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Team USA Basketball
InsideHoops.com provides USA Basketball information, features and complete game recaps. This is the home page for USA basketball roster, news, competition.
- 2019 FIBA World Cup
- Olympic Basketball
USA beats Poland, finishes World Cup in 7th place
September 14, 2019
In its final 2019 FIBA World Cup game, the USA men (6-2) had five players score in double-figures and recorded 29 assists in an 87-74 win over Poland (4-4) on Saturday afternoon at Wukesong Sport Arena in Beijing, China.
The USA finished the tournament in seventh place and now is 129-29 all time in FIBA World Cup action. As one of the top two finishing teams from the FIBA Americas zone, the USA also qualified for the 2020 Olympics.
"There are wonderful teams and wonderful coaches all over the world, so there's no surprise in any of that," said Gregg Popovich (USA and San Antonio Spurs head coach). "You go compete, and you know the best teams win. I was thrilled with the group of guys that we were able to coach. They made the sacrifice. They worked hard. They let us coach them, and we got them to a certain point in a short period of time. I wish I could have gotten them closer, but it didn't happen."
Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz) was the USA top scorer with 16 points, including 4-of-4 from 3-point, and a USA men's World Cup record-tying 10 assists.
"You know, obviously, we didn't get the result that we had wanted, but to be able to go to war with a bunch of guys who really sacrificed not only their time, their bodies, there's not a lot more you can ask for," Mitchell said. "I've never been a part of USA Basketball, and this was an incredible experience. Obviously, with the game today we showed a lot of character, because even after losing some teams can go the other way and say whatever, and that wasn't the case with these guys. I'm really happy and blessed to have this opportunity."
Joe Harris (Brooklyn Nets) finished with 14 points; Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks) added 13 points and six assists; Derrick White (San Antonio Spurs) contributed 12 points and seven assists; and Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings) tallied 10 points.
"It was a good win here today," White said. "We wanted to go out winning. I mean, obviously, we fell short of our goal, but overall I think it was special to play with these guys in the locker room, and we had a great group of guys. I think we all learned a lot from it."
The USA got off to a strong start and shot 57.9% from the field in the first quarter, including 10 assists on 11 field goals, while its defense held Poland to 0-of-7 from 3-point.
With the USA leading 18-14, the Americans closed on a 10-0 run and went ahead 28-14 after the first 10 minutes.
Seven scorers contributed for the USA in the second period, which increased its advantage by three points and headed into the halftime locker room with a 47-30 lead.
The third quarter was Poland's strongest effort, and they outscored the USA 25-16 in the period, including a 14-2 stretch that cut the lead to seven points, 54-47, at 4:07. The USA pushed its cushion back to 63-49 at 1:17, but Poland sank two 3-pointers and made it to 63-55 with 10 minutes to play.
Twice early in the fourth quarter, Poland again narrowed the gap to seven points, but each time the USA responded, outscoring Poland 24-19 in the fourth period to earn the 87-74 win.
"We came out here, and we checked a couple boxes, but we didn't get everything accomplished," said Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers), who collected eight rebounds to go with his seven points and four blocked shots. "We qualified this team for the Olympics coming up, but we didn't get that gold medal - something that is going to stick with us for a very long, shoot, the rest of our lives. And, you know, it hurts a little bit, but we came out here, and I think we did the best we could, given the circumstances."
For the game, the USA shot 50.8% (31-61 FGs) from the field and 48.0% from 3-point (12-25 3pt FGs), and it held Poland to 39.7% shooting (29-73 FGs) and just 25.9% from 3-point (7-27 3pt FGs).
USA falls to Serbia for second straight loss in World Cup
September 12, 2019
When faced with one of the biggest moments of adversity in USA Basketball Men's National Team history, the Americans didn't go quietly.
Unfortunately for the U.S., which was down 25 points in the first quarter, there was just a little too much to overcome.
Behind a blistering start, fourth-ranked Serbia (5-2) held off a charge and beat the top-ranked Americans (5-2) 94-89 Thursday in a FIBA World Cup classification game at Dongguan, China. The loss means the U.S. - which has already qualified for next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo - will play Poland (4-3) on Saturday for seventh place in Beijing.
"It's tough to come back the way we did, and for us to do that it shows a lot of heart and a lot of pride," U.S. guard Donovan Mitchell said. "But at the end of the day we want the win. That's where we are at. We're not here to get moral victories - that's not why we're here. We're here to win. And to lose two in a row stings, but we have to be ready to compete on Saturday."
Harrison Barnes led the U.S. with 22 points, Kemba Walker had 18 points and eight assists, Khris Middleton added 16 points and Myles Turner 10.
Bogdan Bogdanovic, who plays for the Sacramento Kings, led all scorers with 28 points, including seven 3-pointers, while Vladimir Lucic had 15 points and Vasilije Micic - playing with a heavy heart after his mother died during the tournament - added 10 for Serbia, which still must go through an Olympic qualifying tournament next year. Serbia was 15-of-31 on 3-pointers, while the U.S. was 11-of-31.
The matchup between the U.S. and Serbia was a rematch of the 2016 Rio Olympics gold-medal game and one that was anticipated for a World Cup gold here. But the Serbs lost back-to-back games to be relegated to the classification bracket, while the U.S. fell to France 89-79 Wednesday, snapping a 58-game winning streak in international competition with NBA players.
"They're good character guys," U.S. coach Gregg Popovich said of his team's recovery from the early deficit. "It was a tough turnaround and I guess it showed. If you miss that many shots, it's a lot of defensive transition and at the same time Bogdan was on fire. So, we got him to hold but, I can't tell you how much I have been impressed the whole time by their character, their stick-to-itiveness and persistence as they learn how to play together. Tonight was a great example of that."
Serbia jumped out to leads of 11-2 and 26-5 before finishing the first quarter with a 32-7 lead, the largest of the game. Behind four 3-pointers from Bogdanovic, the Serbians made eight treys and shot 9-of-15 in the opening 10 minutes.
"They're a great team," Middleton said. "We knew that coming into the tournament. I think both teams would rather play each other in a different type of round or setting. They were a great team tonight. Their guy got hot early and kept it going all night long."
Instead of folding, the U.S. dug in and focused on its trademark defense in the second quarter. While limiting Serbia to 5-of-15 shooting, the Americans - behind Barnes and Turner - erupted for 33 points to make it a game again. Serbia failed to make a 3-pointer in the second quarter.
The third quarter was essentially an even battle, with the U.S. pulling within 61-59 on Donovan Mitchell's 3-pointer with 4:24 left. The U.S. trailed 71-68 after three.
Serbia, behind Bogdanovic, regained its shooting touch in the fourth quarter and led by as much as 10. But the U.S. made one more push as Barnes and Walker hit 3-pointers to pull within 91-84 with 59 seconds left. Bogdanovic and Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets) each made a pair of free throws to seal Serbia's win.
"I think that's the beauty of competition," Barnes said of having to play so quickly after a tough loss to France. "We signed up, Aug. 6, whenever that was, we made that pact that we were going to do whatever we could to win basketball games. To go out there and try to win gold medals. On the flip side of that is that there's a chance that we may not win. And, I think there are no regrets from our group in terms of what we've given, what we sacrificed, the commitment that everyone has made away from their families, teams, organizations, all of that.
"For us, we have to sit with that, get some rest and, on Saturday, we have that opportunity to go out there once again, play a game, represent our country. For some of us, potentially all of us, it could be the last time we wear a USA jersey, or the beginning of many, so I think we just have to savor that opportunity."
USA Loses to France, Will Not Win a Medal in 2019 World Cup
September 11, 2019
Physical play and a critical scoring drought in the final minutes spelled the end of a major streak for the USA Basketball Men's World Cup Team.
The top-ranked USA lost to third-ranked France 89-79 Thursday in the FIBA World Cup quarterfinals at Dongguan, China, snapping a 58-game winning streak in international competition using NBA players. It is the first loss in 25 World Cup games for the U.S. since falling to Greece 101-95 in the 2006 semifinals. The loss also means the U.S., which locked up a spot in next year's Olympic Games in its previous game, will not medal at the World Cup for the first time since 2002.
"Any loss hurts, and this situation hurts more, but life goes on," USA coach Gregg Popovich said. "This is very important. We would have loved to have won, just like any other team, we would have loved to win games in this tournament. But, we all have family and lives and life moving on."
The U.S. (5-1), which was bidding to become the first nation to win three straight World Cups, won't have any time to lick its wounds. The Americans will face a formidable Serbia (4-2), ranked fourth in the world, on Thursday in Dongguan (7 a.m. EDT) and will finish no better than fifth place. Meanwhile, France - which had been 0-9 against the U.S. in major international play - will face Argentina (6-0) in Friday's semifinals in Beijing.
Donovan Mitchell was the go-to guy for the U.S., scoring 29 points, but none in the fourth quarter. Marcus Smart had 11 points and Kemba Walker 10. Evan Fournier, who plays for the Orlando Magic, had 22 points for France, which closed the game on a 22-5 run. Rudy Gobert - Mitchell's teammate with the Utah Jazz and two-time reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year - added 21 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for France, while Nando De Colo had 18 points.
"I'm looking at the times there were guys open that I missed," Mitchell said. "There were possessions on defense where I threw the ball in the backcourt when we were down six. I can care less about the 29 (points). To me what sticks out is the things I did wrong. That's what's on everybody's mind. Anybody could have had a good game. Whether is 29, nine or zero, we lost."
Added Smart: "We learned a lot. For a lot of us it was our first time (in a FIBA tournament) so we came out and gave it everything. I'm proud of every last one of my teammates. We got another game tomorrow so it's not over with. We have to come out and compete."
The U.S. trailed 45-39 at halftime. Fournier and Gobert each had 13 points in the half, with Fournier proving to be the more difficult matchup. Mitchell had 15 points for the U.S. France outscored the U.S. 12-6 at the free-throw line and held a 21-12 advantage on the boards.
In the third quarter, France held a 10-point lead twice, but Mitchell single-handedly kept the U.S. in the game by scoring 14 points. Smart hit three free throws to put the Americans up 63-62 with 1:40 left in the third quarter, their first lead since 29-27 with 6:03 left in the second. The U.S. took a 66-63 lead into the fourth quarter.
Walker, the Americans' leading scorer at 14.6 points per game but who battled foul trouble Thursday, made his first field goal with 8:11 left in the game, his stepback jumper giving the U.S. a 72-65 lead. It was just his third shot of the game.
The U.S. maintained its advantage at 74-67 on a Khris Middleton layup with 7:39 remaining. But France chipped away and finally tied the game 76-76 on Frank Ntilikina's 3-pointer with 4:35 left. Fournier added a go-ahead driving layup, Gobert had an emphatic slam and Ntilikina had a long jumper that made it 82-76 with 2:05 left. The U.S. was unable to sustain any offense the rest of the game.
"We knew it was going to be a (tough) game," said U.S. forward Jaylen Brown, who had nine points and four rebounds. "We just didn't do what needed to be done. At the end of the day, we came up short. France was better than us tonight unfortunately."
Gobert was a key factor in the game as he controlled the paint. He drew two early fouls on Myles Turner, negating much of the U.S. inside game. Still, the U.S. had opportunities it did not capitalize on.
"It really wasn't so much their size as it was our execution," Smart said. "We were really stagnant on the offensive end and with that being said, they hurt us on the defensive end. They moved us and we didn't do it on the other end. It bit us on the butt."
After starting 10-of-10 from the free-throw line, the Americans made just 4 of 11 tries, including several key misses that thwarted a rally.
"That hurt. That hurt bad man, just to miss those free throws," Walker said. "I really wanted to make those for my teammates. But sometimes that's just the way the ball goes. Very, very unfortunate. But now it's nothing I can control."
In World Cup, USA beats Brazil, reaches quarterfinals
September 9, 2019
The USA Basketball Men's National Team is, as expected, officially headed back to the 2020 Olympic Games to defend its gold medal.
How the Americans are getting there is a bit unusual.
Relying on a staunch defense and some good shooting, the U.S. stifled Brazil (3-2) 89-73 Monday at Shenzhen, China, to remain unbeaten at the FIBA World Cup and punch its ticket to next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo. Kemba Walker had 16 points and five assists while Myles Turner had 16 points and eight rebounds for the U.S.
