Thursday, July 28, 2011

Napier Trying out for World Games; Oriakhi Out

Shabazz Napier has been selected as one of 21 players to compete at the 2011 USA Basketball Men's World University Games training camp starting Friday and running through Aug. 7. He'll be competing for one of 12 spots on the team that will represent the USA at the World University Games Aug. 13-22 in Shenzhen, China.

UConn's Alex Oriakhi has withdrawn from camp, but it is not injury-related, according to a UConn spokesman.

Orange's Greg Mangano of Yale and Farmington's Tim Abromaitis will also be trying out for the team.

Here's the press release:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 28, 2011) – It was announced today by USA Basketball that UConn sophomore guard Shabazz Napier (Randolph, Mass.) has been selected as one of 21 athletes to compete at the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Team training camp.

The training camp, which will be held July 29-Aug. 7 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC), will be used to select the 12-member team that will represent the USA at the 2011 World University Games men’s basketball competition Aug. 13-22 in Shenzhen, China.

“I’m excited to get to Colorado Springs and get our training camp started,” said USA and Purdue University head mentor Matt Painter, who previously assisted the 2009 USA U19 World Championship Team to a gold medal. “I love to coach the game of basketball, and we’ve got a group of young men coming in whom I’m really looking forward to working with. This should be a fun and beneficial experience for everyone involved.

“As a coach, I’m always looking for guys who play hard, take care of the ball and make good decisions,” Painter continued. “When you do those three things, you’re usually pretty successful. Other than that, we’ll look to see how different guys fit together on and off the court, and how guys’ skill sets complement each other.”

The USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee, chaired by Jim Boeheim (head coach, Syracuse University), is expected on July 31 to announce finalists for the 2011 USA World University Games Team. Training camp will continue July 31-Aug. 7 at the USOTC, and the official roster will be announced prior to the team’s departure for China on Aug. 8.

Napier finished his rookie campaign averaging 7.8 points, 3.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game and was selected to the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.

USA Basketball also announced it has added guards Ray McCallum (Detroit Mercy/Beverly Hills, Mich.) and Shabazz Napier (Connecticut/Randolph, Mass.) to the training camp roster, while Tu Holloway (Xavier/Hempstead, N.Y.), Alex Oriakhi (Connecticut/Lowell, Mass.) and Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin/Bloomington, Minn.) have withdrawn from participating in training camp.

Along with McCallum and Napier, also participating in the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Team Training Camp are: Tim Abromaitis (Notre Dame/Unionville, Conn.); Bradford Burgess (VCU/Midlothian, Va.); Marcus Denmon (Missouri/Kansas City, Mo.); Kim English (Missouri/Baltimore, Md.); Yancy Gates (Cincinnati/ Cincinnati, Ohio); Ashton Gibbs (Pittsburgh/Scotch Plains, N.J.); Draymond Green (Michigan State/Saginaw, Mich.); JaMychal Green (Alabama/Montgomery, Ala.); Scoop Jardine (Syracuse/Philadelphia, Pa.); John Jenkins (Vanderbilt/Hendersonville, Tenn.); Orlando Johnson (UC Santa Barbara/Seaside, Calif.); Greg Mangano (Yale/Orange, Conn.); Trevor Mbakwe (Minnesota/St. Paul, Minn.); C.J. McCollum (Lehigh/ Canton, Ohio); Khris Middleton (Texas A&M/North Charleston, S.C.); Darius Miller (Kentucky/Maysville, Ky.); Tony Mitchell (Alabama/Swainsboro, Ga.); Aaric Murray (West Virginia/Philadelphia, Pa.); and John Shurna (Northwestern/Glen Ellyn, Ill.).

Collegiate head coaches Cuonzo Martin of the University of Tennessee and Brad Stevens of Butler University were named as assistant coaches for the 2011 USA Men’s World University games team, and Tony Bennett (University of Virginia), Sean Miller (University of Arizona) and Shaka Smart (Virginia Commonwealth University) are serving as court coaches during the team’s training camp.

Five of the players possess prior USA Basketball experience. Jardine and Shurna were members of the USA Select Team that trained against the 2010 USA Men’s National Team in Las Vegas.

Gibbs, Miller and Shurna helped the USA to a gold medal and 9-0 record at the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship, and JaMychal Green was a member of the 2008 U.S. team that captured a 4-1 record and silver medal at the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.

The training camp roster features two players – Abromaitis and Jardine – who graduated in 2011 with remaining eligibility, 12 athletes from the class of 2012, five athletes who will graduate in 2013 and two players – McCallum and Napier – who recently completed their freshman seasons and will graduate in 2014.

Nine NCAA conferences are represented on the training roster, including six schools from the Big East Conference, three schools from the Big Ten Conference and the Southeastern Conference (SEC), two schools from the Big 12 Conference and one program apiece from the Big West Conference, Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), Horizon League, Ivy League and Patriot League.

Sixteen players earned individual recognition from their respective conferences following the
2010-11 season, including the Big East Scholar Athlete of the Year, Abromaitis, and the Horizon League Newcomer of the Year, McCallum.

Listing on their conference first teams were: Denmon (Big 12), Gibbs (Big East), JaMychal Green (SEC), Jenkins (SEC), Johnson (Big West), Mangano (Ivy League) and McCollum (Patriot League).

Second team members included: Mbawke (Big Ten), McCallum (Horizon), Middleton (Big 12) and Mitchell (SEC).

Third team selections were: Abromaitis (Big East), Draymond Green (Big Ten) and Shurna (Big Ten).

Additionally, Jardine (Big East) was an honorable mention, and Napier listed on the Big East
All-Rookie team.

In addition to Boeheim, the 2009-12 USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Committee includes NCAA appointees Lorenzo Romar (head coach, University of Washington), Bruce Weber (head coach, University of Illinois) and Roy Williams (head coach, University of North Carolina); and athlete representative Jay Williams, a member of the 2002 USA World Championship Team.
World University Games

The 2011 World University Games men’s basketball competition will be held Aug. 13-22 in Shenzhen, China. In all, 24 countries will compete in the international competition.

The USA has been slotted into Pool D, along with Finland, Hungary, Israel, Mexico and South Korea. The red, white and blue will open play against Mexico at 6:00 p.m. on Aug. 13 (all times listed are China Standard Time, which is +12 hours from Eastern Time) and will then play Hungary at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 14; South Korea at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 15; Finland at 6:00 p.m. on Aug. 17; and Israel at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 18.

Following the preliminary round, the top two teams in the standings from each pool will advance to the medal quarterfinals, which will be contested on Aug. 20. The semifinals are on Aug. 21, and the finals will be played on Aug. 22.

The World University Games are held every other year and are organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The World University Games is a multi-sport competition open to men and women who are between the ages of 17 and 24 (born between January 1, 1987 and December 31, 1993), and is or has been within the past year, a student at a college or university.

The United States, which has claimed a medal in every World University Games since beginning play in 1965, has captured a record 13 golds, three silvers and three bronze medals in the 19 WUGs in which a USA Basketball squad has competed, and the U.S. owns a 131-8 record in the event. Most recently, the USA men earned the bronze medal after finishing 6-1 and suffering a one-point loss to Russia in the semifinals.

Eighteen players who have represented the USA in the World University Games have gone on to compete in the Olympic Games, including Ray Allen, Stacey Augmon, Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Bill Bradley, Quinn Buckner, Tom Burleson, Ken Davis, Tim Duncan, Phil Hubbard, Allen Iverson, Mitch Kupchak, Karl Malone, Michael Redd, Mitch Richmond, Michael Silliman, Steve Smith and Jo Jo White.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lamb, Daniels Lead Slamm

Jeremy Lamb had 32 points and 13 rebounds and DeAndre Daniels went for 26 and seven to lead Little Caeser Slam to a 121-109 win over Sparks Motor Naughty Boyz Saturday night in Greater Hartford Pro-Am action.

Chaz Williams of UMass had 32 points and five assists for Naughty Boys and Maurice Eastwood added 26 points and nine boards.

Labels: ,

Sunday, July 24, 2011

On Jeremy Lamb, Jeff Hathaway

Here's my feature from today's Register on Jeremy Lamb, who appears even more athletic and confident this summer and is ready to assume a leadership role on this year's Huskies team.

And here, Register columnist Dave Solomon offers some insight on the Jeff Hathaway situation, which appears to be heading towards a divorce with the school.

Labels: ,

Friday, July 22, 2011

Boost Mobile Elite 24 Roster Revealed

UConn target Mitch McGary is one of the first dozen players selected to participate in the sixth annual Bost Mobile Elite 24 event, a premier summer showcase to be held on the Venice Beach courts in Los Angeles Aug. 26-27.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hobbs Named Director of Administration

Karl Hobbs has been named UConn's new director of basketball administration. Here's the release sent out by UConn:

Karl Hobbs has been named to the position of Director of Men’s Basketball Administration at the University of Connecticut, it was announced today by head coach Jim Calhoun. Hobbs spent the previous ten seasons as the head coach at George Washington University.

