Team USA Basketball
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Team USA Schedule for 2014 FIBA World Cup
Aug. 30: USA 114, Finland 55. Story.
Aug. 31: USA 98, Turkey 77. Story.
Sept. 2: USA 98, New Zealand 71. Story.
Sept. 3: USA 106, Dominican Republic 71. Story.
Sept. 4: USA 95, Ukraine 71. Story.
Sept. 6: Round of 16: USA 86, Mexico 63. Story.
Sept. 9: Quarterfinals: USA 119, Slovenia 76. Story.
Sept. 11: Semifinals: USA 96, Lithuania 68 Story.
Sept. 14: Gold medal game: USA 129, Serbia 92 Story.
Related link: Home page for FIBA World Cup Basketball
USA BEATS SERBIA 129-92 TO WIN FIBA WORLD CUP GOLD MEDAL
Led by 26 points from tournament MVP Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers) and 23 points from James Harden (Houston Rockets), the USA (9-0) saved its best performance of the World Cup for the gold medal clash as the Americans captured a second-consecutive FIBA World Cup gold medal with a blistering 129-92 win over Serbia (5-4) at the Palacio de los Deportes de la Comunidad arena on Sunday night in Madrid, Spain.
The USA, which distanced itself from Serbia early in the game with a 28-6 run to close the first quarter, became just the third country in FIBA World Cup history to capture consecutive titles, and more crucial, the championship earned the USA an automatic bid into the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
The USA's +33.0 points per game differential was the most of a U.S. men's team in a FIBA World Cup or Olympic Games since the 1994 World Championship (+37.8).
"I think the results were dominant, but we had spurts of dominance in a lot of games," said USA coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). "And, we had tough games, and then all of a sudden we'd have a spurt and it looked like we dominated. Tonight, we had like a 35-minute spurt. Tonight we played great. Tonight was a heck of a performance in those last 35 minutes."
Irving shot a USA men's World Cup record 6-of-6 from 3-point, and the USA as a whole finished the game shooting 45-of-78 from the field (.577), 15-of-30 from 3-point (.500) and 24-of-29 from the free throw line (.828) to help record its highest scoring game of the tournament.
Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets), who added 12 points and seven rebounds in the USA's championship win, joined Irving on the five-member FIBA World Cup All-Tournament Team, along with France's Nicolas Batum, Spain's Pau Gasol and Serbia's Milos Teodosic.
"It's the greatest feeling in the world right now," Irving said. "Dealing with a group of guys that are my brothers. This means so much more to our country - three days after 9/11. A lot of pride, a lot of things we did to prepare for this trip. A lot of mental things and a lot of physical things that brought us closer together. I'm glad that the journey ends with a gold medal."
Irving also dished out four assists, and a total of eight U.S. players reached double-figure scoring, including 12 points from Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors); 11 points and nine rebounds from DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); 11 points from Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings); and 10 points apiece from Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) and DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors).
"You always save your best for last, right?" Faried said. "That's what everybody says. It's a saying, we save the best for last, and that's what we did tonight. We saved the best for last to go home with this gold medal right here."
Trailing 15-7 at 5:51 in the first quarter, an old-fashioned three-point play from Harden ignited a 15-0 USA run. Instrumental in the turnaround was Cousins who anchored the USA defense and posted a blocked shot and grabbed the USA's first five rebounds of the game as the Americans sprinted ahead 22-15.
"Those first five minutes of tonight's game they knocked us back," Krzyzewski said. "I thought DeMarcus Cousins had about five plays in the middle of the first half that really turned a positive eight-to-ten points for us then our whole team gelled. Obviously, Kyrie (Irving) and James (Harden) were amazing. This has been a great group to work with. They always wanted to work, they were very well prepared and I am proud of them."
While Serbia scored out of the timeout to stop the streak, the USA's 15-straight points were the start of a 28-6 run that saw the USA take a 35-21 lead after the first 10 minutes. The USA, which had been plagued throughout the first eight games by poor shooing in the first period, was a perfect 5-of-5 from 3-point in the first 10 minutes, and Serbia never recovered.
"In a big time game you just have to make plays," said Harden, who scored nine of the USA's first 13 points. "I kind of started it off, and Kyrie (Irving) kept it going and everybody else followed along. You have so many great players on this team that made the job easier."
The USA added six 3-pointers in the second period, from five different players, and the U.S. advantage grew to 31 points when Curry made two free throws at 59.3 seconds to bring the score to 67-36. Serbia scored and added a 3-pointer at the buzzer to trail 67-41 at halftime.
The USA continued to build upon its lead after halftime, despite a determined Serbian team that was whistled for an unsportsmanlike and a technical foul within the first two minutes of the third quarter. As eight U.S. players put points on the board, the Americans reached triple digits at 1:44 when Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) finished an alley-oop from Thompson to make it 100-65. After going up by 39 points, 104-65, at 1:09 when Davis made two free throws, the USA took a 105-67 lead into the fourth quarter.
With six players averaging double figures, led by 14.2 points per game from Harden, the USA led the 24-team World Cup field in scoring offense (104.6 points a game), scoring margin (+33.0), field goal percentage (.524), rebounding (44.8), rebounding margin (+9.0), defensive rebounds (29.9), assists (20.4), steals (12.1) and turnover margin (+8.3).
Gay and Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) are now tied with Michael Silliman for the USA's most World Cup career games (18), Rose holds the USA record for World Cup career assists (59), Curry has the career mark for free throw percentage (1.000, 17-17 FTs) and Irving has the U.S. event career record for 3-point percentage (.609). Curry's 17-of-17 free throw performance also is a U.S. World Cup competition record, and the team set a U.S. competition high with 689 field goal attempts.
"We improved every game," said Krzyzewski. "All the guys. We got to know each other. I can't single out one guy because Kyrie is deserving of MVP, but I think you could look at our games and we had a different star each game. Klay Thompson was so critical for this team. DeMarcus tonight, James Harden, Anthony Davis, especially at the start of our run. Kenneth (Faried) gave us a lot of energy. It was not like there was one star. They were a championship team, and it was kind of cool. In 2010 Durant just kind of took us. He had an amazing performance. Team-wise this is a heck of a team. This was a really good team."
USA BEATS LITHUANIA 96-68 TO REACH FIBA WORLD CUP FINALS
For a second consecutive game, a second-half run sealed a must-win contest for the USA (8-0) as it rallied behind a 33-14 third quarter scoring advantage to secure a 96-68 victory over Lithuania (6-2) in the semifinals of the 2014 FIBA World Cup on Thursday night at Palau Sant Jordi arena in Barcelona, Spain. The win earned the USA the right to play in the gold medal game on Sept. 14 in Madrid, where it will meet the winner of tomorrow's semifinal between Serbia (4-3) and France (5-2). Lithuania will play the loser of that game for bronze.
"It's always an honor to play against Lithuania, one of great basketball countries. We've had so many good games with them," said USA coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University).
"I thought Klay's (Thompson) play in the first half was the biggest reason we were ahead at halftime. Then in the second half we were able to start fresh. We made a huge adjustment on the defense that helped a lot, and we didn't give up threes; we stopped putting them on the line as much and we turned them over. The outrebounding them and turning them over I thought was the difference.
"Kyrie (Irving) was special in this game, in that third quarter he kind of got us moving and everybody started moving with him. We feel very fortunate to be going and playing on Sunday. I'm proud of my team and their effort, and hopefully we get rested and whoever we play, I hope we give them a heck of a game," added Krzyzewski.
Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers) led the USA with 18 points and four assists; while James Harden (Houston Rockets) scored all 16 of his points in the third quarter; Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors) added 16 points; and Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) finished with 13 points.
The USA's eight-point, 43-35, halftime lead quickly ballooned to 18 points, 53-35, in the third quarter after Harden nailed a 3-pointer at 8:07 to cap a 10-0 run by the U.S. Following two free throws from Lithuania, the USA ripped off eight more unanswered points to take a 61-37 lead and secure control of the game.
"I thought it was a tough first half for us; we fouled too much," Thompson said. "We had a nice lead going into halftime, it's kind of been the story of this tournament, how we wear on teams, not letting a lead affect us and just playing hard for 40 minutes. That was huge for us in the third quarter, you've got to give credit to our starters for coming out hot and really setting the tone for the rest of the game."
The USA, which again struggled to find the bottom of the net to start the game, trailed 13-10 midway through the first quarter, however, 3-pointers from Irving and Thompson helped warm the USA up, and the Americans closed the period by outscoring Lithuania 11-3 to lead 21-16 at the first break. The USA made just 6-of-21 from the field in the first quarter (.286). Also slowing the USA were three starters with two fouls each in the first quarter, including Curry, Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets) and Harden, and the USA went over the five-foul limit with 6:56 remaining in the first quarter.
DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings) and Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans), both not only grabbed six rebounds in the game, but fouled out. Overall, the USA was whistled for 27 personal fouls that helped Lithuania to shoot 32-of-42 from the line, while the USA as just 11-of-20 itself from the charity stripe.
"We fouled like crazy; I can't think of a game that I've coached for the U.S. where it's 42 to 20 on free throws," Krzyzewski said. "We're usually the aggressor, and in that first half we had three of our starters with two fouls after three minutes. So there was a lot of adversity in this game."
The second quarter started with two made free throws from Curry after the Lithuanian coach was whistled for a technical foul at the close of the first quarter. The USA worked its way to a 10-point lead at 7:27, but Lithuanian quickly cut that deficit to six points, 32-26 at 6:29. The teams traded scores over the next six minutes, and a basket from Irving with 41.6 seconds left made it 43-35 in the USA's favor at the midway point.
While 11 offensive boards were helping to combat the USA's 36.0 percent shooting from the field, Lithuania was winning the rebounding battle 28-26 at halftime. Lithuania shot even worse from the field, sinking a frigid 35.7 percent, of its field goal attempts, but Mindaugas Kuzminskas tallied all 12 of his first-half points in the second period to help keep his team within range of the USA.
Out of the halftime locker room, the USA quickly established control of the game. Nine of the USA's third-quarter points came off of turnovers, and 15 were off of fast-break opportunities. After the USA's 10-0 and 8-0 runs, the score was 70-43 in the third quarter at 2:33 and 76-49 when the two teams headed into the final 10 minutes.
"Defense," Davis said of the difference in the second half. "I think we came out and played defense in that second half, shared the ball and got easy looks."
USA BEATS SLOVENIA 119-76 TO REACH FIBA WORLD CUP SEMIFINALS
While the U.S. lead over Slovenia (5-2) was just 49-42 at the midway point of Tuesday' quarterfinals game, the second half was all USA (7-0). Riding a game-changing 37-22 third quarter, the Americans pulled away for with a 119-76 win at Palau Sant Jordi arena in Barcelona, Spain. The win advanced the USA team into the semifinals of the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
The USA will meet Lithuania (6-1), which advanced after a 73-61 win over Turkey (4-3), in the semifinals on Sept. 11.
The remaining quarterfinal games, which will be played on Sept. 10 in Madrid, feature Serbia (3-3) against Brazil (5-1) and France (4-2) versus host Spain (6-0). Winners of the semifinals will advance to the Sept. 14 gold medal game, and the losers will meet in the bronze medal game on Sept. 13.
"It's always an honor to play against Slovenia; so well coached, and I think as good of a perimeter as anybody in these two pools," said USA coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). "With (the) Dragics (Goran and Zoran) and (Domen) Lorbek you have three of the really outstanding players in the whole tournament. So, we knew it would be a tough game. I thought we played really hard the whole game, we just couldn't finish in the first half some of those plays, and they stayed with it and the flood gates opened in the second half. But our effort was there, intensity and emotion the whole game."
While Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors) led six players with 20 points, 12 of James Harden's (Houston Rockets) 14 points came in the third quarter, which saw the USA force Slovenia into eight of its 25 turnovers. Overall, 42 of the USA's point were scored on a fast-break opportunity and 40 were scored off of turnovers. The USA also set a U.S. Men's World Cup record with 92 field goal attempts. The previous high was 88 field goal attempts against Russia on Aug. 14, 1994.
"Our guards really got everybody involved and then we got loose balls, which, you get loose balls and you score 40 points off turnovers, your offense looks good," Krzyzewski said. "Forty points off turnovers is a lot of points."
Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets) added 14 points and 10 rebounds; Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots; Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers) had 12 points and four steals; and Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) contributed 12 points and a game-high five assists.
Davis and Faried combined for 10 of the USA's 23 offensive rebounds, which led to 31 second-chance points for the USA.
"We know they are a tough team. They don't back down," Thompson said of Slovenia. "They play physical. It's a 40-minute game. If it was a 20-minute game, it would be a whole different story. We play good teams, like Slovenia and Lithuania next, we just want to keep pressuring them, keep wearing on them and not give them any easy shots. They got a few tonight, but as long as we keep flying around on defense. We're more athletic than every team in this tournament, so we have to use that to our advantage."
The USA started the game shooting a dismal 2-of-14 from the field (.143) and finished the quarter at 30.0 percent (9-30 FGs), but it collected 14 offensive boards to help combat its icy shooting. With the USA leading 26-15 at 1:49 after a 7-0 run, Slovenia, helped by five made free throws, cut the deficit to 29-22 at the first break. In his seven minutes played in the first quarter, Faried tallied eight points and six rebounds.
The USA led by as many as 12 points late in the second quarter, but again Slovenia responded in the final minutes and worked its way back to within seven points, including a 3-pointer at 35.0 seconds, to trail 49-42 at halftime.
After Slovenia scored the first points of the second half, the USA launched an 8-0 run, which was the first of three 8-0 spurts for the U.S. in the third quarter. The USA apparently left its shooting woes in the locker room as it shot 14-of-23 from the field (.609) and 3-of-4 from 3-point (.750) in the period.
"Great game, hats off to Slovenia, they're a great team, a great 3-point shooting team," Davis said. "They played hard and battled. We knew they were going battle. They had us on our heels a little bit going into half when we're only up seven. We couldn't make a shot fall but we just kept defending and that kind of triggered our offense."
With a 22-point lead (86-64) heading into the final quarter, the USA had firm control of the game, and it continued to push the pace and find easy looks at the rim, outscoring Slovenia 33-12. The USA's largest lead came with 44.0 seconds left when Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn Nets) scored. Slovenia hit a 3-pointer at 10 seconds to bring the game to its final score of 119-76.
All 12 U.S. players scored in the game and all 12 recorded at least five minutes played.
"I just think we did a great job competing on both sides of the floor," Irving said. "Obviously it was close in the first two quarters. We just came out and competed at a different level in the second half."
USA KEEPS ROLLING IN WORLD CUP, BEATS MEXICO 86-63
Led by 20 points from Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), who tallied 11-straight points in the third quarter and shot 6-of-9 from 3-point for the game, the USA (6-0) advanced into the 2014 FIBA World Cup quarterfinals with a dominating 86-63 win over Mexico (2-4) on Saturday afternoon at Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain.
The USA will play Slovenia (5-1), which advanced after beating Dominican Republic (2-3) 71-61, in the quarterfinals at 3 p.m. EDT on Sept. 9 in Barcelona.
"Overall I was pleased because it's our sixth game in eight days, and we had this early game to get going," said USA coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). "I thought we continued to play good defense until the last few minutes when they just threw in two or three threes; they'd only had one three. So our defense on the three was terrific and especially on (Hector) Hernandez, who is their best 3-point shooter, and he didn't score. Those are things we game planned for, and our guys responded."
Curry's Golden State teammate Klay Thompson finished with 15 points; James Harden (Houston Rockets) added 12 points; DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), who followed up Curry's third-quarter streak with nine straight points of his own, finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots; and Rudy Gay scored 10 points to round out the double-digit scorers.
"Another great performance," said Curry, who also dished out four of the USA's 18 assists. "We came out better in the first five minutes of the game with energy and started pretty well. Our defense is still the thing that is keeping us going, putting pressure on our opponents to take them out of their offense and just force the tempo, and we did that at the start of the game and it kind of carried over throughout the rest of the game."
The USA jumped ahead 13-2 to start the game, but Mexico responded with a 7-0 run to cut it to 13-9 at 4:21. Curry hit a 3-pointer to end Mexico's spurt, and after one more score from Mexico, the USA closed with seven straight points to lead 23-13 at the first break.
The USA hit three 3-pointers in the second quarter, including two from Harden, who scored 10 points in the period, to help outscore Mexico 19-14 and take a 42-27 lead at halftime.
At the midway point, the USA actually was shooting better from 3-point (. 429) than from inside the arc (.400), and it when on to finish the game shooting 46.6 percent from the field (34-73 FGs) and 44.8 percent from 3-point (13-29 3pt FGs).
The USA's 15-point, 42-27 halftime lead quickly ballooned to 27 points (57-30) after a score from Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Curry's 11 straight points from 7:12 to 4:15. Cousin's had the next nine points for the USA, and then a score by Gay helped the USA take a commanding 66-38 lead at the third-quarter break. The U.S. defense gave up just 11 points in the stanza.
"Our defense - that's going to win us games," Harden said. "We're so talented offensively. Defensively if we can just click and make sure we're on the same page for the most part, we'll be pretty good."
As the USA already had secured the win, Mexico outscored the USA 25-20 in the fourth quarter to bring the game to its 86-63 final.
While the USA's scoring was spread across nine players and five in double-figures, Mexico's NBA free agent Gustavo Ayon scored 25 of his team's points.
In today's round of 16 games in Madrid, France (4-2) beat Croatia (3-3) 69-64, and host Spain (5-0) will play Senegal (2-3) at 4 p.m. EDT.
The final four Round of 16 games, which will be played tomorrow, include: New Zealand (2-3) - Lithuania (4-1) at 10 a.m. EDT and Turkey (3-2) - Australia (3-2) at 2 p.m. EDT in Barcelona. In Madrid, the lineup is Serbia (2-3) - Greece (5-0) at 12 p.m. EDT and Brazil (4-1) - Argentina (3-2) at 4 p.m. EDT.
USA STAYS UNDEFEATED, BEATS UKRAINE 95-71 IN WORLD CUP
SEPTEMBER 4, 2014 -- The USA (5-0) wrapped up its preliminary-round play with a 95-71 win against Ukraine (2-3) on Thursday evening at Bizkaia Arena in Bilbao, Spain. After a first-quarter fight that saw Ukraine take a five-point lead at the first break, the USA battled back to secure control of the game and led 44-32 at halftime and 69-53 at the third-quarter intermission.
The USA will take on Mexico (2-3), the No. 4 seed from Group D, in the round of 16 on Sept. 6 (time TBD) in Barcelona, Spain.
"I thought we got off to a very slow start offensively," said USA coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). "Steph's (Curry) right, I thought our defense was good throughout until we got a pretty good lead. They were 1-for-13 from 3, we really wanted to take away their 3-point shooting and I thought we did that until later.
"Mike (Frattelo) does a great job with his team, they are very well coached, they get good shots and they played as one. They had a fabulous run in this tournament and he's to be commended for that.
"I think this team has been pretty balanced. We haven't really shot the 3 as much as our three previous teams and it just worked out that way. I think part of it is once we started hitting a couple of 3s, the inside opened and our guys were very unselfish, what did we have 25 assists and 10 turnovers? And as a result of that we got stuff in the paint. The other thing, points in the paint are also fast breaks, so you get a few steals and those are pretty high percentage points. But we had good balance. We scored 14 points in the first quarter and then ended up with 95 for the game. We started to play a lot better; we had a 30-point quarter in the second quarter after having that slow start."
Again featuring a balanced scoring attack, six players finished in double-figures for the U.S. James Harden (Houston Rockets) scored 17 points, including 10 in the third quarter, and dished out five assists; Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) added 14 points while shooting 3-of-4 from 3-point; Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) finished with 12 points and six rebounds; DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings) and Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), who also dished out six assists, scored 11 points apiece; and Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets) added 10 points and eight rebounds.
"They played really hard, really physical, and they got after us from the beginning of the game," Harden said. "It forced us to play really well. No matter what the score says, they never gave up, and it showed here tonight."
The USA was slow to start the game, and for a second straight night was plagued by poor shooting - 6-of-19 (.316) - in the first 10 minutes. While its defense did hold Ukraine to the very same shooting performance (6-19 FGs, .316), the USA sent Ukraine to the line four times, where it shot a perfect 7-of-7 to help take a 19-14 lead at the first break. Also helping Ukraine to compile its early lead was a 16-10 rebounding advantage.
"It was a rough start for us tonight; we started off a little slow," said Curry. "Defensively, I think we were locked in, it's just offensively we weren't in synch and it took us a minute to get going, so we've got to just do that going forward. But our effort and intensity were there and just happy to finish out pool play 5-0. That was the mission coming in, take each game one at a time; try to get better every game and I think we accomplished that. Still (we) can play a little bit better. I'm looking forward to getting to Barcelona and start the next part of the journey - the medal round."
The teams matched each other over the first three minutes of the second period, however, an old-fashioned three-point play from Cousins and a 3-pointer from Irving helped the USA cut it to two points, 24-22, at 7:07. After two tied scores, Curry's 3-pointer at 3:59 gave the USA its first lead, 30-27, since it was ahead 2-0 to start the game. A 7-0 stretch from 2:23 to 1:20 in the quarter spurred the USA to a 44-32 halftime lead.
Ukraine played hard throughout the game, but never came closer than 13 points in the third quarter, as Harden scored 10 of his points in the period to help the USA lead 69-54 headed into the final 10 minutes.
The USA ran away with the game by outscoring Ukraine 26-17 in the fourth to bring the game to its 95-71 final.
"Coach told us to come in with our egos because that is what got us here, but come in ready to participate and play on a team," said Faried on the USA team. "This is nobody's team, it's everyone all coming together for one common goal and that's to win gold for the USA.
The USA shooting warmed up to 50.7 percent for the game (37-73 FGs) and righted the rebounding column by grabbing 42 to Ukraine's 34. The USA also recorded 25 assists on its 37 made baskets.
"One last thing, just from our whole contingent, we want to thank the people of Bilbao, the organizing committee, everything was perfect," added Krzyzewski. "Our play wasn't always perfect, but the support and how the conditions were, the hotel, everything was just unbelievable. Thank you for treating us that way."
USA STAYS UNDEFEATED, BEATS DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 106-71 IN WORLD CUP
The USA (4-0) remained unbeaten and earned the No. 1 seed for Group C in the 2014 FIBA World Cup with a 106-71 win over Dominican Republic (2-2) on Wednesday evening at Bizkaia Arena in Bilbao, Spain. Leading from start to finish, the USA had secured a double-digit lead of 56-41 by halftime and then blew the game wide open with a 25-11 third-quarter advantage.
The USA will complete its preliminary-round play on Friday facing Ukraine (2-2) at 11:30 a.m. EDT (ESPN2). Regardless of the outcome, the USA will advance as a No. 1 seed out of Group C into the round of 16, where it will face the No. 4 seed out of Group D on Sept. 6 in Barcelona, Spain.
"I was pleased with our team tonight," said USA coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). "I thought part of the start was we missed three layups, five free throws. They were short handed with (Francisco) Garcia not playing and what happens, I think, sometimes you don't want to pile it on, but you also don't have the edge you normally have. I thought our guys got that. I thought our bench did a great job.
"We're happy that we're going to finish first in our pool, so we already know that, and hopefully we can come back tomorrow and play really well against Ukraine."
Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets) led the USA with 16 points and six rebounds; DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings) added 13 points, five rebounds and six steals in 12 minutes; DeMar DeRozan scored 11 points; and Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) and James Harden (Houston Rockets) finished with 10 points apiece. Davis also blocked five shots to go with his seven rebounds, and Stephen Curry dished out seven of the USA's 28 assists.
The USA tallied 66 of its points in the paint and converted Dominican's 26 turnovers into 36 points. For a second straight night, all 12 U.S. players put points on the board.
Dominican's leading scorer, Francisco Garcia, who is averaging 21.0 points per game, was injured and did not play in the game.
"I believe everybody felt pretty good with how well they played today," Cousins said. "You could see it on guy's faces, you could see with the guys on the bench. Everybody was happy for one-another, everyone was cheering for one-another, and that's what we are going to need to continue on this path."
Ten different U.S. players saw time in the first quarter, but the USA was cold to start - shooting just 9-of-23 from the field (.391) in the first period. The USA forced seven Dominican turnovers, however, as seven players helped the USA to a 25-22 advantage.
The USA's icy shooting did not last. The U.S. pounded the ball inside and attacked the rim to score 18 of its 31 second-quarter points in the paint to help heat up its shooting to 59.1 percent (13-22 FGs). Davis and Faried scored six apiece in the quarter. Allowing Dominican just 19 points, the USA headed into the halftime locker room with a 56-41 advantage.
The USA reeled off six straight points after Dominican scored to open the second half, and led 62-43 at 7:25. The USA closed the quarter with an 11-0 run to lead 81-52 at the final break.
That run stretch into the fourth quarter and totaled 22 unanswered points overall, earning the USA its largest run of the game. The USA's broke into triple-digit territory with just under a minute remaining when Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons) finished an alley-oop dunk to make it 101-68. As both teams finished of the game with respective 3-pointers, the buzzer sounded on a 106-71 win for the USA.
"Before today, those last two games really got us in mental shape," said Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings), who finished with nine points and five assists. "Obviously, you come here and you have USA on your chest, you think things are going to come easy. They tested us. Today we came together and executed and played defense and also played together. Today was a big step for us."
USA BEATS NEW ZEALAND 98-71 IN WORLD CUP ACTION
Leading by seven points after the game's first 10 minutes, the USA (3-0) quickly pulled away from New Zealand (0-3) with a 12-0 run in the second period and continued on to an impressive 98-71 win that saw six U.S. players reach double-figures and all 12 players score in the 2014 FIBA World Cup on Tuesday evening at Bizkaia Arena.
While the USA will play Dominican Republic (1-1) at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Sept. 3 (ESPN2) and conclude its preliminary round on Sept. 4 against Ukraine (2-1) at 11:30 a.m. EDT (ESPN2), tonight's win assured the USA of at least a top-four finish in its group and a berth into the round of 16.
"It was a good solid performance," said USA coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). "I thought the intensity was excellent. We were playing against a different offense, that's a really good offense that New Zealand runs, and it's a very difficult offense to defend with big guys because everybody is away from the basket. But overall it was good, we beat a team that really executes well and plays hard every second they are out there. So good response starting this three games in three days."
The USA's balanced attack was led by Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) with 21 points and nine rebounds; Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets) finished with a 15-point, 11-rebound (seven offensive boards) double-double; James Harden (Houston Rockets) added 13 points and four assists; Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors) scored 12 points apiece; and Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers) tallied 10 points and grabbed four steals.
"Each and every last one of us doesn't care who scores the ball, as long as we win," Faried said. "We are just trying to get the gold. We don't care who's out there scoring, who's out there rebounding, who's out there getting steals or the shine and glory. We just want to win games."
The USA forced 22 turnovers out of New Zealand, which it converted into 26 points, and won the rebounding battle 48-33. Further, 28 of the USA's points came off the fast break as the team recorded 21 assists.
"I think we did a pretty good job of coming out with some intensity," Harden said. "Last game we kind of struggled in the first half. Our pressure wasn't there. Second half of the last game we picked it up, so Coach K put emphasis on how important it was for us to come out with some intensity and kind of get it going from the beginning, and I think tonight we did."
The USA led by as many as 12 points in the first quarter, but two 3-pointers in the last 1:29 and a put-back at the buzzer for New Zealand allowed it close the gap to seven points, 27-20.
Helping the USA to break away was the USA's red-hot second-quarter shooting. The Americans were 10-of-14 from the field in the second quarter for an impressive 71.4 percent. Meanwhile, the U.S. defense cooled New Zealand to just 31.6 percent (6-19 FGs) and forced eight turnovers in the second period alone.
After outscoring New Zealand 30-15 in quarter, the USA headed to the locker room with a 57-35 lead.
Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) for the first time started the second half on the floor, and Krzyzewski rolled out several different lineups.
"Well I put him (Rose) out there because he is one of the best players in the league," said Krzyzewski. "Also, he has to get minutes with the guys that are playing more minutes, because he is a guy who should play a lot of minutes. It's something that I thought about doing before the game, and it worked out that way. I thought Kyrie (Irving) played really well, and I thought Derrick played really well. But I didn't use them that much together tonight; I wanted to see them separate."
New Zealand actually outscored the USA 19-18 in the third quarter, but the USA maintained a comfortable lead of 75-54 at the end of the period.
The gap reached its widest margin - 34 points - when Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings) scored at 3:10 in the fourth quarter. Finishing the game by putting up 23 points to New Zealand's 17 in the final period, the USA secured the win.
USA STRUGGLES EARLY VS TURKEY, WAKES UP AND WINS BIG
AUGUST 31, 2014 -- With the USA (2-0) trailing Turkey (1-1) by five points at halftime, U.S. big men Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) and Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets) stepped up and combined for 19 of the USA's 31 points in the third quarter and 33 in the second half to help the USA take control and record a 98-77 win on Sunday night at Bizkaia Arena in Bilbao, Spain.
Following a day off on Sept. 1, the USA resumes play on Sept. 2 against New Zealand (0-2) at 11:30 a.m. EDT (ESPN2), followed by a game versus the Dominican Republic at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Sept. 3 (ESPN2) and a final preliminary-round game on Sept. 4 versus Ukraine at 11:30 a.m. EDT (ESPN2).
Faried finished with 22 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots while shooting 11-of-14 from the field, and Davis, who scored all 19 of his points in the second half, also grabbed six rebounds, blocked a pair of shots and made 8-of-11 shots for the game.
"We won and we won because we deserved to win," said USA coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). "Our guys played their hearts out, and that was a big win for us against a really good team."
Playing a mix of zone and man-to-man defense, Turkey controlled the tempo early on and managed to prevent the USA from finding any rhythm. Turkey was also helped by the USA sending Turkey to the line 18 times for 13 points in the first half.
In the second half, the USA limited Turkey to just 3-of-7 shooting from the free throw line. Outrebounded by Turkey 21-12 in the first half, the USA grabbed 20 second-half boards to Turkey's 13, though Turkey finished the contest with a 34-32 advantage.
"I think tonight we learned a lot about each other and learned a lot about ourselves," Faried said. "We had to go out there and grind out a win. Basically we have to have everybody buy in to what coach has been telling us, which is we can't take no games off or just think we're going to walk in because we're the United States and win."
With Turkey ahead 10-5 to start the game, a 9-0 U.S. run gave the Americans a 14-10 lead at 4:22, but Turkey responded with a 6-0 spurt of its own to lead 16-14 at 50.0 seconds. DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), who finished with 11 points, put the last two points of the period on the board to tie the game at 16-all at the first break. The USA shot just 1-of-9 from beyond the arc in the first 10 minutes.
The second quarter saw four lead changes and five tied scores at the teams battled back and forth. With the score tied at 32 late in the first half, Turkey hit back-to-back 3-pointers grab a 38-32 lead at 53.0 seconds. Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors) made a long-ball for the USA at 38.4 to make it 40-35 in Turkey's favor, and that was how the teams headed into the halftime locker room.
Five times the score was tied in the third quarter before the USA was able to begin to break free. With the score knotted at 59 with 3:10 left in the third period, Faried scored an offensive rebound, followed by a 3-pointer from Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), and the USA led 64-60 after Turkey made a free throw at 1:14.
Faried made another of his game-impacting plays with 57 seconds left when he stole an inbounds pass and slammed the ball home to give the USA a 66-60 lead at the third-quarter break. Davis' 11 points and Faried's eight helped the USA counter Turkey's five 3-pointers in the third quarter, as the U.S. outscored Turkey 31-20 in the third stanza.
"I think it was 64-60, we had missed a couple of close in shots and he (Kenneth Faried) got that steal and dunk that put us up 66-60, and I think that was the biggest play of the game," said Krzyzewski. "It was by far the biggest play of the game, and it seemed like we went from there."
By the time the fourth quarter was just 2:08 old, the Americans had jetted to a 16-point lead after posting 10 unanswered points that included 3-pointers from Thompson and James Harden (Houston Rockets), who finished with an impressive line of 14 points, seven assists, three steals and 5-of-6 shooting from the free throw line.
Turkey interrupted the spurt with three points, but Davis reeled off six straight points to put the USA up by 20, 83-63 at 6:05. Overall, the USA outscored Turkey 32-17 in the fourth period.
While the USA forced 28 turnovers, it also recorded 21 assists on its 39 made baskets and also got a double-digit scoring contribution from Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), who had 13 points and five assists.
"They went zone almost the whole game," Davis said. "We've got to come out with a sense of urgency from the beginning. I think we did that in the second half. That's what let us be able to get that lead."
USA DOMINATES FINLAND IN FIBA WORLD CUP OPENER
AUGUST 30, 2014 -- The most impressive part of the USA's (1-0) 114-55 rout of Finland (0-1) in its opening game of the 2014 FIBA World Cup on Saturday night at Bizkaia Arena in Bilbao, Spain, in fact was an entire quarter.
In the whole second period, the USA allowed just two made free throws for Finland and limited its opponent to 0-17 shooting from the field, while it raced to 29 points of its own to improve upon an already sizable first-quarter lead.
The 59-point win was the USA's largest margin of victory in FIBA World Cup play since NBA players have been included on rosters (1994).
"Congratulations to Finland. They played hard for forty minutes, we played hard for forty minutes," said USA coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University), who is now 4-0 in FIBA World Cup opening games. "We're more talented, but I thought the effort for both teams was at a high level.
"Our defense was outstanding, forcing 31 turnovers and to only give up I think five assists, I just thought our guys played very hard the whole time. We won by a lot of points, but I think Finland is a good team. I think they are a well coached (team). Their fans were terrific. What a nice atmosphere, and it was an honor to play them."
All 12 U.S. players scored, led by 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and 4-of-7 marksmanship from beyond the 3-point arc by Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors). Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) was 6-of-8 from the field and 5-of-5 from the free throw line to finish with 17 points; Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) also was 5-of-5 from the line on his way to 12 points and three assists; and Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings) added 10 points and five rebounds.
"I've got to give credit to the starters, they came out and put the pressure on and played with great energy," Thompson said. "With this team I feel like if we play with great energy, play unselfish, you know, we're pretty hard to beat."
It seemed that more than half of the 11,300 fans in the at-capacity Bizkaia Arena were Finnish, and buoyed by the crowd, Finland, which was playing in its first FIBA World Cup contest, trailed 17-12 to start the game before the USA made its move. James Harden (Houston Rockets) recaptured what would have been a U.S. turnover and found Gay for an alley-oop at 3:15, which ignited a 14-4 U.S. run that closed the first quarter with the USA leading 31-16.
The second period found Finland completely stymied by the USA. While Finland scored its only two points from the line at 6:25, the USA shot 13-of-17 from the field (.765) to lead 60-18 at halftime.
Finland was led by a trio of scorers in Shawn Huff (12 points), Petteri Koponen (12 points) and Erik Murphy (10 points).
Team USA goes big
AUGUST 26, 2014 -- A desire for a bigger look made Andre Drummond necessary. The belief in Derrick Rose's health made Damian Lillard expendable. Those were conclusions made by U.S. team officials when they selected the 12 players who would travel to Spain for the FIBA World Cup of Basketball. After years of ignoring size concerns by fielding teams with the best wing players in the world, the Americans decided this time around that bigger was better. That meant keeping all the big men left on their roster, with Drummond joining New Orleans All-Star Anthony Davis, Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins, Brooklyn's Mason Plumlee and Denver's Kenneth Faried. -- Associated Press
USA BASKETBALL ANNOUNCERS 12-MAN ROSTER FOR 2014 FIBA WORLD CUP TOURNAMENT
AUGUST 23, 2014 -- USA Basketball National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo announced Friday night the 12 players who will represent the United States at the 2014 FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Basketball World Cup that is being held Aug. 30-Sept. 14 in Spain. The player announcement followed the USA's112-86 exhibition victory over Puerto Rico Friday evening at Madison Square Garden.
Named as members of the official 2014 USA Basketball World Cup Team were: DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn Nets); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors).
GENERAL 2014 TEAM USA POSITION OVERVIEW (NOT EXACT POSITIONS)
Guards: Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Derrick Rose, DeMar DeRozan
Forwards: James Harden, Kenneth Faried, Rudy Gay, Mason Plumlee
Centers: Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond
In two recent exhibition games on August 20 and 22, the starting lineup for Team USA was Irving and Curry at guard, Harden and Faried at forward, and Anthony Davis at center.
“Since taking over the USA Basketball Men’s National Team program in 2005, this was without doubt the most difficult selection process we’ve gone through,” said Colangelo. “I can’t stress enough the outstanding effort and commitment that has been given by each finalist. I also want to make it clear that this is not just about talent – each player is incredibly talented and each player offered us unique skills. In the end it was about assembling the best team, selecting guys who we felt would be able to best play the kind of style we envision this team playing.”
“The first thing is we are very pleased with the overall effort of every player who was a part of the process,” said Mike Krzyzewski, USA head coach and Duke University’s Naismith Hall of Fame mentor. “To select twelve was difficult, because our pool is so good. As we go forward, we not only go forward as twelve, we go forward as a pool for USA Basketball. As a staff we want to thank the players who are not going forward.
“I’m excited about the 12 players selected and feel we have excellent versatility and the makings of a really good defensive team.”
Rounding out Krzyzewski’s USA National Team coaching staff as assistant coaches are Syracuse University and Naismith Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau and New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams.
The USA will complete its pre-World Cup exhibition tour on the island of Gran Canaria, Spain. Training Aug. 24-25, the U.S. will close out its exhibition tour on Aug. 26 facing Slovenia at Gran Canaria Arena. The USA team will complete its training for the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Basketball World Cup Aug. 28-29 in Bilbao, Spain, the site of its World Cup preliminary round games.
Since the first FIBA World Championship was held in 1950, the USA has won 11 medals – four gold medals, three silver medals and four bronze medals – while compiling an all time 114-27 win-loss record. Led By Krzyzewski, the Americans are defending World Champions having claim gold in Istanbul with a 9-0 record.
The 2014 World Cup, featuring a total of 24 national teams, is scheduled to be held Aug. 30-Sept. 14 in Spain. The USA will play its preliminary round games in Bilbao, after being drawn into Group C along with teams from the Dominican Republic, Finland, New Zealand, Turkey and Ukraine.
The USA opens the 2014 World Cup on Aug. 30 against Finland, and then faces Turkey on Aug. 31 in a rematch of the 2010 FIBA World Championship gold medal game, a contest in which the USA claimed an 81-64 victory. Following a day off on Sept. 1, the USA resumes play Sept. 2 facing New Zealand. The U.S. will go against the Dominican Republic on Sept. 3 and will conclude its preliminary play on Sept. 4 facing Ukraine.
Each team at the 2014 World Cup will play the other teams in its preliminary group, and the top four finishing teams from each of the four preliminary round groups will then qualify for the round of 16. Winners of the round of 16 games will advance to the quarterfinals, while losers are eliminated. Winners of the quarterfinals games will advance to the medal round semifinals, while the quarterfinals losers are eliminated from the competition. Winners of the semifinals will advance to the Sept. 14 gold medal game, while semifinals losers will meet in the bronze medal game on Sept. 13. The games from the round of 16 to the semifinals will be played in Barcelona and Madrid, and the bronze and gold medal games will be held in Madrid.
2014 USA Basketball World Cup Team Roster
NAME POS HGT WGT DOB TEAM / COLLEGE
DeMarcus Cousins C 6-11 270 8/13/90 Sacramento Kings / Kentucky
Stephen Curry G 6-3 185 3/14/88 Golden State Warriors / Davidson
Anthony Davis F/C 6-10 220 3/11/93 New Orleans Pelicans / Kentucky
DeMar DeRozan G 6-7 216 8/07/89 Toronto Raptors / USC
Andre Drummond C 6-10 270 9/10/93 Detroit Pistons / Connecticut
Kenneth Faried F 6-8 228 11/19/89 Denver Nuggets / Morehead State
Rudy Gay F 6-8 230 8/17/86 Sacramento Kings/ Connecticut
James Harden G 6-5 220 8/26/89 Houston Rockets / Arizona State
Kyrie Irving G 6-3 191 3/23/92 Cleveland Cavaliers / Duke
Mason Plumlee F 6-11 235 3/05/90 Brooklyn Nets / Duke
Derrick Rose G 6-3 190 10/04/88 Chicago Bulls / Memphis
Klay Thompson G 6-7 205 2/08/90 Golden State Warriors / Washington State
Managing Director: Jerry Colangelo
Head Coach: Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University
Assistant Coach: Jim Boeheim, Syracuse University
Assistant Coach: Tom Thibodeau, Chicago Bulls
Assistant Coach: Monty Williams, New Orleans Pelicans
USA WINS EXHIBITION GAME VS. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, 105-62
August 20, 2014 -- It wasn’t much of a contest for the USA Men's National Team in an exhibition against the Dominican Republic at Madison Square Garden Wednesday, but more of an opportunity for coach Mike Krzyzewski to toy with his lineup.
With the need to trim the roster for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup from 16 to 12 in the next few days, a different combination of players saw the majority of the action as the U.S. drubbed the island nation, 105-62, in the FIBA World Cup tune-up. DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay were the high scorers for the national team with 13 points each, with USA having a total of six players who scored in double digits.
Kyrie Irving, who started in place of Derrick Rose, was perfect for the night going five-for-five with 12 points.
“We wanted to set a standard tonight and follow our absolutes that we’ve been having throughout the week,” said Irving. “I feel like we’ve had a lot of great days and just wanted to come out here and execute on both ends of the floor and I think we did that tonight.”
Rose didn't play as he rested his knees — something that disappointed the New York crowd as they chanted his name at first wistfully and then more emphatically as the game progressed.
Krzyzewski emphasized that Rose's absence was more about taking a look at other players in game play and is not injury based.
“We told a few guys that they just weren’t going to play tonight so we could get extended minutes and that worked out,” said Krzyzewski. “We’re still evaluating the team.”
Blossoming leader James Harden also made an impact by coming out aggressive and netting 12 points in only 15:45 playing time.
“From the beginning I thought we played extremely well,” said Harden. “Well means we played hard. It doesn’t mean we’ll make every shot, but the pressure can be there every single time. The guys did a great job these past two games.”
Andre Drummond had the most worthy of the highlight reel play of the night with a one-handed jam off a feed by DeMar DeRozan. Drummond made his best case for a roster spot on the floor Wednesday, scoring 12 points and ripping down five rebounds.
Big man Anthony Davis, who was so dominate against Brazil with 20 points, had a quieter night with seven points in limited playing time but still solidified himself as one of the team's best players while quietly deflecting praise.