"We're thrilled that we qualified for the Olympics," USA coach Gregg Popovich said. "With this new situation of qualifying, you don't want to have to do that every year. So it's a pretty big grind. Coach (Jeff) Van Gundy (who coached the USA through the World Cup Qualifying games) did that for us. He's done a hell of a job so not having to do that again is huge. We're thrilled that we've qualified."
By winning their 24th World Cup game in a row, the top-ranked and two-time defending champion Americans (5-0) earned a quarterfinal date against France (4-1) on Wednesday in Dongguan, China. The winner plays Argentina (5-0) or Serbia (4-1) in Friday's semifinals. The championship game is Sunday. The Americans have won 58 straight games in international tournaments with NBA players.
As the USA plays more together and in bigger games, the chemistry seems to be advancing.
"No question," Walker said. "We just need each other so bad. I think we're starting to realize that. These teams are so good and teams are so tough. It's just taking everybody and everything we got to win these games. The chemistry is coming along really well."
Jaylen Brown added 11 points, four rebounds and four assists, while Harrison Barnes had 10 points as the USA snagged one of the two automatic qualifying spots given to FIBA's Americas zone, with Argentina grabbing the other by also advancing to the quarters and Brazil losing.
"I think guys are excited for it," Barnes said of the knockout round. "This is what we came here for. This is what we (are) playing for this team for, these type of games, these type of moments."
The U.S. has displayed a superb defense in the World Cup. Entering Monday's game, the Americans had held their four opponents to 36 percent shooting and were coming off back-to-back games in which they allowed a combined 98 points. Brazil, with a bit more firepower and led by NBA players Anderson Varejao and Leandro Barbosa, shot 43.1 percent (28 of 65) against the U.S.
A quick start saw the U.S. grab a 14-7 lead, but Brazil climbed back into the game and trailed just 43-39 at halftime despite shooting 55 percent. The U.S. turned up the defense in the third quarter to take control of the game, leading 67-56 as Marcus Smart hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the period.
Brazil, the 12th-ranked team in the world, will need to find another road to Tokyo despite starting the World Cup 3-0. Combined with the Czech Republic's win over Greece on Monday, the Brazilians needed to beat the U.S. by at least 22 points in order to claim one of the two Americas Olympic qualifying berths.
"France has got a lot of talent top to bottom and they probably play the closest in similarity to us as any team that's in the tournament," U.S. guard Joe Harris said.
Brazil coach Aleksander Petrovic was ejected in the second quarter, picking up the second technical foul while arguing what he considered a missed foul call.
In World Cup, USA beats Greece, now 4-0
September 7, 2019
In its first game of second-round action, the U.S. (4-0) defense starred in a 69-53 win against Greece (2-2) in the 2019 FIBA World Cup on Saturday night at Shenzhen Bay Sports Center in Shenzhen, China.
The USA held Greece to 31.8 percent shooting from the field (21-66 FGs) and 2019 NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), who came into the game averaging 24.9 points through his first three World Cup games, to just 15 points.
A win versus Brazil (3-1) +) in the USA's last second-round game on Sept. 9 (8:30 a.m. EDT ESPN+) would clinch the USA's spot in the quarterfinals on Sept. 11.
"We played a very experienced team, really well coached, and one that was really physical and executes really well," said Gregg Popovich (USA and San Antonio Spurs head coach). "So, it was a good test for us and it helped us get better. And that's our goal, to try to get better in every one of these games.
"The defense is ahead of the offense, for sure, but that's expected with 12 guys who've never played with each other before," Popovich added. "It's pretty easy to figure out. Each day that we have, we work on our execution to get better and better, and these coaches will learn what's best for this group of guys."
Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics) had 15 points and six assists; Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz), playing on his birthday, finished with 10 points, five rebounds and three assists; and Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings) and Derrick White (San Antonio Spurs) each finished with nine points.
The USA outrebounded Greece 50-40, and Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics) was the USA's leading rebounder with nine boards to go with his eight points, while Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers) recorded eight points and seven boards.
"It was a very competitive game," Walker said. "Each individual on that team - so much respect for those guys. But, you know, we played well, and we had a great game plan, and it was a good win."
The first quarter saw three tied scores and three lead changes. The USA led 19-13 with 46.2 seconds left in the period, but Greece scored twice to end the quarter trailing 19-17 at the first break.
The USA gained some distance in the second quarter, in part by limiting Greece to 3-of-18 from the field (.167) and Giannis Antetokounmpo to just two points in the period.
Offensively, the USA in the second quarter took advantage of Greece entering the foul bonus early in the period and shot 8-of-9 from the free throw line. Turner helped the USA with six points in the second quarter, and the USA outscored Greece 19-8 in the period to lead 38-25 at halftime.
Greece scored the first five points of the third quarter to make it 38-30 at 8:17, but the USA responded and, helped by White scoring the USA's final seven points, outscored Greece 16-7 from that point on to lead 54-37 with one quarter remaining.
Greece twice cut the gap to 11 points in the fourth quarter and outscored the USA 16-15 in the period, but it was not enough to overcome the USA's advantage, which at the end of the game was 16 points, 69-53.
"Not too bad," Mitchell said. "First time ever playing on my birthday. It's awesome - to be able to get a win like this from all around play. We came in ready. We put a lot of pressure on them. Obviously, there were times when we made a few mistakes, but we bounced right back and got stops. We didn't shoot it too great, but that's where the defense that Pop (Popovich) has been talking about takes care of it. We got to be able to stay locked in and continue doing this throughout the rest of the tournament, not get too happy with just this one win."
Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics) did not play due to a sprained left ankle.
The USA's World Cup win streak now is at 23 games, and the U.S. has won 57 consecutive games in FIBA competitions dating back to the semifinals of the 2006 World Cup, when the USA lost to Greece.
In World Cup, USA easily beats Japan 98-45
September 5, 2019
Faced with a little adversity coming off a nail-biting win, the USA Basketball Men's World Cup Team showed enough mettle to overwhelm Japan on Thursday at the FIBA World Cup.
Behind Jaylen Brown's 20 points, the U.S. overcame injuries to two key players to drub Japan 98-45 at Shanghai.
Combined with wins over the Czech Republic (88-67) and Turkey (93-92 in overtime), the U.S. - ranked No. 1 in the world by FIBA - won Group E with a 3-0 record. The Americans, who have won a record 22-straight World Cup games, will face NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and Greece (2-1) on Saturday and Group F winner Brazil (3-0) on Monday in the second round in Shenzhen, China. Records from the first two rounds are combined to advance two teams from each group to the quarterfinals. The Czech Republic (2-1) also advanced from Group E after beating Turkey 91-76 Thursday.
"I think we're getting better with each outing, and that's our goal," U.S. head coach Gregg Popovich said. "We haven't been together very long, and I think our players are enjoying playing with each other and understanding that consistency is necessary and what we have to do as a team to be successful. In that regard, they were very serious tonight and they respected the Japanese team very much. They didn't take anything for granted. So I was pleased with their performance."
Kemba Walker added 15 points, Harrison Barnes 14 and Donovan Mitchell and Joe Harris each had 10 for the Americans, who limited Japan to single digits in the first and third quarters.
"Obviously, you play with a sense of urgency," Harris said of coming off the close game against Turkey. "Our game the other night against Turkey was just a realization that everybody can compete in this tournament. Then you watch their game today with Czech (Republic) beating them. FIBA - it's a one-and-done type tournament. It's similar to March Madness, where there's upsets all the time, teams are capable of knocking off one another. I think for us we came in with that sense of urgency regardless of who we are playing against. Could have been Japan, could have been Greece, could have been Brazil, whoever it is you have to have that respect and that appropriate fear for everyone that you play against."
Yudai Baba had 18 points for Japan, which is ranked 48th in the world but with an Olympic spot guaranteed as the host of next year's Olympics. Japan went 0-3 in the World Cup. Rui Hachimura, the 21-year-old who was the ninth overall pick in this summer's NBA Draft out of Gonzaga University by the Washington Wizards, was held to four points. Yuta Watanabe, who played in 15 games for the Memphis Grizzlies last season, had nine points.
In World Cup, USA edges Turkey by one point in overtime
September 3, 2019
In a hard fought game that needed extra minutes before it was decided, the USA (2-0) battled its way to a 93-92 overtime victory against Turkey (1-1) at the 2019 FIBA World Cup on Tuesday night at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, China.
The win ensured the USA will advance to the medal second round out of Group E.
The USA will wrap up first round play against Japan (0-2) at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Sept. 5 (available live on ESPN+).
Down 81-79 with 12.3 to go in regulation, Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics) secured an offensive rebound, and Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics) was fouled on a 3-point shot with 0.1 seconds. Tatum made 2-of-3 free throws to tie the game. Turkey did not get off a final shot in regulation on the inbound with 0.1 seconds, and the game went into overtime.
Turkey scored first in overtime, and then each side hit back-to-back 3s, and the score was 89-87 Turkey with 2:52 to play. Walker tied the game, and Tatum stole the ball and scored to put the USA ahead 91-89 with 1:58 to go.
Turkey's Cedi Osman converted a three-point play to push Turkey ahead 92-91 with 50.1 seconds, and the USA's put-back on the next possession was waved off for basket interference. Turkey was called for an offensive foul on its next possession, and the USA got the ball in the front court with 14.6 to play after a timeout. But, Turkey stole the ball, and the USA was forced to foul with 9.0 left. Turkey's Dogue Balbay missed both free throws but got the ball back as the foul was called as unsportsmanlike.
The USA again fouled, and Osman missed both of his free throw attempts. Tatum secured the rebound, drove the floor and found Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks), who was fouled on his attempt and made both free throws to give the USA the 93-92 lead.
Turkey called a timeout to advance the ball past half court with 2.1 seconds and missed a well defended final 3-point attempt.
"It was a heck of a game," said Gregg Popovich (USA and San Antonio Spurs head coach). "As we all know, it was anybody's game. We will accept the win, but it was anybody's to win. The team that we played tonight again showed its experience and the improvement we have to make execution-wise. We're not there yet. We're still trying to get better at that. But, playing a fine team like that gives us another good example of how we can be when everybody knows what they're supposed to be doing on the court. So, I give them a lot of praise for what I saw."
Middleton had 15 points in the game; Walker tallied 14 points and seven assists; Tatum finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds; Joe Harris (Brooklyn Nets) added 11 points; Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers) record 11 points and nine rebounds; and Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings) added 10 points and six rebounds.
"I think it's going to give us confidence," Middleton said of the win. "Guys made big plays down the stretch, as far as the dirty extra plays, grabbing a rebound, getting a steal, a box out , whatever. Coming up with the ball and making a play down the end. I think that definitely gives us confidence knowing that we didn't play up to our expectations to some point."
The USA led 10-2 to start the game, but Turkey closed the period by outscoring the USA 13-10 to cut the lead to 26-21 at the first quarter break.
After scores from both sides to start the second quarter, the USA put together an 8-0 run and took its largest lead of the game 41-26. Turkey responded with 12 unanswered points, including a four-point play, and the score was 41-38 with 2:46 before the half. After a 3-pointer from Barnes and points from Middleton and Walker, the USA lead was 47-42 at halftime.
Turner had 11 points and seven rebounds for the USA at the midway point, while Turkey's Ersan Ilyasova, who finished with 23 points, had 15 of those by halftime.
The third quarter saw Turkey come within one point, 53-52 at 4:47 after a 6-0 run. The USA ended the streak, but the margin was still one point, 62-61, with 4.2 seconds on the clock. The USA inbounded the ball, and Walker pulled up and sank a deep 3 to beat the buzzer and make it 65-61 with 10 minutes remaining.
Turkey tied the game at 71-all with a 3-pointer at 6:00 in the fourth quarter, but Walker sank a free throw and Harris stole the ball and scored to put the USA on top 74-71. Turkey sank a 3 out of its time out, which Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz) answered to make it 77-74 in the USA's favor. After going up 79-74 following a score from Middleton, Turkey sank a 3 and scored twice to take its first lead of the game 81-79 with 12.3 seconds. That is when Tatum's free throws put the game into overtime.
"Being together, spending this much time together really showed tonight," Walker said. "We didn't give up on any possession. We didn't give up on each other. We stayed together and came out with a huge win. That was an unbelievable game to be a part of. Like I said, I couldn't be more happy that we are the ones that came out on the winning end."
The red, white and blue shot just 35.1% from the field (27-77 FGs) but was 25-of-32 from the free throw line (.781) and won the rebounding battle 51-46, including scoring 18 second-chance points.
Following three first round games for each team, the top two teams from each group advance to medal second round groups and will play two more games. The top two teams from each of the four medal second round groups earn a berth into the quarterfinals on Sept. 10 or 11.
Also today in the USA's Group E, Czech Republic (1-1) beat Japan 89-76.
In Group F, New Zealand (1-1) topped Montenegro (0-2) 93-83; and Brazil (2-0) edged out Greece (1-1) 79-78. In Group G, Dominican Republic (2-0) defeated Germany (0-2) 70-68; and France (2-0) earned a 103-64 win over Jordan (0-2). And, in Group H, Australia (2-0) won against Senegal (0-2) 81-68; and Lithuania (2-0) beat Canada (0-2) 92-69.
Teams who tonight secured berths into the medal second round in addition to the USA include: Australia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, France and Lithuania.
Among Groups A, B, C and D, which play their final first round games on Sept. 4, already advanced to the medal second round regardless of those results are: Argentina, Italy, Poland, Russia, Serbia and Spain.
The USA's assistant coaches are Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce and Villanova University head coach Jay Wright.
USA Begins 2019 World Cup with 88-67 Win Over Czech Republic
September 1, 2019
With a balanced scoring attack and a strong defensive effort, the USA Men (1-0) earned an 88-67 win over Czech Republic (0-1) to open play in the 2019 FIBA World Cup on Sunday night at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, China.
Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz) led the USA with 16 points; Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings) scored 14 points; Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics) tallied 13 points and four assists; and Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics) had 10 points.
The USA converted 15 Czech Republic turnovers into 22 points, and the Americans committed just seven turnovers for the game.
"It was a very competitive game, physical, opportunity to learn a lot," said Gregg Popovich (USA and San Antonio Spurs head coach). "The game is a little bit different, obviously from the NBA. A lot of great teams and just an opportunity to get better. That's the way we look at each of these games, to try and be the best team we can be, and we've got a ways to go, but we're willing."
The first quarter saw both teams make runs. The USA jumped out to a 5-0 lead and was up 7-2 before Czech put together nine unanswered points to go ahead 11-7 at 5:17. From there, the USA put together a 10-0 stretch of its own, and with Czech sinking a 3-pointer for the final points of the period, the USA led 17-14. Eleven U.S. players saw minutes in the first quarter, and six put points on the board.
"Similar to what coach said, we've got to give credit to them for starters," said Mitchell. "They're very competitive. They executed really well, and that's kind of what we kind of expected coming into this tournament - teams to be really connected and chemistry to be at a high level. But, we did a lot of good things. We guarded it well. We have a lot that we can definitely work on, but it was definitely a good start to the tournament."
The USA came out in full force to start the second period, and the quarter essentially was the difference in the game. With points from six athletes outscored Czech 15-4 to lead 32-18 when Czech called a timeout at 5:50. The teams went back and forth, each scoring 11 more points, and the USA led 43-29 at halftime.
At the midway point, Tatum had 10 points, and the USA was 50.0% percent from the field (18-36 FGs). The Czech was shooting just 35.3% from the field (12-34 FGs) but had a 21-18 rebounding edge on the USA.
"I thought defensively, we were great," Walker said. "Whenever we slowed down our pace, we were much better. Overall, I think we played really well. We played together. We played for each other. That's what is most important."
The USA outscored Czech 23-19 in the third quarter to lead 66-48 with 10 minutes to play. Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks) added five of those points in the third quarter, and overall, the USA's bench accounted for 31 points.
In the fourth, the USA put up 22 points to Czech's 19 to bring the game to its 88-67 final.
Official Team USA Roster for 2019 FIBA World Cup
August 24, 2019
The 12-man USA Men's World Cup Team roster was finalized Saturday after it was determined that Kyle Kuzma's (Los Angeles Lakers) left ankle injury would prevent him from participating in the upcoming competition.
The official 2019 USA World Cup Team includes 2016 Olympic gold medalist Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings); Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics); Joe Harris (Brooklyn Nets); Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks); Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks); Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz); 2014 World Cup gold medalist Mason Plumlee (Denver Nuggets), Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics); Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics); Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers); Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics); and Derrick White (San Antonio Spurs).
The USA Basketball World Cup Team coaching staff features USA and San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, and USA assistant coaches and Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce and Villanova University head coach Jay Wright.
The American squad will continue World Cup preparations Aug. 25-28 in Sydney, Australia, including training Aug. 25, 27 and 28, and a final exhibition on Aug. 26 against Canada at Qudos Bank Arena. For game ticket information visit usab.com/mnttickets.
In exhibition game, Team USA loses to Australia, 98-94
August 24, 2019
The USA Basketball's Men's National Team knew it wasn't going to be a cakewalk as it pursued a third straight FIBA World Cup championship.
Against host Australia, which was buoyed by a thunderous crowd, the Americans found out their path will indeed be treacherous.
With Patty Mills - who plays for U.S. head coach Gregg Popovich with the NBA's San Antonio Spurs - scoring his team's final 10 points, Australia knocked off the U.S. 98-94 Saturday before 52,079 spectators at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. The U.S. beat Australia 102-86 two days earlier.
Mills finished with a game-high 30 points, including two clinching free throws with 11 seconds remaining. It was the first victory for Australia - ranked 11th by FIBA - over the U.S., which had won 78 straight in major international tournaments and exhibitions entering Saturday's game.
"The Aussies gave us a great lesson as far as where we have to be and how we have to play in this kind of competition," Popovich said. "So we'll get used to that and hopefully learn."
USA captain Kemba Walker came off the bench to score 22 points to lead the Americans, while Harrison Barnes had 20 points and six assists. Donovan Mitchell was the only other U.S. player to reach double figures with 12 points.
For Australia, Andrew Bogut had 16 points and nine rebounds, while Joe Ingles had 15 points and seven assists and Aron Baynes had 13 points. Mills, Bogut, Ingles and Baynes are among a half-dozen NBA players on the Boomers' roster.
"Just watch tape and get more comfortable with our system," Barnes said of what the U.S. needs to work on. "I think when you look at international play, every team that has been here for a long time but they kind of have their calling card on what they fall back into the system, sets. For us, we're still getting to that point, we have some comfortability with it but it's just continuing to be better at that."
Following the game, the U.S. traveled to Sydney, where it will practice Sunday and play its final exhibition game before the World Cup. The U.S. will face Canada, ranked 23rd in the world by FIBA, on Monday. The Americans will have one more practice in Sydney before heading to China for the World Cup. The U.S., which currently has 13 active players, must make one more roster cut before the World Cup.
"The loss means that we need to play better," Popovich said. "It's a measure of who you are. Nobody wins forever. This is a group of guys that's worked very hard, like I said, to get to know each other and get to know a system. And whatever comes, we can handle. Our job is to try to get better every day. We learned some things tonight. We're actually a better team now than at the start of the game because of the knowledge from the game, so now we move on."
The U.S. faces the Czech Republic to open the World Cup on Sept. 1 in Shanghai. Japan and Turkey are also in Group E. The U.S. needs to finish in the top seven to qualify for next year's Olympic Games.
After clinging to a 49-48 lead at halftime, the Americans extended their advantage to 68-58 before the Aussies dug in. While acknowledging the Americans have pieces of their game to work on, Popovich credited the Aussies for playing an inspired game and earning a split of the two-game exhibition series.
"It's really a testament to how long they stuck together to get this accomplished tonight," Popovich said. "So, I'm going to give them credit at both ends of the court. They executed really well and they came up with the victory."
Guard Marcus Smart, who had not played in either of the previous two exhibitions due to a calf injury, started for the U.S. The Boston Celtics star played nine minutes, 12 seconds and scored seven points, while grabbing one rebound and handing out three assists.
INITIAL 2019 TEAM USA TRAINING CAMP ROSTER
June 10, 2019
USA Basketball Chairman and National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo has announced the 20 NBA players, including six new additions to the national men's roster, who will attend USA Basketball's August 5-9 Men's National Team training camp.
This is in preparation for the 2019 World Cup basketball tournament.
USA Basketball's World Cup training camp will take place in Las Vegas.
2019 USA NATIONAL TEAM MEMBERS
Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)
Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)
Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers)
Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
Eric Gordon (Houston Rockets)
Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings)
James Harden (Houston Rockets)
Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets)
Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks)
Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors)
Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers)
Tobias Harris (Philadelphia 76ers)
NEW ADDITIONS TO THE 2019-20 ROSTER AND TRAINING CAMP
Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks)
Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz)
Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
Kyle Kuzma (Los Angeles Lakers)
P.J. Tucker (Houston Rockets).
Paul Millsap (Denver Nuggets)
Barnes (2016), Davis (2012), Harden (2012), Love (2012) and Lowry (2016) have each captured past Olympic gold.
Davis, Drummond and Harden were members of the gold medal 2014 USA World Cup Team.
Gordon and Love were members of the gold medal 2010 USA World Cup Team.
The 2018-20 USA Basketball National Team coaching staff features USA and San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. Serving as USA assistant coaches are Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce and Villanova University head coach Jay Wright.
"We're pleased with the players who will be attending the 2019 USA Basketball National Team Training Camp, and we feel we will be able to select a strong team for the 2019 FIBA World Cup," said Colangelo. "The majority of these players possess prior USA Basketball experience, and we know all of them are committed to representing their country and doing so in the manner expected by USA Basketball."
Colangelo: "Like past national team training camps, this group too possesses outstanding individual talents, while also boasting of excellent versatility and athleticism. We've been watching a lot of players during the NBA season and the six players who we've added to the National Team roster we feel are deserving of being part of our national team program."
"I am excited about getting to training camp in August and working with all of the players that have been selected to attend the USA National Team training camp in Las Vegas," said Popovich. "We've got an excellent cross-section of veteran USA Basketball and NBA players, as well as some exciting younger players who possess amazing versatility.
"I'm appreciative of commitment that our National Team players continue to make, and the eagerness of the new players to become involved. Selecting a 12-man team will be extremely difficult. But I look forward to working with all of the players, representing the United States and doing so in a manner that all Americans will hopefully rally behind."
Since the formation of USA Basketball's National Team program in 2006 by Colangelo, USA national teams have compiled a spectacular 88-1 overall record (FIBA competitions and exhibition games) and claimed top honors in six of seven FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions (through 2016 Olympics).
2019 USA Basketball Men's National Team Notes
June 10, 2019
• Eighteen of the 20 players boast of prior USA Basketball experience, and the group includes five players who are U.S. Olympic gold medalists and five players have won FIBA World Cup gold. Only Kuzma and Mitchell lack prior USA Basketball experience.
• Barnes (2016), Davis (2012), Harden (2012), Love (2012) and Lowry (2016) have captured Olympic gold, while Davis, Drummond and Harden were part of the gold medalist 2014 USA World Cup Team and Gordon and Love were members of the gold medalist 2010 USA World Cup Team.
• The 20 NBA players represent 16 NBA teams, with Houston featuring three players (Gordon, Harden and Tucker), while Milwaukee (Lopez and Middleton) and Portland (Lillard and McCollum) have two players each.
• All 20 players attended at least one year of college before entering the NBA.
• Seven players were selected as 2019 NBA All-Stars (Beal, Davis, Harden, Lillard, Lowry, Middleton and Walker). All told, 11 players have been selected as an NBA All-Star a total of 40 times during their careers.
• Harden was named 2018-19 All-NBA first team, Lillard was a second team selection, and Walker was named All-NBA third team.
• The 2019 USA National Team roster includes 11 of the NBA's top 50 scorers in 2018-19 regular season - Harden (1st-36.1 ppg.); Davis (10th- 25.9 ppg.); Lillard (11th- 25.8 ppg.); Beal (tied 12th- 25.6 ppg.); Walker (tied 12th- 25.6 ppg.); Mitchell (tied 16th- 23.8 ppg.); McCollum (28th- 21.0 ppg.); Harris (tied 32nd- 20.0 ppg.); Kuzma (tied 37th- 18.7 ppg.); Middleton (39th- 18.3 ppg.); and Drummond (tied 45th- 17.3 ppg.).
2019 TEAM USA BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Following the Las Vegas camp, which concludes with a USA Blue versus USA White exhibition game on Aug. 9 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the selected team finalists will take a short break and will reassemble in Los Angeles and train Aug. 13-15, then play an exhibition contest versus Spain at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Aug. 16.
The official, 12-member roster for the 2019 USA Basketball Men's World Cup Team will be announced on Aug. 17.
The American squad will continue its World Cup preparations Aug. 19-24 in Melbourne, Australia, and play a pair of exhibition games versus Australia on Aug. 22 and Aug. 24 at Marvel Stadium.
The USA will complete its pre-World Cup tour Aug. 25-28 in Sydney, Australia.
Slated to conduct training Aug. 25, 27 and 28, the U.S. will close out its exhibition tour on Aug. 26 facing Canada at Qudos Bank Arena.
2019 FIBA WORLD CUP INFO
June 10, 2019
The 32-team 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup competition will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China. Eight cities will host World Cup games - Beijing, Foshan, Wuhan, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Nanjing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
The United States, two-time defending World Cup champion and FIBA's No. 1 world ranked team, was drawn into Group E and will play its first-round games in Shanghai. Also drawn into Group E were Czech Republic, Japan and Turkey. The USA will play Czech Republic on Sept. 1, Turkey on Sept. 3 and Japan on Sept. 5 (full 2019 FIBA World Cup schedule).
Following competition of the round-robin first round games, the top two finishing teams from each group will qualify for the second round, while the bottom two teams from each group will play the classification round for places 17-32. Second round games are scheduled to be held Sept. 6-9 and the results of the three games from the first round carry over to the second-round standings.
The second round will feature four groups - Group I will consist of A1, A2, B1 and B2; Group J will feature C1, C2, D1 and D2; Group K will consist of E1, E2, F1 and F2; and Group L will include G1, G2, H1 and H2. Second round play will be held in Foshan, Nanjing, Shenzhen and Wuhan.
The top two finishing teams from each second-round group will qualify for the quarterfinals, and the bottom two teams from each second-round group are eliminated and ranked in places 9-16 according to the Official Basketball Rules. The quarterfinals action will be held in Dongguan and Shanghai on Sept. 10-11.
Semifinals and the gold and bronze medal game are slated to be held in Beijing on Sept. 13 and Sept. 15, respectively.
The USA men have participated in 17 FIBA World Cups and have collected 12 medals - five gold medals (1954, 1986, 1994, 2010 and 2014), three silver medals (1950, 1959 and 1982) and four bronze medals (1974, 1990, 1998 and 2006). USA Men's World Cup teams own an overall record of 123-27.
Results from the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 will qualify seven nations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The top two finishing teams in the World Cup from the Americas and Europe zones will earn qualifying places in the 2020 Olympics, as will the top finisher from Africa, Asia and Oceania. Additionally, Olympic host Japan automatically qualified, and the final four nations will qualify through four FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments that will be held in 2020 in advance of the Olympics.
OLDER USA BASKETBALL NEWS
July 5, 2017 -- Former NBA head coach Jeff Van Gundy has been selected head coach of the USA Basketball men's national teams that will compete in the FIBA AmeriCup 2017 (formerly known as the FIBA Americas Championship) and the FIBA World Cup Qualifying games. Additionally, current NBA G League Northern Arizona Suns head mentor Ty Ellis and veteran international coach Mo McHone were named assistant coaches for the USA AmericCup Team.
"USA Basketball is excited and appreciative that coach Van Gundy is willing to undertake this challenge and help lead the United States in these competitions," said Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball Men's National Team managing director. "Qualifying for the 2019 FIBA World Cup is the first step in our attempt to repeat as gold medalist, and we're delighted that we were able to secure a coach of Jeff's caliber to lead these USA teams."
Van Gundy will lead USA teams at the August 25-Sept. 3 FIBA AmeriCup 2017 and in the first four windows between November 2017 and September 2018 of the FIBA World Cup Qualifying games.
USA assistant coaches for the World Cup Qualifying games will be announced at a later date.
Players selected to represent the USA in the FIBA AmeriCup 2017 and the World Cup Qualifying games are expected to primarily be from the NBA G League.
"I'm absolutely honored and humbled to be able to represent my country and USA Basketball in this summer's AmeriCup and the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers," said Van Gundy. "I have a lot to learn about FIBA basketball and our competition and I can't wait to get started. I want to thank Jerry Colangelo, Gregg Popovich and ESPN for allowing me this opportunity."
Van Gundy boasts of 18 seasons of NBA coaching experience, including 11 seasons as head coach of the New York Knicks (1996-2001) and Houston Rockets (2003-07). As an NBA head coach, he compiled an overall record of 430-318 (.575 winning percentage) and guided teams to nine NBA playoff appearances and one NBA Finals in 1999.
He also spent six-and-a-half seasons (1989-90 through 1995-96) as a New York Knicks assistant and during that span, the Knicks won three Atlantic Division titles, never finished lower than third in the division and qualified for the NBA playoffs every year. Van Gundy joined ESPN in 2007 as an NBA analyst and has called 11 NBA Finals, the most Finals ever for a TV game analyst.
"I want to thank my wife and family for their support, and everyone involved for this wonderful opportunity," said Ellis. "I feel truly blessed and honored to be a part of USA Basketball. Since the 1992 Dream Team, it has been my lifelong dream to be a part of USA Basketball and now, that dream has come true. I'm extremely fortunate to have an opportunity to learn from Coach Van Gundy and Coach Mo. I had a chance to experience Coach Van Gundy's coaching early in my playing career and I always admired his knowledge, honesty, and attention to detail. Now I have a chance to be his assistant coach and be a part of USA Basketball. I'm living the dream!"
An NBA G League coaching veteran, Ellis brings experience not only as a coach at the professional level, but as a player. Currently the head coach of the Northern Arizona Sun, the Phoenix Suns NBA G League affiliate, Ellis served as an assistant coach with the Tulsa 66ers, Reno Bighorns, Grand Rapids Drive and the Bakersfield Jam. Playing four seasons collegiately at NAIA Southern Nazarene University, Ellis played professional basketball for the Huntsville Flight and played in Germany, Turkey, Italy and Spain. He also had Summer League stints with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks.
"I am extremely happy and honored to be representing USA Basketball again and also to be working for one of the most successful coaches of all time in Jeff Van Gundy along with an up and coming young coach in Ty Ellis makes it that much more exciting. I am sure these G-League players will represent the USA honorably," said McHone.
McHone boasts of coaching experience in the NBA, NBA G League and Continental Basketball Association (CBA). He has also served as head coach of three USA Basketball teams that compiled a 16-8 overall record and won gold at the 1997 Tournament of the Americas, silver at the 1999 Pan American Games and finished fourth at the 2005 FIBA America Championship to earn the USA a qualifying berth into the 2006 FIBA World Championship.
McHone won back-to-back CBA championships with different teams, leading the Yakima Sun Kings in 1995 and the Sioux Falls Skyforce in 1996 to CBA titles. He also served as head coach with the San Antonio Spurs for 31 games (11-20) in 1983-84 and was an assistant coach for San Antonio, Cleveland, Los Angeles Clippers and Detroit.
FIBA AmeriCup 2017 Basketball Info
The FIBA AmeriCup 2017 will feature 12 nations from North America, Central America, the Caribbean and South America.
The USA men were drawn into preliminary round Group C and will play August 28-30 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Also in Group C are host Uruguay, as well as Dominican Republic and Panama.
Group A will play August 25-27 in Medellín, Colombia, and includes the host country Colombia, as well as Brazil, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Group B, the AmeriCup's third and final preliminary round group, will compete August 27-29 in Bahía Blanca, Argentina, and will consist of host country Argentina, as well as Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands and Venezuela.
The AmeriCup preliminary round group play will see each team play a round-robin format versus the other three nations in their group. Final-round host Argentina and the top finishing teams from Group A, Group B and Group C will advance to the semifinals. Semifinals and finals action will be played Sept. 2-3 in Córdoba, Argentina.
2017-18 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers
Featuring 16 national teams from North America, Central America, the Caribbean and South America, the FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournament for the Americas zone features four preliminary round groups, each group consists of four teams.
The USA was drawn into Group C, and is joined by Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Group A consists of Argentina, Paraguay, Panama and Uruguay; Group B is made up by Chile, Colombia, Venezuela and one team to be announced; Group D consist of Canada, Bahamas, Dominican Republic and U.S. Virgin Islands.
Under FIBA's new competition format, the next FIBA Basketball World Cup will be played in 2019 and then held every four years. A total of 80 national teams from FIBA's four regions of Africa, Americas, Asia (which now includes Oceania) and Europe will compete in the FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers over 15 months looking to earn a qualifying berth in the 32-team FIBA World Cup competition that will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China. The 32 qualifying teams will be divided into eight preliminary groups consisting of four teams each. All told, 92 World Cup games will be played over 16 days.
FIBA's new competition and qualifying system starts in November 2017 and under the new qualifying process, national teams in each FIBA zone were drawn into four-team preliminary round groups and will play home and away games within their zone to qualify for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 and the FIBA Continental Cups 2021.
Two games per window will be played and a total of six windows will be held to qualify teams for the 2019 World Cup. Each competition window is nine days and features two games for each team. The first-round competition windows dates are: Nov, 20-28, 2017; Feb. 19-27, 2018; and June 25-July 3, 2018; while the second-round dates are set for August 30-Sept. 8, 2018; Nov. 26-Dec. 4, 2018; and Feb. 18-26, 2019.
Each FIBA zone will qualify a set number of teams for the 2019 World Cup based on their finish in the qualifiers. The top five finishing teams in Africa; the top seven placing teams in the Americas, the top seven finishing teams plus host China in the Asia zone; and the top 12 finishing teams from Europe will qualify for the 2019 World Cup.
The United States is scheduled to open play facing Puerto Rico in Puerto Rico on Nov. 23, 2017, and the USA will host Mexico on Nov. 26, 2017. The second preliminary round window features the USA playing home games against Cuba on Feb. 23, 2018, and versus Puerto Rico on Feb. 26, 2018. The third and final preliminary round window sees the USA play on the road versus Mexico on June 28, 2018, and against Cuba on July 1, 2018.
2016 Team USA Basketball Roster
Guards: Kyrie Irving, Kyle Lowry, Klay Thompson, DeMar DeRozan, Jimmy Butler
Forwards: Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes
Centers: DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan
2016 USA Olympic BBall Schedule
2016 Olympics Group Stage (All Times ET)
Sat, Aug. 6: USA 119, China 62
Mon, Aug. 8: USA 113, Venezuela 69
Wed, Aug. 10: USA 98, Australia 88
Fri, Aug. 12: USA 94, Serbia 91
Sun, Aug. 14: USA 100, France 97
Wed, Aug. 17: USA 105, Argentina 78 (Quarterfinals)
Fri, Aug. 19: USA 82, Spain 76 (Semifinals)
Sun, Aug. 21: USA 96, Serbia 66 (Gold medal game)
2016 USA Basketball Showcase
(pre-Olympic exhibition games)
July 22 in Las Vegas: USA 111, Argentina 74
July 24 in Los Angeles: USA 106, China 57
July 26 in Oakland: USA 107, China 57
July 29 in Chicago: USA 80, Venezuela 45
Aug. 1 in Houston: USA 110, Nigeria 66
USA BASKETBALL GAME RECAPS
In Gold medal game, USA beats Serbia 96-66
August 21, 2016
Led by 30 points and four assists from two-time Olympic gold medalist Kevin Durant and dominating on both ends of the court to outscore Serbia (4-4) 33-14 in the second quarter, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team (8-0) claimed a third straight Olympic gold medal on Sunday afternoon at Carioca Arena 1 in Rio de Janeiro.
The USA now has a 25-game Olympic win streak and a 53-game win streak in major competition, including Olympic, FIBA World Cup and FIBA Americas games.
Spain (5-3) edged out Australia (5-3) 89-88 for the bronze medal.
"This team kept getting better and even those three games in pool play, we had not played that type of game against that type of level," said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "We said it was a learning experience and our guys did learn. We put it to good practice. We kept getting better even though it didn't necessarily reflect in the differential in the score, but we were getting better and more knowledgeable. That's where I commend the leadership of our veterans for keeping us on course for that."
Leading by four-points at the end of the first quarter, the USA blew the game open in the second period. The Americans finished with a 54-33 rebounding advantage and got a 13-point, 15-rebound double-double from DeMarcus Cousins.
"It was just an amazing time," Durant said. "We got together July 17, and we all set our minds on wearing one of these gold medals. That was our main focus - Carmelo (Anthony) being our leader and me kind of following up."
The game started off with four tied scores and five lead changes. The USA fell behind 14-11in the first quarter after Serbia made a free throw at 3:12, but the USA closed with a 7-1 stretch that included a 3 from Durant, and the USA headed into the second period with a 19-15 advantage.
Paul George started off the second quarter for the USA with a steal and slam dunk, which was followed by four free throws from Cousins, and the USA led 25-17 1:46 into the second. Serbia scored to end the streak, but the USA was not slowed. Durant went on to sink four 3-pointers to lead a U.S. charge that outscored Serbia 33-14 in the quarter to lead 52-29 at halftime.
"It was tough," Cousins said of the tournament. "I think individually everybody hit some type of adversity. We found a way to overcome it. That's what it's about. Winning is not easy. We found a way to do it, and now we can celebrate as a team."
The U.S. defense in the second quarter held Serbia to 31.6 percent from the field (6-19), while it shot 55.6 percent (10-18). By halftime, the USA had a 31-16 rebounding advantage. Cousins already had 11 points and 12 rebounds and Durant had scored 24 points, including five 3-pointers.
Carmelo Anthony, the first four-time Olympian and first three-time Olympic gold medalist in U.S. men's basketballhistory, started off the second half with a 3-pointer and went on to score seven points in the quarter, while six other U.S. players added points to help the USA take a 79-43 lead into the fourth period.
"Nothing was ever guaranteed, but I never second guessed the work we put in to get to this point," Anthony said. "I believed so much in the guy that is alongside me (Durant), the coaching staff, the guys that were with us day in and day out, putting us in a position to win another gold medal. I never doubted that. Of course, it wasn't as easy as we would have liked. This journey that we had here in Rio, starting in Vegas, you can't ask for nothing more than that."
Three times in the fourth quarter the USA pushed the margin to as many as 41 points, but Serbia outscored the USA 23-17 overall in the period to bring the game to its 96-66 final score.
All 12 U.S. players scored, Klay Thompson added 12 points and Kyrie Irving dished out four assists.
The USA held Serbia to 38.2 percent from the field (26-68 FGs), turned 18 Serbian turnovers into 26 points and recorded 30 fast break points.
Overall in the tournament, the USA beat teams by an average of 22.5 points per game.
"It's extremely special," Thompson said. "We had one mission. We sought out to get a gold, and we did it. It's worth every minute of sacrificing your summer for it. It would be an honor to do it again, but it's something I'll cherish for the rest of my life."
In semifinals, USA beats Spain 82-76
August 19, 2016
The 2016 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team (7-0) led the entire 40 minutes and fought its way to an 82-76 win over Spain (4-3) to advance to the gold medal game of the 2016 Olympic Games on Friday afternoon at Carioca Arena 1 in Rio de Janeiro. The win extended the U.S. men's Olympic win streak to 24-games.
The U.S. defeated Spain in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medal games, but in 2016 it will face the winner of tonight's semifinal between Australia (5-1) and Serbia (4-2), which will be played at 6 p.m. (EDT). Spain and the loser of Australia-Serbia will meet in the bronze medal game at 10:30 a.m. (EDT) on Aug. 21.
Klay Thompson led the USA with 22 points and three assists, while DeAndre Jordan collected a U.S. men's Olympic record-tying 16 rebounds to go with nine points and four blocked shots.
While the USA never trailed in the contest, it also never had complete control of the game. The Americans were helped to the win by a 53-41 rebounding advantage that led to 25 second-chance points and a defensive effort that held Spain to 38.9 percent from the field (28-72 FGs) and 30.8 percent from 3-point (8-26 3pt FGs).
"We knew when we first started training camp that there was a great, great chance that we were going to play Spain at some point," said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "We've had some great, great games against Spain, some unbelievably competitive games. We expected the same today, and we got it. It was a different type of a game. It was a very hard game and both teams had to ... it wasn't easy flowing, and both teams had to make big plays. I thought our guys did that a little bit more than they did, and that's why we won."
Eight U.S. players scored in the first quarter, led by seven points from Kevin Durant, who finished with 14 points. The USA was helped by a 16-6 rebounding advantage in the first 10 minutes and took a 26-17 lead at the end of the first period.
The USA went ahead by 10 points early in the second, but Spain mounted a 7-0 run to cut it to three points, 33-30 when the USA called a timeout with 3:40 remaining. Thompson scored the USA's next three points to push the lead to 36-30, and the teams traded baskets from there to head to the halftime locker room with the USA leading 45-39. Thompson heated up in the second quarter to score 12 points.
The tightly contested game saw six technical fouls called in the second quarter, including on Spain's bench, coach Sergio Scariolo, Felipe Reyes and the fourth foul on Nikola Mirotic. For the U.S., Paul George and Durant earned technical fouls.
"(Spain is) such a tough team, and they have so many great players, and guys who've been together for years, experienced players internationally and in our league back home" Jordan said.
"But tonight was great. I think everybody contributed as much as they really could. It was an up and down, funny game, but ultimately we came out and we got stops when we needed to get stops, we converted on the offensive end when we needed to get a bucket. We just have to continue to do the same thing on Sunday, and we'll be fine."
The USA worked its way back to a double-digit lead after a three-point play from Carmelo Anthony to make it 53-43 after 3:40 played in the second half, but each time the USA seemed to pull away, Spain responded.
Spain narrowed the score to five points with a 3 at 5:31, before the USA outscored Spain 8-2 to lead 61-50 when Jordan slammed home an offensive rebound with 3:44 on the clock. Spain narrowly outscored the USA 7-5 in the last few minutes of the third quarter, and the USA led 66-57 entering the fourth period.
"We wanted them to take tough 2s, we wanted them to shoot the ball being uncomfortable with a hand in their face," Anthony said. "No uncontested shots. We did that. We stayed home on the 3s. They penetrated, we wanted DeAndre to kind of clean that up. He did a hell of a job doing that for us."
The USA created some breathing room with scores from Kyrie Irving, George and Kyle Lowry to start off the fourth with a 6-0 stretch that gave the USA its largest lead of the game, 15 points (72-57) with 7:27 left. Spain cut the margin back to 10 points, but Thompson and Irving sank 3-pointers, and the U.S. lead was 78-65 with 4:23 remaining. Spain closed the game by outscoring the USA 11-4, but the surge was too little too late, and the USA held on for an 82-76 victory.
Irving added 13 points and five rebounds.
Spain's Pau Gasol was the game's leading scorer with 23 points.
"When the stakes are the highest is when we all play the best, and there won't be any higher (stakes) than on Sunday," Thompson said of the gold medal game. "Expect a great effort from all of us."
The U.S. men now boast of a 137-5 all-time record in Olympic play and have won a medal in 14 of the 17 Olympic men's basketball competitions in which they have competed.
In quarterfinals, USA beats Argentina 105-78
August 17, 2016
After a first-quarter fight, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team (6-0) shut down Argentina (3-3) to record an impressive 105-78 quarterfinal win on Friday night at Carioca Arena 1 in Rio de Janeiro.
The USA will meet Spain (4-2) in the semifinals at 2:30 p.m. (EDT) on Aug. 19. Spain advanced after defeating France (3-3) 92-67. The other semifinal will feature Australia (5-1), which beat Lithuania (3-3) 90-64, taking on the winner of tonight's 9 :15 p.m. (EDT) quarterfinal between Croatia (3-2) and Serbia (3-2). The semifinal winners will meet in the gold medal game at 2:45 (EDT) on Aug. 21, and the losers will play in the bronze medal game at 10:30 a.m. (EDT).
Kevin Durant, who scored 13 of the USA's 25 first-quarter points, led the way with 27 points, including 7-of-9 shooting from 3-point, while adding seven rebounds and six assists.
"The last three games of pool play were very beneficial to us, because we played three outstanding teams. They showed some weaknesses that we have, and we tried to get better. The only way to get better is by playing these tough games," said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
"I would say we were just better tonight and more who we can be. The effort defensively was outstanding tonight. We really played hard, and that was great to see. Like Kevin said, the passion and energy was terrific."
The game started with Argentina sprinting out to a 19-9 lead following a made 3 with 4:00 on the clock.
From there, however, the USA saw a jumper from Klay Thompson and a steal and assist from Paul George to Durant for a 3-pointer change the game's momentum. Those five points were the start of a game-changing 27-2 run that stretched into the second quarter and left the USA leading 36-21 with 8:16 on the clock in the second.
With three 3-pointers in the first quarter, Durant helped lead the turnaround, as did George with two big steals and DeMarcus Cousins, who had six of his 15 points in the first 10 minutes.
"We came out tonight and executed the game plan," Durant said. "The only thing we really changed was our passion and our energy to the game. Everybody was locked in from the bench to the coaches to the guys on the floor. We were all one unit tonight. We're going to need that going forward."
Argentina ended the U.S. run in the second quarter with two three-point plays, but that only served to temporarily slow the USA, which reeled off 13 unanswered points to move ahead 49-27 with 3:39 before halftime.
Argentina outscored the USA 13-6 to close the second quarter, and the teams headed to the locker rooms with the USA leading 56-40.
"I thought they played extremely well out of the gate," said Carmelo Anthony. "They took their best punch early. Once we figured that out, we settled down. The adrenaline was going a little early in the game, but once we settled down, we were good."
Durant hit three more 3s in the third quarter, and the USA started the second half by going ahead 67-45 when Anthony sank a long-ball just 1:33 seconds in. Argentina, which shot only 38.0 percent for the game (30-79 FGs), was just 31.8 percent from the field in the third quarter (7-22 FGs), and the USA headed into the fourth quarter up by 26 points, 87-61.
The USA's largest lead of the game - 28 points - was reached three times on the USA's first three baskets of the final period, two of which were credited to George.
While the Argentinian crowd turned the basketball arena into more of a soccer stadium with its constant cheering and singing in the fourth quarter, DeMar DeRozan, who scored the USA's 100th point at 1:52, caused one of the biggest reactions of the night with a steal and 360-dunk at 1:20 to make it 102-76. Harrison Barnes drained a 3 with 41.0 seconds left in the game to bring the score to its 105-78 final.
George tallied 17 points and eight rebounds, and Kyie Irving finished with 11 points and three assists. The USA compiled a 54-43 rebounding advantage and got 54 points off the bench.
"I don't want to say the team was different, I just think the magnitude of what was at stake was a lot higher," Irving said. "We understood that, and we understand that we have to play our best games now. The past is the past. Our moment right now is the only thing that matters, and we took care of that tonight."
In yet another very close game, USA edges France 100-97
August 14, 2016
Behind Klay Thompson's 30 points that were fueled by seven made 3-pointers, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team (5-0) held off a late rally by France (3-2) to earn a 100-97 victory on Sunday afternoon at Carioca Arena 1 in Rio de Janeiro. The win, the USA's 22 straight win in Olympic play, earned the Americans the number one seed for Goup A and Wednesday's quarterfinal play.
The U.S. will meet the No. 4 finishing team from Group B, which will not be determined until after tomorrow's final preliminary round games in Group B.
The quarterfinals will be played on Aug. 17, the semifinals are on Aug. 19, and the finals are slated for Aug. 21.
"It felt good to see the ball go in, I'm not going to lie, but it felt better to get the win," stated Thompson. "I don't care if I shoot 10 percent the rest of the tournament if we win the gold medal, that's all that really matters. It's something I can build off and it definitely helps."
Kyrie Irving finished with 10 points and tied the U.S. Olympic game record for assists after passing out 12. Kevin Durant shot a perfect 6-for-6 from the field and aided the USA cause with 17 points, six rebounds and four assists. Carmelo Anthony was the fourth American to score in double-digits and finished with 10 points, four rebounds and five assists.
"We're really pleased to finish pool play 5-0. Offensively we made up some big strides this afternoon," said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "When we had leads, our defense let up. So, we have to keep working on the defense, but I think a lot of positive things on the offensive end today and going forward.
"Now we're into a time when everybody's going to be 0-0. It's been a very interesting tournament because of pool play. The pool play on the other side (Group B) is incredible. We're going to have to wait until the very end of tomorrow night to find out who we're playing. But, we made some strides going forward today. There's no question about it," added Coach K.
Leading 59-52 with 6:27 remaining in the third quarter, Thomspon, who had made just 3-of-16 tries from behind the arc in the United States' first four games, got his shot going, and over the course of the game's next four minutes drained five straight 3-pointers to help propel the USA to a 16-point, 78-62, advantage with 2:22 to play in the third.
Carrying an 81-69 lead into the game's final 10 minutes, France took advantage of several U.S. turnovers to rally and with 5:27 left in the contest had cut the deficit to 85-81.
Irving made the pass of the night to help shift momentum to the Americans' side. As he fell to the court just across half court, Irving somehow made a spectacular pass to Kevin Durant for a highlight-reel, alley-opp dunk, and the U.S. upped its lead to 87-81.
"I wish I had my footing," remarked Irving on the game changing play. "I was turning around at the same time, and I ended up tripping over my own feet, but I'm glad he (Durant) dunked it home. I feel that was definitely a momentum shift for us that we needed."
Followng a free throw from DeMarcus Cousins, a jumper from Anthony and a pair of free throws from Irving, the USA regained the game's momentum and took a 93-83 lead with 3:29 remaining.
Moving ahead 100-90 after Cousins redeposited an offensive rebound with 2:25 to play, France made the U.S. sweat, scoring the game's last seven points, including a 3-pointer by Antione Diot with a second left to make the final 100-97.
France, which did not have the services of NBA all-star guard Tony Parker because of an injured toe, jumped out to a 9-5 lead. Tied 12-12, Thompson scored five of the USA's next seven points as the U.S. moved ahead 19-14. But, in what would become a reoccurring theme, France regrouped and rallied. Outscoring the USA 8-2 over the next two minutes, France went ahead 22-21 with 2:02 left in the opening stanza.
Behind five points from DeMar DeRozan and four more from Paul George, the U.S. went on a 9-0 run, and when the first quarter buzzer sounded the red, white and blue led 30-24.
The USA increased its advantage to 11 points, 39-28, after Thompson converted one of two free throws with 5:45 to go before halftime. France closed the gap to five late in the second, and at intermission the USA owned a 55-46 lead.
"The tournament has been great," said four-time Olympian Anthony. "We have some great competition out there, some great games. Tonight was another great game, and now (the) medal round is coming up, and we got to get even more prepared for that."
In another too-close game, USA edges Serbia 94-91
August 12, 2016
Despite an 18-point lead in the first quarter, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team (4-0) had to battle Serbia (1-3) for a hard-fought 94-91 win on Friday night at Carioca Arena 1 in Rio de Janeiro.
Serbia reduced the U.S. lead to nine points at the end of the second quarter, and it was a close game from that point on. Including six players in double-figure scoring, the USA also was helped by a U.S. men's Olympic record 33 made free throws.
"Can we play better? I hope," said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "I think we can. I think we played hard. They played really well. They continue to look for options through 20 seconds. And, that's something we have to get acclimated to, because our defense was good, and then right at the end because they continued to work hard together, Serbia, they got open shots. That's something we have to do a better job of it. Again, they were really good. Their two bigs, I think, had 43 points, and again congratulations to them on a truly outstanding performance. We won a game against a team playing great. We have to move on and keep learning."
The USA started the game hot and jumped out to a 9-0 lead. Seven U.S. scorers helped the USA to a 27-9 margin with 1:49 remaining, however, Serbia closed with six points to narrow the margin to 27-15. The U.S. defense also forced eight Serbian turnovers in the first 10 minutes.
Serbia hit two 3s to pull within eight points 31-23 early in the second quarter, but Kyrie Irving answered right back with a 3 at 7:03. From there, however, Serbia six times cut the lead to nine points, including with its last score before halftime to make it 50-41. Irving led the charge for the USA in the period, scoring 11 of his 15 points.
"It's the law of averages," Irving said. "You're not going to play extremely well every single night, but we got to hold our hat on the defensive end. We gave up a lot of easy buckets. I feel like we started to play at their pace in the first and second half. But we'll be better."
After trading baskets, a 6-0 run helped Serbia come within five points of the USA with 5:53 on the clock in the third quarter, and the teams again went back and forth for the next 3:37 before a 6-0 U.S. run gave the U.S. an 11-point, 71-60 lead. Serbia scored and then DeMar DeRozan made a free throw to send the teams into the fourth quarter with the USA ahead 72-62.
"We thought we had it going a little bit," DeRozan said. "With a team like Serbia, we understood that they weren't going to lay down. They weren't going to put their head down. They fought. We got to understand that if we get up big like that early on, we got to pick it up as well like we're losing. Nobody is going to lay down."
Serbia's Nikola Jokic, who had a game-high 25 points, scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to help Serbia whittle away at the USA's lead. With the USA leading by five points late in the game, Carmelo Anthony scored the USA's final points of the game with a jump shot with 2:11 left to put the USA up 94-87. While the USA missed its next three shot attempts, it held Serbia to a field goal and two free throws.
Down by three points, 94-91 and with possession of the ball and 5.2 seconds on the clock, Serbia missed its final 3-point attempt as time ran out in the game.
Irving had 15 points and five assists; DeAndre Jordan added 13 points; Anthony and Durant each contributed 12 Paul George had 12 points and nine rebounds; and DeMar DeRozan had 11 points.
"I think it's great that we're getting challenged," George said. "Whatever the case is, we do got to do a better job. These teams are figuring out ways to execute down the stretch. I think the biggest key is that this team has been playing for a while. This is a new group for us, regardless of the talent. This is a new group, so we're still learning, we're still trying to figure out each other. As good as we are offensively, defensively is where we got to really man up."
USA survives first serious test, edges Australia 98-88
August 10, 2016
It took the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team (3-0) nearly all four quarters to pull away from previously unbeaten Australia (2-1) on Wednesday night at Carioca arena in Rio de Janeiro. The USA recorded a 98-88 win but led by just five points, 85-80, with 3:57 remaining in the game.
Carmelo Anthony, who became the all-time leading scorer in U.S. men's Olympic history (293 points), led the USA with 31 points, including 9-of-15 shooting from 3-point, and eight rebounds, and it was his ninth 3 that kicked off the USA's 13-8 closing run that helped secured the victory.
Anthony's 31 points tied for the second-highest, single-game output in the U.S. men's Olympic record book, and his 15 3-point attempts set the record.
"We beat a heck-of-a team," said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "Australia has probably played the best of anybody in the Olympics. They played three really tough opponents, us being the third one. They just play lights-out basketball. They play so well together as one, and they've been together. For a lot of times on the court tonight, they had four guys who started against us in London. But they play as one, and for us, I thought it was a heck-of-a win, first of all because we beat a really good team, an outstanding team that was playing really well.
"For this group, that's the first real, real international game we've had. The experience of playing in that. The exhibitions were played in America. The first two games we were significantly better than those teams. This is the real world now. That was good for us. I thought the defense we had the second half was so much better than the first half. And guys stepped up. Carmelo was magnificent. We earned the win, and we're going to have to earn our wins throughout. So, this was a really good night for us."
Anthony made two 3-pointers to put the Americans ahead 6-0 to start the game, but Australia rode an 8-0 streak to lead 13-9 just 2:35 seconds into the game. Anthony scored with 5:37 on the clock to pull the USA within one, 18-17, but Australia reeled off seven points and led 25-17 with 3:36 remaining in the first period. A 3 from Klay Thompson helped ignite the USA, which closed the quarter by outscoring Australia 12-4 to even the score at 29-29 after the first 10 minutes. Anthony made four 3s in the first quarter alone.
After points from Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeMarcus Cousins to start the second quarter, the USA led 36-31, but again Australia responded and scored 10 consecutive points to lead 41-36 when Patty Mills made a long-ball with 5:52 on the clock. The USA interrupted the run, but Australia went ahead by seven points, 46-39, 1:50 later. With Draymond Green and Anthony connecting from deep at the end of the first half, the USA headed to the locker room trailing at halftime for the first time since the 2004 Olympics, 54-49.
The USA was 10-of-21 from 3-point (.476) in the first half but struggled inside the arc, where it was just 7-of-25 (.280). Meanwhile, Australia was 19-of-28 from the field (.679), including 5-of-8 from 3-point (.625).
"We kind of expected kind of a game like this, physical game, grind-out game from playing against Australia over the past couple of years," Anthony said. "Coming into tonight, knowing what type of team they are, knowing the type of players they have on the team, we knew it was going to come down to the end of the game where we really had to buckle down and focus in and make plays down the stretch."
The USA started off the third quarter with a 9-0 run and led 58-54 at 7:40. From there, however, the score was tied four times as neither team could pull away. A three-point play from Green 32.2 seconds before the end of the period gave the USA a 70-67 lead headed into the final 10 minutes.
Australia took its final lead of the game at the start of the fourth, 72-70, and it was Anthony who gave the USA back the advantage for good with five points to put the red, white and blue ahead 75-72 with 7:37 on the clock. That included the first of four 3s for Anthony in the fourth quarter, while Irving was the USA's other top closer with 10 of his 19 points in the final 10 minutes. Between Anthony and Irving, the USA had an answer for every Australia score, and Durant, who finished with 14 points, sealed the win with the last two points from the free throw line.
Australia, which was led by 30 points from Mills, shot 50.0 percent from the field (33-66 FGs) and 33.3 percent from 3-point for the game but was an icy 1-of-7 from 3 (.143) in the fourth quarter.
The USA, which finished the game 39.1 percent from the field (34-87 FGs) and 43.6 percent from behind the arc (17-39 3pt FGs), converted 17 Australian turnovers into 23 points, grabbed 21 offensive rebounds, which led to 23 second-chance points, and outrebounded Australia 47-40 overall.
"I feel like we needed a test like that to prepare for what's ahead of us," Irving said. "We definitely took some steps in the right direction and building our character and identity as a team. They really challenged us offensively and defensively, but we had a very resilient attitude. When you have a resilient group like this with tons of talent, when you are facing adversity, it makes it easy to come out of it."
USA wins second 2016 Olympic bball game, beats Venezuela
August 8, 2016
The 2016 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team (2-0), which found itself tied with Venezuela (0-2) 18-18 after the first quarter, blew the game open with a 24-4 second-quarter run that propelled it to a 113-69 win on Monday evening at Carioca Arena in Rio de Janeiro.
Sinking 32-of-38 foul shots, the U.S. tied its men's Olympic record for free throws made, and while it wasn't a percentage record, the USA was in impressive 84.2 percent from the charity stripe.
Paul George (Indiana Pacers), who scored 20 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter, led five U.S. players in double-digit scoring to contribute to the USA's 70 points off of the bench.
"Venezuela is so well-coached," said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke). "They are tough guys. They try to control tempo and did for a long period of time. They make you play defense, and then we fouled a lot as a result of that, because you have to play it longer. We didn't get a good offensive rhythm because of their defense, and then in the second quarter, our defense picked up. I thought Jimmy (Butler) was a huge factor in that. He just came in and really gave us a big lift. I thought DeAndre (Jordan), those two guys defensively kind of picked the whole thing up for us. I think we wore them down as the game went along."
The first quarter saw three tied scores and six lead changes as both team struggled to find a rhythm. Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors) scored the first seven points for the USA, but he, along with DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings) and George, was whistled for two fouls. Durant got his two fouls in 7:25 minutes of play, while Cousins got his two fouls in only 1:59 and George in 5:00 minutes.
A 3-pointer from Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls) with just 8.4 seconds remaining in the first quarter gave the USA an 18-16 lead, but Venezuela, which was 9-of-10 from the free throw line in the first period, made two free throws at 2.4 seconds to make it 18-all at the first quarter break.
"Basically the first thing we talked about was guard without fouling," said Butler, who finished with 17 points and was 8-of-8 from the free throw line. "We used our hands a little bit too much, bailing them out on a lot of their baskets. We just have to get off to a better, faster start, which we know. We can't dig ourselves a hold. When we pick it up, we're really hard to match up with. The way we play defense, if we guard like that for 40 straight minutes, we'll be in a great position to win."
The USA changed the game's momentum in the second quarter, not sending Venezuela to the free throw line once while forcing eight turnovers. With the USA's lead at two points, 24-22, with 7:34 to play before halftime, the USA closed the first half with a 24-4 run to lead 48-26 at the midway point. Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks) scored 10 of his 14 points in the second period, and he hit his first of two 3-pointers in the period with 4:32 on the clock.
"I thought Melo (Carmelo), K.D. (Kevin Durant), Kyrie did a good job offensively in getting us in our rhythm," George said. "We got some great stops. Really, what changed this game was the steal by Melo, Kyrie came down and kicked it out for a 3. That really ignited us on the bench. That ignited Melo, it ignited that group out there on the court. That was really the turn of events in this game."
