Sunday, July 5, 2009

WUG 2009 -- USA Routs South Korea

Independence Day, 2009
The USA squad routed South Korea 113-76, establishing their position as the top team in Group H. As the efficiency stats below demonstrate, the USA team dominated the South Koreans in virtually every facet of their game. The score by quarter (see the official box score) affirms the USA dominance -- the USA squad more than doubled the South Koreans in the 1st quarter, 26-11 & followed by doubling the Koreans again in the 2nd quarter, 30-15. The South Koreans won the 3rd quarter 26-24, but lost ground (again) in the 4th quarter, 33-24.


Especially notable is the pace, 93.9, by far the highest yet registered by the squad in this tournament or the Serb International Invitational held earlier. A sign, possibly, that this squad wants to run? Easy to miss in the offensive blitz (a PPWS of 1.31, with an eFG% of 63.2 is phenomenal, suggesting the squad hit their shots from the floor very consistently, but also got to the line -- and converted -- more consistently than in previous games. Offensive and defensive rebounding rates (56.3 and 86.3, respectively) are extremely impressive. The USA squad grabbed more missed shots under their own basket than the Koreans, almost unheard of in D1 ball. The domination should, however, be taken with a grain of salt, as they more truly demonstrate the large disparity in international basketball than they do special skill of the squad members or outcomes of the tournament. Troubling in all of the good news is the squad's 27.7% turnover rate. The team lost over 1 in 4 possessions, often a fatal weakness in closer games. The offensive efficiency is the best yet, with the defensive effort comparable to the one given against the Russian squad (2-1 so far in the tournament) in the 3rd game of the Serb International Invitational.

Individual efforts show clearly that many players contributed to the winning effort. Indeed, seven player scored in double digits, as the squad put out it's best assist/passing numbers in their time in Serbia.

Anderson, James50.063.61.1830.69.110.311.8
Battle, Talor57.562.51.3519.
Booker, Trevor40.083.31.7120.80.012.824.5
Brackins, Craig57.580.01.5312.14.013.410.2
Butler, Da'Sean32.540.00.8021.414.023.718.1
Fisher, Corey42.537.51.2113.
Hayward, Lazar32.550.01.2234.27.023.718.1
Hummel, Robbie30.033.30.7713.915.225.613.1
Pondexter, Quincy47.585.71.5920.514.40.024.8
Thompson, Deon30.062.51.2237.
Turner, Evan37.550.01.0014.830.313.736.6
Varnado, Jarvis42.5100.01.939.

Starters are again highlighted in green. The staff moved away from the trio of Butler, Fisher and Thompson, in favor of Battle, Anderson and Varnado. Most likely another suggestion that the staff was confident the USA could handle the South Koreans easily. While Butler and Fisher scored less than 10 points, only Butler can be credited with a poor day on the court.

The USA and Finland (2nd place finisher in Group H) will be reseeded with Serbia and Greece, the two top teams from Group A, as the preliminary rounds continue Monday. The USA squad will meet Greece (A2 team) on Monday and will have a rematch with the Serbs (A1 team) on Tuesday. The results from this last preliminary round will dictate who will advance to the medal round (and how they will be seeded).

Additional Links
The AP wire story posted at USA Basketball.
The box score in .pdf format.
Some additional post game quotes. Several players (Jarvis Varnado, Deon Thompson and Quincy Pondexter) comment on the team chemistry -- it is very good right now.

No comments: