Canada basketball likely didn't expect to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics outright in the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Doing so would have required a top-two finish, something pretty clearly out of the reach of a team led by Joel Anthony and Denham Brown. But the program did expect a top-five finish at FIBA Americas, and with it a berth into the last-chance Olympic qualifying tournament to be held in July 2012.
Canada didn't get that, either. As a result, head coach Leo Rautins resigned after Thursday's loss to Panama in Mar del Plata.
Rautins, the father of former Syracuse standout and J.E. Skeets lookalike Andy Rautins (now with the New York Knicks), has coached Canada since 2005. In 1983, the Philadelphia 76ers made Rautins the first Canadian to be drafted in the first round. Most of Rautins' professional career was spent in Europe, however. He starred for the Canadian national team as a player before becoming a coach.
Unfortunately for Rautins, the nation's talent pipeline is finally looking up. Toronto's Tristan Thompson (who did not play in Mar del Plata) was the No. 4 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, and Canada has prospects like Myck Kabongo, Kevin Pangos, Kyle Wiltjer and -- most notably -- Andrew Wiggins approaching national team age soon.