USA to Face Russia in Medal Round Semifinals Sunday
Two of the three undefeated teams remaining in the men’s basketball World University Games (WUG) will meet in the semifinals as the USA National Team (6-0), consisting mainly of the Kansas men’s basketball student-athletes and staff, will face Russia (6-0) in the medal round semifinals on Sunday, July 12, at 6:30 p.m. local time which is 4:30 a.m. in Kansas, at Dongkang College Gymnasium. The USA-Russia contest will be televised on ESPNU and the Watch ESPN app.
Matched on the other side of the semifinals bracket is Brazil (5-1) vs. Germany (5-0). Germany has one less game played due to only having five teams in its pool. Brazil’s lone loss in the Universiade Gwangju 2015 came in its second game of Pool D to the USA, 81-72, on July 5.
The USA advanced to the semifinal with a 70-48 win against Lithuania on July 11. Russia defeated Estonia, 86-65, in its quarterfinal contest, also on July 11.
Having won an all-time most 19 medals (13 gold, three silver and three bronze), the USA is looking for its first medal in the last three World University Games. USA finished ninth in the 2013 WUG and fifth in 2011. The last medal won by the American men’s basketball team was bronze in 2009. The previous USA medal was gold in 2005.
Historically, the USA is 2-1 against Russia in the World University Games. Russia won the last meeting in 2009, 69-68, and would later win the silver medal. The USA won the first two matchups – 115-48 in 1995 and 120-80 in 2005 – with both eventually being gold for the Americans.
Guard Wayne Selden, Jr., is second in the World University Games (WUG) with 18.3 points per game average. He has made a team-best 13 three-pointers, two more than guard Nic Moore who has 11. Selden is second to forward Perry Ellis for the team lead in rebounding with 6.2 boards per game. Ellis is at 6.3 in rebound average and is scoring 10.7 points per contest, which is third on the team. Frank Mason III is second on the team with a 14.7 ppg, which is tied for fifth in the WUG, and leads the squad with 25 assists. His 4.2 assists per game are tied for second in the WUG and he is also second in fouls drawn with 5.8 per game. