Friday, July 9, 2010

FIBA U17 World Championship -- USA Over Australia 105-70

Can the Aussies Run?
Australia drew first blood 10 seconds into quarter #1, and the game was competitive for the next five or so minutes. At the 5:23 mark of the first quarter Team USA launched a 6:05 minute, quarter-jumping 22-8 blitz that pushed the Aussies to an arm's length that lasted the balance of the game. Australia whittled the USA bulge down to eight points six minutes into the second quarter, but never got closer. Team USA took a 16-8 run to finish out the half, then followed with a 22-8 run through the first half of the third quarter, pushing the margin to 30 points (74-44). The USA squad switched on the cruise control and finished with a 31-26 run, 105-70.

Game Highs, Team Leaders
Brad Beal and James McAdoo paced Team USA with 25 and 17 points respectively; Taylor Dyson, a 6-4 guard from East Melbourne, led Team Australia with 16 points. Dyson was the only Aussie to score double digit points. USA center Andre Drummond notched a double-double, scoring 10 points to match with his 12 (6-6-12) rebounds. Drummond's 12 rebounds was the game-high, as Owen Odigie, a 6-5 forward out of Carlton snagged eight rebounds (3-5-8) to pace Team Australia.

By the Numbers...
Through the first 3 - 4 possessions the Australians took their (first) field goal attempt within 10 or so seconds of taking possession. Once Team USA went on their first extended run however, it was clear the Australians could not keep up. The possession-based break down...


Coming out of pool play, Team Australia averaged 74 possessions per game (range...>=66.7<=77.8) -- this game was played for about 14 more possessions than their previous highest possession game. For Team USA however, this game was well within their comfort zone. While Team Australia's shot efficiency was consistent with their pool games, Team USA owned the boards (note Australia's 19.1 OR% -- they rebounded less than 1 in 5 of their missed FGAs). Too many Australian possessions were one-and-done efforts. That the boys from Down Under shot a meager 50% from the free throw line did not help their effort, especially given that they had 32 FTAs overall. Free throw shooting throughout the tournament has been a weakness, and those 16 points left at the charity stripe would not have turned this loss into a win (and it would not have changed the results in either of their previous two losses). Team USA's play was consistent with their previous five outings -- offensive efficiency was over 1.1 points per possession for the fifth straight game, while they held their opponent to an efficiency of < 0.80 for the fifth time in six games. If the Americans can continue to convert their shots at a combined 55% (eFG%) or better, and control the boards, they will be hard to stop. The team had an assist rate (Ast%) of 58.5%, just below their tournament average of 60%, as Quinn Cook (7), Tony Wroten (7) and Marquis Teague (8) combined for 22 of the team's 24 assists.

Team USA will meet Canada tomorrow in one of the semi-final matches.

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