"I am just trying to do what Coach K, the staff and USA basketball wants," said Davis. "I feel a lot more comfortable than I did two years ago."
High scorers for the Dominican Republic were James Feldeine and Houston Rockets forward Francisco Garcia with 14 each. Garcia also gave a little extra trash talk to the U.S. bench as the score differential grew desperate, but was quickly quieted.
The Dominican team was without Atlanta Hawks’ center Al Horford who is recovering from a torn pectoral muscle.
And while this was technically a USA team send-off, there was also a very loud and proud Dominican Republic contingent present, creating atmosphere in the MSG stands with every bucket despite the lopsided score.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was also present to take in the action and addressed the media alongside the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, before the friendly.
USA WINS EXHIBITION GAME VS. BRAZIL, 95-78
August 16, 2014 -- There was concern on the U.S. side as they took the court at the United Center, knowing that the Brazilian team they were facing was loaded with talent and experience. However, none of that mattered in the end, as the United States was able to put away the Brazilians 95-78 Saturday night before a loud and appreciative sellout crowd.
This exhibition - or "friendly" -- was quite a bit tougher than the final score indicated.
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski had full respect for Brazil, knowing that they featured NBA stars Tiago Splitter, Nene, Leandro Barbosa and Anderson Varejao. Brazil's size and strength in the front court figured to be a problem for an American team that seemed to have matchup problems with that size and strength.
The Americans appeared to have an edge in speed and quickness, and it quickly showed. USA Basketball ran out to a big 29-15 lead in the first quarter, and they were able to put Brazil on their heels quickly.
Much of that was due to the aggressiveness of Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, James Harden and hometown hero Derrick Rose. However, the biggest contribution came from 6-foot-10 Anthony Davis, who scored 20 points, had eight rebounds and five blocked shots. Davis stood up to his bigger and more experienced opponents on every occasion.
As much as it was a homecoming for Rose, it was also one for Davis. The Chicago native, who attended Perspectives Charter School, was one of the top high school players during his formative years, but he hadn't played at the United Center since his high school days.
"It was big to come in here and play that well as a team," Davis said. "The fans supported us and it was nice to hear it, but the best part was that we gave them something to cheer about throughout the game."
Davis had the crowd on his side from the start, but his maximum hustle play in the fourth quarter was perhaps his most impressive move. After the Brazilians had missed two shots around the basket, the ball got tapped out to midcourt and Davis sped after it. Instead of letting it go out of bounds, he launched himself head first and tipped it back into play as he fell hard into the second row.
"Anthony played great for us," said Rose. "And when you see him diving, hustling and throwing himself all over to make a play, that's really something. I'm so happy for him to contribute like that. It means a lot for this team."
The Chicago fans were clearly most excited about Rose, who demonstrated explosiveness, athleticism and most important of all, good health in this game. His drive down the left side of the court in the final seconds of the first half was one of the highlights of the game. He banked that shot in off the glass at the buzzer, and it allowed the United States to go into the lockerroom with momentum and a 45-37 lead.
He also made another highlight-film play with a left-handed crossover in the third quarter. Rose scored seven points in the game and he also missed two dunks, but his signature explosiveness and athleticism was clearly back on display and the sellout crowd of 21,309 showed their appreciation.
"I guess people want me to do it every time," Rose said. "I just saw an opening and I went for it. It was just me playing the way that I play. This is big for the city and for USA Basketball."
Krzyzewski felt that his team would be severely tested by Brazil, but his team's maximum effort and consistency helped the Americans maintain control throughout. Brazil made impressive runs in the second and third quarters, but it had no answers in the fourth quarter.
"One thing I have to say is that I am really happy with the effort we have gotten from our guys," Krzyzewski said. "They worked extremely hard in practice and it carried over into this game. There were mistakes, but we played hard from start to finish."
USA assistant coach Tom Thibodeau, who also got a rousing ovation from appreciative Bulls fans, spoke about the American team establishing a baseline for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup with the performance in the exhibition game. He believes that the USA National Team will be able to build off this win in future games.
The American team does not have the superstar power that its previous international teams put on the floor. However, many of the top players on the team - Curry, Rose, Harden and Irving - are emerging stars who are only getting better. Add in breakout performances from Davis and Klay Thompson, and it shows that the USA National Team is in excellent shape as it prepares for competition in the FIBA World Cup.
ADDITIONAL USA-BRAZIL NOTES: Both teams made 32-of-65 shots (.492 percent) in the game. The Brazilians were 6-of-15 from 3-point range, while the Americans were just 4-of-17. However, USA Basketball had a huge edge at the free-throw line, making 27-of-31 compared to 8-of-16 for Brazil. … Harden was the second-leading scorer for the Americans with 18 points. He was 11-of-11 from the free throw line and record a team best five assists… Kenneth Faried had a solid night, scoring 11 points and grabbing a game high nine rebounds …The Americans had a 37-29 edge on the boards. Both teams had 11 offensive rebounds. … The USA had eight blocked shots, while the Brazilians could muster only one…Although undersized on paper, the Americans outscored Brazil in the paint 44-to-32…Tiago Splitter led Brazil's effort, recording 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field.
16 FINALISTS FOR TEAM USA
AUGUST 5, 2014 -- Following the completion of its July 28-Aug. 1 training camp in Las Vegas, USA Basketball National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo today announced that 16 players have been selected finalists for the 2014 USA Basketball Men's World Cup Team roster. The USA National Team is scheduled to resume its 2014 preparations for the FIBA Basketball World Cup on Aug. 14 in Chicago.
The finalists include three Olympic gold medalists from 2012 - Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) and James Harden (Houston Rockets); three 2010 World Championship gold medalists - Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Durant and Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); and the addition of Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn Nets) to the 2014-16 USA National Team roster and to the list of finalists participating in Chicago. Plumlee began the Las Vegas training camp as a member of the 2014 USA Select Team.
Selected USA World Cup Team finalists were DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Curry; Davis; DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Durant; Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Harden; Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks); Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers); Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks); Plumlee; Rose; and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors).
"The ending to our Las Vegas training camp with the injury to Paul George was very emotional for everyone involved in USA Basketball. I very much appreciate the outpouring of support Paul and USA Basketball has received the past couple of days from the basketball world. Past Olympic coaches and some of our past Olympic and World Championship players have reached out offering their continued support and that's very important. Paul's injury was an extremely unfortunate occurrence; it was truly a freak accident. We're all very pleased that his recovery is going well," said Colangelo.
"We have always approached representing our country as a privilege, a tremendous honor, and USA Basketball is very appreciative of the willingness of our players to play for the United States and in their own patriotic way give back to their country. Historically, the players involved in USA Basketball have become better players because of their experience. They have treasured their USA Basketball experience, as well as the incredible opportunity and honor it has been for them to demonstrate their patriotism and represent their country.
"Their willingness to represent the United States says a lot about our players' patriotism and their willingness to sacrifice their time to this commitment. Not every American has the opportunity to represent their country and our players have embraced each opportunity to do it. They have worn the USA jersey with respect and honor, and by their commitment they have made all Americans extremely proud."
"We had an excellent training camp in Las Vegas and each player gave a great effort and deserves recognition and thanks for his commitment and hard work. We've said all along that we would be proud to have any of the players who were in Las Vegas represent USA Basketball and the United States. This phase of the selection process was extremely difficult and very thorough, and it's worth again mentioning that we are looking to select the best team, which are not necessarily the best players. We're pleased with where we are at this point of our training and we're looking forward to getting back on the court and continuing our preparations to represent the United States at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup," said Colangelo.
The 2014-16 USA Basketball National Team coaching staff features USA head coach and Duke University's Naismith Hall of Fame mentor Mike Krzyzewski. Serving as assistant coaches are USA Basketball and Syracuse University and Naismith Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau and New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams.
The USA finalists will practice Aug. 14-15 at the Quest Multisport Complex, Chicago, and play an exhibition contest versus Brazil at the United Center on Aug. 16 (8 p.m. CDT).
"We're excited about where the team is headed. Really all 16 guys have a chance to make to the team, which usually does not happen in a training camp, and it shows that all of the guys thus far have done an excellent job. Then it's just a matter of finding what chemistry that we can develop with the entire group and I don't think we'll know that until we play some exhibition games. The 16 guys give us a chance to look at a way of playing in a number of different ways and we just have to figure out what those ways are and then the 12 who will fit best," said Krzyzewski.
The American squad will continue its World Cup preparations Aug. 18-22 in New York, and play a pair of exhibition games at Madison Square Garden, Aug. 20 against Dominican Republic, and Aug. 22 versus Puerto Rico. The USA will complete its pre-World Cup exhibition tour on the island of Gran Canaria, Spain. Training Aug. 24-25, the U.S. will close out its exhibition tour on Aug. 26 facing Slovenia at Gran Canaria Arena. Conducting a basketball clinic for youth on Aug. 27 in Dakar, Senegal, the USA team will complete its training for the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Basketball World Cup Aug. 28-29 in Bilbao, Spain, the site of its World Cup preliminary round games.
The 2014 World Cup, featuring a total of 24 national teams, is scheduled to be held Aug. 30-Sept. 14 in Spain. The USA will play its preliminary round games in Bilbao, after being drawn into Group C along with teams from the Dominican Republic, Finland, New Zealand, Turkey and Ukraine.
The USA opens the 2014 World Cup on Aug. 30 against Finland, and then faces Turkey on Aug. 31 in a rematch of the 2010 FIBA World Championship gold medal game, a contest in which the USA claimed an 81-64 victory. Following a day off on Sept. 1, the USA resumes play Sept. 2 facing New Zealand. The U.S. will go against the Dominican Republic on Sept. 3, and will conclude its preliminary play on Sept. 4 facing Ukraine.
Each team at the 2014 World Cup will play the other teams in its preliminary group, and the top four finishing teams from each of the four preliminary round groups will then qualify for the round of 16. Winners of the round of 16 games will advance to the quarterfinals, while losers are eliminated. Winners of the quarterfinals games will advance to the medal round semifinals, while the quarterfinals losers are eliminated from the competition. Winners of the semifinals will advance to the Sept. 14 gold medal game, while semifinals losers will meet in the bronze medal game on Sept. 13. The games from the round of 16 to the semifinals will be played in Barcelona and Madrid, and the bronze and gold medal games will be held in Madrid.
OLDER USA BASKETBALL STUFF FROM 2013
USA White Rides Second-Half Surge To 128-106 Win In 2013 USA Basketball Showcase
July 25, 2013
Thanks in part to a game-high 23 points and seven assists from Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), the USA White team outscored the USA Blue squad 75-55 in the second half to earn a 128-106 win on Thursday night in the 2013 USA Basketball Showcase at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev. Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans), a 2012 U.S. Olympic gold medalist, paced the USA Blue team with 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting and seven rebounds.
The 2013 USA Basketball Showcase, played in front of a crowd of 9,513 fans and featuring 12-minute quarters and international rules, culminated three days of national team training camp for 28 players hoping to earn a future roster spot on the USA Basketball Men’s National Team.
“The guys were terrific all week. I think we made a good first good step in this four-year period,” said USA Basketball Men’s National Team head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). “I think as good as Anthony (Davis) was last year, he’s stepped it up another couple levels and that was exciting to see. He got better throughout the week and put on a heck of a performance tonight.
“Kyrie (Irving) is one of the special players in the NBA. Both of these two guys (Irving and Davis) are exceptional talents and as talented as both of these guys are, they are so easy to coach and they’re really good guys. They had great games, it was fun to watch and they’ll be a big help to us,” added Krzyzewski.
USA Basketball chairman and USA Men’s National Team managing director Jerry Colangelo, echoed Krzyzewski’s comments about the mini-camp.
“We had a great camp, it was great to be back in town and we got a lot accomplished,” said Colangelo. “We got a chance to see a terrific bunch of young players vying to get a spot going forward with one of our rosters, so it was a great week.”
In addition to Irving, the victorious White squad’s effort was aided by Jrue Holiday’s (New Orleans Pelicans) 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists; Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies) added 11 points; Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons) recorded 11 points and six rebounds; Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets) added 11 points and seven boards; DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers) finished with 10 points and nine rebounds; and Paul George (Indiana Pacers) contributed 10 points and six boards. Additionally, Ty Lawson (Denver Nuggets) recorded seven points and a game-best nine assists.
“It was a great experience. I had fun. It was a fun three days. Competing at the highest level is what I love to do,” said Irving, the 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year.
“We just had to pick up our intensity on both ends of the floor. I thought our team had too many turnovers in the first quarter; we had about 10. Going into the second quarter everybody kind of got settled in, got used to the basketball. Me personally I was just trying to have faith in myself and my teammates, and that’s what it’s about. Like I said, everybody got settled in. Nerves were a factor in the beginning. The Blue team got up 8-0 and we had a few too many turnovers, but we did a great job and picked it up on the defensive end first and the offense took care of itself.
“I think the camp went really well,” stated Davis, the No. 1 draft choice of the 2012 NBA Draft. “A lot of guys stood up and competed. Usually when you go to camps, not just USAB (camps), but guys really don’t compete and take it serious. And for guys to show up and actually compete the way we did to make each other better, to play together … Guys played hard, shared the ball.”
The USA Blue team received 18 points from Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors), while Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons) accounted for 10 points and six boards, and John Wall (Washington Wizards) scored 10 points.
The USA Blue team, coached by USA National Team assistant coach and Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, jumped out to an 8-0 lead at 9:14 before the White squad, which was led by USA assistant coach and New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams, responded.
With the White team whittling down the lead over the next four minutes, Lawson found Denver Nuggets teammate Faried for a dunk at 5:04 that brought the score to 18-17 in Blue’s favor. Blue again widened the lead after five-straight points from Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors), and after trading baskets to end the first stanza, the USA Blue team led 30-25.
The White team put together a 21-5 offensive run in the second quarter that included six scorers overall and eight points from Irving to not only gave White its first lead, but a 48-40 advantage at 4:48.
With 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic gold medalists and NBA super-stars Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul watching courtside, the Blue countered with a 7-0 run to cut the White’s lead to just two points, 53-51 at the midway point.
Ten of the game’s 11 lead changes occurred in the third period as neither team created much breathing room.
While the White saw seven players combine to score 18 points over the first 8:33, Davis alone tallied eight points and Monroe scored seven to help USA Blue keep pace, and the score was tied at 71-all at 4:27.
Four 3-pointers, including two apiece from Ryan Anderson (New Orleans Pelicans) and Conley, helped USA White outscore USA Blue 18-8 over the last 4:18 of third, and the White squad built a 10-point, 89-79 lead headed into the final stanza.
Twenty-five bench points for USA White in the fourth quarter were too much for USA Blue to overcome, despite getting 10 points from Wall, and the White team reached its largest lead of the game – 22 points – when Conley sank a 3-pointer at 12.6 seconds left to bring the game to its 128-106 final.
“We are going to start over and build a new (national team) pool,” remarked Colangelo on plans for the 2014-16 USA National Team. “There will be carry-overs. There will be new names added, but that won’t be done until after the first of the year, sometime in January is what we talked about. Bear in mind that there will be 25-28 names, something like that; and we’ve always said it’s fluid, that during the course of our quad they’ll be additions and deletions because circumstances happen; someone might get hurt; you never know what could take place.
For the 2013-16 quad, the USA Men’s National Team will compete in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup (formerly the FIBA World Championship) Aug. 30-Sept. 14 in Spain, and if necessary, the 2015 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament (dates and site TBD); and if the USA qualifies, the 2016 Summer Olympic Games (Aug. 5-21) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Since Colangelo and Krzyzewski teamed up in 2006, USA National Teams have compiled a spectacular 62-1 record over the seven years, claimed top honors in four of five FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions, and just as importantly reestablished the USA National Team and its members as positive ambassadors for the United States and the sport.
Below are full USA Basketball game recaps. For complete Olympic basketball coverage, click here.
Jerry Colangelo re-elected chairman of USA Basketball Board of Directors
November 13, 2012
Jerry Colangelo, 2009-12 USA Basketball chairman and managing director of USA Basketball’s 2006-08 and 2009-12 men’s national teams, has been re-elected chairman of USA Basketball’s Board of Directors for the 2013-16 term. The announcement was made following completion of Tuesday’s USA Basketball annual Board of Directors meeting in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Also announced as members of the 11-member 2013-16 USA Basketball Board of Directors were: NBA appointees Kim Bohuny, NBA Senior Vice President, Basketball Operations-International; and Mark Tatum, NBA Executive Vice President of Global Marketing Partnerships; NCAA appointees Dan Gavitt, NCAA Vice President of Men’s Basketball Championships; Mark Lewis, NCAA Executive Vice President of Championships and Alliances; and Chris Plonsky, University of Texas Women’s Athletics Director and Senior Associate Athletic Director of Men’s/Women’s Athletics External Services; Scholastic Director Bob Gardner, National Federation of High School Associations Executive Director; At-large/ Independent Director Billy Hunter, Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association; National Organizations Representative Jim Carr, NAIA President and Chief Executive Officer; and athlete representatives Chauncey Billups, co-captain of USA Basketball’s 2010 World Championship gold medalist team, and Katie Smith, three-time Olympic gold medalist (2000, 2004 and 2008) and three-time FIBA World Championship medalist (1998 gold, 2002 gold, 2006 bronze).
USA Battles Spain For 107-100 Win To Capture Olympic Gold Medal
August 12, 2012
In a game that featured 16 lead changes and six tied scores, 30 points from Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) led a balanced attack that helped the U.S Olympic Men’s Basketball Team (8-0) fight off Spain (5-3) for a 107-100 win to capture the Olympic gold medal on Sunday afternoon at the 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena in London, England.
In a rematch of the 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medal game, which also saw the USA defeat Spain, Durant grabbed nine rebounds and shot 5-of-13 from 3-point to set a U.S. Olympic single-game record for 3-pointers attempted. He also drew nine Spanish fouls to finish 9-of-10 from the free throw line.
“First off I would like to congratulate the great team from Spain for their magnificent performance,” said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). “I would also like to congratulate Russia on the bronze medal. The tournament was spectacular and Great Britain was an amazing host for this tournament. We know that we won a great basketball game today. They were really good and I thought we were really good. And we had to be in order to win.
“Foul trouble hurt us, there size hurt us,” Krzyzewski continued. “Our guys have come through all the time. Two of the guys who came through are sitting right here (Kevin Durant and Chris Paul). We got some defensive stops and hit some big shots. I really thought that an unsung hero of this game was Kevin Love, how he had to battle inside defensively because we had a big height disadvantage in there. He helped make a couple of stops for us down the stretch that were just huge. We are proud of the gold medal, very appreciative of the support we got here. It’s a heck of a thing. I love the way my guys responded today.”
Making 8-of-13 shots, LeBron James (Miami Heat) added 19 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out a team-high four assists; Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) added 17 points; and Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers) finished with 11 points and three steals. Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves) grabbed a team-high nine rebounds to go with nine points.
“They are a tough team,” Durant said of Spain. “They made it tough for us all night. Fourth quarter, we were able to pull away, make some big shots. We have so many weapons on this team that can take over a game, but everybody chipped in tonight, and we got a really good win.”
While Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks) and James earned a second gold medal in a third Olympic appearance; three more were members of the gold-medal winning team in 2008, including Bryant, Paul and Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets). Playing in their first Olympics were Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks), Anthony Davis (New Orleans Hornets), Durant, James Harden (Oklahoma City Thunder), Andre Iguodala (Denver Nuggets), Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).
“It was very emotional,” Bryant said of his 2012 gold medal. “You just kind of think back on the journey, so to speak. Being here for your last go-round, wearing USA on your chest, it’s very emotional.”
Bryant found Chandler for the game’s first score, however, Juan-Carlos Navarro sank his first of three 3-pointers in the first 3:15 of the game to give his side a 12-7 lead at 6:45. The USA put together eight quick points, including two 3-pointers from Bryant, to lead 15-12. After two threes from Anthony, the American advantage had stretched to nine points, 25-16 at 3:52. While the USA put up 10 points over the last 3:09, Spain added 11 points, including nine from the free throw line, and the U.S. led 35-27 at the first break.
With a 12-2 run to start the second period, Spain quickly erased the deficit and took a 39-37 lead with a 3-pointer from Sergio Rodriguez at 7:25. The lead changed hands four times before Krzyzewski called a timeout at 6:24 with the USA trailing 44-43. The pause in action seemed to work for the USA, which jumped ahead by six points, 50-44, after a 3-pointer from Durant and four straight free throws from Love that were earned by his work on the defensive boards. Both infractions were whistled on Spain’s Marc Gasol, and he went to the bench with four fouls at 5:29 and was limited just 17 minutes overall.
Navarro ended the U.S. scoring streak after he collected a long rebound and connected from deep at 4:41 to bring the score to 50-47. The three was the start of a 14-9 Spain run that was helped along due to five fouls called on the USA that lead to nine made free throws for Spain. The last two Spanish free throws came with just 3.1 seconds remaining, and the teams headed to the halftime locker room with the USA leading 59-58.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” James said. “We know Spain is a great team; they match up well with us, and we match up well with them. A lot of our games were the same in 08. We played them in that final and they gave us a great run. They tested us more than any team. We felt like that was going to happen again tonight. This is a great team and they wanted redemption. We are just happy that we were able to make enough plays, get enough defensive stops and come through for our team.”
As the U.S. lead reached four points twice in the first 1:30 of the third quarter, Pau Gasol compiled 13 points on his own to put Spain ahead 71-70 with a three-point play at 5:02. Bryant and Durant led the USA back on top 77-72 at 3:34, but once again Spain responded. While Durant sank two more 3-pointers, Spain managed 10 points to head into the final stanza trailing by just one point, 83-82.
After a score from each team to start the fourth, Paul hit a three and drove in for two points to put the USA up 90-84 at 8:46. The six-point spread remained when Fernandez tipped in a rebound at 3:41, and Krzyzewski called a timeout at 3:20 after two U.S. turnovers. James slammed home an emphatic dunk, nailed a 3-pointer and then Paul scored a layup as the shot clock expired to counter a score from Spain, and the USA owned a 104-93 lead, its largest lead of the game, with 49 ticks remaining.
“I don’t think worried is the right word,” Paul said of the close score late in the game. “I think we were prepared and big thanks to Lithuania for that tough game that they gave us. At halftime before we ran out, what we talked about amongst ourselves was the reason we had been so successful is because of our defense; it wasn’t because of the flurry of threes that we would make from game to game. It was because of our defense. As you saw late in the game, that’s where we really broke away, we got stops, we got in transition and when you’ve got guys like Melo, KD, and Kobe trailing the play, that’s the way we can find those open shots.”
With the outcome secured, Krzyzewski subbed out Durant, James, Bryant, Love and Paul at 37 seconds and 19 seconds to cheers from the crowd, and the celebration began on the sideline.
Spain did not quit fighting, but came no closer than six points, 106-100, at 13.5 seconds. A free throw from Harden at 12.1 seconds brought the game to its 107-100 final score.
Pau Gasol led his side with 24 points and seven assists, and Navarro scored 21 points.
Earlier today, Russia (6-2) edged Argentina (4-4) 81-77 in the bronze medal game.
Durant finished the 2012 Olympics with 156 points to set the U.S. Olympic competition high for points scored, and his 34-of-65 shooting from 3-point set U.S. Olympic competition records for threes made and attempted.
As a team, the USA finished shooting 129-of-293 to set U.S. Olympic records for 3-pointers made, attempted, and for 3-point field goal percentage at 44.0 percent. Additionally, the U.S. grabbed 357 rebounds for an average of 44.6 rebounds per game to set two more USA competition team records.
“For us to persevere the way we did, it’s a just a special moment for myself, for the guys that were on this team, for all the work that we put in and the commitment that we made to get where we are at right now,” Anthony said.
Several U.S. Olympic career records were also established. James now is tied with David Robinson for most U.S. career Olympic games played at 24, and he is No. 1 with 273 points,113 field goals made and 88 career Olympic assists. Anthony lists first for career 3-point field goals made and attempted at 39-of-94.
Since Jerry Colangelo joined USA Basketball as managing director of the USA Men’s National Team and selected Krzyzewski as the head coach, the USA is 62-1 in major international competitions, including gold at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, as well as the 2010 FIBA World Championship. With today’s win, Krzyzewski became just the second coach in USA men’s history to earn consecutive Olympic golds, the first being Henry Iba in 1964 and 1968.
Overall, the USA has won gold in 14 of the 17 Olympics in which it has played, compiling an remarkable 130-5 overall record.
Krzyzewski was assisted on the USA bench by Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim and former NBA head coaches Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan.
USA Men Shoot Down Argentina 109-83 To Advance To Gold Medal Game
August 10, 2012
Once again 3-point daggers sent the U.S Olympic Men’s Basketball Team’s (7-0) opponent packing. Making 18-of-42 3-pointers, the USA finished off Argentina (4-3) 109-83 Friday night to advance to Sunday’s gold medal game of the 2012 Olympic.
Leading by seven points at halftime, Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) sank two 3-pointers in an 8-0 run in the third quarter that gave the USA some breathing room, 59-46, at 6:28, and then sank two more in the stanza to help the USA take a 74-57 lead into the fourth quarter. The U.S. went on to knock down nine threes in the final stanza, including four from Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks), to run away with the win.
In a rematch of the 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medal game, the USA will meet Spain (5-2) at 3 p.m. (10 a.m. EDT) on Aug. 12 in the 2012 gold medal contest. Spain earned its gold medal berth after rallying against Russia (5-2) for a 67-59 semifinal win. Argentina will play Russia in the bronze medal game at 11 a.m. (6 a.m. EDT).
“We are very pleased with our performance tonight against a team that we have great respect for,” said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). “They are just a championship caliber team with some of the greatest international players of all time, so we have to play really well in order to win.
“I thought we had our best balance so far. Kobe (Bryant) got us off to a good start. LeBron (James) really turned it on, then Kevin (Durant) and Carmelo (Anthony) followed. There was not just one guy and I thought our point guards really did a masterful job,” added the USA mentor who is now 61-1 overall since taking charge of the national team coaching responsibilities in 2006.
Durant finished with 19 points on 5-of-10 shooting from 3-point, Anthony was 4-of-8 from deep on his way to 18 points and six rebounds and LeBron James (Miami Heat) added 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) paced the USA early in the game, tallying 11 of his 13 points in the first quarter, Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers) contributed 10 points and seven assists and Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets) dished out six assists. Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves) led the USA on the glass with nine rebounds to go with his nine points.
“I think we did a good job starting off with a lot of intensity on defense and moving the ball on offense,” Durant said. “We knew this team was going to fight all game and make it tough on us but we did a really good job of responding when they made few runs and our defense was good. We were getting deflections and steals and able to get some easy points. When you have guys that can penetrate and past the ball like we do all you have to do is make shots. In the second half guys were looking for me and Carmelo, and we were there to hit some three’s and bust the game wide open, and we are going to get ready for a tough game on Sunday.”
The USA crashed the boards for a 46-29 rebounding advantage and 19 second-chance points to Argentina’s five. Although both teams took care of the ball – the USA recorded just 10 turnovers and had none from its point guards, Paul or Williams. Argentina committed only 11, and the USA converted that into 23 points while Argentina scored only 12.
“We have so many weapons,” Paul said. “This isn’t like an NBA team where each guy comes down and says, here, take the ball and go one-on-one. When guys have open shots, they shoot them. But we have the peace of mind to know that if a guy hits four open threes in a row, we know how to get him the ball.”
The USA came out firing and built an 18-6 lead thanks in part to Bryant, who sank three 3-pointers in the first 4:20 of the game. Argentina responded with a 9-0 run to cut the lead to three points, 18-15 at 1:52. The USA put up six more points to Argentina’s four to finish the first quarter with a 24-19 advantage.
James tallied eight points in the first 4:49 of the second quarter and Love added four to help the USA counter two 3-pointers from Argentina’s Andres Nocioni, and the USA had built a 10-point margin, 37-27, at 5:11 to force an Argentine timeout. Argentina sank three more 3-pointers in the period, including the final score of the first half – a long ball from Manu Ginobili just before the buzzer that cut the U.S. lead to seven points, 47-40 at halftime.
Ginobili pulled Argentina within four points, 47-43, to start the second half, but two free throws from Paul were followed by a tip-in from Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks) and the USA led by eight points, 51-43, at 9:07.
Ginobili again came up big for Argentina with a three-point play at 7:51, but that was the last time the South Americans would have the momentum. Durant bookended a score from Paul with 3-pointers at 7:10 and 6:28 to push the lead to 13 points, 59-46. Argentina closed to within eight points, 59-51, but this time James reversed the trend, finishing an assist from Paul and then throwing down a powerful dunk that also earned him a free throw on a foul to restore a double-digit 64-51 advantage at 3:46. Argentina scored just six more points as Durant sank two 3-pointers to help the USA compile 10 more points and a 74-57 third-quarter lead.
“We have guys on this team that can get blistering hot,” stated Bryant. “They get hot quick. Me, KD (Durant) and Melo (Anthony) knocked down two shots each and all of a sudden the floodgates opened. It feels like we can’t miss and it just seems like it happens instantaneously.”
It rained threes for the USA in the fourth quarter, including four from Anthony in a span of 1:22, as well as two from Williams and one 3-pointer apiece from Westbrook, Durant, Harden and Paul. Overall, the USA shot its way to 35 points while Argentina score 26 to bring the game to its 109-83 final.
Ginobili led his team with 18 points, while Carlos Delfino and Luis Scola added 15 points apiece.
“I think it’s only right,” James said of the USA’s gold-medal opponent. “Everyone has said that this is the game they want to see, so, we look forward to it. We’re happy as a team to be able to be back in this position.”
Krzyzewski is assisted on the USA bench by Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim and former NBA head coaches Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan.
LeBron James Tallies First Triple-Double In U.S. Olympic History To Power USA To Semifinals With 119-86 Win Against Australia
August 8, 2012
A triple-double from LeBron James (Miami Heat) and 20 points from Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), including four straight 3-pointers in a 67-second span in the fourth quarter, helped the U.S Olympic Men’s Basketball Team (6-0) overpower Australia (3-3) 119-86 to advance to the semifinals of the 2012 Olympic Games on Wednesday night at the North Greenwich Arena in London, England.
The USA will face Argentina (4-2), which topped Brazil (4-2) 82-77 to advance, in the semifinals at 9 p.m. (4 p.m EDT) on Aug. 10. The USA previously beat Argentina 126-97 in its final preliminary round game on Aug. 6, as well as in exhibition play, 86-80, on July 22 in Barcelona, Spain.
“We knew that we were going to play a very athletic, quick, well-coached team in Australia, who were coming off a couple of big wins,” said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). “They pushed the ball down the court against us well. I thought we played well in the first half, except for we didn’t get back sometimes and they got about 10-12 points in transition.
“We got off to a horrible start in the second-half, and I am proud of my guys because we were playing well in the first-half, got that bad start and then they played great. The offensive rebounding was a key factor. Kevin Love had eight offensive rebounds and our defense picked up. Kobe made a couple big defensive plays that went to the offensive end, and we kind of exploded there,” added Coach K.
James finished with 11 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists for the first triple-double in U.S. Olympic history (since assists were kept as an official statistic in 1976), and his 12 assists tied the U.S. Olympic single-game high. Additionally, shooting 19-of-46 from 3-point, the USA tied its U.S. Olympic record of 46 3-point attempts, which it set on Aug. 2 against Nigeria.
While the final score was a 35-point blowout, Australia was down by just 14 points at the start of the fourth quarter. Three of Bryant’s four 3-pointers came off of assists from James.
“I’m proud of the win, that’s all that matters to me,” James said. “I don’t really care about me statistically. The win is more important; I’m happy to be able to move on.”
Rounding out five U.S. players in double digits were Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets) with 18 points and 7-of-7 shooting from the free throw line; 17 points from Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); 14 points from Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); and a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double from Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves).
“On this team you really get a lot of easy shots because you play with a lot of really good players,” said Bryant who connected on 6-of-10 3-pointers in the game. “I just found myself in a really good rhythm with some daylight to shoot the ball, and they were going in for me.”
Durant opened the game with a 3-pointer and both teams sank two threes in the first two minutes to help bring the score to an 8-8 tie at 8:01. The score again was tied at 10-10 and 12-12 before the USA gained some distance with free throws from James, a fast break bucket from Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers) and a three-point play from James that left the USA ahead 19-12 at 4:08. After two scores from Australia, the USA put together another run, this time a 7-0 stretch to grab control 26-16 following bonus free throws from Williams at 1:09. Westbrook sank two more free throws to help counter five points form Australia, and despite not scoring from the field in the last 2:39 of the first quarter, the USA led 28-21.
Durant also opened the second period with a 3-pointer, and the U.S. lead had reached 12 points, 39-27, when Williams connected from deep at 7:32. Australia fought back and closed within eight points several times before Krzyzewski called a timeout at 4:37 with the USA leading 44-36. Anthony sank a 3-pointer out of the break, and the USA outscored Australia 12-6 to take a 56-42 lead into the halftime locker room.
Australia once again rallied and went on an 11-0 run to open the second half and cut the distance to three points, 56-53 after consecutive 3-pointers from Australia’s Joe Ingles. Durant ended the drought with a 3-pointer at 7:56, and with the lead at five points, 63-58 at 6:01, a James’ free throw was followed by consecutive 3-pointers from Bryant, and then a three-point play from James that helped restore a 14-point margin, 72-58, at 4:12. Each team scored 12 more points in the stanza before the third quarter buzzer sounded with the score at 84-70.
“We knew they were going to come out and play tougher; they hit some shots,” Durant said. “But I think we did a great job of responding to that run and making our own little run as well. We got back up by 14 and kind of cruised from there.”
Australia trailed 96-80 in the fourth quarter before Bryant completely put the game out of reach. Knocking in his first 3-pointer of the quarter at 5:50, he followed that up with threes at 5:14, 4:57 and 4:43. Overall, it was the start of a 16-8 run that ended the game with the USA securing a 119-86 win.
Australia was whistled for 30 personal fouls in the game, helping the USA to finish 22-of-32 (.689) from the free throw line. The USA also owned a 52-42 advantage on the glass.
San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills lead Australia with 26 points.
Also today, Russia (5-1) beat Lithuania (2-4) 83-74 to move on to the semifinals, where it will meet Spain (4-2), which topped France (4-2) 66-59 to advance. The bronze and gold medal games will be played at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. (6 a.m. and 10 a.m.), respectively, on Aug. 12.
“It’s somewhat of a rivalry. I definitely think so,” Paul said of the USA’s semifinal opponent Argentina. “This will be our third time playing them in the last two or three weeks. We’ve got to get out to a good start. They are going to have their crowd behind them and we’ve got to come out and impose our will.”
Krzyzewski is assisted on the USA bench by Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim and former NBA head coaches Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan.
USA Men Knock Off Argentina 126-97, Advance To Quarterfinals As No. 1 Seed
August 6, 2012
A 42-point third quarter that included five 3-pointers from Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) helped the U.S Olympic Men’s Basketball Team (5-0) take control in the second half and pave its way to a 126-97 win over rival Argentina (3-2) in Olympic Games preliminary round play Monday night at the Olympic Park Basketball Arena in London, England.
Undefeated in preliminary round play, the USA advances to the quarterfinals as Group A’s No. 1 seed, and will meet Australia (3-2), the No. 4 seed from Group B at 10:15 p.m. (5:15 p.m. EDT) on Aug. 8.
“They are a championship level team and for us to have a game like this going into the medal round is good,” said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). “I thought it was very hard fought game, and we played and outstanding second half. We got really good contributions not just from our starters, but from Iguodala and Love. (Getting) on the boards and getting points, they were significant factors for us tonight. We are excited to get into the medal round.”
While the USA shot a solid 51.1 percent from the field (45-88 FGs), a blazing 51.3 percent from 3-point (20-39 3pt FGs) and U.S. tournament high 80.0 percent from the free throw line (16-20 FTs), six U.S. players reached double digits and all 12 scored as the USA dished out 29 assists on its 45 field goals.
Durant shot 8-of-10 from 3-point to lead the USA with 28 points, and added four rebounds, four assists and three steals. LeBron James (Miami Heat) finished with 18 points and five assist, despite playing fewer than six minutes in the second half due to foul trouble and just 22 minutes overall. Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers) dished out seven assists and was 5-of-6 from 3-point to finish with 17 points; Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers) contributed 13 points and game highs of nine rebounds apiece; and Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) rounded out the USA’s double-digit scorers with 11 points.
“It was one of those times … I’ve probably had that feeling three or four times before that every time I catch it, I feel like it’s going to go in, but it wasn’t just me,” Durant said. “My teammates did a good job of giving me confidence first off. Also, just finding me. They’re passing up shots to give me the ball, and that’s a great feeling. I just try to do my part and make the shot.”
While Argentina put the first points on the board, Durant accounted for the first of seven U.S. 3-pointers in the stanza at 9:25 to start the USA off. Trailing 14-8 after a three from Bryant at 7:24, Argentina managed its largest run of the first half with seven consecutive points to lead 15-14 at 5:57.
Bryant ended the drought with two made free throws before Durant put the USA up 19-15 with another make from deep at 4:51. The U.S. lead stretched to as many as five points before Argentina again fought back and led 30-29 with a 3-pointer at 1:01. Two free throws from Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks) and then a third 3-pointer from Durant helped the USA take a 34-32 lead after the first quarter.
“Tonight’s game was so much fun,” Paul said. “Anyone who is involved in athletics knows that there are these ups and downs over the course of a game. I give Argentina a lot of credit. They pushed us they made us compete, and that’s what you want to do.”
The USA led by six points three different times in the first four minutes of the second quarter before Argentina charged back to take a one-point lead, 48-47, off of consecutive 3-pointers from Leonardo Gutierrez and then a three-point play by Juan Pedro Gutierrez at 3:37. The teams were nearly even from there, but the USA had restored a one-point lead, 60-59, at halftime.
After shooting 7-of-15 from 3-point in the first quarter, the USA finished the first half just 9-of-22 from deep. The trend again reversed in the third quarter, however, as the USA shot a lights-out 7-of-9 from behind the arc in the period to outscore Argentina 42-17 in the stanza and break the game open.
James started the third period with a turn-around jumper and then countered a three from Argentina with a 3-pointer of his own and scored again at 8:29 to put the USA ahead 67-62. Durant knocked in a three at 7:49, and the USA was off and running. Argentina managed two field goals over the next two minutes as the USA put up 12 points thanks to scores from four players to lead 79-66 at 5:51. Twelve of the USA’s next 14 points belonged to Durant, who bookended a score by Love with four 3-pointers, including one from way beyond the 3-point arc at 1:53 to put the USA ahead 93-74 and inspire chants of U-S-A from the crowd.
“It wasn’t like we had a different focus,” James said of the third quarter. “We knew defensively in the first half we didn’t play to our capabilities. We allowed them to get a lot of open shots, a lot of open looks, a lot of layups and that’s not how we play the game of basketball defensively. We came out with a sense of urgency in the third quarter to step it up defensively, play more solid and not gamble as much, and then execute a little bit more on the offensive end.”
With the game’s momentum fully on its side, the USA went on to outscore Argentina 9-2 to close the period, and Anthony sank one more three at the buzzer to put the USA up 102-76.
Argentina never recovered, and the USA went on to outscore Argentina 24 to 21 to bring the game to its 126-97 final.
Outrebounding the South Americans 47-33, the USA recorded 32 second-chance points, as well as 27 points off of 16 Argentina turnovers.
Six players also reached double digits for Argentina, which was without point guard Pablo Prigioni. Manu Ginobili finished with 16 points, and Carlos Delfino added 13 points.
Also today in Group A, Lithuania (2-3) topped Tunisia (0-5) to finish as the No. 4 and No. 6 seeds in Group A, meaning Lithuania advances to the quarterfinals while Tunisia does not. France (4-1), which earned the No. 2 seed out of Group A, beat Nigeria (1-4) 79-73, with Nigeria concluding its Olympic play as the No. 5 seed.
In Group B, Australia’s (3-2) Patty Mills nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to propel his squad to an 82-80 victory over previously unbeaten Russia (4-1). Still Russia finished as the No. 1 seed from Group B, while Australia advanced as the No. 4 team. Great Britain (1-4) downed China (0-5) 90-58, but both teams finished their Olympic play as the No. 5 and No. 6 teams, respectfully; while Brazil (4-1) earned the No. 2 seed after recording an 88-82 win over Spain (3-2), which placed No. 3 in the group.
Other Aug. 8 quarterfinal matchups include Russia versus Lithuania at 2:00 p.m. (9:00 a.m. EDT), France against Spain at 4:15 p.m. (11:15 a.m. EDT) and Brazil versus Argentina at 8:00 p.m. (3:00 p.m. ED).
Olympic semifinal play is scheduled for Aug. 10, and the finals are on Aug. 12.
“We know it’s one and done now,” Love said of the Olympic format. “We know where we want to be on Aug. 12, and that’s in the gold medal game at 3:00 p.m. We want to be standing at the top of the podium at the end of the game. We know what it’s going to take, and we need to play like we did in the second half tonight.”
Krzyzewski is assisted on the USA bench by Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim and former NBA head coaches Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan.
LeBron James Helps Rally USA Men To 99-94 Victory Over Lithuania
August 4, 2012
With the USA trailing 82-80 in the fourth quarter, LeBron James (Miami Heat) scored nine of his 20 points in the last four minutes to help the U.S Olympic Men’s Basketball Team (4-0) outlast Lithuania (1-3) for a hard-fought 99-94 win to remain undefeated in the 2012 Olympic Games on Saturday afternoon at the Olympic Park Basketball Arena in London, England.
Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets) scored five of his 12 points in the last 4:31 as well, while Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks) finished with 20 points, and Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) added 16 points in the U.S. win. Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers) scored seven points, dished out six assists, grabbed seven rebounds and collected four steals, and Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves) was the team’s high rebounder with eight boards while adding seven points.
“We had to make some big plays to win,” said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). “So far in the tournament things have come easy to us because we’ve been hitting so many shots, and today because of the defense sometimes I think we passed up on shots because of guys hitting so many, you want to see them hit again instead of taking your shot. We can play better, but we played against a terrific team today. We had 17 steals that didn’t translate to the number of points that they should. Usually we get some momentum but today we got steals but not the points. It showed great resolve on their part that when they did make a mistake, they recovered quickly and didn’t have their head down. We beat an outstanding team today and had a lot of game pressure on us and we came through, and I am proud of them for doing that.”
“I feel like it was my time to step up offensively,” James said. “I have kind of been doing everything else, which I am ok with. I am here to do the little things, whatever the team needs in Coach K’s perspective. Like I told you guys, I can also score. I am blessed and happy. I was able to make a few buckets down the stretch.”