“I am very excited to have Karl rejoin our staff here at UConn,” said Calhoun. “Karl is a proven professional and is a Husky. He will be a great fit and I know that the team and staff will benefit from his return.”

“I am blessed with the opportunity to work with such incredible coaches, administrators and student-athletes,” said Hobbs. “I consider everyone at UConn to be family to me and I take great pride in returning under the tutelage of such a phenomenal Hall of Famer and mentor in Coach Calhoun. I credit Coach for so much of the success that I have had in my career and to be back working for him is a thrill. It is an exciting time to be at UConn, under the direction of new President Susan Herbst, and I have such gratitude and respect for Jeff Hathaway and the impact that he has had on my career. I look forward to getting started and jumping in with both feet, getting to know the players and reconnecting with the many people still on the staff from my previous time on campus.”

In his ten seasons at GW, Hobbs led the Colonials to unprecedented heights, capturing a pair of Atlantic 10 Tournament titles, one regular season championship and making five postseason appearances, including three straight NCAA Tournament trips from 2004-06. Hobbs compiled a record of 166-129 in his ten seasons.

Hobbs spent the 1993-94 through 2000-01 seasons as an assistant coach for UConn, helping the Huskies earn five BIG EAST Regular Season titles, three BIG EAST Tournament crowns and the 1999 NCAA National Championship. UConn had a record of 216-56 in his eight seasons on the staff.

A native of Roxbury, MA, Hobbs attended Connecticut where he was a four-year starting point guard, earning All-BIG EAST honors in 1983-84.

He played point guard for the Huskies from 1981-84 and was captain of the team as a senior in 1983-84. He never missed a game in four seasons and started 104 of 113 games. He led the team in assists for four consecutive seasons totaling 534 assists. He currently ranks fifth on the UConn career assists list. He scored 900 points (8.0 ppg) and averaged 30 minutes per game during his college career.

Hobbs, who played with Patrick Ewing and for Mike Jarvis at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School in the late '70s, helped lead his team to the Massachusetts State High School title. He was named Massachusetts Schoolboy Player of the Year in 1979-80.

Prior to joining Calhoun's staff at UConn, Hobbs served as an assistant coach at Boston University for six years (1988-93). Boston University won the North Atlantic Conference title twice and advanced to the NCAA Tournament first round in two of Hobbs' four seasons in Boston.

Hobbs and his wife, JoAnn, have two daughters: RaShauna and Kaliah.

Labels: ,

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lamb's 'Extraterrestrial' Dunk

I wasn't at the Greater Hartford Pro-Am Sunday night, but apparently Jeremy Lamb threw down a dunk that ranks among the top 3 in the league's history, according to GHPA director Pete Higgins.

Apparently Greg Langston, a freshman at Southern Connecticut State, was guarding Lamb for much of the game and doing a pretty good job (even though Lamb notched a triple-double). But late in the game, Langston clapped his hands inside the lane and challenged Lamb to beat him. No problem.

Looks like this may be the dunk we're hearing about.

Lamb pulled off a crossover for the ages, Langston fell to the floor a la Gary McGhee, and Lamb threw down a jam that they'll be talking about at the GHPA for years to come.

"Everybody just went home after that," said Higgins, only slightly exaggerating.

Seriously, everyone at the pro-am tonight is talking about this dunk in hushed tones.

"It wasn't quite Biblical," said Higgins, "but it was extraterrestrial."

One thing seems sure: Lamb's confidence, and athleticism, are through the roof right now.

Oh, and if you're wondering who has the other two "top 3" dunks in GHPA history, Higgins says it's Waterbury's Kelvin Davis, who threw down on UConn's Curtis Kelly about six years ago, and UNH's Cassius Chaney.

Labels: , ,

The Huskies By Numbers

So I’m doing a UConn season preview for Lindy’s, and they ask that we list the team’s key statistics from last year and how they ranked both in conference and nationally.

Come to realize that UConn didn’t shoot the ball well last year (44.4 percent, 11th in Big East, 182nd nationally) and was even worse from beyond the arc (32.9, 12th Big East, 221st nationally).

The Huskies didn’t score particularly well (72.4 ppg, 7th, 74th), weren’t as menacing as they usually are defensively (64.9, 6th, 84th), and didn’t dole out a whole lot of assists (13 per game, 13th, 155th). Even their usual rebounding dominance was a bit down – their rebounding margin of 4.4 per game was fourth in the Big East.

