That disappointment came despite it being the side’s best finish at a World Cup and without five unavailable NBA talents.
Instead the likes of Nick Kay, Chris Goulding, Jock Landale and Creek had their moments complementing the Boomers’ core group that came within one basket of a medal at Rio’s Olympics three years ago.
Patty Mills powered the side with 22.8 points per game and was a somewhat curious omission from the tournament’s All-Star five announced on Sunday night.
He could have some new teammates in Tokyo though, with NBA All-Star Ben Simmons and Philadelphia teammate Jonah Bolden, as well as Dante Exum, Ryan Broekhoff and Thon Maker all expected to put their hands up for the campaign, which begins in 312 days.
Simmons had committed to the World Cup before a late change of heart, while original squad member Bolden reportedly got cold feet when he realised his role wouldn’t be as large as expected.
College standout Josh Green, still just 18, is also being hyped as a bolter for the squad.
Lemanis, who took the job from Brett Brown in 2013, and assistant Luc Longley remain contracted beyond Tokyo and are expected to oversee a second Olympic campaign together.
The coach won’t dive into it yet, but anticipates there will be some “tough decisions to make” and that World Cup performances would “count for a lot”.
“There’s a bit of a time to take a breath,” he said. “It’s a pretty insular environment in your little bubble here at the World Cup.
“Things get escalated and skewed and all those sorts of things … so a bit of time to take a breath and get on the debrief situations and start planning from there.”
Lemanis hasn’t spoken with Simmons or Bolden since entering camp in China but said he’d be doing the rounds shortly.
“You just keep the conversations going; the door’s open,” he said, insisting relationships remained strong with those who didn’t compete in China.
“When it’s time for selection camp, everyone who’s prepared to put their hand up, puts their hand up.”
Meanwhile, superstar centre Andrew Bogut isn’t out of the woods yet, with FIBA set to launch an inquiry into his explicit post-game rant following Australia’s controversial semi-final loss.
A tough foul called against Bogut late in the game helped the Europeans before they won the game in double overtime.
Bogut stormed through the media zone after that loss and launched a foul-mouthed spray, calling FIBA a “f—ing disgrace”.
Basketball Australia have so far declined to comment on the episode and, with talk of suspensions or a fine nothing more than speculation, it appeared to have been swept under the carpet when FIBA went silent ahead of the bronze medal game he was allowed to play.
But, when asked on Sunday, FIBA’s secretary general Andreas Zagklis indicated Bogut may still face sanctions.
“We do have a very specific set of regulations and a set of principles,” Zagklis said.
“Where these lines are crossed, we have a disciplinary procedure and in this case there will be a disciplinary procedure.”
Zagklis also had some belated welcome news for the Boomers, given their torrid travel schedule that included eight games across four cities in 15 days and eventually took its toll in what was a tired finish to a tournament that had started so brightly.
The Boomers and France both had one day less to recover than their semi-final rivals, a fact not lost on French star Rudy Gobert after Sunday’s third-placed game.
With an extra day’s rest, Spain and Argentina both won their semi-finals before Spain easily accounted for the South Americans in Sunday night’s decider.
“Congratulations to Australia on a great tournament,” Gobert tweeted. “Wish both teams would’ve had that extra day of rest before the semis.”
The 2023 World Cup will be held in the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan but Zagklis said organisers would work hard to ease teams’ travel demands.
“After having experienced it, on paper sometimes it looks perfect,” Zagklis said.
“Then you see the imperfect aspects of it. These are the things we’re ready to improve in the future.”