The USA was outrebounded for the first time in the tournament, 42-37, but did force 23 turnovers, which it converted into 26 points. The team also raced to 23 fast-break points while holding Lithuania to just eight.
“You are always concerned because you are a competitor and you want to win,” Chris Paul said of the close score throughout. “That is a good team we played right there. We knew that coming in, so it’s always a great game when you play against Lithuania. Luckily we defended and got some stops down the stretch, guys made a few big plays. We knew this was going to be a dog fight and those guys played an unbelievable game and they played really hard.”
With the score tied at 4-4 early in the first quarter, the USA compiled an 8-0 run to take a 12-4 lead at 7:47. Lithuania battled to within three points before 3-pointers from Anthony and Durant helped put the USA on top 18-11 at 5:17. Lithuania again cut the lead to three points, 27-24, before long balls from Williams and Anthony gave the USA a six-point lead at the end of the first 10 minutes, 33-27.
While eight different American players put points on the board in the second quarter, Lithuania had an answer for nearly every U.S. score. By the time Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) deflected a pass that led to a fast-break dunk by Anthony, the USA led 51-42 at 3:20. The tide turned from there, however, as the USA went cold, missing its last five
3-point attempts, and Lithuania outscored the USA 9-4 to close the first half trailing by just four points, 55-51.
Bryant picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter and played just 6:09 in the first half, while Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers) was whistled for three fouls in just 2:30 played.
The foul trouble shifted to Lithuania in the third quarter, and the USA shot its first bonus free throws at 5:46. The damage was minimized though, as the USA left five points at the free throw line and struggled from the field at just 6-of-18 field goal tries (33.3 percent) in the stanza. In fact, James’ basket at 8:17 (62-56) was the USA’s last made field goal until Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) completed a 3-point play with 2:04 to go that put the USA back in the lead 72-69. The USA put the last two scores of the period on the board to head into the final stanza with a 78-72 lead.
“We shot it the other day (against Nigeria) about as good as you can shoot the ball, and today we shot it about as bad as you can shoot the ball,” Williams said. “Our defense was definitely there at the end for us, it’s what saved us. It’s what we try to take pride in and hang our hat on.”
After Anthony opened the fourth quarter with a jumper, Lithuania reeled off 10 straight points to capture an 82-80 lead following a 3-pointer at 6:48. Paul’s only 3-pointer of the game at 5:38 put the USA back on top by one point, 85-84, and was followed by a fast-break bucket from Williams that forced a Lithuanian timeout at 4:29, with the red, white and blue leading 87-84.
Lithuania scored out of the break to close within one point, but that was as close as they would get. James responded with a 3-pointer and a fast-break dunk, and then Williams nailed a three at 2:49 to give the USA some breathing room, 95-88. While Lithuania scored three more field goals in the last 1:55, the USA cleared out the key for James who scored twice more to bring the game to it’s 99-94 final.
“He (James) was terrific and really made the plays that needed to be made both offensively and defensively in the last three minutes,” Krzyzewski said. “You can’t practice those situations even if you put them up on the scoreboard in practice, but it is not the same game pressure. To see him respond to that in this setting is one of the great positives from the game.”
Lithuania was buoyed by 25 points from Linas Kleiza of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and 14 points and six assists from Martynas Pocius, who played for Krzyzewski at Duke University.
Also today in Group A, France (3-1) topped Tunisia (0-4) 74-69, and Argentina (2-1) will play Nigeria (1-2) in tonight’s 10:15 p.m. game (5:15 EDT).
In Group B, Russia (4-0) edged Spain (3-1) 77-74, Brazil (3-1) beat China (0-4) 98-59, while Great Britain (0-3) faces Australia (1-2) tonight at 8:00 p.m. (3:00 p.m. EDT).
Preliminary round play for the Americans wraps up against Argentina at 10:15 p.m. (5:15 p.m. EDT) on Aug. 6. Olympic quarterfinal play is scheduled for Aug. 8, the semifinals are Aug. 10 and the finals are on Aug. 12.
Krzyzewski is assisted on the USA bench by Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim and former NBA head coaches Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan.
Team USA Sets All-Time Olympic Basketball Scoring Record in 156-73 Blowout Of Nigeria
August 2, 2012
As the 3-pointers fell for the U.S Olympic Men’s Basketball Team (3-0) so did the records in a spectacular 156-73 win over Nigeria (1-2) on Thursday night at the Olympic Park Basketball Arena in London, England. With the 156 points, the USA men established the highest scoring performance by any team in Olympic history, while also rewriting six U.S. Olympic records and tying one more.
In just 14:29 played, Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks) tallied a U.S. Olympic single-game high of 37 points, and he shot 10-of-12 from 3-point to set U.S. Olympic marks for 3-pointers made and attempted.
As a team, the USA shot 29-of-46 from deep to set USA team highs for 3-pointers made and attempted. The USA was red-hot inside the arc as well, shooting 59-of-83 from the field to set the U.S. Olympic mark for field goals made and field goal percentage at 71.1 percent.
“Well, obviously, we just shot better than any team in a game that I have ever coached,” said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). “Our guys just couldn’t miss tonight, and they shared the ball. We had 41 assists. When you hit 29 threes, it’s very difficult to lose in a game like that. I thought Nigeria played us hard, and as much as we were scoring, initially they were scoring, too. We scored a lot of points but they scored a lot of points. I think that they got worn out and we just had more players. They also had their backup point guard out. (It was) just an incredible shooting performance that’s not going to happen very often.”
The balanced attack, which led to a U.S. Olympic record-tying 41 assists from the USA, including 11 dimes from Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers), also featured 21 points from Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder); 16 points from Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), who played in the first half only; 15 points from Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); 14 points from Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); and 13 points on 3-of-3 3-point shooting from Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets).
“Well, the support system that we had, that I had with my teammates, you can’t explain that,” Anthony said. “The way that they tell me to shoot the ball, encouraging me to make shots, take shots, but then just to feel it every time, that touch, it’s kind of hard to explain it. If you’ve never done it, you really wouldn’t understand what I’m talking about just in terms of shooting the ball and shooting it well.”
The USA opened with a 13-0 run and had nearly set the record for team 3-pointers made in the first 10 minutes, shooting 11-of-14 from behind the arc in the first quarter – four of those came from Anthony, and three were by Durant. Nigeria tried to slow the pace with timeouts at 7:16 and 2:06, but its efforts were in vain as the first-quarter buzzer sounded on the USA’s highest scoring quarter of the tournament, 49-25.
“It’s funny to see, man, Durant said. “What Carmelo did was unbelievable. Hopefully we keep it up. We passed the ball well, our guys were knocking down our shots, our point guards made sure we got open shots and we were able to knock them down. So, it was a fun game.”
The USA cooled off slightly in the second period, but not by much. The USA tied the U.S. Olympic team 3-point record with a long ball from Anthony at 1:56 and set a new high when Williams sank his first three of the game at 1:35 to put the USA up 78-41. Nigeria closed out the first half with a score and a free throw, and the USA headed to the locker room with its highest scoring half thus far, 78-45.
The USA was disruptive on the defensive end as well, causing 14 turnovers in the first half and collected seven steals. Overall, the team caused 25 turnovers by Nigeria, which it converted into 42 points.
Along with Bryant, LeBron James (Miami Heat) rested the entire second half after tallying six points and five assists in 11 minutes.
Another 40-point quarter for the USA followed in the third as the Americans outscored Nigeria 41-17, to lead 119-62 headed into the final stanza. From 7:06 to 5:01 in the third period, Anthony hit five straight 3-pointers before he headed to the bench for the remainder of the game at 4:48 with the USA leading 100-54.
“(It was an) amazing experience just to be a part of that game,” said James Harden (Oklahoma City Thunder). “Obviously the highest scoring in the Olympics. We beat a team by 83 points, and that’s unheard of. It was an honor to be a part of that.”
For all 40 minutes, the USA could not miss, and all 12 players had scored by the time Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers) sank consecutive threes at 7:49 and 7:13 to put the USA up 130-64. Nigeria never quit fighting, but was overmatched as the USA continued to stretch its lead all the way through the final buzzer on its 156-73 win.
The previous U.S. Olympic high had been 133 points set by the 1996 squad against China, and the previous all-time Olympic high was 138 points, which was recorded by Brazil in a win over Egypt in 1988.
“It’ll go down in history,” Iguodala said of the game. “It only matters if we achieve our goals. We’re trying to get better as a team going forward. That’s three games down and a few more to go. Our mission is to get the gold and we’re trying to peak at the right time.”
Ike Diogu led Nigeria with 27 points.
Also today in Group A, France (2-1) beat Lithuania (1-2) 82-74, and Argentina (2-1) topped Tunisia (0-3) 92-69.
In Group B, Australia (1-2) earned an 81-61win over China (0-3), Russia (3-0) edged Brazil (2-1) 75-74 and Spain (3-0) held on against Great Britain (0-3) for a 79-78 win.
Preliminary round play for the Americans continues on Aug. 4 against Lithuania at 2:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. EDT) and wraps up against Argentina at 10:15 p.m. (5:15 p.m. EDT) on Aug. 6. Olympic quarterfinal play is scheduled for Aug. 8, the semifinals are Aug. 10 and the finals are on Aug. 12.
Krzyzewski is assisted on the USA bench by Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim and former NBA head coaches Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan.
USA beats Tunisia 110-63 in second Olympic game
July 31, 2012
Eighty of the U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team’s (2-0) 110 points came from its reserve players in a 110-63 rout of overmatched Tunisia (0-2) in the 2012 London Olympics on Tuesday night at the Olympic Park Basketball Arena in London, England, including 16 points apiece from Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks), who was 6-of-6 from the field in 12 minutes played.
“My goal tonight was to try to get kind of an equal number of minutes for everybody in the game and to try some different combinations so there was really nothing meant by subbing five at a time except to get five new guys in and get a certain amount of minutes for each of them, and like in Andre’s case, he hadn’t gotten as many minutes,” said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). “Kevin Love is continuing to improve so we wanted to make sure he got his minutes. Anthony Davis. James Harden. Those guys got extended minutes. And it’s better to have extended minutes sometimes if you go in with a new unit, and so that was the only significance of any unit substitutions that I did.”
Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds; Anthony Davis (New Orleans Hornets) was 5-of-5 from the field – all five were alley-oops – and sank two free throws for 12 points; Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) added 11 points; and James Harden (Oklahoma City Thunder) finished with 10 points. Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clipper) dished out a game-high seven assists.
“We’re 12 deep,” Anthony said. “You put anybody out there on the court with us, we know how to play with each other, we have each other’s back. The biggest point is that we have fun with one another.”
While the USA was 0-7 from 3-point in the first quarter, Tunisia sank three 3-pointers in the first 5:05 and took at 11-10 lead with a long ball at 4:55. After a score from each team, Krzyzewski changed his entire side at 2:39, and the fresh five of Anthony, Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers), Love, Westbrook and Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets) went to work. Holding Tunisia scoreless over the remainder of the quarter, they tallied nine points to put the USA up 21-15 at the first break.
“We have so many guys who can come in and there’s no drop-off when you go to your bench,” Durant said. “Coach made a good decision and it worked. We’re just trying to do our best to support the second group. They did a great job for us.”
Anthony opened the second period with the USA’s first made 3-pointer to help extend the run, which totaled 14-0, and the USA led 26-15 when Westbrook pulled up at 9:15. Tunisia scored out of a timeout to end the streak, and then Marouan Hadidane sank three 3-pointers over the next four minutes to pull his side within five points, 35-30, at 3:33. The Americans once again responded with a scoring spree, tallying 11 unanswered points from four scorers. Tunisia sank one more three before halftime, and the U.S. headed to the locker room with a 46-33 advantage.
The USA was a red-hot 77.3 percent (17-22 2pt FGs) inside the arc in the first half, but struggled from behind the 3-point line, shooting just 16.7 percent (2-12 3pt FGs). Conversely, Tunisia was 27.8 percent from 2-point (2-12) and a much better 43.8 percent (7-16 3pt FGs) from deep in the first half. While the USA improved to finish 61.4 percent (43-70) from the field overall, Tunisia did not and was held to 35.4 percent (23-65 FGs) shooting.
“We were bailing them out a little with a lot of deep shots, a lot of quick shots,” Williams said. We had 10 assists at half, which is not our game. We have to move the ball a little bit better. We did that, in the end we had 27 assists. We had 17 in the second half, which is around the number we want to be.”
The U.S. reserves stared the second half for the USA and compiled yet another scoring run, as the USA raced away with control of the game. All five scored during a 14-2 stretch that put the USA up 60-34 with a give-and-go between Anthony and Iguodala at 6:53. As the U.S. lineup changed throughout the third quarter, the highlight reel continued. Davis scored on an alley-oop from Paul at 2:30 to put all 12 players on the board for the Americans, and Davis went on to two more crowd-pleasing oops, including the period’s final score at 3.6 seconds to bring the score to 85-47.
It rained threes for the USA in the final quarter, and Love closed with three 3-pointers in the final 3:15. The USA outscored Tunisia 25-16 in the stanza to compile its largest lead, 47 points, and bring the game to its 110-63 final.
Finishing with just nine turnovers, the USA caused Tunisia to cough up the ball 19 times, which converted into 36 points to go along with 38 fast-break scores. The USA also outrebounded Tunisia 44-31.
“We have a really good bond with one another,” Iguodala said. “Everything is a team setting. There isn’t too much guys spreading out, so we’re trying to build chemistry and that team feeling and being together does that so those are the moments that we’re all going to cherish when we’re done playing basketball.”
Makram Ben Romdhane was the game’s high scorer with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Also today in Group A, Lithuania (1-1) topped Nigeria (1-1) 72-53 and France (1-1) bested Argentina (1-1) 71-64.
In Group B, Russia (2-0) beat China (0-2) 73-54, Spain (2-0) downed Australia (0-2) 82-70 and Brazil (2-0) outlasted Great Britain (0-2) 67-62.
Preliminary round play for the Americans continues on Aug. 2 versus Nigeria at 10:15 p.m. (5:15 p.m. EDT), followed by Lithuania at 2:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. EDT) on Aug. 4 and Argentina at 10:15 p.m. (5:15 p.m. EDT) on Aug. 6. Olympic quarterfinal play is scheduled for Aug. 8, the semfinals are Aug. 10 and finals are being played on Aug. 12.
Krzyewski is assisted on the USA bench by Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim and former NBA head coaches Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan.
USA beats France 98-71 in first Olympic game
July 29, 2012
Leading by one point after the first quarter, the U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team (1-0) rode a red-hot second quarter shooting streak to a convincing 98-71 win over France (0-1) to open its play in the 2012 London Olympics on Sunday afternoon at the Olympic Park Basketball Arena in London, England.
A game-high 22 points from Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), who added nine rebounds and shot 7-of-7 from the free throw line, led the USA, while Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves) added 14 points. Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) rounded out the USA’s double-digit scorers with 10 points, including 4-of-4 from the charity stripe.
Eight assists from LeBron James (Miami Heat) and six from Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets) helped the USA to record 27 assists on 31 made baskets. With First Lady Michelle Obama in the stands, all 12 U.S. players scored in the game, and three finished with nine points, including James, Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks).
“We’re pleased,” said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). “We played a very good game against an outstanding team. France is so well-coached and in (Tony) Parker, they have as good of a guard as there is in the tournament. I thought we did a good job defensively. We shared the ball. We assisted on 27 of our 31 buckets and we rebounded the ball very well. Overall, it was a good first step or us, beating an outstanding French team.”
The U.S. defense forced France into 18 turnovers, which led to 20 points for the USA, and the Europeans shot just 9.0 percent from 3-point (2-22 3pt FGs). Further, the USA outrebounded its opponent 56-40.
“We still have a lot of work to do, but that’s the beauty of it all,” Durant said. “We’re all coming together in such a short time. We’re having fun playing. Guys don’t worry about points, rebounds, assists; we just want to play to win.”
Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks), who posted eight points and grabbed nine rebounds, put the first points of the game on the board, but the USA never was able to find breathing room in the first 10 minutes. Four times the lead reached six points in the first period, including after a jump shot from Westbrook at 3:04 put the USA up 20-14. From there, however, the USA was held to just two free throws as France pulled within one point, 22-21, by the end of the quarter.
After missing all six 3-point attempts in the first quarter, a 3-pointer from James 28 seconds into the second period ignited the Americans on an 11-0 scoring run that included another three from Bryant at 8:47 and which culminated with a long ball from Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clipper) at 7:41 that gave the USA a 33-21 lead. France fought back to within seven points twice before the USA was once again out and running. A 3-pointer from Durant at 4:29 put the USA up by 10 points, and the lead reached 15 points, 43-28, with a 3-pointer from Love at 3:43. Two free throws from Durant ended the half, and the USA headed to the locker room with a 52-36 advantage.
Six of the USA’s eight made 3-pointers came in the second period, and the remaining two, from Durant and Bryant, opened the second half. France never recovered.
“We played very well,” Bryant said. “In the first quarter we gave up way too many free throws. It made the game a little choppy. It was tough for us to generate some momentum. But then after that we were able to get into a good flow.”
The USA’s largest run of the game, a 12-0 stretch, began with a free throw from Love at 2:14 in the third and lasted into the fourth quarter, when Durant was fouled driving to the basket and made both free throws to put the USA ahead 80-51. The USA, which never lost control of the momentum in the second half, took its largest lead of the game, 98-69, as Westbrook made two free throws with just 20 seconds remaining. France scored once more to bring the game to its 98-71 final.
“We’re definitely a team that can get better as the tournament goes,” said Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers). “It seems like we get better as the game progresses and we got to continue to do better to get off to a good starts. It’s a lot of shots that we leave out there seems like every game and our defense can always get better.”
Ali Traore led his side with 12 points, and Tony Parker finished with 10 points.
Also today in Group A, Nigeria (1-0) edged Tunisia (0-1) 60-56, and Argentina will take on Lithuania at 10:15 p.m. (5:15 p.m. EDT). In Group B, Brazil (1-0) rallied against Australia (0-1) for a 75-71 victory, and Spain (1-0) downed China (0-1) 97-81, while Russia will play Great Britain at 8:00 p.m. (3:00 p.m. EDT).
Preliminary round play for the Americans continues on July 31 versus Tunisia at 10:15 p.m. (5:15 p.m. EDT); then on Aug. 2 versus Nigeria at 10:15 p.m. (5:15 p.m. EDT); followed by Lithuania at 2:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. EDT) on Aug. 4; and pool play concludes on Aug. 6 versus Argentina at 10:15 p.m. (5:15 p.m. EDT). Olympic quarterfinal play is scheduled for Aug. 8, semfinals are Aug. 10 and finals are being played on Aug. 12.
Krzyewski is being assisted on the USA bench by Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim and former NBA head coaches Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan.
Team USA beats Spain 100-78 in Barcelona, Spain exhibition game
July 24, 2012
Fueled by game high 27 points from Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks) and 25 more from LeBron James (Miami Heat), the 2012 USA Basketball Men’s National Team (5-0) placed an exclamation point on its 2012 tour with a commanding 100-78 win over host and No. 2 ranked world power Spain at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain.
The final game of the USA’s 2012 National Team tour, the win improved the USA’s record to 5-0. Since filling its National Team rosters with NBA stars in 1992, USA Basketball national teams have now compiled a 42-1 mark in exhibition games, including 20 victories in a row.
“I thought we played extremely well. Carmelo (Anthony) was sensational. I thought his play in the first quarter and second period was the difference in the game,” said Mike Krzyzewski, USA and Duke University head coach. “Carmelo kind of kept us in it and our bench kept us in. We got a really good performance from Kevin Love - double-figure rebounds. We shared the ball well in the second half. We were very pleased with the win.”
Struggling to find its shooting eye early, the U.S. fell behind 10-3 before the game was three minutes old.
After Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks) went to the bench after picking up his second foul before the midway point in the opening quarter, Anthony came in off the bench and delivered a much needed offensive spark. Drilling back-to-back 3-pointers to get the U.S. offense rolling, the USA closed the deficit to 12-9 with 4:40 left in the quarter.
“I think we came out a little bit too focused, a little bit overzealous at the beginning and they jumped on us quick,” remarked Anthony. “They came out with a lot of intensity and got a some easy shots, easy baskets. Once we settled down and made a couple plays defensively, got back to our comfort zone, we didn’t look back from there.”
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaki pumped in 10 straight points for the Spaniards and following a basket by Victor Sada, the hosts, to the delight of their sold-out home crowd, were enjoying a 22-13 lead with 1:48 showing on the clock.
Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets) got the U.S. on the right path with an old-fashioned 3-point play, then Anthony hit a jumper, Williams made a free throw, and when Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) dropped a jumper with just :06 left, the quarter closed with the USA trailing by two, 23-21.
Picking up its defensive intensity and getting into transition, the U.S. forced Spain into seven turnovers and outscored their opponents 27-17 in the second quarter to regain control.
A 3-pointer from Anthony and another three by James propelled the Americans in front 28-26 with 7:04 to go before half. Tied at 30, Anthony, who scored 22 of his game high 27 points in the first half, piled up eight points in a USA 11-0 run that saw the U.S. team grab control 42-32 with 2:59 left in the second period.
Spain tallied the final five points in the first half, but still lagged behind at halftime, 48-40.
Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), who was quiet in the first half tallying 3 points, took over. Durant hit a 3-pointer, then added a fast break layup as the USA went up 53-42. Leading 55-46, Durant added another 3-pointer and then a slam to make the game 60-46 with 6:29 left in the third. Spain tried once more to get back into the game only this time Westbrook answered with seven straight points to push the U.S. lead to 21, 69-48 with 4:18 in the third.
