As the country's highest profile player Andrew Bogut said recently, "Representing a small country like Australia, 20 million people, it's always great fun to go and try to knock off the big dogs in the Olympic Games."
However, will that underdog, never-say-die spirit be enough for Australia to counter-act some of their obvious weaknesses against more favoured opponents such as Spain, Argentina and USA? Let's have a look at how the squad shapes up in the tournament.
-- Big men: the Aussies have a solid stable of bigs with flexible skill-sets.
-- Coaching: Brian Goorjian brings a defensive style which works well in International ball.
-- Experience: the veteran stars that carried the Boomers of the 90s, including Andrew Gaze, Shane Heal, Mark Bradtke and Luc Longley are long gone from international duties and two of the veterans of the team, Sam MacKinnon and Jason Smith, are injured.
-- Outside shooting: the team is lacking in real gunners from the perimeter, despite Goorjian's coaching style relying on this for much of the team's offence.
"But Bogut yesterday warned total reliance on the awesome foursome would prove the Boomers' undoing at the Beijing Games.
"You definitely have to have above-average guards that are going to have their work cut out for them," Bogut said at the Gold Coast Boomers camp.
"We need to play one through 12. It's not going to be Andrew Bogut or David Andersen averaging 20 and 12 for us to get a medal.
"I think the most important thing is having guys coming off the bench and contributing, having everyone being on the same page, having guys playing for their country and not thinking about their best job in Europe, or trying to get a contract in the NBA or impress the scouts. It's not about that, it's about being collective as a group of 12 and getting a medal for your country.
"Pressuring full court and doing those things which a lot of European teams don't do, that's going to help us – rebound, play defence and score those buckets down low.
"We're going to have to junk the game up."
The big man came onto the scene at the 2004 Athens games and proved himself immediately to be the starting centre the Boomers had been looking for since the retirement of Luc Longley. His international-sized frame, coupled with his agility and passing ability, make the Boomers legitimate down low and will not leave them wanting against any Olympic opponent in middle. He has proven himself in the NBA to be a solid double-double performer and the Milwaukee Bucks have rewarded him as such with a recent five-year contract worth up to $72.5m. The Boomers will hope for him to grab close to ten rebounds a game, offer a large amount of interior scoring and intimidate opposing offences.
The forward/centre provides a slightly different look to Nielsen at the four spot, as he is just as good a jump shooter, but slightly stronger whilst lacking some of the captain's speed. A shade short of 7'0", Andersen has seen a great deal of success firstly with Kinder Bologna and then with CSKA Moscow, where he helped the team to two Euroleague titles. He was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in 2002, but has scorned their most recent offers to enter the NBA for the greater money and playing time that Europe offers, recently signing with Barcelona. His experience and size will be greatly relied upon in the clutch games for the Boomers down the stretch.
The former Bull and Maverick returned to the NBL after successful stints in Russia and Spain, to claim the 2006 and 2008 NBL MVP awards. His 7'0" lanky frame is most at home at the three point line it often seems, giving the Boomers a very different look to Bogut inside.Shawn Redhage
The 6'8" American-born naturalised Australian will get some minutes at both forward spots to provide additional scoring punch in Brian Goorjian's occasionally anemic offence. Redhage is a solid all-rounder who will fill whatever gaps arise for the team, as he does on a consistent basis for his club, the Perth Wildcats.
Worthington (6'7" F), as one of coach Goorjian's favourites, may end up a top performer for the Boomers by the time the Olympics is over. He excels at scoring inside and out and uses his intense personality to lock down opponents on the other end of the floor. After a solid career at Metropolitan State University, Denver he has become one of the top performers in the NBL and challenged for the 2008 MVP trophy.
Another Metro State alumnus who fits well into Goorjian's system, Barlow may well start at shooting guard after recent displays of extremely effective three point shooting. He often fails to make the best decisions off the dribble, but is athletic and will provide the Boomers with a swingman capable of matching opposing scorers at the 2/3.
One of the team's few veterans, Saville has seen Olympic duty previously with the Boomers at the 2004 Athens games. A completely unbiased and emotive wikipedia entry for Saville sums him up best: "Glen Saville is one of the NBL's most versatile players and at times he is called upon to man any position on the court using a combination of size, strength and speed to handle whatever match-up the opposition throws his way."
Ingles may find himself mired towards the end of Goorjian's bench in these games, but will definitely feature much more prominently in the Boomers' future. His unique combination of length, shooting and ball-handling make him a difficult matchup at the 1/2/3.