Fournier Concludes French Exhibition Tour with Win Over Australia
The Orlando Magic’s Evan Fournier and his eleven French national team comrades have concluded their month long Blue-White Tour that prepared the squad for the FIBA World Cup. In Strasbourg on Sunday, France defeated Australia 73-50. Evan finished with 3 points and a rebound on 1-for-5 shooting (1-of-4 on 3s) in 16 minutes of bench action, but the stat line doesn’t give him enough credit for his floor spacing.
Before the start of the fourth period, Evan was only 0-for-2 in just a handful of minutes. In the huddle before the final 10-minute session began, Coach Vincent Collet drew up a few plays for Evan to get the ball and hopefully hoist up some shots. It worked. Evan with some swift passing and screen run-offs was able to get some decent looks on the perimeter. He missed four deep looks but he was able to draw out defenders which opened up the paint for teammates.
On one play, Fournier came off a right side curl, caught a pass and pump faked Brad Newley almost out of his sneakers. Newley tried to recover but grabbed Evan for a foul. Fournier made the shot from just inside the 3-point line, but for some inexplicable reason the ref didn’t give him the and-1 claiming the foul was on the floor.
Aron Baynes was the only Australian who scored in double figures with 17 points. Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum managed 6 points and 1 rebound on 3-for-5 shooting in 20 minutes off the Aussie bench. Exum had a transition dunk. Other than that, Dante primarily focused on not making mistakes which he accomplished.
So with that, we can focus on games that will actually count. France’s World Cup play begins in Spain on August 30th. Be on the lookout for a formal preview for Evan. That path to a podium spot will be difficult for sure.