Spain outscored the U.S. 13-5 to close the quarter and reduce the gap to 74-61 heading into the fourth quarter.
Leading 80-67 with 6:50 to play, the USA’s James took control and poured in 12 of the team’s next 14 points as the U.S. opened up a 94-74 lead to seal the victory.
The USA’s shooting from afar was excellent for a second consecutive game. Shooting 54.3 percent (38-70 FGs) from the field, the U.S. made 13-of-23 3-pointers. The USA also won the battle of the boards, outrebounding the taller Spanish squad 35 to 24.
Aiding the USA offense in addition to Anthony and James was Durant, who finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. Westbrook tossed in nine points, and James Harden (Oklahoma City Thunder) finished with seven points. Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves) came up with a game best 10 rebounds, James handed out seven assists.
Los Angeles Lakers Pau Gasol finished with 19 points, and Ibaka added 16 for Spain.
Krzyewski is being assisted on the USA bench by Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim and former NBA head coaches Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan.
“I think we’ve gotten better. I think we need to use pool play first of all to qualify for medal play but also I think to get five more international games under our belt. I thought we reacted better tonight than two nights ago to the international game and we have to keep learning about it,” stated Krzyzewski.
The U.S. men open Olympic action on July 29 facing France in a 2:30 p.m. (London local time) game. Preliminary round play for the Americans continues July 31 versus Tunisia (10:15 p.m.); Aug. 2 versus Nigeria (10:15 p.m.); Aug. 4 versus Lithuania (2:30 p.m.) and concludes Aug. 6 versus Argentina (10:15 p.m.). Olympic quarterfinal play is scheduled for Aug. 8, semfinals are Aug. 10 and finals are being played on Aug. 12.
Team USA edges Argentina 86-80 in Barcelona, Spain exhibition game
July 22, 2012
Twenty years after the 1992 USA Basketball Dream Team made its indelible impact on international basketball at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, USA Basketball's 2012 Men's National Team (4-0), wearing 1992 USA Basketball throwback jerseys, returned to the hardwood in Barcelona and battled to a hard-fought 86-80 win over Argentina. Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) drained 7-of-11 3-pointers to finish with a game high 27 points in the win.
"We started off pretty well, got a couple of shots. Argentina did a great job of slowing the game down, making the right passes and penetrating and executing. So, it was a good game for us. We learned a lot tonight. We just have to keep getting better for the Olympics and our guys did a good job of playing through everything, playing hard, playing together," said Durant, the Tiffany & Co. Player of the Game.
The Americas will conduct a practice Monday in Barcelona, then finish off their National Team tour with an exhibition game against host Spain on Tuesday (4:30 p.m. EDT) at Palau Sant Jordi.
"It was a great game for us because we played against champions. The Argentine team played like champions for over a decade and to play in a game like, I thought it was really our first international. I thought our guys did a great job at the start of each half," said Mike Krzyzewski, USA and Duke University head coach.
"I thought Kevin was sensational tonight against man and zone. He looked like he did in Istanbul tonight." added Krzyzewski about Durant, who earned MVP honors in leading the USA to gold at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.
In a preview of the upcoming Aug. 6 USA-Argentina Olympics preliminary round game, the 2012 USA Basketball Men's National Team dominated Argentina early then turned back each Argentina comeback attempt.
Durant gave an indication of things to come when he dropped back-to-back 3-pointers on the USA first two possessions and after Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) scored with 8:46 still to play in the quarter the Americans were off to a flying 8-0 start.
Argentina's Luis Scola made one of two free throws to get Argentina on the board, but the U.S. threatened to make a rout of the game after Bryant and Durant each added 3-pointers and Bryant converted off a fast break to push the USA advantage to 16-1.
A Bryant 3-pointer, the USA's fifth of the game's first 3:15, made the score 19-3. Argentina reeled off six consecutive points to cut the deficit to 19-9 with 3:30 remaining in the opening quarter, and with 46 seconds to play in the period the USA led 25-14.
Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks) got in the 3-point parade with a three with 38 seconds left before the horn, and when Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets) hit nothing but net from beyond the 3-point arc as the first quarter buzzer sounded, the Americans had control 31-16.
The U.S. continued to have its way and following four points from Bryant, two free throws and a hoop off a drive, the USA lead was up to 20, 39-19, with 6:56 remaining before half.
Argentina climbed back into the game with a mini 10-0 run. The run included a six point series when USA guard Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers) was whistled for a foul, and called for an intention foul on the continuation. Argentina’s Fauundo Campazzo made 3-of-4 free throws, then after being awarded possession of the ball as well, Carlos Delfino nailed a three to cut the USA lead to 39-29.
LeBron James (Miami Heat) stopped the run, but Argentina kept chipping away and following a 3-pointer from Leo Gutierrez, the American advantage was down to five, 45-40. Westbrook cushioned the U.S. lead to seven, 47-40, when he scored off an Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers) block and fast break feed with just two seconds to go in the first half.
A Durant jumper, a Bryant 3-pointer, and a James basket got the USA off to a good third quarter start and upped the lead to 54-40.
Ahead 61-49, the USA ripped off eight straight points including another three from Durant, and the lead was back to 20 points, 69-49, with 3:01 left in the third.
Argentina again rallied and after outscoring the U.S. 12-3 to close out the third quarter, the USA’s lead stood at 72-61 heading into the final period.
Owning a 78-63 led early in the fourth, Argentina got eight points from NBA All-Star Manu Ginobili in a 11-0 run which saw Argentina close to within four points, 78-74, with 2:50 left in the game.
Durant made his seventh 3-pointer when the USA needed it most, and when Paul followed up with his own 3-pointer with 2:07 to go, the USA regained momentum and control 84-76 and rolled on in for the 86-80 win.
In addition to Durant’s 27 points, Bryant added 18 points, James recorded 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and Westbrook tossed in 13 points. Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks) led the U.S. effort on the glass with eight boards.
Ginobili finished with 23 points for Argentina, while Delfino added 15 points Scola finished with 14 points.
Along with USA assistant coaches, Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim and former NBA head coaches Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan, Krzyzewski has led the USA.
Team USA beats Great Britain 118-78 in Manchester, England exhibition game
July 19, 2012
With the USA holding a comfortable 19-point lead at halftime, Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets) ignited from deep in the third quarter to help the USA Basketball Men's National Team (3-0) put Great Britain away for good as the Americans went on to record a dazzling, 118-78 exhibition win in front of a sold-out crowd of 16,979 on Thursday night at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
Williams finished with 19 points and five assists, including 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point, to earn Tiffany & Co. Player of the Game honors, while Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks) tallied 19 points to go with his four assists.
"What a great atmosphere," said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski . "Thank you people of Great Britain for providing such a great crowd. We felt very welcome in this amazing environment.
"I thought the Great Britain team played really well. Luol (Deng) is one of the better players in the world. I like their toughness. We're much quicker than they are and it produced a lot of turnovers, and we were very unselfish tonight."
LeBron James (Miami Heat) added 16 points and four assists, Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) scored 15 points and dished out a game-high nine dimes and Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clipper) grabbed three steals and added six assists to help the USA record 39 assists on its 47 made baskets. The Americans turned the ball over just nine times while collecting 16 steals and forcing Great Britain to cough up 26 turnovers.
"I thought it was a great game from us," Williams said. "We're just really using this time, these warm-up games just to find a rhythm, to find a chemistry. We've only been together for a short amount of time, so all these practices, these games, these warm-up games are going to do a lot to build up chemistry and build character. We're really learning a lot about who we are and finding our roles. It was a good win tonight against a tough Great Britain team."
Eight first-quarter points from Britain's Pops Mensah-Bonsu helped his team nearly keep pace with the USA, which made just two of its nine field goal attempts in the game's first 3:48, and with two free throws at 1:37, GB pulled within three points, 23-20. The momentum shifted, however, as a dunk from Anthony ignited the USA. After an alley-oop from Paul to Westbrook, Anthony nailed consecutive 3-pointers to put the USA up 33-20 after the first stanza.
The 14-0 U.S. run stretched into the second period, and the USA was up by 17 points, 37-20, when Great Britain called a timeout 8:24. Over the next two minutes, however, NBA Chicago Bulls star Luol Deng single-handedly pulled Great Britain within nine, 39-30, with 10 points on his own.
After a few scores from each team, the USA led 43-33 before it was off and running, this time on an 8-0 spurt to take a 53-31 lead at 1:45 when Durant sank two free throws. Deng halted the spree with a 3-pointer at 7:27, and at halftime the USA had a 55-37 advantage.
Williams opened the second half on fire, and after a leaning drive at 9:48, he sank three consecutive 3-pointers and then added one more less than a minute later, after a score from James , and within a span of four minutes the U.S. lead had ballooned to 28 points. Seven points from Anthony and six from James over the period's last 5:37 helped the red, white and blue outscore GB by 16 points in the third, and the scoreboard read 89-55 headed into the final 10 minutes.
"The chemistry is getting better and better with each game and each practice," James said. "We are taking full advantage of every opportunity we get together. So, you know, it's looking good right now."
The highlight reel continued in the fourth quarter, including three of Anthony Davis' (New Orleans Hornets) four blocks and three alley-oop passes from Westbrook - one of which was slammed home on a reverse dunk by Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves) that brought the crowd and the U.S. bench to their feet. Great Britain made five 3-pointers down the stretch to help prevent the contest from getting totally out of control, but when the buzzer sounded the USA had its largest win of the 2012 tour, a 118-78 blowout.
Team USA struggles but beats Brazil 80-69 in Washington, DC exhibition game
July 16, 2012
With President Barack Obama among the sellout crowd of 20,390 fans at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., on Monday night, the 2012 USA Basketball Men's National Team (2-0) battled Brazil for nearly all 40 minutes before capturing an 80-69 win.
Thirty points from LeBron James (Miami Heat) led the USA, which was plagued by 38.5 percent shooting in the first half, including 1-of-12 from 3-point. Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) added 11 points, and Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers) scored 10.
Also in attendance were the First Lady, daughter Sasha, Vice President Joe Biden and his granddaughter.
"We did not have defensive intensity (early in the game); if this team doesn't have that, we're going to get scored on," said Mike Krzyzewski, USA and Duke University head coach. "I mean 27 points in (the first) ten minutes, and 42 in (the final) 30. It's a huge difference."
Brazil came out red-hot, shooting 62.5 percent from the field in the first quarter as the USA struggled to connect, making just 7-of-20 field goals and none of its five 3-point attempts. By the end of the first quarter, the South Americans had taken a 10-point, 27-17 lead.
The USA forced 12 of its eventual 23 turnovers in the second quarter and held Brazil to just five points in the period. Trailing 29-21 at 7:54, James scored two points that launched a 13-0 run, and the USA took its first lead, 30-29, at 3:13 when Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks) stole the ball and slammed it home. While Brazil managed one 3-pointer in the last few minutes, the USA added seven more to take a 37-32 lead into the halftime locker room.
Brazil had an answer for nearly every U.S. score in the third quarter, but the USA was able to improve its advantage by three points in the period to build a 59-51 at the end of the stanza.
Brazil, which never quit fighting, came as close as six points in the fourth quarter, 65-59 at 6:00, but from thereJames took over. After a made free throw by Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks) and two from Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets), James scored the USA's last seven points to hold Brazil at bay, including a 3-pointer and a steal converted into another 3-pointer. James' two free throws at 31.3 seconds remaining brought the game to its final score of 80-69 and put Brazil away for good.
Despite being outrebounded by Brazil 38-30, the USA recorded 13 second-chance points to Brazil's five, and the team's athleticism resulted in 19 fast-break points to Brazil's 9 in transition.
The South Americans were led by Alex Garcia with 14 points, while Anderson Varajao tallied 12 points and 13 rebounds and Mercelo Huertas dished out 13 assists to go with his 11 points.
The USA men will continue their preparations July 17-18 in Manchester, England, and on July 19 will play Great Britain at the Manchester Arena (7:30 p.m. local time, Manchester is +5 hours from EDT). The USA women will square off against the Great Britain women onJuly 18 (7:30 p.m. local time). Tickets for both the USA men's and women's games against Great Britain are available by calling +44 (0) 844 847 8000 or at www.ticketmaster.co.uk.
Twenty years after the USA Dream Team made its debut in Barcelona, Spain, the U.S. returns and will conclude its tour with a pair of exhibition games against FIBA's No. 2 and No. 3 ranked world powers. Facing No. 3 ranked Argentina on July 22 (9:30 p.m. local time) at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, the USA will close out its exhibition tour against FIBA's No. 2 ranked power Spain on July 24 (9:30 p.m. local time) at the Palau Sant Jordi. Tickets for the games in Barcelona are available at www.entradas.com/entradas/comprar-entradas-torneo-usa-espana-argentina.
Along with USA assistant coaches, Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim and former NBA head coaches Mike D'Antoni and Nate McMillan, Krzyzewski has led the USA Men's National Team to gold medal finishes at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and 2008 Olympic Games.
Team USA beats Dominican Republic 113-59 in Vegas exhibition game
July 13, 2012
Much to the delight of the sold-out crowd of 18,499 fans at Thomas & Mack Arena at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nev., the 2012 USA Basketball Men's National Team (1-0) put on a dazzling display during its 113-59 exhibition win over Dominican Republic on Thursday night. The exhibition was the first of five games scheduled for the USA Men's National Team.
Including 5-of-5 shooting from 3-point in the first 15 minutes of the game, Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) led the USA with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers) was named the Tiffany Player of Game after contributing 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Both players came off of the bench for USA.
"We were really pleased with our effort tonight," said Mike Krzyzewski , USA and Duke University head coach. "There have been a lot of distractions, not Vegas distractions, but contract, injury, different situations during these first eight days. Overall one of the things we wanted to accomplish here was to develop good camaraderie. Guys seemed to
get along really well. They pull for each other and they play hard. Now we have to translate that into an effective system both offensively and defensively, and they have to get to know one another and we have to get to know them in this context. I was pleased with the unselfishness of our team, the defensive intensity, the fact that we really shared the ball, and we got a lot of minutes for everybody tonight."
Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks), with 13 points, and James Harden (Oklahoma City Thunder), with 11 points, also scored in double-digits, while Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets) dished out 10 assists. Overall, the USA recorded 27 assists on its 42 made baskets.
"I have to give a shout to my teammates," Durant said. "They did a great job of finding me. Everything felt like it was in rhythm. I was stepping into the shot. LeBron's a great passer, D-Will (Deron Williams) had 10 assists, he's a great passer. Everyone was passing the ball well tonight. We had 27 assists, so if we can do that as a team, we'll be fine."
The USA broke the game open early in the first quarter with an 13-0 run that began with two points from Anthony at 6:44 and included two 3-pointers from Durant. The Dominican Republic’s Al Horford interrupted the onslaught with two free throws at 3:34, but the USA responded with three more 3-pointers, one from Durant and two from Iguodala, to take a 26-12 lead at the first break.
Shooting 39.4 percent from deep overall (13-33 3-pt FGs), the USA sank four more 3-pointers in the second period to help extend its lead to 50-27 at halftime.
“I'm a shooter, but we've got weapons all over the floor,” said Williams. “My job is to run the two and give guys the ball and get guys the shot.”
The Dominican Republic never gave up, but the USA was fast and furious in the third quarter, doubling up the score 70-35 after an alley-oop from Williams to Durant at 3:35 was followed by a basket from Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks) at 3:04. With 10 minutes remaining in the game, the USA had built a 79-41 advantage.
“Sellout crowd, the fans were great,” Anthony said. “There was a lot of USA pride in the building tonight, and we came out here and did what we had to do. Early on we let down a little bit, but early in the 3rd quarter we turned it on.”
Added to tonight’s lineup earlier in the afternoon, USA Men’s National Team alternate Anthony Davis (New Orleans Hornets) checked into his first game with the USA Men’s National Team in the fourth quarter, and all available players for the USA recorded minutes.
Davis finished with nine points, including a 4-point play with just 32 seconds remaining in the game, and his made free throw gave the USA its largest lead of the night, 113-59, to end the exhibition contest.
National Team member Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers), who experienced discomfort in his left knee after practicing on Wednesday, flew back to Los Angeles this afternoon for further evaluation and missed the game.
Just one player reached double-digit scoring for Dominican Republic, which was held to 31.7 percent shooting from the field (20-63 FGs). Elipidio Fortuna scored 10 points, and Jack Martinez grabbed nine rebounds.
Overpowering its opponent with size and speed, the USA recorded 42 points in the paint compared to Dominican’s 16, and the USA won the battle on the boards, 42-32.
“Tonight was a little bit of a tough gauge, we kind of overwhelmed them with our speed, but I think defensive boards for us are always going to be a challenge,” said Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers). “Us guards and forwards are going to have to do a good job to get in there and rebound the ball.”
The U.S. men will move on to the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., to train July 14-15 and play an exhibition contest versus Brazil at the Verizon Center on July 16 (8 p.m. EDT). The game is part of a doubleheader with the USA Basketball Women’s National Team, which will face Brazil’s Women’s National Team (5:30 p.m. EDT).
The USA men continue their preparations July 17-18 in Manchester, England, and on July 19 (7:30 p.m. local time, Manchester is +5 hours from EDT) will play Great Britain at the Manchester Arena. The USA women will square off against the Great Britain women at the Manchester Arena on July 18 (7:30 p.m. local time). Tickets for both the USA men’s and women’s national team games against their respective Great Britain counterparts are available by calling +44 (0) 844 847 8000 or at www.ticketmaster.co.uk.
Twenty years after the USA Dream Team made its debut in Barcelona, Spain, the U.S. returns and will conclude its tour with a pair of exhibition games against FIBA’s No. 2 and No. 3 ranked world powers. Facing No. 3 ranked Argentina on July 22 (9:30 p.m. local time) at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, the USA will close out its exhibition tour against FIBA’s No. 2 ranked power Spain on July 24 (9:30 p.m. local time) at the Palau Sant Jordi.
Injury Forces Blake Griffin Out Of Olympics, Anthony Davis Added To U.S. Olympic Team
July 13, 2012
USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo confirmed this morning that he had been informed that USA and Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin has been diagnosed with a medial meniscus tear of his left knee. The injury will require arthroscopic surgery, which will force the 6'10" and 251-pound Griffin to miss the rest of the USA National Team training and the London Olympics. Griffin is expected to be at full readiness when the Clippers' training camp opens this fall.
USA Basketball also announced that Anthony Davis (New Orleans Hornets), who tallied nine points in almost 10 minutes of action against the Dominican Republic in the USA's 113-59 exhibition victory Thursday night, has been officially named as a member of the 2012 USA Basketball Men's National Team and 2012 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team following Griffin's withdrawal.
We are sorry to have received confirmation of Blake's injury which has forced his withdrawal from the USA Team for this summer," said Colangelo. "Blake worked extremely hard in our training camp and certainly would have been a valuable contributor. This is another unfortunate injury, but we have to continue to move on and we're very fortunate to have Anthony Davis available. Anthony offers our team additional height and length, and this will be an incredible experience for him."
USA Basketball announces 12-man Olympic Basketball Roster
July 7, 2012
Following two USA Basketball Men's National Team training sessions, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo today announced the official nominees for the 12-man U.S. Olympic Team men's basketball roster. The U.S. hoops roster is pending final approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
"We projected we would have difficulty getting down to a roster of 12, regardless of the number of injuries that have taken place, because they are such an outstanding group of people and athletes," Colangelo said. "The final selections keep us in concert with our game plan to have athleticism, versatility and strong depth on our roster. I think our final roster epitomizes all of that."
"We have benefited so much from having a pool of outstanding players who are committed, and as a result the selection is difficult. But it's the best challenge that you could have because everyone has been so committed," Krzyzewski said. "The guys who were not selected are in our pool, and if someone did get hurt, they are already part of our team and could be seamlessly woven in at a later date. We really appreciate the commitment of all of these guys."
Nominated for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team were: Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers); Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks);Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); James Harden (Oklahoma City Thunder); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); LeBron James (Miami Heat); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder); and Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets).
The USA roster features five members of the 2008 gold medalist U.S. Olympic Team (Anthony, Bryant, James, Paul and Williams), five members of the gold medalist 2010 World Championship team (Chandler, Durant, Iguodala, Love and Westbrook), and two newcomers (Griffin and Harden).
The average age of the 12 U.S. players is 26.1 years of age.
The 2012 USA coaching staff is led by Duke University Hall of Fame mentor Krzyzewski, who has led the USA Basketball Men's National Team to gold medal finishes at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and 2008 Beijing Olympics. Assisting Krzyzewski is Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, and former NBA head coaches Mike D'Antoni and Nate McMillan.
The USA National Team is currently training through July12 in Las Vegas, Nev. The Americans' Las Vegas training concludes July 12 (6:00 p.m. local time) with the USA Basketball Showcase that features the USA facing the Dominican Republic at UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center.
Following the USA's training and exhibition contest in Las Vegas, the USA will move on to the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., to train July 13-15 and play an exhibition contest versus Brazil at the Verizon Center on July 16 (8 p.m. local time). The game will be part of a doubleheader with the USA Basketball Women's National Team, which will face Brazil's Women's National Team (5:30 p.m. local time).
The USA men will continue their preparations July 17-18 in Manchester, England, and on July 19 (7:30 p.m. local time) will play Great Britain at the Manchester Arena. The USA women will square off against the Great Britain women at the Manchester Arena on July 18 (7:30 p.m. local time).
Twenty years after the USA Dream Team made its debut in Barcelona, Spain, the U.S. returns and will conclude its tour with a pair of exhibition games against FIBA's No. 2 and No. 3 ranked world powers. Facing No. 3 ranked Argentina on July 22 (9:30 p.m. local time) at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, the USA will close out its exhibition tour against FIBA's No. 2 ranked power Spain on July 24 (9:30 p.m. local time) at the Palau Sant Jordi.
Jrue Holiday Added To USA Basketball Select Team
July 2, 2012
Third-year Philadelphia 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday has been added to the 2012 USA Men's Select Team that will train July 6-11 against the 2012 USA Basketball Men's National Team during training camp in Las Vegas, Nev. Holiday's is the 15th player USA Basketball has named to the USA Select squad.
"In naming Jrue to our Select Team we've added an athletic guard who can get to the rim and someone who is also a good 3-point shooter. Both those skills will be invaluable in helping prepare our National Team for this summer," said Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball chairman.
Holiday, who was the 17th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the 76ers after playing one collegiate season at UCLA, started for the 76ers in all 65 games in 2011-12 and averaged 13.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.6 steals, while shooting 43.2 percent from the field, 38.0 percent from 3-point and 78.3 percent from the foul line. In Philly's 13 NBA Playoff games in 2012, Holiday averaged 15.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.5 steals, while hitting 40.8 percent of his 3-point tries.
Holiday has two previous USA Basketball experiences. He was a member of the USA Junior National Select Team that rolled to a 98-78 win at the 2008 Nike Hoop Summit. Holiday tallied 22 minutes as a starter in the game and finished with 13 points and five assists. One year earlier he was selected for the 2007 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival Blue Team that captured the silver medal.
Named earlier to the 2012 USA Basketball Select squad were: DeJuan Blair (San Antonio Spurs / Pittsburgh); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings / Kentucky); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors / USC); Derrick Favors (Utah Jazz / Georgia Tech); Paul George (Indiana Pacers / Fresno State); Taj Gibson (Chicago Bulls / USC); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz / Butler); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers / Duke); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs / San Diego State); Jeremy Lin (New York Knicks / Harvard); Greg Stiemsma (Boston Celtics); Lance Thomas (New Orleans Hornets); Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors / Washington State); and John Wall (Washington Wizards / Kentucky).
Serving as co-head coaches of the USA Select Team are 2010 USA Basketball World Championship assistant coach Jay Triano and longtime Syracuse University assistant coach Mike Hopkins.
USA Basketball Announces 2012 Men's National Team Medical Staff
June 28, 2012
Portland Trail Blazers team physician Don Roberts and San Antonio Spurs team physician Paul Saenz, along with a pair of USA Basketball and NBA experienced head athletic trainers, Joseph Sharpe of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Casey Smith of the Dallas Mavericks, were announced today as the medical staff for the 2012 USA Basketball Men's National Team.
The group will handle all medical responsibilities during the 2012 USA National Team's training camps and exhibition games which will be held in Las Vegas, Nev. (July 5-12), Washington, D.C. (July 13-16), Manchester, England (July 17-19) and Barcelona, Spain (July 20-25).
2012 Olympic Men's Basketball Schedule
May 23, 2012
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) today announced pairings and game times for the 2012 Olympic men's basketball tournament. Six games will be played each day during the July 29-Aug. 6 preliminary round, beginning at 9:00 a.m. (all times local) with the final tip-off slated for 10:15 p.m. Three of the USA's games will start at 10:15 p.m., and the two weekend contests will be played at 2:30 p.m.
Two of the USA's opponents will be determined following the 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, scheduled for June 2-8 in Caracas, Venezuela, with the top three finishing teams earning the final three Olympic qualifying berths.
The U.S. men open preliminary round play on July 29 at 2:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. EDT) against France, followed by a contest against Tunisia on July 31 at 10:15 p.m. (5:15 p.m. EDT). The USA's Aug. 2 and Aug. 4 opponents will be drawn from the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, and the Aug. 2 game tips-off at 10:15 p.m. (5:15 p.m. EDT), while the USA's Aug. 4 game starts at 2:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. EDT). The United States will close preliminary round play against Argentina on Aug. 6 at 10:15 p.m. (5:15 p.m. EDT).
The top four teams from each preliminary round group will advance to the Aug. 8 quarterfinals, with the winners playing in the semifinals on Aug. 10 and the medal games on Aug. 12.
Managing Director of the USA Basketball Men's National Team is Jerry Colangelo. The 2012 USA coaching staff is led by USA head coach and Duke University Hall of Fame mentor Mike Krzyzewski. Back in 2012 as USA assistant coaches are Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, and former NBA head coaches Mike D'Antoni and Nate McMillan.
USA Basketball has identified 22 finalists for the 2012 USA National Team from which the 2012 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team will be selected.
Finalists for the 2012 USA National Team include: LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers); Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Chauncey Billups (Los Angeles Clippers); Chris Bosh (Miami Heat); Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers); Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks); Anthony Davis (University of Kentucky); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (New Orleans Hornets); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); James Harden (Oklahoma City Thunder); Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); LeBron James (Miami Heat); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Lamar Odom (Dallas Mavericks); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat); Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder); and Deron Williams (New Jersey Nets).
The U.S. men have collected a medal in all 16 Olympics in which they have competed, including 13 golds, one silver and two bronze. The Americans own an impressive 122-5 overall win-loss record (.961 winning percentage) in Olympic action, and since NBA players began representing the United States in 1992, the USA is 37-3 in the five Olympics they have participated in, capturing four gold medals and one bronze medal.
USA Basketball names 13 players to 2012 USA Men's Select Team
May 21, 2012
Featuring nine players owning USA Basketball experience, including the 2011-12 NBA Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving and the 2010-11 NBA Rookie of the Year runner-up John Wall, USA Basketball today announced 13 players for the 2012 USA Men's Select Team that will train against the 2012 USA Basketball Men's National Team during its July 6-12 training camp in Las Vegas, Nev.
Named to the 2012 USA Basketball Select squad were: Ryan Anderson (Orlando Magic / California); DeJuan Blair (San Antonio Spurs / Pittsburgh); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings / Kentucky); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors / USC); Derrick Favors (Utah Jazz / Georgia Tech); Paul George (Indiana Pacers / Fresno State); Taj Gibson (Chicago Bulls / USC); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz / Butler); Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers / Duke); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs / San Diego State); Jeremy Lin (New York Knicks / Harvard); Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors / Washington State); and Wall (Washington Wizards / Kentucky).
USA Basketball also announced that serving as co-head coaches of the USA Select Team are 2010 USA Basketball World Championship assistant coach Jay Triano and longtime Syracuse University assistant coach Mike Hopkins . Triano, who served for three seasons as head coach of the Toronto Raptors, helped coach the 2007 and 2008 USA Select Teams. Hopkins, who recently completed his 15th season as an assistant for the Orange, has served as a court coach at the USA Basketball National Team training camps in 2006 and 2010, and was a court coach at USA Basketball's 2000 U20 National Team and 2001 U21 World Championship Team trials.
"The USA Select Team was a vital part of the USA Men's National Team's training in 2007, 2008 and 2010, and again in 2012 we'll utilize this team of select NBA players to help get our National Team ready for the very competitive summer that is ahead of us," said Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball chairman.
"Being chosen for the Select Team is quite an honor, and it's an important step in becoming involved in USA Basketball's National Team program in the future. In the past, current national team finalists like Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Derrick Rose, LaMarcus Aldridge, Andre Iguodala, as well as many other outstanding players got their USA National Team start through the Select Team."
Members of the USA Select Team will assemble in Las Vegas and conduct a training session July 5, then train with the USA National Team July 6-11 (12:00-3:00 p.m. PDT). All practices will take place at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center.
The USA National Team will open its 2012 training with a July 6-12 training camp in Las Vegas, Nev., that concludes with the July 12 (6:00 p.m. local time) USA Basketball Showcase that features the USA facing the Dominican Republic at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center. Tickets for the exhibition game can be purchased by calling 702-739-FANS or online at http://www.UNLVtickets.com/eventInfo/spe/310/usa-basketball/.
“The 2012 Select Team has an excellent collection of talents. The group has outstanding speed and versatility, some excellent shooters, and some very good size,” added Colangelo. “It will be great to have them involved in USA Basketball and in the National Team pipeline for our next quadrennium, 2013-16.”
Since the development of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team program in 2006, USA Basketball has selected and utilized three USA Select teams to help the USA National teams prepare for its major international competitions.
The first USA Select Team was used in 2007 and featured up and coming players like Andre Iguodala, Al Jefferson, David Lee and J.J. Redick. The Select squad returned in 2008 and this time featured future NBA All-Stars like Aldridge, Durant, Iguodala, Love, Rose, and Westbrook. In 2010 and to help prepare the USA for the FIBA World Championship, a 20-member Select Team was assembled and was comprised by top returning collegiate players. Among players on the 2010 roster were Temple’s Lavoy Allen, BYU guard Jimmer Fredette; Syracuse guard Scoop Jardine, Wisconsin center Jon Leuer, Butler guard Shelvin Mack, Duke’s Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith, Florida State forward Chris Singleton, UConn’s Kemba Walker and others.
2012 Select Team members with prior USA Basketball include Hayward and Thompson who were part of the USA’s gold medalist U19 World Championship Team; Cousins (2009), DeRozan (2008), Irving (2010) and Wall (2009) who were members of USA Junior National Select teams that competed in the Nike Hoop Summit. Additionally, Irving (2010) was a member of USA U18 National team, while Cousins (2007) participated in USA Basketball’s Youth Development Festival.
Former Duke Standout Irving earned the NBA’s Rookie of the Year honors this season, while Wall finished second in the voting for last season’s Rookie of the Year. Wall was named 2010-11 All-Rookie first team, and Favors and George collected All-Rookie second team honors. Gibson was an All-Rookie first team pick in 2009-10 and Blair claimed second team honors.
The 2012 Select Team features three players who completed their rookie NBA season in 2011-12, six who wrapped up their second NBA season, three third-year players and one player who finished in 2011-12 his fourth NBA season.Finalists for the 2012 USA National Team include: LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers); Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Chauncey Billups (Los Angeles Clippers); Chris Bosh (Miami Heat); Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers); Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks); Anthony Davis (University of Kentucky); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (New Orleans Hornets); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); James Harden (Oklahoma City Thunder); Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); LeBron James (Miami Heat); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Lamar Odom (Dallas Mavericks); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat); Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder); and Deron Williams (New Jersey Nets).
Four of the 22 named finalists have been lost to injuries. Aldridge, Billups, Howard and Rose have all suffered injuries that will prevent them from being able to play this summer. The 2012 USA coaching staff is led by USA head coach and Duke University Hall of Fame mentor Mike Krzyzewski. Back in 2012 as USA assistant coaches are Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, and former NBA head coaches Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan.
Team USA Basketball Men's 2012 Training Schedule Announced
February 24, 2012
Exhibition games versus Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Great Britain and Spain, and training camps in four cities highlight the 2012 USA Basketball Men’s National Team tour that was announced today.
USA Basketball also announced that the USA Women’s National Team will join the USA Men’s National Team for an exhibition doubleheader in Washington, D.C. versus Brazil on July 16 (5:30 p.m. local time), and will play an exhibition against Great Britain in Manchester, England, on July 18 (7:30 p.m. local time), one day prior to the men’s contest against Great Britain.
The American men will open their training July 6 in Las Vegas, Nev., the domestic home to the USA Basketball Men’s National Team since 2006. The USA squad will train daily July 6-11 at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and will face the Dominican Republic on July 12 (6 p.m. local time) at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.
The team will move its training to the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., to train July 13-15 and play an exhibition contest versus Brazil at the Verizon Center on July 16 (8 p.m. local time).
The USA will continue its preparations July 17-18 in Manchester and on July 19 (7:30 p.m. local time) will play Great Britain at the Manchester Arena. Tickets for both the USA men’s and women’s national team games against their respective Great Britain counterparts will be available starting March 6.
Twenty years after the USA Dream Team made its debut in Barcelona, Spain, the U.S. returns and will conclude its tour with a pair of exhibition games against FIBA’s No. 2 and No.3 ranked world powers. Facing No. 3 ranked Argentina on July 22 (9:30 p.m. local time) at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, the USA will close out its exhibition tour against FIBA’s No. 2 ranked power Spain on July 24 (9:30 p.m. local time) at the Palau Sant Jordi.
“We have again scheduled an extremely challenging lineup of exhibition opponents for our USA Men’s National Team. In addition to playing world powers Spain and Argentina, the team will also face FIBA Americas powers Brazil and the Dominican Republic. Add in what I’m sure will be a very competitive game in Manchester versus Great Britain, and we have an exciting tour schedule we believe will help get our team as best prepared as possible for the summer,” said Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball chairman and national team managing director.
“This tour will be a very challenging schedule of five exhibition games that will each be played in outstanding environments and will be memorable for all basketball fans. The team’s training and these games will be absolutely critical in our preparation and we know that each of the teams will pose significant and unique challenges,” said USA and Duke University head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
2012 USA Basketball Men’s National Team Roster
Ten members of the 2010 USA World Championship gold medal winning team, eight 2008 Olympic gold medalists, and two national team players were among the 20 players named on Jan. 16 by USA Basketball as finalists for the USA Men’s National Team.
Named a finalist for the 2012 USA National Team were: LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers); Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Chauncey Billups (Los Angeles Clippers); Chris Bosh (Miami Heat); Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers); Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (New Orleans Hornets); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); LeBron James (Miami Heat); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Lamar Odom (Dallas Mavericks); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat); Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder); and Deron Williams (New Jersey Nets).
The USA Basketball Men's National Team Program in 2010-12 is again headed by Colangelo, who has served as managing director of the USA Men’s National Team since 2005.
Twenty Finalists Selected For 2012 U.S. Olympic Men’s Team
January 16, 2012
Eight 2008 Olympic gold medalists, 10 members of the 2010 USA World Championship gold medal winning team, one national team player and one newcomer to the USA Basketball National Team were among the 20 finalists named today for the 2012 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team by USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo . The official 12-man U.S. Olympic team roster will be announced later this year.
Named as a finalist for the 2012 USA team were: LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers); Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Chauncey Billups (Los Angeles Clippers); Chris Bosh (Miami Heat); Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers); Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (New Orleans Hornets); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); LeBron James (Miami Heat); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Lamar Odom (Dallas Mavericks); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat); Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder); and Deron Williams (New Jersey Nets). Griffin was also officially added to the USA Basketball National Team roster.
The 2012 USA coaching staff is led by Duke University's Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, and serving as USA assistant coaches are Syracuse University's Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, New York Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni, and Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan.
"The USA Basketball Men's National Team program has come a long way as the elite list of players who are now part of our program shows. The selected finalists are a very, very talented group; the depth of the talent is extraordinary. This selection decision was as difficult of a challenge as I've faced since I took on the USA National Team program in 2005," said Colangelo, who has served as the managing director of the USA Men's National Team since 2005.
"I feel like we have an outstanding blend of talents from the 2008 Olympic and 2010 World Championship teams that won gold. Reducing to the official roster limit of 12 players will be an even tougher decision, but we'll evaluate how guys play during the 2011-12 NBA season and as we've done with our teams in the past, we'll attempt to select the very best team we can."
"Jerry has built an extremely deep and talented USA National Team roster of 35 players and I want to thank each player for their incredible commitment to being part of USA Basketball. Reducing to 20 players was unbelievably difficult," stated Krzyzewski, who has coached USA National Teams to a sterling 48-1 record since 2006.
"Aside from the obvious special basketball talents that all of these players possess, what struck me most about the finalists was their commitment to USA Basketball and the international basketball experience they have compiled. Among our 20 finalists, we have two players who possess 55 or more games of international experience, two with 40 or more international games under their belts and eight others who have played between 23 and 38 international games - that's a lot of experience, which is going to be extremely valuable.
"These players have helped restore the winning tradition of USA Basketball while also gaining the respect of people around the world for the manner in which they have done it," added Krzyzewski.
Three of the finalists are two-time Olympic medalists, including Anthony (2004 bronze and 2008 gold), James (2004 bronze and 2008 gold) and Wade (2004 bronze and 2008 gold).
Eight of the selected finalists were members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team that compiled an unblemished record of 8-0 and captured gold in Beijing, including Anthony, Bosh, Bryant, Howard, James, Paul, Wade and Williams. Four finalists – Anthony, James, Odom and Wade - were part of the 2004 U.S. Olympic team that earned the bronze medal.
Ten finalists were members of the 2010 USA World Championship squad that went 9-0 and captured gold in Istanbul, Turkey. Billups, Chandler, World Championship MVP Durant, Gay, Gordon, Iguodala, Love, Odom, Rose and Westbrook were all members of the USA World Championship Team.
The finalists represent 14 different NBA teams, with the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers leading the way with three players each; while the New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder each have two players among the 20; and the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers each are represented by one player.
Eighteen of the finalists possess impressive international experience with Anthony leading the way with 59 games of international experience. He is followed by James (55), Williams (47), Wade (40), Howard (38), Paul (37), Bosh (32), Billups (30), Odom (28), Chandler (25), Bryant (24), Gay (23), Durant (17), Iguodala (16), Rose (16), Gordon (15), Love (15) and Westbrook (15). Aldridge, who was a member of the 2008 USA Select Team that trained against the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, and Griffin, who is the youngest finalist at 22-years-old, have not played in an international game.
The USA’s complete training schedule will be released at a later date.
2012 TEAM USA BASKETBALL ROSTER
Managing Director: Jerry Colangelo
Head Coach: Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University
Assistant Coach: Jim Boeheim, Syracuse University
Assistant Coach: Mike D'Antoni, New York Knicks
Assistant Coach: Nate McMillan, Portland Trail Blazers
2012 TEAM USA BASKETBALL PLAYERS SORTED BY POSITION
This is just how we at InsideHoops group the list of 20 finalists.
PG: Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook, Chauncey Billups.
SG: Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Eric Gordon, Andre Iguodala.
SF: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Rudy Gay.
PF: Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Bosh, Lamar Odom.
C: Dwight Howard, Kevin Love, Tyson Chandler.
OLDER USA BASKETBALL NEWS AND INFO
15 Finalists Named For USA Men’s Pan American Games Team
Oct. 17, 2011
Following five training sessions held between Oct. 14-16, 15 NBA Development League players were selected finalists for the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s Pan American Games Team. The finalists will continue training in Tulsa through Oct. 22 and the official 12-man USA team will be announced before the team departs Oct. 23 for the Pan American Games competition that is being held Oct. 26-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Selected as a finalists for the U.S. squad were: Blake Ahearn (Erie BayHawks/Missouri State ‘07); Brian Butch (Injured for 2010-11 season/Wisconsin ‘08); Chris Daniels (KCC Egis, South Korea/Texas A&M-Corpus Christi ‘08); Justin Dentmon (Texas Legends/Washington ‘09); Jerome Dyson (Tulsa 66ers/Connecticut ‘10); Moses Ehambe (Iowa Energy/Oral Roberts ‘08); Ron Howard (Fort Wayne Mad Ants/Valparaiso ‘06); Marcus Lewis (Tulsa 66ers/Oral Roberts ‘09); Leo Lyons (Austin Toros/Missouri ‘09); Renaldo Major (Dakota Wizards/Fresno State ‘04); Donald Sloan (Reno Bighorns/Texas A&M ‘10); Gregory Stiemsma (Sokhumi Tbilisi, Georgia/Wisconsin ‘09); Curtis Sumpter (Maroussi BC, Greece/Villanova ‘07): Lance Thomas (Austin Toros/Duke ‘10); and Luke Zeller (Bakersfield Jam/Notre Dame ‘09).
“Coming in you never know what kind of shape the guys are going to be in and I thought they were in good shape. The guys competed at a high level and it is tough making cuts, but we felt comfortable getting down to our 15,” said USA Pan American Games and Tulsa 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts.
“I think our perimeter is formidable, we’ve got some guys that can handle the basketball and not just at the one, the two or the three. We’re going to have to be a team that guards people on every possession and were asking our bigs to do some things that maybe they haven’t been asked to do. So getting that group of bigs to come along defensively is important, but we’ve got some bigs that can really shoot it and we’re excited about that.
“I think we’ve now got to step up our offensive execution, we’ve got start putting some more stuff in. We kind of tried to keep it basic here just so we could see guys play. We didn’t want to overwhelm them, have them thinking about too many things, and so now we can really start focusing on our prep for Guadalajara,” added Tibbetts.
Assisting Tibbetts on the USA bench are Tulsa 66ers coaching staff members Jermaine Byrd and Dale Osbourne. Additionally, Austin Toros head coach Brad Jones and Idaho Stampede head coach Randy Livingston are assisting as court coaches during the USA’s training camp.
The Pan American Games, held every four years in the year prior to the Olympics, are being held Oct. 13-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The men’s basketball competition, which features eight teams, is being conducted Oct. 26-30.
The USA men were drawn into Group B for the Pan American Games and are joined by national teams from Brazil, Dominican Republic and Uruguay. Competing in Group A are Argentina, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The U.S. men open preliminary round play Oct. 26 facing Dominican Republic (5:30 p.m. CDT), then face defending Pan American Games champion Brazil on Oct. 27 (8 p.m. CDT), and conclude preliminary play versus Uruguay (5:30 p.m. CDT) on Oct. 28. Semifinals action will be played Oct. 29, and the finals will be contested on Oct. 30.
