SAITAMA, Japan (August 4, 2001) Â Numerous USA team and individual single
game records tumbled Saturday night in Saitama, Japan at the World
Championship For Young Men as the United States (2-0) easily earned its
second win in as many nights, posting a lopsided 128-73 victory over South
Korea (0-2). For the second consecutive game the USA received a balanced
scoring attack as all 12 players scored, including 11 who scored between
six and 20 points. Iowa forward Reggie Evans (Pensacola, Fla.) led the
offensive onslaught with 20 points, while Carlos Boozer (Duke / Juneau,
Alaska) and Brian Cook (Illinois / Lincoln, Ill.) each tossed in 17 points.
The American squad continues preliminary round play Sunday facing also
undefeated Argentina (2-0) in an 6:10 p.m. (Tokyo local time) game.
"We were bigger and stronger and it's a tough thing when you have such a
size advantage," said USA and Syracuse University (N.Y.) head coach Jim
Boeheim. "We did a pretty good job defensively of not letting them get set
for the three and we maintained the intensity the whole time.
"When you play three games in a row like this, you have to keep playing
hard to get in a good rhythm so you'll be ready the next night. Everybody
got an opportunity to play tonight and I thought obviously we played very
well, but we know with Argentina coming up tomorrow how difficult it will
be. They're playing very well and it will be a tremendous challenge for us."
It was a record setting showing in many ways. The USA's 128 points were
the most scored by a USA team in the event, breaking the previous mark of
107 scored against China in the 1997 competition. The USA's 55 point
margin of victory is the second best in the 18 U.S. games played in this
event, trailing only the 68 point victory margin established against China
(107-39) in 1997. The U.S. squad also established team single game USA
marks for most field goals made with 50 (breaking the previous record of 42
versus Angola); Most field goals attempted with 80 (breaking the previous
high of 77 versus France in 1993); most assists with 36 (breaking the
previous record of 30 versus China in 1997), and the USA tied a record with
most rebounds with 53 (tying the 1993 record set against Angola).
Several individual USA single game records were also set. Evans now owns
the U.S. mark for most free throws made in a game with 10 (breaking Corey
Brewer's record of 7 set in 1997 against China) and for most free throws
attempted with 12 (breaking the previous record of nine set by Corey Brewer
in 1997 versus China and Corliss Williamson versus Spain in 1993); while
St. Joseph's sophomore guard Jameer Nelson (Chester, Pa.) set a USA record
for most assists in a game with 10 (breaking the record of 9 set by Andre
Miller versus China in 1997).
"Our coaches let us know that we had to come out ready play defensively
because they're a real good team shooting the three so we just made an
effort to come out and guard them. It was kind of difficult for our
frontline because we're not use to defending guards like that," stated Evans.
Boozer scored six of the USA's first 11 points as the Americans marched out
to a lead of 11-5. Ahead 24-19 with 2:24 to play in the opening quarter,
the USA kicked it into high gear and closed the half with a 10-2 scoring
run that featured 3-pointers from Jason Kapono (UCLA / Lakewood, Calif.)
and Dahntay Jones (Duke / Hamilton Square, N.J.) as the U.S. upped its lead
Scoring 10 straight points to start the second quarter and open a 44-21
lead, it was all USA from then on as the U.S. led 65-41 at halftime.
Limiting Korea to just nine points while scoring 25 of its own points in
the third quarter, the USA was ahead 90-50 at the end of three, then
sprinted home for the 128-73 victory.
The USA dominated nearly every statistical category in the game. The U.S.
outrebounded South Korea 53 to 24, the USA shot 62.5 percent (50-80 FGs)
from the field while Korea shot just 37.1 percent (26-70 FGs), and the
Americans forced Korea into 17 turnovers. Evans also finished as the USA's
leading rebounder with seven, while Nelson chalked up 10 assists, to go
with seven points, four rebounds and two steals. South Korea took 35
3-pointers in the game, but was able to sink just eight (22.9 percent).
In Saturday's other preliminary round play, in Group B games, Israel (2-0)
upended host Japan (0-2) 102-80, and Argentina (2-0) posted a 92-77 win
over Croatia (0-2). In Group A action, Slovenia (2-0) handled Egypt (0-2)
76-62, Spain (2-0) edged Australia (1-1) 75-71, and Dominican Republic
(1-1) thumped Qatar (0-2) 101-79.
The FIBA World Championship For Young Men is being held August 3-12 in
Saitama, Japan and features 12 teams that are divided into two preliminary
round pools consisting of six teams each.
The USA continues preliminary play against Argentina on Aug. 5, return to
action Aug. 7 versus Japan, then concludes preliminary play against Israel
on Aug. 8. Quarterfinals play gets underway Aug. 10, with semifinals being
conducted Aug. 11 and the medal games being held Aug. 12.
Held every four years and originally designed for men 22-years-old or
younger, FIBA lowered the age eligibility to 21-years-old or younger in
December 1998 and changed the competition name to the World Championship
For Young Men. The U.S. captured gold in the inaugural competition which
was held in 1993 in Spain and known as the FIBA 22 And Under World
Championship, and in 1997 in Melbourne, Australia, finished fifth with a
"This (the game versus Argentina) will obviously be a very difficult game,
we have tremendous respect for Argentina. From watching the other
tournament games, there are some very, very high quality teams here and I
think there is going to a lot of great basketball ahead. I don't think
I've ever seen 36 assists in a game before and I'm sure it must be some
kind of record and in my opinion when you get guys helping each other,
playing like that, that's a good sign," stated Boeheim.
Additional USA Player Quotes
"This was very fun. I thought we moved the ball well to each other and we
just went out there and played hard and had fun."
Does it help having played last year with the USA qualifying team?
"Yes, I know a little bit better of what to expect. These teams execute
real well, we just have to go out there and play tough D and execute our
Was it more difficult playing South Korea because they shoot so many threes?
"No it's the same, I've got to guard smaller guys in the college game also
so I'm use to playing like that. I'm just trying to use this time to get
better on D. I'm playing against smaller guys and that means they're a
little bit quicker than me so I'm just going use that work to improve."
"The first squad came in right away and set it off by playing real hard on
defense and the tone was real good and we never looked back. We got ahead
and we said to just continue to do the same thing and that's what we did.
dust continued doing the same things and not change up anything. "
"This game was good for me knowing that this team runs and that's what I
need. I wasn't worried about my power because that's in me for life, but as
far as getting up court, running down on defense and holding a guard up
high that is 6-5 or 6-3 is something different for me and that's a
challenge for me - to hold someone like that."
How is international basketball different.
"The two teams that we played are different from America ball. Teams in
America scout you harder and it gets real hard. It's kind of difficult
knowing that this team has so many weapons, it can be hard to stop it.
The biggest things is probably the referees, they call certain things
closer like travels so we have to adjust to it."
"We played against a lot of smaller guys tonight and I got a lot of playing
time because I was probably their height and their speed (laughing), I just
went out there and tried to get it done however it took."
"Everything I was doing tonight I would do normally, except for that little
play at the end (note-he dribbled the ball between his opponent's legs,
dribble several more step to the basket and attempted to dunk the ball, but
lost control on the way up and missed), guys were telling me I couldn't
dunk, so I just threw it through the guy's legs and took off and almost had
the dunk, but it slipped through my hands."
"Everybody looks for the three, but the way Korea was looking for the three
it was their first option for everybody. Other teams take the three when
it's there but this team was just taking it all day."