The USA tallied a quick six points to start the third quarter and led by 28 points, 54-26, with 8:51 on the clock. But Venezuela fought back, and the U.S. only increased its lead by two points in the period to go ahead 75-51 headed into the final quarter.
The USA raced to 38 points in the fourth quarter while holding Venezuela to 18 to secure the 113-69 win. Along with George's 14 points, Butler had eight points in the final period and Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors) dished out four of his nine assists in the game.
The USA's largest margin of the game, 47 points, came with 1:21 left on two free throws from Barnes (4-4 FTs), who was one of five players who were perfect from the free throw line. Along with Butler's 8-of-8 performance, Anthony, Cousins and DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors) were 2-of-2 from the line.
Durant was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field on his way to 16 points and five assists; and DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers) had 14 points and nine rebounds.
The USA topped Venezuela 80-45 on July 29 in Chicago but was just 28-of-66 from the field (.424) and 4-of-25 from 3-point (.250) in that win. Tonight, the USA shot 36-66 from the field (.545) and 9-of-22 from 3-point (.409).
"Our defense is going to carry us through this tournament," Jordan said. "We've got a lot of versatile guys who can guard a lot of different positions, and we've got a lot of scorers. First of all, we have to focus on our defense and then our scoring will come."
USA wins first 2016 Olympic bball game, beats China 119-62
August 6, 2016
Facing a familiar opponent, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team (1-0) produced a similar result. Taking on China, a team it twice had beaten in exhibition play in recent weeks, the USA recorded an easy, 119-62 victory in its first game on Saturday evening at Carioca in Rio de Janeiro.
The USA previously topped China 106-57 on July 24 in Los Angeles and 107-57 on July 26 in Oakland, California.
Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors) led the USA with 25 points on 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point to go along with six assists. Overall, the USA had 31 assists on 38 field goals.
"I thought our guys played really hard," said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke). "I thought China played hard, again. We've played them in two exhibition games, and they have a lot of young players. They are getting better, and we were good. Obviously, we're older and more talented, but they have good talents. We played really hard, and we shared the ball. I think we had 31 assists. In the third quarter, every bucket we made, it was assisted. We keep playing hard and sharing, I think we are going to keep getting better."
The USA began the game 0-for-4 from the field, and the score was tied at 4-4 early on when the USA began to heat up. Ignited by a dunk from DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), the USA reeled off nine unanswered points to lead 13-4 at 5:10 when China called a timeout. China scored out of the break, but the USA put together an 8-0 run and led 21-6 when Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls) made a jumper at 2:49. The USA scored nine more points and allowed China four to lead 30-10 after the first quarter. The USA committed just one turnover in the first quarter and nine throughout the game.
The USA's 20-point lead remained intact, 42-22, after 4:20 of play in the second quarter, but after free throws from Cousins and Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks), Durant nailed three 3-pointers in a row to put the USA up 55-27 at 3:16. Each team scored twice more, and the USA led 59-30 at halftime.
"I think when you get hot, you want to see your bench get excited for you," Durant said. "I think that's better than making the shot, to be honest, and to see my teammates getting excited for me, that's what kept me going. So, after the first one, they just kept telling me to shoot the ball, and Kyrie was trying to come to me every time. I think that is better than making the shot to be honest. So, the bench was great, and we played a good overall game."
The USA put together its largest run of the game, 17 points, from 6:38 to 2:44 in the third quarter to lead 84-40. Helped by five 3s, with four of those coming from Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers) in a little more than two mintues (4:08 to 1:59), the USA outscored China 32-17 in the quarter and was ahead 91-47 headed into the final period.
The red, white and blue outscored China 28-15 in the fourth quarter to earn the 119-62 win.
Cousins had 17 points, Paul George (Indiana Pacers) added 15 points and Irving finished with 12 points and five assists.
"We're still learning," George said. "Some shots we're passing up that we should take. Some shots we are taking we should pass up. It's a little give and go on that end. We're still trying to figure this thing out. The best thing about it is our energy is phenomenal. Our effort is phenomenal. You put those two together with the talent that we have, and everything else will kind of all into shape."
The USA outrebounded China 52-29, forced 24 Chinese turnovers and China was whistled for 34 fouls in the game. Additionally, 31 of the USA's points came on fastbreak opporutnites, and the bench contributed 54 points.
USA wins final exhibition game, beats Nigeria 110-66
August 1, 2016
Carmelo Anthony might not have had the 37 points in 14 minutes that he had the last time the USA Basketball Men's National Team played Nigeria, but he still managed to lead his team to a dominant 110-66 victory on Monday night in Houston.
In their final exhibition game before heading to Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games, Anthony led the U.S. in scoring with 19 points in just 19 minutes despite missing all six of his 3-point attempts. The last time he faced Nigeria, Anthony set the U.S. single-game scoring record at the 2012 London Olympics by draining 10-of-12 3s in a 156-73 win.
"I set the bar too high," Anthony said with a smile.
While the U.S. might not have posted those record numbers in front of a sold-out Toyota Center crowd, the defensive intensity was menacing.
Nigeria went just 4-for-29 on 3-pointers, while committing 20 turnovers.
The U.S. outscored Nigeria 22-7 in fast-break points and shot a blistering 53.9% from the field, including 13-for-33 from beyond the arc. Both Jimmy Butler and DeMar DeRozan had four steals, and Kyle Lowry led the team with 11 assists, including two bold alley-oops to DeRozan and DeAndre Jordan.
Six players scored in double figures for the U.S., with Klay Thompson scoring 17 points off the bench on 5-of-9 shooting from 3, Kevin Durant scoring 14 points on 3-of-4 from deep, DeRozan scoring 13 points and DeMarcus Cousins and Jordan both adding 10 points.
Lowry fell two points and two rebounds shy of a triple-double, and Harrison Barnes was one of four players to have both a steal and a block.
Kyrie Irving and Paul George did not play in the game, but Krzyzewski said they will be ready for Saturday night's Olympic preliminary round game against China.
USA wins exhibition game vs Venezuela, 80-45
July 29, 2016
The Olympics may be just around the corner for the talented USA Basketball Men's National Team, but head coach Mike Krzyzewski, his staff and his players know that the team still has much work to do if it wants to go Rio de Janeiro in top form.
The USA took on Venezuela Friday night at the United Center in front of a sold-out crowd numbering 20,578, and came away with a convincing 80-45 triumph. But despite the margin of victory, the U.S. team is anything but a smooth functioning unit at this point as the team struggled to shoot the ball consistently against the overmatched Venezuelans.
Carmelo Anthony , who may be one of the team's go-to shooters in Rio next month, struggled finding his range on the floor. Anthony made just 2-of-10 shots from the floor and missed all four of his shots from beyond the arc. Anthony finished with seven points, and added nine rebounds, one assist, one blocked shots and one steal.
Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler , who earned a starting role, also had a rough day on his home court. He made his first shot of the night when he hit a long jumper and he also brought the crowd to its feet when he finished off a volleyball series of taps by the USA and slammed home a spectacular dunk on his last shot of the game. However, Butler missed the six shots he took between those two and finished with four points, while securing eight rebounds.
While the USA struggled from the field as it connected on just 28 of 66 shots from the field and finished a forgettable 4-of-25 from beyond the arc, the hustle, hard work and defensive presence was in evidence throughout the 40-minute game.
USA Men win against China again, 107-57
July 26, 2016
San Francisco Bay Area basketball fans came to see a three-man show from their very own Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night.
Instead, what they got was a 12-man clinic by many of America's best.
New Warriors superstar Kevin Durant scored the game's first 10 points, but his 11 American teammates quickly found ways to contribute as well, as the USA Men's National Team (3-0) ran circles around China in a 107-57 exhibition win.
Durant quickly added two dunks and three free throws, accounting in just 2:56 for 10 of the 13 points he scored in the game.
But with future Warriors teammates Draymond Green and Klay Thompson also in the starting lineup in a ceremonial move by USA coach Mike Krzyzewski , the Americans led just 14-8 before the coach made his first substitutions just past the midpoint of the first period.
Big men DeMarcus Cousins and DeAndre Jordan dominated the paint with 27 points on 10-for-11 shooting and 16 rebounds, Carmelo Anthony put on a Curry-type shooting exhibition in a 16-point, third-quarter explosion and every American both scored and rebounded before night's end, leading to the 50-point shellacking.
USA Men Defeat China 106-57
July 24, 2016
Shooting comes and goes. What encouraged USA Men's National Team head coach Mike Krzyzewski more than anything Sunday night at STAPLES Center is his team's defense doesn't appear to ebb and flow with those offensive peaks and valleys.
Despite posting only four points more than halfway through the first quarter, the USA never trailed against China, relying on defense to buy time until USA's gifted outside shooters started seeing their shots fall in an eventual 106-57 rout.
"This group has been a fabulous group to coach," Krzyzewski said. "None of the teams we've coached have worked harder defensively than this team. I'm not saying we didn't play hard, but this team is really playing hard. It's fun to watch."
Krzyzewski said he wants his players to be able to play with everyone, so he switched up the starting lineup Sunday from the USA's first exhibition game. DeAndre Jordan set the tone defensively, earning a start in front of his home fans and blocking China's first shot of the game, then finishing an alley-oop from Kyle Lowry on the other end.
China had no answer inside for Jordan and DeMarcus Cousins, who combined for 24 points and 12 rebounds. Once Durant and Thompson got going, hitting four 3-pointers apiece on the night, China had little chance. The USA continued to find the open man and make the extra pass, finishing with 20 more assists than China while forcing 26 turnovers.
Team USA wins exhibition game vs Argentina
July 22, 2016
On the first play of the game, Kevin Durant made a play on defense and he was rewarded at the other end. That would be a recurring theme Friday night for the USA Basketball Men's National Team, which opened its nationwide USA Basketball Showcase presented by Verizon exhibition tour ahead of the Rio Olympic Games with a 111-74 victory against Argentina in front of a sold-out crowd at T-Mobile Arena.
"We went hard, nobody paced themselves," Durant said. "From the beginning of the game, we started off with a steal and a dunk then just kept going after that, and the next five came in and did the same thing."
DeAndre Jordan and Paul George were especially dominant in the first quarter, when the USA built an 18-point lead that would balloon to 29 later in the first half. Jordan scored six points on 3-of-3 shooting with three rebounds and an assist while George scored 10 points.
Argentina's Manu Ginobli, who plays for the San Antonio Spurs, ended the first half with a buzzer beating 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 23, and Argentina built on that with a solid third quarter. But the Men's National Team reasserted its dominance in the fourth quarter, led by back-to-back 3-pointers from Durant.
"When we started shooting well I thought it was more of a team rhythm," coach Mike Krzyzewski said, "and then we got into a Durant rhythm for a little bit."
Durant scored a game-high 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-9 behind the 3-point line, Carmelo Anthony poured in 14 points and George notched 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting.
The USA Men's National Team didn't shoot great, hitting 39-of-87 (.448 percent), but they were absolutely dominant on the boards. DeMarcus Cousins posted 14 points and 15 rebounds in 16 minutes, and overall the team outrebounded Argentina 53-30.
2016 Team USA Select Team Roster Update
July 8, 2016
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Victor Oladipo has been added to the 2016 USA Men's Select Team that will train July 18-21 with the 2016 USA Basketball Men's National Team during its training camp in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Previously selected for the 2016 USA Basketball Select squad were: Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns); Malcolm Brogdon (Milwaukee Bucks); Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Detroit Pistons); Willie Cauley-Stein (Sacramento Kings); Kris Dunn (Minnesota Timberwolves); Aaron Gordon (Orlando Magic); Jerami Grant (Philadelphia 76ers); Gary Harris (Denver Nuggets); Rodney Hood (Utah Jazz); Brandon Ingram (Los Angeles Lakers); Brice Johnson (Los Angeles Clipppers); Stanley Johnson (Detroit Pistons); Zach LaVine (Minnesota Timberwolves); CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers); Doug McDermott (Chicago Bulls); Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver Nuggets); Jahlil Okafor (Philadelphia 76ers); Jabari Parker (Milwaukee Bucks); Julius Randle (Los Angeles Lakers); D'Angelo Russell (Los Angeles Lakers); Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics); Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers); Denzel Valentine (Chicago Bulls); Justise Winslow (Miami Heat); and Cody Zeller (Charlotte Hornets).
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, who on Oct. 23, 2015, was named head coach of the USA Basketball Men's National Team for the 2017-20 quadrennium, will oversee the Select Team and Spurs assistant coach Ime Udoka and Villanova University head coach Jay Wright will serve as assistant coaches.
2016 Team USA Basketball Olympic Roster
June 27, 2016
Featuring six Olympic and/or FIBA World Cup gold medalists, USA Basketball unveiled its official 12-man 2016 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team.
Selected for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team, which is seeking a third consecutive Olympic title, were: Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks/Syracuse); Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors/North Carolina); Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls/Marquette); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings/Kentucky); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors/USC); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder/Texas); Paul George (Indiana Pacers/Fresno State); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors/Michigan State); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers/Duke); DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers/Texas A&M); Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors/Villanova); and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors/Washington State).
USA BASKETBALL POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN
Guards: Kyrie Irving, Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, DeMar DeRozan
Forwards: Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes
Centers: DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan
The U.S. Olympic Men' Basketball Team was approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors and is pending final approval by the United States Olympic Committee.
"I think I can speak for the entire coaching staff and say we're extremely excited about the team we will field for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro," said Jerry Colangelo, who has served as managing director of the USA Men's National Team since 2005. "I love our depth, which is another indication of the depth of talent our national team program is blessed with. We've got a great mix of talent, scorers, past gold medal winners and outstanding youth."
"I'm anxious to get on the court, and along with my great coaching staff, get to work," said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who by serving as head coach of his third Olympic squad is now tied with coaching legend Henry Iba for the most U.S. Olympic basketball head coaching assignments. "Since 2006 and including the last two Olympics, our players have represented themselves, the game and our country in an exemplary manner. I know this team will continue that standard.
"Looking at this team, our overall balance is what strikes me. We have lightning-quick guards who can score as well as distribute the basketball. We have great shooters and explosive scorers, we're big and athletic, and I think we'll really be able to defend."
The U.S. roster features the return of two members from the 2012 gold medalist U.S. Olympic Team (Anthony and Durant) and five players who have been members of USA World Cup gold medalist teams; Cousins (2014), DeRozan (2014), Durant (2010), Irving (2014) and Thompson (2014).
With his selection to the 2016 Olympic Team, three-time Olympic medalist Anthony becomes the first United States male basketball player selected to four Olympic teams.
Durant, who collected MVP honors in leading the USA to gold at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and finished as the U.S. team's leading scorer at the 2012 London Olympics by averaging a U.S. Olympic record 19.5 points a game, was named to his second Olympic team.
The average age of the 12 U.S. players will be 26.8 years at the conclusion of the Olympics (Aug. 21, 2016).
Included among the named 2016 U.S. Olympians were 2015-16 All-NBA first team selection Jordan; second team choices Cousins, Durant and Green; and third team picks George, Lowry and Thompson. Additionally, Jordan and Green collected 2015-16 NBA All-Defensive first team honors, while Butler and George were second team selections.
Nine players -- Anthony, Butler, Cousins, DeRozan, Durant, George, Green, Lowry and Thompson -- were named as 2016 NBA All-Stars, while Irving, who was named MVP of the 2014 World Cup after helping lead the Americans to gold, recently helped Cleveland capture the 2016 NBA championship.
The 2016 USA coaching staff is led by Duke University Hall of Fame mentor Krzyzewski, who since being named in 2005 head mentor of the USA National Team program has compiled a spectacular 75-1 record and led the USA to 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medals and 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Cup titles. He will be assisted by Syracuse University Hall of Fame mentor Jim Boeheim, Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau and Monty Williams.
The USA National Team will train July 18-21 in Las Vegas, Nev. The Americans' Las Vegas training concludes July 22 (6:00 p.m. PDT) with the USA Basketball Showcase presented By Verizon that features the USA facing Argentina at the T-Mobile Arena.
The U.S. will play two exhibition games versus 2015 FIBA Asia zone champ China, the first at the Staples Center in Los Angeles at 5 p.m. (PDT) on July 24 and the second at 7 p.m. (PDT) on July 26 at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Continuing its exhibition tour in Chicago, the USA will play on July 29 at 8 p.m. (CDT) at the United Center versus 2015 FIBA Americas gold medalist Venezuela and will conclude the USA Basketball Showcase facing 2015 FIBA Africa zone champion Nigeria on Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. (CDT) in Houston at the Toyota Center.
Tickets for the USA Basketball Showcase exhibition games are on sale now. VIP ticket packages available in select markets. For ticket information visit usab.com/showcase.
The U.S. men have collected a medal in all 17 Olympics in which they have competed, including 14 gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals. The American men own an impressive 130-5 (.963 winning percentage) all-time record in Olympic action, and since NBA players began representing the United States in 1992, the USA is 45-3 in six Olympics, capturing five gold medals and one bronze medal.
Since the formation of USA Basketball's national team program in 2006, USA National Teams have compiled a spectacular 75-1 record and claimed top honors in five of six FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions. Currently, USA?national teams enjoy a 63-game win streak (45 straight wins in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions and 18 consecutive wins in exhibition games). The streaks dates back to the bronze medal game (Sept. 2, 2006) of the 2006 FIBA?World Championship in Japan.
The USA also currently enjoys a 17-game Olympic win streak that dates back to the bronze medal game of the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Since first fielding a USA Basketball team of legendary NBA stars in 1992, USA Basketball National Teams comprised of NBA players have claimed gold medals in 14 of 16 major international basketball competitions, while compiling an impressive 126-7 overall record (.947 winning percentage) in those competitions and a record of 46-1 (.979 winning percentage) in exhibition games.
Game Times Announced For 2016 USA Basketball Showcase
Updated June 21, 2016
Game times for the 2016 USA Basketball Showcase presented by Verizon that will feature the USA Basketball Men's National Team playing five domestic exhibition games and conducting training camps in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago and Houston, were announced today.
The USA Men's National Team will open the 2016 USA Basketball Showcase facing South American rival and FIBA's No. 4 ranked world power Argentina at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas at 6 p.m. (PDT) on Friday, July 22.
The U.S. will play two exhibition games versus 2015 FIBA Asia zone champ China, the first at the Staples Center in Los Angeles at 5 p.m. (PDT) on July 24 and the second will be held at 7 p.m. (PDT) on July 26 at Oracle Arena in Oakland.
Continuing its exhibition tour in Chicago, the USA will play on July 29 at 8 p.m. (CDT) at the United Center versus 2015 FIBA Americas gold medalist Venezuela and will conclude the USA Basketball Showcase facing 2015 FIBA Africa zone champion Nigeria on Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. (CDT) in Houston at the Toyota Center.
PLAYERS WHO WITHDREW FROM 2016 OLYMPIC TEAM
Updated June 11, 2016
The following NBA players have announced that they have withdrawn from 2016 Olympics. Now, to be clear, the actual final 12-man Olympic roster hasn't been picked yet, so what these players are really doing is withdrawing from consideration. They were named to the 30-player Team USA list of finalists back in January. But the actual 12-man roster will presumably be named in July.
These are the players, as of June 11, 2016 who withdrew from summer 2016 USA basketball play: Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Stephen Curry, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Paul, Anthony Davis and John Wall.
2016 TEAM USA "SELECT TEAM" ROSTER
June 7, 2016
Featuring 15 players owning USA Basketball experience and including seven members of the 2015-16 NBA All-Rookie first and second teams, USA Basketball today announced 25 players have been chosen for the 2016 USA Men's Select Team that will train July 18-21 with the 2016 USA Basketball Men's National Team during its training camp in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Selected for the 2016 USA Basketball Select squad were: Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns); Malcolm Brogdon (University of Virginia); Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Detroit Pistons); Willie Cauley-Stein (Sacramento Kings); Kris Dunn (Providence College); Aaron Gordon (Orlando Magic); Jerami Grant (Philadelphia 76ers); Gary Harris (Denver Nuggets); Rodney Hood (Utah Jazz); Brandon Ingram (Duke University); Brice Johnson (University of North Carolina), Stanley Johnson (Detroit Pistons); Zach LaVine (Minnesota Timberwolves); CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers); Doug McDermott (Chicago Bulls); Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver Nuggets); Jahlil Okafor (Philadelphia 76ers); Jabari Parker (Milwaukee Bucks); Julius Randle (Los Angeles Lakers); D'Angelo Russell (Los Angeles Lakers); Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics); Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers); Denzel Valentine (Michigan State University); Justise Winslow (Miami Heat) and Cody Zeller (Charlotte Hornets).
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, who on Oct. 23, 2015, was named head coach of the USA Basketball Men's National Team for the 2017-20 quadrennium, will oversee the Select Team and Spurs assistant coach Ime Udoka and Villanova University head coach Jay Wright will serve as assistant coaches.
"The 2016 USA Basketball Select Team continues to our tradition of featuring some of the game's brightest and most promising young players. Participation in this camp provides them with valuable experience at the USA Basketball National Team level, while helping prepare the 2016 USA National Team for its upcoming international competition. For many of the Select Team players this is a continuation of their USA Basketball experiences and for others it is an introduction into our pipeline," said Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball National Team managing director.
"Being chosen for the Select Team is an honor and it is an important step in becoming involved in USA Basketball's National Team program in the future. Current national team players like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, as well as many other outstanding players, got their USA National Team start through a Select Team.
"We're also very excited to get our future national team head coach Gregg Popovich involved this summer. Coach Popovich's coaching success speaks for itself and it will be great to have him be a part of this year's Las Vegas training camp."
Members of the USA Select Team will train daily with the USA National Team from July 18-21 at UNLV's Mendenhall Center. All practices are closed to the public.
The 2016 USA Basketball Showcase presented by Verizon will feature the USA Basketball Men's National Team playing five domestic exhibition games and conducting training camps in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago and Houston.
The USA Basketball Showcase presented by Verizon will feature in Las Vegas the USA going against South American rival Argentina on July 22 in Las Vegas.
Tickets for the USA Basketball Showcase exhibition games are on sale now. VIP ticket packages available in select markets. For ticket information visit usab.com/showcase.
The 2016 USA Select Team features eight players who completed their rookie NBA season in 2015-16, nine who wrapped up their second NBA season, three third-year NBA players and five players who are eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft.
Booker and Okafor were named to the 2015-16 NBA All-Rookie first team, while Cauley-Stein, Mudiay, Russell, Turner and Winslow earned All-Rookie second team honors. Additionally, LaVine and Smart earned 2014-15 All-Rookie second team honors, while Oladipo was named to the 2013-14 NBA All-Rookie first team and Zeller earned All-Rookie second team honors.
The first USA Select Team was fielded in 2007 and featured up and coming players like Andre Iguodala, Al Jefferson, David Lee and J.J. Redick. USA Basketball assembled another Select squad in 2008 that featured future NBA All-Stars like LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Durant, Iguodala, Kevin Love, Derrick Rose, and Russell 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 BYU guard Jimmer Fredette; Butler guard Shelvin Mack, Duke's Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith, UConn's Kemba Walker and others. The 2012 Select squad featured future USA National Team members DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan, Paul George, Gordon Hayward, Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson, and most recently, the 2014 Select Team included Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, McDermott, Victor Oladipo, Dion Waiters and Zeller.
The 2016 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 Syracuse University and Naismith Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau and Oklahoma City Thunder associate head coach Monty Williams.
LIST OF 30 TEAM USA FINALISTS
January 18, 2016
Three-time Olympic medalists Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks) and LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) headline the list of 30 finalists today named for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team by USA Basketball. The player selections were approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors. The official 12-member 2016 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team roster will be announced later this year.
Featuring 18 players who have collected 29 Olympic or FIBA Basketball World Cup gold medals and six bronze medals, the 30 finalists for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team include: LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs); Anthony; Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors); Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls); Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets); Andre Iguodala (Golden State Warriors); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); James; DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs); Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors); John Wall (Washington Wizards); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).
Again leading the 2016 USA coaching staff is Duke University's Naismith Hall of Fame head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Serving as USA assistant coaches are Jim Boeheim (Syracuse University), Tom Thibodeau and Monty Williams (Oklahoma City Thunder).
"It seems like I say this each time we have to narrow down a roster, but I am struck by the remarkable commitment the players in the USA Basketball National Team program continue to display and the enthusiasm they have for representing their country," said USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, who has served as the managing director of the USA Men's National Team since 2005.
2014 TEAM USA COVERAGE
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 2014 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).
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
16 FINALISTS FOR 2014 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.
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).
2012 TEAM USA COVERAGE
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.