The player and coaching staff selections were made by the USA Basketball Men’s Pan American Games Committee, approved by USA Basketball's Board of Directors and are subject to final approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee Chief Executive Officer.
The USA Basketball Pan American Games Committee is chaired by USA Basketball Men’s National Team Director Sean Ford, and also comprised of Tibbetts, 2000 Olympic gold medalist Steve Smith, NBA Development League Vice President of Basketball Operations & Player Personnel Chris Alpert, and NBA Development League consultant Gordon Chiesa.
USA Men In The Pan American Games
The Pan American Games are organized by the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) and are a multi-sport competition open to men and women representing countries from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean.
Comprised of college players, the USA men in the 2007 Pan Ams dropped their first two games and then reeled off three consecutive wins to finish 3-2 and in fifth place. The American men have earned a medal in 12 of their 15 Pan Am Games appearances, including a record eight golds, as well as three silvers and one bronze. The U.S. men currently own an 84-13 (.866 winning percentage) all-time mark at the Pan Am Games.
Held since 1951, the USA dominated the first five Pan Am Games, earning five consecutive golds. At the 1971 Pan Ams, despite a record of 2-1 in the preliminary round, the USA did not advance to the medal round and for the first time in Pan American history did not win the gold medal. However, the United States rebounded for a 26-0 record over the next three Pan Am Games and captured its last Pan Am gold in 1983. The gold medal has eluded U.S. teams the past six Pan American Games as the Americans have earned three silvers and a bronze medal.
Many USA Basketball athletes who have been selected to a Pan American Games team have gone on to compete in the Olympic Games, while many others enjoyed stellar professional careers. In all, 34 USA Pan Am basketball players have also been a member of a U.S. Olympic squad, including Ernie Grunfeld, Grant Hill, Luscious Jackson, Michael Jordan, Christian Laettner, Danny Manning, Chris Mullin, Emeka Okafor, Sam Perkins, Oscar Robertson, David Robinson, Isiah Thomas, Jerry West and Jo Jo White.
While the list of former Pan American Games players is impressive, the list of head coaches is even more striking. The list of head coaches of USA Pan American Games teams includes Jay Wright (2007), Tom Izzo (2003), Mo McHone (1999); Mike Thibault (1995); Gene Keady (1991); Denny Crum (1987); Jack Hartman (1983); Bob Knight (1979); Marv Harshman (1975); Jim Gudger (1971) Hal Fischer (1967); Garland Pinholster (1963); Fred Schaus (1959); Lt. Norman Pilgrim (1955); and Hal Fischer and John Longfellow (1951).
Sweet Revenge, USA Takes Lithuania 107-105 In OT Thriller
July 5, 2011
University of Connecticut guard Jeremy Lamb ( Connecticut/ Norcross, Ga.) tallied a game best 35 points and University of Florida center Patric Young (Florida/Jacksonville, Fla.) came up in overtime with two three-point plays off of monster dunks to lead the USA U19 Team to an outstanding 107-107 overtime victory over Lithuania (3-2) Tuesday in second round play at the FIBA U19 World Championship in Riga, Latvia.
The win improved the United States' record to 5-0 and insures it of Group F's number one seed for the medal round quarterfinals. The U.S. will conclude its second round games Wednesday against Croatia (3-2).
"I felt we would have to play really well in order to have a chance to win the game. I felt we played well in spurts but Lithuania has continued to impress me, they impressed me with how they came back this afternoon," said USA mentor Paul Hewitt (George Mason). "We're very lucky to win this game and at this point we just talked to our team about trying to get better. We need to continue to improve as we move through the tournament and we've got to try and play better tomorrow against Croatia."
It was a rollercoaster game for the USA with all sorts of twists and turns. The Americans saw an apparent victory snatched away in regulation's finals seconds; then looked at defeat and at what would have been a heartbreaking loss straight on after falling behind by six with a little over three minutes remaining in overtime; then ultimately saw redemption, as the team's perseverance and belief paid off in the form of a hard-fought victory.
Lamb led the USA charge with 35 points which came on 13-for-23 shooting overall, 5-of-7 from behind the 3-point arc, and 4-of-5 free throws. He added four rebounds, two assists and three steals in his 37 minutes of action. Lamb's 35 points is the second highest single game point production for a USA U19 or Junior World Championship team member since the event was staged in 1979.
“I was just in a rhythm, finally got in a rhythm and I was able to knock down some shots,” remarked Lamb on his day’s work.
“Jeremy Lamb is a great scorer. I thought he used screens very well today. When he gets it rolling then it’s easier for him to manufacture shots one-on-one,” said Hewitt about his guard’s scoring binge.
“In the second half I tried doing a good job of screening and getting guys open because I knew Jeremy Lamb was feeling it and we had to find ways to get him the ball and he took over,” USA forward Doug McDermott (Creighton/Ames, Iowa) stated.
While Lamb’s scoring powered the Americans and left them in control for much of the contest, it was Young’s critical plays in overtime that carried the USA to its win.
Seeming to have victory in hand with a 94-86 lead with 37 seconds left in the game, Lithuania’s Edgaras Ulanovas scored and was fouled with 29.7 second to go. His free throw was off target but Doyydas Redikas tipped in his miss to cut the gap to 94-90. Jonas Valanciunas added another basket and the U.S. lead was down to 94-92.
The USA’s Young grabbed an offensive rebound with 7.3 seconds left in regulation and was fouled. Stepping to the line, he missed both attempts and Lithuania’s Arnas Butkrvicius drove to the basket and was credited with two points on a goaltending call by the officials.
With the game even at 94 and 1.7 seconds left on the scoreboard, the Americans were unable to get a shot off.
Valanciunas, who was the number five draft pick of the Toronto Raptors in the recent NBA draft, started the overtime with a hoop, then Butkrvicius scored to give Lithuania a 98-94 lead with 3:35 left in the overtime. Tim Hardaway, Jr. (Michigan/Miami, Fla.) made one of two free throws to get the USA going in OT, but Ulanovas drilled a three to push his team’s lead to six, 101-95.
It was time for Young to step up and he did so in a big way. Making two free throws with 2:39 left to close the deficit to 101-97, on the USA’s next possession he received a pass from Lamb and was fouled as he slammed home two and made the awarded free throw to pull the U.S. back within one.
Jackson made a critical steal on the other end and fed James Bell (Villanova/Orlando, Fla.) who flushed down a breakaway dunk and the U.S. now led 102-101 with 1:35 left. Valanciunas scored to give Lithuania a one point advantage, but Young once again took change and grabbed a pass from Jackson, was fouled while slamming home another two. Young dropped the free throw and the U.S. led 105-103 with 1:07 left in overtime.
Lithuania tied the game with just under a minute to play on a pair of free throws from Ulanovas. The game’s winning shot was a clutch turn back baseline jumper by Lamb with 1.5 ticks left on the clock. Lithuania called timeout and received the ball inside midcourt, and the desperation three was well off mark giving the USA the win.
“You have to put them behind you,” said Young about his free throw misses at the end of regulation., “. Remember the player for the Buffalo Bills that dropped that touchdown not too long ago and he said he was never going to forget that, but you have to move on because it’s going to affect you for the rest of the game. We went into overtime and there still an opportunity for me to redeem myself and for us to win the game even though they jumped out on us with a nice six point lead. When I went to the line I said ‘I’m going to trust and have confidence in what I do, what I practice in my craft and I went and knocked the free throws down, I went four-for-four.
“I thought it said an awful lot about Patric’s toughness and mental toughness. To miss two free throws, it would have been easy for him to be disappointed and drop his head but he continued to play hard and made some big plays in overtime. I think overall our team showed some togetherness there, but in particular I thought Patric Young showed a lot of character how he bounced back from missing those two free throws at the end of regulation,” said Hewitt about Young’s play.
In addition to Lamb’s 35 points, Joe Jackson (Memphis/Memphis, Tenn.) posted 19 and added six assist. Young finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, while McDermott added 13 points and eight rebounds, and Hardway capped the double-digit scoring with 10 points. Tony Mitchell (North Texas/Dallas, Texas) grabbed eight rebounds, marking the fifth straight game he has led or shared for the USA’s high rebounding effort.
The Americans started well and after getting out to an 11-7 lead, ripped off seven straight points to expand its lead to 18-7. At the conclusion of the first 10 minute period the USA led 25-15. The two squads battled evenly over the first five minutes of the second quarter, and with 4:21 left the U.S. lead stood at 37-29. The USA offense got things going and after rolling to an 11-0 offensive spurt, the lead was 19, 48-29, with 2:02 to play in the quarter.
Lithuania responded right back and closed the half with a 10-1 run of its own that left the Americans up by 10, 49-39, at the half.
Lithuania cut the USA advantage to five in the third quarter, but a Jackson drive an layup just before the buzzer pushed the USA lead to 69-60.
USA U19 World Championship Team Perseveres To Pull Out 80-78 Win Over Serbia
July 1, 2011
Some big plays at critical times by a mixture of USA players and a balanced scoring attack that was paced by Memphis guard Joe Jackson’s (Memphis/Memphis, Tenn.) 19 points helped pave the way to a exciting 80-78 USA (2-0) victory over Serbia (1-1) Friday in FIBA U19 World Championship preliminary round play in Liepaja, Latvia. The win, the second in as many nights, assured the USA of earning the No. 1 seed for Group D regardless of the outcome in its final preliminary round game Saturday. The USA meets China (0-2), a 100-96 double overtime loser to Egypt (1-1), in its game Saturday.
“Joe Jackson made big time plays in transition all game long,” said USA and George Mason University head coach Paul Hewitt.
While Jackson led the U.S. offense, Patric Young (Florida/Jacksonville, Fla.) finished with 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting and added seven rebounds, Tony Mitchell (North Texas/Dallas, Texas) was credited with 11 points and a team high nine rebounds, and Tim Hardaway, Jr. (Michigan/Miami, Fla.) scored 11 points, including the game winning jumper with 47 second left, and also added a team high four assists and a pair of steals.
“This was a great test for our guys. We’re just trying to get better in each and every game,” stated Hewitt. “I think this is the type of game we can benefit from moving forward. We’re obviously happy with the win and feel fortunate that we got the win, but I think the benefits from this game may be shown later in the tournament.”
Leading most of the game and entering the fourth quarter possessing a 57-53 lead thanks to Mitchell’s old fashioned three-point play which saw him take a feed from Jackson a slam home two and convert on the foul shot with 56.7 seconds left in the third quarter.
Following another Mitchell dunk off an offensive rebound, and a fast break layup from Jackson that came off a Mitchell block at the other end, the USA opened up a 61-53 lead with 9:27 left in the game.
But Serbia rallied behind five points from guard Aleksandar Cvetkovic and ripped off seven straight points to close within a single point, 61-60. After a 3-pointer from Luka Mitrovic found the bottom of the net, Serbia owned a 69-65 lead with 6:15 remaining.
Trailing 77-74, the U.S. was the benefactor of several crucial plays. Mitchell grabbed a huge offensive rebound and made both free throws after being fouled to cut the deficit to 77-76 at 2:24. Jackson drove and scored to tie up the contest 78-78 with 1:58 left, and Hardaway nailed a short driving jumper with 47 seconds showing on the clock to push the U.S. ahead 80-78. Bell made a steal with 34 seconds to play on the other end, and while the Americans failed to score, they used some precious time before turning the ball over to Serbia with 22.9 seconds left.
“It came down to some big plays. We didn’t hold our head down, we all came together as a team and I think this W proves to everybody that we are playing together and we are getting better,” stated Hardaway, Jr.
Serbia went to Cvetkovic, who had scored 20 points, and Bell matched up against him. Working it for a final shot, Cvetkovic’s 3-pointer was solidly defended and off target and Jeremy Lamb cleared the rebound, his seventh of the game, with 3.8 seconds to go and he ran out the clock to seal the victory.
“I just focused on trying to make a play instead of going for the ball; staying solid, staying in front of my man and the opportunity came for me to make a play and I just did it…It wasn’t just me, it was a team effort,” remarked Bell.
“Cvetkovic caused problems for us all day. There were times when we were trying to go over the ball screen and he got into the paint and created easy shots for himself or teammates. We got an eight point lead and I made the decision, not a very bright move in hindsight, to go under the screen and he stepped behind and made a three to get them back in the game.”
Young scored five points during a 7-0 USA run to help his team to an early 11-6 lead. The scored was even at 17 with 31.9 seconds left in the first quarter when Meyers Leonard (Illinois/Robinson, Ill.) was fouled and Serbia’s bench was whistled for a technical. Leonard made his two free throws and Keith Appling (Michigan State/Detroit, Mich.) added two more to help the U.S. to a 21-17 lead, an advantage they took into the second quarter.
Getting point production from four different players – Jeremy Lamb (Connecticut/ Norcross, Ga.), Doug McDermott (Creighton/Ames, Iowa), Mitchell and Hardaway, Jr. - the USA reeled off eight consecutive points to jump ahead 36-26 with 3:21 remaining. The American squad owned a 38-31 lead at halftime.
In the game, the U.S. held a 43-29 rebounding advantage and its 17 offensive boards help it overcome a 1-for13 shooting night from beyond the 3-point line. The USA was deadly from the foul line sinking 25-27 tries.
“Yeah, it was a fun game, but it got tough, they got tough late,” said Jackson who was limited to 24 minutes of action by foul trouble. “They made it a tight game because we kept them at the free throw line. We were trying to play aggressive but the refs were controlling the game so we couldn’t play physical like we do in the U.S. That’s something you have to learn playing overseas, it’s different. They let you play physical but you can’t ride guys and that’s what we were trying to do.”
Sixteen nations are battling for the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship for Men gold medal. The U.S. concludes its preliminary round play versus China on Saturday2 (11:15 a.m. EDT).
The top three teams from each preliminary group will qualify for the preliminary second round, while the fourth place teams will qualify for the classification round to determine 13th to 16th places. The quarterfinals will be held on July 8, semifinals are slated for July 9 and the gold and bronze medal games, as well as the 5th/6th place and 7th/8th place games will be contested on July 10.
Assisting Hewitt on the U.S. sidelines are collegiate head coaches Randy Bennett of St. Mary’s College and Cliff Warren of Jacksonville University.
USA Men Open FIBA U19 World Championship With Lopsided 115-60 Victory Over Egypt
June 30, 2011
The suspense for the USA in its FIBA U19 World Championship preliminary round opening game in Liepaja, Latvia, was over quickly as the Americans (1-0) started the contest scoring the game's first 22 points and sailed on to record a 115-60 victory over Egypt (0-1). The USA continued preliminary play Friday facing Serbia (1-0), 78-73 winners over China (0-1).
All 12 USA players scored in the game. Doug McDermott (Creighton/Ames, Iowa) headed the red, white and blue's scoring with 19 points, while Joe Jackson (Memphis/Memphis, Tenn.) and Jeremy Lamb (Connecticut/ Norcross, Ga.) aided the victorious cause with 15 points each. Meyers Leonard (Illinois/Robinson, Ill.) recorded a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds. Meyers and Patric Young (Florida/Jacksonville, Fla.), each swatted four shots to tie the USA single game record (done on four previous occasions, last recorded in 2009).
"The young men focused on the things we wanted to focus on, defensively especially. I like the fact that we shared the basketball and we had a lot of guys get some good looks at the basket and make some shots," said USA U119 mentor Paul Hewitt (George Mason).
"I was happy with our ball movement and I thought we defended well, but in particular ball movement and we made some threes. I think any team that wins this world championship is going to have shoot the ball well from the outside and that's usually keyed by good passing."
Young tapped the opening tip down court to Lamb who sailed in for the layup and the game's first points. With six different U.S. players contributing points, the Americans pounded their way to a 22-0 lead with 3:20 left in the opening quarter. Egypt posted its first points of the game with 2:55 left in the period when Seif Samir made one of two free throws.
Carrying a 25-5 lead into the second quarter, the U.S. pushed its advantage to 32-9. Egypt got its offense on track and after outscoring the USA 13-2, trailed 34-22 with 6:54 remaining before halftime. Leonard scored to get the U.S. back on track and 12 of the team's final 14 points in the quarter came courtesy of four 3-pointers, two from Jackson and two from Lamb.
The USA's dominating showing continued in the second half and the U.S. outgunned Egypt 32-15 in the third and 33-16 in the final quarter.
"At the beginning of the game we were really focused on rebounding, defense, pushing the ball up the floor, the things that Coach Hewitt told us before the game started to really focus and key in on. We really executed those things at the beginning of the game because we wanted to make a statement that we are a team, and we came here to win a gold medal," said Young, who finished tied with Leonard for a team high with four blocked shots.
The U.S. owned a 57-40 advantage on the glass and grabbed 18 offensive rebounds. Meyers, 11 rebounds, Tony Mitchell (North Texas/Dallas, Texas), 10 boards, and Young, 8 rebounds, handled the majority of the USA's rebounding.
2010 TEAM USA BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
August 21: USA vs Lithuania (exhibition in Madrid)
August 22: USA vs Spain (exhibition in Madrid)
August 25: USA vs Greece (exhibition in Athens)
August 28-September 12: 2010 World Basketball championship in Turkey
FINAL 12-MAN USA ROSTER: Click here.
Worlds: USA beats Turkey, wins gold
September 12, 2010
For the second time in as many nights, and just as he had in virtually every game at the 2010 World Championship, Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) put the USA on his back offensively and coupled with the team’s devastating defense, the USA stormed to an impressive 81-64 victory over Turkey to capture the 2010 FIBA World Championship title.
Durant’s 28 points propelled the Americans to their first World Championship gold medal finish since 1994 as the USA finished a perfect 9-0 in Istanbul, Turkey. With the world title, the U.S. collected the automatic qualifying berth for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
“We didn't have an identification. They were called the 'B Team'. I think that's over with,” said USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelgo. “I think they established who they are. Kevin Durant, welcome to the international stage in terms of your ability as a player. That was great for him because he's such a terrific young man. “So a great job by everyone involved. It's great for our program. We go from here.”
Durant was named MVP of the World Championship after averaging 22.8 ppg., 6.1 rpg., and shooting 55.6 percent from the field, 45.6 percent from 3-point and 91.2 percent from the foul line.
The USA’s golden effort in addition to Durant’s contributions featured for the second consecutive night a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds from Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers) and 14 points from Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).
“This is the best. This is the best,” said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). “With this group, they really have represented our country, USA Basketball so well. Such a young group. They played with enthusiasm. They played great defense throughout.
“Not much was expected. I shouldn't say that. They're always expecting a lot. But most people didn't think we could win. But they kept getting better. … “We had such big bench contributions. I'm just so happy, so fulfilled. This is as good as it gets right now.”
The first half was a tough, physical contest where no points came easy. The two teams were whistled for a combined 23 personal fouls that resulted in Turkey shooting 11-for-16 from the charity stripe while the U.S. went 10-for-11.
Behind eight points including two 3-pointers from Durant the U.S. took an early 14-9 lead. Turkey stormed back and behind a pair of threes by Hidsyet Turkoglu posted an 8-0 run to move in front 17-14 with 3:28 left in the opening quarter.
Durant stopped the assault when he connected on his third 3-pointer of the quarter to even the score at 17. After Durant made a highlight reel block on a Turkey fast break at the other end, Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) did what he does and drained a three, and after Westbrook added a pair of free throws with 1.1 seconds left in the quarter, the U.S. had a 22-17 lead after the first 10 minutes.
Holding a 27-21 lead early in the second quarter, Durant struck again and, while adding a pair of 3-pointers, he posted the USA’s next nine points in a span of 2:55 to push the U.S. ahead 36-26.
From there the U.S. lead fluctuated between 10 and seven points and at halftime the U.S. went to the locker room possessing a 42-32 lead.
Whatever hope Turkey had to get back in the game quickly was shot down when Durant opened the third quarter with a pair of 3-pointers and when Odom added an offensive put back the Americans lead was up to 50-32.
Following a 9-2 run by Turkey that reduced the U.S. advantage to 11, 52-41, with 4:08 to play in the third quarter, Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies) swished a jumper in the lane and one minute later Westbrook found nothing but net from behind the 3-point arc and just that quick the U.S. lead was back to 16.
Turkey continued to battle with the encouragement of its partisan capacity crowd and heading into the final 20 minutes the game was still in question even though the U.S. was leading 61-48.
A 9-2 USA offensive run that was started by a pair of fast break layups from Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) and finished by an Odom 3-pointer and then a fast break basket off a picture perfect pass from Rose left the USA fully in charge 70-50 with 7:00 to play.
Turkey never really challenged the U.S. again as the Americas marched in for the memorable 81-64 win.
Although badly outsized by the Turks, the U.S. work ethic nonetheless helped it to a 42-31 advantage on the glass and to 15 offensive boards.
The all out USA defense chased, harassed and frustrated Turkey into 36.4 percent (20-55 FGs) shooting for the game and 14 turnovers.
In Sunday’s bronze medal game, Lithuania (7-1) handled Serbia (6-3) 99-88 as Toronto Raptors forward Linas Kleiza, who the U.S. limited to 4 points and 1-for-11 shooting in Saturday's semifinal, scored 33 to lead Lithuania. Houston Rockets forward Luis Scola recorded 22 points and 11 rebounds to help lead Argentina (7-2) to an 86-81 win over Spain (5-4) to claim fifth place at the World Championship.