Saturday, July 4, 2009

WUG 2009 -- USA Over Finland

Blow Out
The USA dominated the scoring, defense and boards on both ends of the floor, as they doubled the point production of the Fins, 87-40. This performance should not be confused with a cure to the problem areas exposed by the Serbs and Canadians. The USA squad is simply better than anything the Fins can put on the court. Their next Group H opponent, South Korea, will most likely produce a similar result. Oliver's Four Factors (table below) confirms the USA excelled in every facet of the game...


Even as the team turned in a defensive performance similar to (but much better than) the one versus the Russian squad they blew up offensively, posting the most efficient point production (123.0, or 123 points per 100 possessions) of their four efforts to date -- the next closest was 99.9 in their losing effort versus the Serbs. The pace (70.7 -- about 71 possessions per team for the game) was the lowest possession game yet. While it may be the most deliberate game yet played by the USA squad, it is still higher than most D1 games. Only James Anderson (Ok State) and Deon Thompson, who hails from North Carolina, might feel comfortable playing at 70+ possessions per game, virtually all of the players (and Coach Bo Ryan) are used to a more deliberate offense.

The player breakdown shows marked improvement by virtually every member of the squad.

Anderson, James22.583.31.6121.227.817.88.5
Battle, Talor40.0137.52.2415.915.60.014.4
Booker, Trevor40.050.01.2215.97.815.04.8
Brackins, Craig47.578.61.5223.46.612.624.3
Butler, Da'Sean35.0100.02.0013.
Fisher, Corey57.562.51.2222.
Hayward, Lazar47.516.70.4320.
Hummel, Robbie45.062.51.2528.
Pondexter, Quincy45.028.60.7624.
Thompson, Deon50.042.90.9122.
Turner, Evan52.525.00.5012.111.93.814.7
Varnado, Jarvis17.550.01.3818.

The starters are again highlighted in green. The staff stayed with the basic three (Butler, Fisher and Thompson) they have started in the three previous games. To the trio, Evan Turner got his second consecutive start (the staff rewarded his rebounding in the Russian game?) and again turned in a strong rebounding performance (1-4-5). Trevor Booker, a front court starter in the Serb-USA exhibition game also drew his second start. Especially efficient offensive efforts from Talor Battle (Penn State), Craig Brackins (Iowa State), Da'Sean Butler (West Virginia), Corey Fisher (Villanova) and Deon Thompson (North Carolina). Butler and Fisher are developing some much needed offensive consistency, converting well from the court and at the line. Fisher turned in a good performance, though his rebounds (he picked up both offensive and defensive rebounds) and assists were tempered with 3 turnovers.

Additional Links
AP wire story posted on USA Basketball.
The official box score (pdf format).
Additional post game quotes from the coaches and selected players (Corey Fisher's quotes included).

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