It was another good day for WSU basketball players on the international stage, as teams USA, Australia and Serbia each won their respective games today.
First, Team USA dispatched Greece in the opening game of the final eight round robin, 85-69, although it was hardly the dismantling the Americans had put on previous opponents. The game was close in the first half, but the U.S. used a steady attack to put away the Greeks to win going away.
Klay Thompson played just 11 minutes in uncharacteristically picking up four fouls. He scored just 3 points, but did pick up 3 rebounds, three assists and a steal in his limited minutes. DeAngelo Casto started and saw his playing time increase, logging 14 minutes and scoring 6 points to go along with 5 rebounds. He also picked up four fouls, as the Cougs accounted for more than one-third of the team's foul total. Weird.
Australia has already won its first two games of the final eight round, thumping Kazakhstan 87-54 and holding off Argentina 76-65. Brock Motum again was a force, scoring 17 on 7-of-11 shooting with 5 rebounds and 2 assists in just 14 minutes in the first game, then followed it up with 16 points and 5 assists in the second. You can re-watch the game against Argentina here.
The Americans are in action against versus Puerto Rico in about two and a half hours, tipping off at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. The Puerto Ricans lost in pool play to the Greeks the Americans just defeated, although they'll have to watch out for Rutgers sharpshooter Michael Rosario, who lit up the French for a tournament-high 54 in preliminary play. That is not a typo. He did it on "just" 29 shots fueled largely by 9-for-13 from 3-point range. But he also was 9-of-16 from inside the arc and 9-of-10 from the free throw line. Wowzer.
If you happen to be awake and want to follow the game online, you can do so here.
In the World University Games, Serbia and guard Nikola Koprivica finished pool play undefeated and then won their first intermediate round game over Finland, 82-70. I can't find any stats, but Nik has been a bit bench player in the tournament. Next up for the Serbs is Team USA. Here's to betting the Serbian coach is smarter than trying to have Nik guard this guy.