It’s all about ranking now. Both Egypt with Patrick Gardner and Jordan with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson didn’t make the medal rounds, but their teams will meet Thursday night, Manila time, Thursday morning, New York Time. National teams will continue playing for the sake of the FIBA World rankings which play a role in future competitions.
Gardner had a breakout game two nights (mornings?) ago when he scored 20 points, grabbed seven boards and handed out three assists vs. Mexico, showing some shooting (7-of-12 overall, 4-of-7 from deep) and passing (particularly pocket passes in the paint) skills but his defense will need work when he joins the Nets in training camp in four weeks.
Hollis-Jefferson also scored 20 vs. Team USA, shooting 6-of-16 overall, but was hampered when he turned his ankle in the second quarter. His status for the game vs. Egypt remains uncertain. RHJ of course is one of the big stories of the World Cup as he is openly auditioning for his next NBA job. So far, he’s averaged 27.7 points in three games.
Before the World Cup opened, Jordan was ranked No. 33 in the FIBA rankings, Egypt (which hadn’t won a game in FIBA competition since 1994 until Tuesday) was No. 55. Each team eliminated in group play will continue to play for another two weeks. So plenty of time for Nets personnel on site to evaluate just where Gardner fits in their plans.
Live stats can be found here.
WHO: Egypt vs. Jordan.
WHEN: 8:30 a.m. ET