia with 21 points. Cleveland Cavalier Matthew Dellavedova notched 10 points and 5 assists. Magic fans will be happy to know that Dante Exum struggled. In 14 minutes, Utah’s draft pick only managed 2 points on a bad 1-for-8 shooting.
With Nando De Colo breaking his hand and being ruled unavailable for the FIBA World Cup, Evan is expected to receive more meaningful playing time. Coach Vincent Collet wasn’t disappointed tonight as Fournier had seven first half points on 2-of-4 shooting (1-for-2 on 3s) as they led Australia 36-34 at the break in what was a physical exhibition. It needs to continuously be preached that Evan needs many more touches on offense, especially since Evan’s been quite sturdy on defense. Fournier even had to play post-up defense against big men like Brock Motum an David Andersen, even fronting properly.
France gets a few days off before hosting one final pre-World Cup exhibition tournament. This time it’ll be in the town of Strasbourg. They’ll play Finland and Australia (again) between August 22nd and the 24th.