If you're looking for a full discussion of what's happening at Eurobasket 2009 over the next couple of weeks, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better source than the The Painted Area. TPA has rolled out its comprehensive preview of the tournament:
The intense passion and pride of the race to become champion of Europe is back on display as Eurobasket 2009 tips off Monday in Poland, and runs until Sun., Sept. 20.
The tournament also serves as the European qualifier for the 2010 FIBA World Championships. The top 6 finishers in Poland other than Turkey (2010 host) will qualify (meaning that the top 7 will go, if Turkey is one of the top 6).
Jay Aych breaks the Eurobasket countries into the following tiers:
Tier I: Spain
Tier II (in no order): Croatia, Greece, France, Lithuania, Slovenia
Tier III: Latvia, Poland, Serbia, Turkey
Tier IV: Israel, Russia
Tier V: Great Britain, Bulgaria, Germany, Macedonia
Tiers I and II have the best shots at medaling, and are the favorites for qualifying spots. Tier III's have an outside chance at medals, but legit chances for qualifying spots -- there's not much separation between Tier II & III. Tier IV's should get out of the first round, but are unlikely to get qualifying spots. Tier V's should be bounced in the first round.
There's a lot more to the preview, including storylines to watch by country. TPA has also broken down the tournament in detail group-by-group:
GROUP A (Poznan)
GROUP B (Gdansk)
GROUP C (Warsaw)
GROUP D (Wroclaw)
For more on Eurobasket between now and September 20, watch this space.