And while the Huskies were second in the Big East and 11th nationally in blocked shots, that’s a far cry from leading the nation in the category, as they had done several times over the prior decade.

So how in the world did UConn win a national championship last season? Oh yeah … Kemba.

To be fair, UConn did lead the Big East and was 11th nationally in free throw percentage at 76.3 percent. And they turned the ball over just 11.4 times per game, second in the conference.

I realize numbers don’t always tell the whole story … which again leads us back to Kemba and the remarkable leadership, clutch play and intangibles he brought to the table. Despite all the talent returning next season, not to mention the two blue-chip recruits UConn is bringing in, the loss of just that one player will be incalculable. Nobody in the history of the program has meant more to a single team than Kemba did last year – and that’s saying a lot, as this program has churned out Ray Allen, Emeka Okafor, Ben Gordon … you know the list.

I think Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright are as good a replacement as you could find, but losing Kemba Walker will still be a lot to overcome. Think about how much Jeremy Lamb benefitted from defenses keying on Kemba. Lamb is great, and he can certainly create his own offense, but it will be a different challenge for him next year as “The Man.”

Think about who’ll have the gumption to step up and hit all those clutch shots. Who’ll take the team by the reins like Kemba did last winter, when he steered it away from all the nonsense that was going on within the program (and it goes deeper than you might imagine) and kept the Huskies' eyes focused on the prize?

Questions that need to be answered. The talent is there – even more overall talent than last year’s team – and there’s no doubt the Huskies will be one of the top teams in the country. Just be careful with any Final Four expectations.

Oh, a couple of other numbers for you: I’ve never been big on knowing and remembering uniform numbers, but some people are. With that in mind, we’ll tell you that DeAndre Daniels will be sporting No. 2 for the Huskies this year and Boatright will wear No. 11.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New ABA Team in Connecticut

A new ABA team is forming in Connecticut. The Connecticut Topballerz will play their games at Albertus Magnus and will feature lots of former Nutmeg State high school and/or college standouts on its roster. Marcus Cox is said to be interested.

Here's the story from today's Register.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Boatright Hits the Heights

Thought y'all might like to see this. Just 5-foot-11 (probably closer to 5-9), but the fella can fly.


Ater Majok: 'Whatever Happened, Happened'

Ater Majok promises that "one day", he'll shed light on why he left UConn last September under somewhat mysterious circumstances.

Just not today.

Here's a little of what Majok said prior to a Greater Hartford Pro-Am game Friday night:

(on being drafted by the Lakers in the second round)

"It's great, man. I'm a Laker now. It's a whole new beginning for me."

"They've said nothing's been handed to you, we've thrown you a life line and I've got to work for everything. They told me what I need to do to make the team, so I've just got to keep working hard."

"I'm playing in different pro-ams, just trying to get into as many games as possible."

(on UConn)

"Whatever happened, happened. I never wanted to leave UConn. They're good guys, I went back today."

"No, no hard feelings with anybody there. I was there yesterday, I spoke to Coach Calhoun, Coach Blaney. I'm a Husky, and I'll always be a Husky."

(on watching UConn's run to a national title this past spring)

"I'm gonna tell you the truth: it was tough ... I know I was part of that team, but because of things that happened, I wasn't able to. I was really happy for Kemba, he carried that team."

"I was eligible (to play)."


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kemba at the ESPYs

Kemba Walker went from being feted by the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce to getting his own, pre-ESPY dinner out in Hollywood on Tuesday. Walker is an ESPY nominee this year.

Here are a few photos from iRenew pre-ESPY dinner for Kemba:

This is Kemba surrounded by Tammy Brook and Bari Medgaus. (I'm honestly not sure if I'm supposed to know who these two ladies are).

This is Kemba with supermodel Selita Ebanks.

Oh, and old friend Jeff Adrien was in the house, too. Here's Jeff, Kemba and recording artist Estelle at the dinner.

Labels: ,

Monday, July 11, 2011

Life is Good for Jim Calhoun

It’s good to be Jim Calhoun these days.

As if being just a few months removed from your third national championship, then getting commitments from a pair of blue-chip recruits, wasn’t enough, Calhoun now has all six of his beloved grandchildren living nearby. His oldest son, James, just moved from California back East to Massachusetts. The whole family, in fact, is heading down to Jamaica for a vacation on Friday.

Before that, however, Calhoun is heading down to Augusta, Ga., tomorrow for the Peach Jam, where many of the nation’s top recruits will be playing (and where the Huskies first laid eyes on an under-the-radar recruit named Jeremy Lamb a couple of years ago).

When Calhoun returns from Jamaica, he’ll be heading to Orlando and Las Vegas for another pair of showcase events. The Huskies have already got one recruit (6-foot-6 – yes, 6-6, not 6-4, as has been commonly reported – Omar Calhoun) and are planning on bringing in two more. UConn hopes to get a scholarship back from APR if it shows it is taking steps towards improving its academic situation, and there’s a strong chance that Lamb (and maybe even Alex Oriakhi) could go pro after this season.

Anyway, here’s a little of what Calhoun had to say about the current state of his program:

On DeAndre Daniels:

“He and ‘Scoe (Roscoe Smith) can play very well together. DeAndre is not quite strong enough to play inside, now, but he’s gonna be a player.”

“He’s much more effective when he’s on the perimeter. He can put it down, pass it and really, really, really shoot it.”

On Lamb’s breakout performance at the U-19 World Championships:

“Couldn’t be prouder. The ball didn’t go in the hole (always). With him, as with other players over the years – particularly kemba – if he didn’t play well, Jeremy would go find a gym and shoot. We talked on the phone twice, and it was bothering him that Coach Hewitt didn’t want him to shoot, he wanted him to rest. If that’s Connecticut, he’d be shooting. But I’m really proud of what he did. They didn’t have a great team, but he had a great, great tournament.”

On how close Lamb came to going pro:

“His family talked about it. I told Rolando (Lamb’s father) it’s a real bad idea. Yes, he would have been a top-25 pick – the earliest I heard, definitely, was the Knicks – but most importantly, he was not ready mentally or physically. He has the chance to be a special player, whether it’s this year, next year, whenever it may be.”

On Niels Giffey:

“Niels played on the (German) 20-and-under team, and his coach Henrick Rodl just elevated him to the senior team. The last month (of summer) could be really great for him.”

On next year’s team:

“We should have a solid, 9-man rotation – maybe 10, maybe 8. We have a lot of good pieces. Roscoe can play the 3 and 4, Tyler can shoot the ball. We’ll probably play a lot the same, but in some ways be a lot different … We’ve got good pieces on the outside, good pieces on the wing, we can play multi-dimensional. I’m worried about our muscle. Tyler is 240 now, Niels or Michael – one of them’s got to emerge, get a little more muscle. I have great confidence in Shabazz, he’s getting more mature, and he’s going to have to carry that into the season. Jeremy can play at the 1, 2 or 3, he played at the 1 in 19-under. Without question, Ryan’s coming in with the ability to pass the ball. He’s quick, and he can certainly score the basketball. We can play Niels at the 2, DeAndre – against zones, in particular – as a 2.”

On another ‘key’ loss, besides Kemba – Charles Okwandu (yes, Charles Okwandu):

“He gave us 15 minutes per game, blocked a shot-and-a-half, he was 260 pounds, a 7-foot wide-body. We don’t want to lose sight of that right now. Alex can be good, and we hope Enosch or Michael does, because I don’t see anybody right now being able to do what Charles did for us.”

On filling the position of director of administration vacated by Glen Miller:

“We hope to have that done within the next week … It involves a former UConn player.”

Calhoun noted that the hope is to essentially bring in two new people, one to work with academics, alumni relations, etc., and the other to concentrate more on compliance and other aspects.

On Kemba Walker:

“He came to school a couple of days ago and hung out with us. Tomorrow, he’ll be honored at the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce in Cromwell. He’s staying here because this is home to him … To get a player that special again would be an awful lot to ask.”

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Skinny on DeAndre Daniels ...

... is, well ... he's skinny. As in real thin. Watching him this afternoon at the Greater Hartford Pro-Am, he's obviously got serious athleticism and ability. Like most young players in this league, however, he's having a bit of a tough time getting acclimated to the size, strength and experience of some of the players in this league.

That's not a big concern. Neither is the fact that he's leaner than even Jeremy Lamb. Or that he picked up three fouls in the first quarter. But there's no doubt he needs to put on some muscle for the Big East wars.

Daniels is on the Springfield Slamm along with Ryan Boatright. Boatright has looked pretty good at the point, making a nice driving layup and looking very assertive for a young kid playing in this league for the first time.

Here's Boatright driving to the hole for a bucket:

Elsewhere ...

Kemba Walker is in the house. He walked in with Boatright, Daniels and Shabazz Napier. Nice for those young players to have a friend and mentor like Kemba, no doubt.

