Aug. 14, 2011
SHENZHEN, China – Tim Abromaitis (Unionville, Conn.) scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds in 19 minutes as a starter to lead the 2011 USA Men’s Basketball World University Games Team to an impressive 49-point victory, 102-53, over Hungary on Sunday, Aug. 14 at the Universiade Main Gym in Shenzhen, China. With the victory, Abromaitis’ USA squad improves to 2-0, while Hungary falls to 0-2.
The USA team will have little time to rest as it gears up for its third game in as many days on Monday, Aug. 15 with a matchup against South Korea (1-1). Tipoff is at 3:30 p.m. local China time (3:30 a.m. in the United States).
John Jenkins (Vanderbilt/Hendersonville, Tenn.) made a U.S. Men’s World University Games record six made 3-pointers from John Jenkins (Vanderbilt/ Hendersonville, Tenn.).
While the USA sank 12 threes overall and all 12 players scored for a second-consecutive game, its defense starved Hungary and allowed just one made field goal in the first quarter and 34.5 percent shooting (20-58 FGs) for the game.
“Our guys did a good job of coming out and being focused and ready to play,” said USA and Purdue University head coach Matt Painter. “I thought that was the best we’ve played so far, counting all the practices, exhibition game and both games here. I’m proud of our guys to be ready to play. They really followed the scouting report. This was the first time we’ve been able to watch some film and be able to see our opponent and then be able to carry out some things from the film room to the court.”
Jenkins finished with 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting from 3-point in 16 minutes played, bettering the previous USA World University Games record of five made 3-pointers that was previously established by Juan Dixon in 2001 in Beijing, China, and Matt Santangelo in 1999 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
“That’s humungous, because I’ve kind of been going through a hard time this week,” Jenkins said. “My grandfather just passed away (Aug. 9). This whole thing has been kind of delirious for me. I don’t know what’s going on, I’m just playing games. It’s been hard for me because my family’s back at home. Just to hear that definitely means I’m doing something right out here and I feel blessed.
“Every moment of the game, I’m playing for him.”
Scoop Jardine (Syracuse/ Philadelphia, Pa.) added 15 points and three assists, and Marcus Denmon (Missouri/Kansas City, Mo.) rounded out the USA’s double-digit scorers with 10 points, including 5-of-5 from the charity stripe.
“I think we click on offense,” Jardine said. “They’re not going to do too much about us on offense, because we can do some great things. It’s about us on the defensive end. That’s what coach keeps preaching. If we continue to impose our will on the defensive end, we should be in great shape.”
The USA jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first 2:29 of the game and remained in control for the entire contest. Hungary, which made four free throws in the first period, connected on just one field goal as seven U.S. scorers helped the USA race to a 21-6 lead.
Jenkins knocked down his third 3-pointer of the game to start the second quarter, and it was the first of seven threes for the Americans in the second period alone. Jenkins, Jardine, Darius Miller (Kentucky/ Maysville, Ky.), Orlando Johnson (UC Santa Barbara/Seaside, Calif.) and Draymond Green (Michigan State/Saginaw, Mich.) all connected from deep as the USA picked apart Hungary’s 2-3 zone defense and compiled its best offensive quarter yet with 37 points. Miller bookended a 12-0 U.S. run with scores at 5:13 and 3:51, before Hungary scored from the field at 2:55 to bring the score to 46-15. Four of the USA’s 3-pointers were sunk in the final 2:36 of the first half, and the USA headed to the locker room with a 58-19 advantage.
The USA defense was just as stingy in the third quarter, allowing just two made field goals, while its offense compiled its largest run of the game. Draymond Green was fouled after collecting an offensive rebound, and his two made free throws at 5:31 were the beginning of 18 unanswered points that stretched through to 8:25 in the fourth quarter. The USA’s largest lead, 64 points, came at 9:09 in the fourth when Ray McCallum (Detroit Mercy/Beverly Hills, Mich.), who finished with seven points, converted on a three-point play to put the USA ahead 89-25.
“We watched film this morning and really got a good feel for this team and what they’re capable of doing,” McCallum said. “We got really focused and really concentrated on defense more than we did yesterday. We had a lot of respect for this team, they lost a close one yesterday, so we just came out prepared and it showed tonight.”Hungary found a little breathing room in the final minutes and outscored the USA 28-18 in the fourth quarter, but the game’s outcome had long been decided, and the USA easily captured a 102-53 victory.
Draymond Green and Miller added nine points apiece, Ashton Gibbs (Pittsburgh/Scotch Plains, N.J.) dished out four assists, Trevor Mbakwe (Minnesota/ St. Paul, Minn.) collected nine rebounds and blocked two shots and Johnson grabbed eight boards to go with seven points.
Hungary coughed up the ball 20 times compared to the USA’s nine turnovers, and the red, white and blue shot 45.7 percent from the field (32-70 FGs).
In today’s other Pool D games, Finland (1-1) topped Israel (1-1) 72-57, and Mexico (1-1) beat South Korea (1-1)107-96.
The USA will continue play in the 2011 World University Games against South Korea at 3:30 p.m. (all times listed are China Standard Time, which is +12 hours from Eastern Time) on Aug. 15, and then take on Finland at 6 p.m. on Aug. 17 before wrapping up pool play against Israel at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 18.
Following the preliminary round, the top two finishing teams from each pool will advance to the medal quarterfinals, which will be contested on Aug. 20. The semifinals are scheduled for Aug. 21, and the finals will be played on Aug. 22.
Cuonzo Martin of the University of Tennessee and Brad Stevens of Butler University are serving as assistant coaches for the 2011 USA Men’s World University Games Team. 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 Jan. 1, 1987 and Dec. 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.