Wednesday, June 30, 2010

FIBA Americas Cup 2010 -- USA Beats Canada 122-89

The Check List
The post game quotes from Coach Jeff Capel hint at a number of objectives this American squad had compiled coming into the Americas Cup Tournament...
1. They qualified Team USA for the U19 FIBA World Cup on Sunday evening when they drubbed Team Mexico 114-38.
2. They took their revenge for the 2008 Americas Cup on Monday, 88-67. The Argentines beat the Americans in Argentina to take the gold. The American squad had to settle for the silver.
3. By hammering Team Canada 122-89 on Tuesday, Team USA will compete for the gold. They will play the Brazilians later tonight (about 9:00pm Eastern time) to decide who wins the Americas Cup tournament in 2010.

Versus Team Canada
I suspected, based on offensive efficiency stats gathered during group play (and the presence of several well known Division 1 recruits on the Team Canada squad), the Canadians might give the Americans their most competitive game to date. The recap headlines, "USA U18 Men Rain Threes Down On Canada For 122-89 Semifinal Victory" however, suggest Team USA used the three point shot to finish the Canadians quickly. Posting a 62.2% eFG% (to Team Canada's 45.5% eFG%), the Americans jumped out to a 37-10 lead in the first quarter, and through the next three quarters the Canadians were never able to close that gap. The final margin of victory was 33 points.

Player Stats
Some possession-based stats for individual players through the first four games...

Player% MinPoss %Shot %ORtgPPWSeFG%OR%FTA%
Vander Blue43.819.212.785.21.1955.95.029.4
Trevor Cooney43.120.425.7111.81.2663.20.05.9
Abdul Gaddy39.425.317.485.71.0547.63.728.6
Josh Hairston36.920.020.387.60.9747.89.826.1
Kyrie Irving41.330.126.8111.31.2560.33.523.5
Quincy Miller59.422.320.8118.41.467.111.023.7
Tony Mitchell41.321.315.0137.91.3960.522.8105.3
Le Bryan Nash33.826.826.186.51.0551.94.329.6
Jereme Richmond48.819.914.7148.01.6479.520.854.5
Austin Rivers51.928.130.1123.51.5577.12.822.9
Amir Williams25.613.17.658.00.7733.35.766.7
Pat Young35.017.116.8147.11.3866.724.827.8

Those familiar with Ken Pomeroy's Team pages will recognize the stats. A quick refresher is available here for those who may not recognize a few of the calculations. I included PPWS -- PPWS = Pts/(FGA + (0.45 * FTA)) -- to indicate how each player used the free throw line as part of his offensive arsenal. Some of the "background" offensive stats and defensive stats for the squad...

Player Name
Vander Blue12.
Trevor Cooney5.
Abdul Gaddy22.827.812.00.02.8
Jose Hairston0.
Kyrie Irving30.713.418.51.45.4
Quincy Miller10.314.624.84.81.4
Tony Mitchell8.56.328.58.20.7
Le Bryan Nash4.512.315.70.00.8
Jereme Richmond18.214.314.50.03.4
Austin Rivers8.311.
Amir Williams2.432.918.46.62.2
Pat Young8.

While Austin Rivers has garnered headlines with his 35 point outing against Team Canada, St. Patrick's (of NJ) graduate and Duke-bound freshman-to-be Kyrie Irving has raised eyebrows with his quiet but effective performance as the offensive keystone for Team USA. Irving's 30.1% possession rate, combined with his 26.8% shot percentage suggests he is one of the primary offensive options for the team when he is on the court. His 60.3% eFG% indicates he can convert when he takes the shot, but his 30.7% assist rate tells everyone watching his game that when Irving touches the ball points will follow, either as a direct result of his shot, or because he has identified the open scorer, and delivered the ball at the point where the player can convert. Abdul Gaddy, the team's point guard, has had a tough tournament. His shooting is off (eFG% is 47.6%), but worse, his assists (22.8%) are negated by his propensity to turn the ball over (27.8%). Coach Boeheim should like what he sees in Syracuse-bound Trevor Cooney. Cooney has had several very effective shooting outings, but the coach also knows Cooney has work to do. The Delaware native has been effective at stealing the ball and limiting turnovers, but does not seem to get after rebounds.

USA Takes Gold
Although the box score has not been posted, game trackers at the FIBA Website is reporting the USA has beaten Brazil, 81-78 for the gold medal. Congratulations Team USA!

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