Labels: , , ,

Lamb's Tip-In Gives U.S. Win

Jeremy Lamb tipped in his own miss to score the winning basket and give the U.S. FIBA U-19 team a 78-77 win over Australia to finish the 2011 world championships in fifth place. The Americans finish 7-2 overall.

With Australia clinging to a 77-76 lead, Lamb drove baseline and let a floater go that bounced on the rim, then managed to get to the rim and tip it in his shot to give the Americans a 78-77 lead with 29 seconds remaining.

“I shot the floater and thought it would be good but I missed it and I luckily was able to get the tip in,” explained Lamb.

Australia, following a U.S. timeout with 8.2 ticks remaining, inbounded the ball to its leading scorer Hugh Greenwood, who had 26 points and to that point and who had made 6-of-13 3-point shots. Matched against the USA’s Hardaway, Hardaway kept the scorer in front of him and forced Greenwood into a desperation three that was well off target. Lamb came up with the rebound and the USA had the 78-77 win.

Lamb finished with just four points on the day on 2-for-16 shooting.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

U.S. Tops Poles; Lamb Nets a Dozen

Jeremy Lamb contributed 12 points to help the USA U-19 world championship team to an 84-47 win over Poland in the consolation 2011 FIBA semifinals on Saturday.

Creighton's Doug McDermott led the way with 19 points as all 12 U.S. players contributed in the scoring column. Lamb added five rebounds and four assists.

The U.S., now 6-2, will finish tournament play on Sunday against Australia (also 6-2) to decide fifth and sixth place. Game time has yet to be decided.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Lamb Nets 21, But US Loses to Russia

Despite a team-high 21 points from Jeremy Lamb, the USA U-19 world championship team lost to Russia 79-74 on Friday in a quarterfinal-round game in Riga, Latvia, to end its gold medal hopes.

All that really needs to be pointed to is 3-point shooting. Russia (4-3) made 12 of its 29 tries from beyond the 3-point arc while the USA (5-2) was 0-for-9 from 3-point land.

“We had 18 offensive rebounds, but again that 3-point shot is a great equalizer,” said USA and George Mason head coach Paul Hewitt. “We went 0-for-9, they went 12-for-29. That’s a pretty tough margin to overcome. I think given the difference there, I thought our guys battled and gave us a chance even though we were outshot from the 3-point line 12 to zip.”

The U.S. now moves into the consolation semifinals bracket, and will meet 5-2 Poland, 87-75 losers to Lithuania earlier Friday, in a 7:30 a.m. (EDT) game. The USA-Poland winner advances into Sunday’s game to determine 5th and 6th places, while the loser will play in the game for 7th and 8th places.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

USA vs. Russia Tomorrow

Greetings, folks. Been on vacation the past several days and haven't updated the blog like I normally do. Jeremy Lamb been up to anything good lately?

I kid. Lamb certainly has taken the FIBA U-19 World Championships by storm over the past few days, with 60 points in the last two games. Despite an 87-85 loss to Croatia on Wednesday, the Americans secured the top seed for Group F and begin medal round quarterfinals on Friday agaisnt Russia at 9:45 a.m. EST in Riga, Latvia. Get past the Russians and Team USA could face fellow gold medal favorite Lithuania in the semifinals on Saturday.

In this (somewhat belated) link there's a video of Lamb and USA coach Paul Hewitt talking about Wednesday's loss to Croatia.

We'll have timely updates the rest of the way, I promise.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Lamb Second on Team USA in Scoring

Let's see: Canada couldn't beat us in the Stanley Cup, and the Phillies had a big comeback win over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Canada Day (Friday). Can the Canadians beat us on the basketball court -- on July 4, of all dates? We'll find out on Monday.

The USA U-19 team faces Canada tomorrow (7:30 a.m. EST) in Riga, Latvia, as the July 4-6 second round kicks off. Team USA went 3-0 in the preliminary round, thanks in no small part to Jeremy Lamb's 13.3 points per game. Joe Jackson of Memphis leads the team at 14.3 ppg and Lamb is second, followed by Creighton's Doug McDermott (12.7) and Michigan's Tim Hardaway, Jr. (10.3).

Canada is 1-2 thus far. USA meets Lithuana (1-2) on Tuesday and finishes the second round on Wednesday against Croatia (2-1). All games start at 7:30 a.m. EST.

The top four teams from each second round group will advance to the quarterfinals, to be held July 8. The semifinals are on July 9 and the gold and bronze medal games on July 10. will stream all the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals games live.