No. 3, F Simone Fontecchio – Italy
Simone Fontecchio found himself the centerpiece of Team Italy after Team USA’s Paolo Banchero pulled out of a promise to play for the country his father and he shares ties with. Without Banchero, the focus of the offense falls to Fontecchio, a backup wing for the Jazz, and now the centerpiece of Itay’s offense.
He’s averaged 19.3 points per game for Team Italy during EuroBasket and has led them to a 4-3 record in the games he’s played. When the action went from EuroBakset to European Qualifiers of the World Cup, he took a leap to 20.5 points per game, along with 5.5 rebounds and 4 assists. He also shot 60% from three, as he became the focus of the team. They won both of their two qualifying games, in part due to Fontecchio.
Fans in Utah didn’t see the best from him during his most recent season with the team, but now he’s going to look to provide the shooting and scoring pop needed, on a team that features Nicolo
Melli, and Nico Mannion.
With Italian icon Danilo Gallinari no longer on the team, it’ll be mostly on Fontecchio’s shoulders to help get the team deep into the FIBA World Cup tournament.
No one expects Italy to win, but showing up and being a tough out is reasonable.