Fifth Place Finish for Team USA at University Games
After 8 games in 10 days, the American team finished with a 7-1 record, good enough for fifth place overall. The team dominated most of their opponents behind some effective low-post scoring and excellent top-to-bottom defense. Their offense clearly stole the show, setting an event record with 61 made 3-pointers, mostly by Vanderbilt's John Jenkins, but overall, the team shot just 33.7 percent from behind the arc. As a team, the US scored an average of 99.2 points (inflated by 446 points in the team's opening four games against Mexico, Hungary, South Korea and Finland), shooting 48.5 percent from the floor. The post play was led by JaMychal Green of Alabama (69.1, second in the tournament) and Minnesota's Trevor Mbakwe (60.9, sixth).
Defensively, the US held opponents to just 41 percent from the field and a dismal 28 percent from behind the arc. The intensity on this end was upped in creating turnovers where the Americans forced 153 turnovers, nearly 70 more than their opponents' had assists. But in the US' only real test in the field, the offense was the letdown in their lone tournament loss to Lithuania. The Americans went ice-cold, including 0-for-14 from 3-point range in an attempting a comeback and its last five shot attempts overall. While this team was high in scorers and versatile threats, they lacked a true playmaker that could get things going to run the offense and set up a set down the stretch.