Golden Star Boomers have golden opportunity

Golden Star Boomers have golden opportunity

After a near-faultless preparation, Boomers coach Brett Brown has noted some anxiety in his young squad but believes they can make a statement at the basketball world championships.

Some of their Group A opponents have suffered high-profile withdrawals ahead of the quadrennial tournament and there is a growing sense a huge opportunity awaits the Australian team in Turkey.

After winning all-but one of their warm-up games, including encouraging victories against Brazil, Slovenia and France, the Boomers will start heavy favourites in their opening contest against Jordan in Kayseri on Saturday (2330AEST).

Matches against Argentina, Germany, Serbia and Angola follow, with Australia needing to finish in the top four of their six-team group to progress to the knockout stage in Istanbul.

Brown is excited by backing his young charges, despite a letdown training session on Thursday.

"It was our poorest training session since I've been with this group," Brown admitted.

"I attribute it to fatigue with all the travelling and I think there's also a bit of anxiousness as the tournament's getting closer.

"Had I not experienced the group and known it was one out of the box, I'd be concerned.

"But I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt. They've earned that.

"We feel we're as prepared as we possibly can be and I maintain the group is tough, has tremendous chemistry and is in shape."

Perennial powerhouse Argentina are missing superstars Manu Ginobili and Andres Nocioni and Germany are without former NBA MVP Dirk Nowitzki.

On Thursday, Serbia's NBA stand-out Nenad Krstic was suspended for three world championship games for his part in a brawl in a lead-up match against Greece and while he will be back to face Australia, his absence will impact on the European heavyweights' hopes.

The Boomers will rely heavily on point guard Patty Mills, plus big men David Andersen, Matt Nielsen and Aleks Maric.

Brown is optimistic, but he is also keeping a cautious approach, hoping to first make it out of the group and then finish higher than fourth, which would almost certainly mean a knock-out match against the United States.

"We simply want to get out of our round. We would like not to finish fourth and have that very difficult game with the United States in the cross-over match," he said.

"In our pool you identify Argentina as the cream of the crop, Serbia are very much on the up and up, Germany albeit without Dirk is still a strong European team, then you have the danger games of Jordan and Angola.

"People ask me if it's a good pool or a bad pool. There are no good pools."

But, when it was suggested the low-profile Boomers do have an opportunity to make a statement in Turkey, Brown replied: "I agree and I'm excited to admit that.

"Deep down I feel like we could do something."

By James Dampney, AAP.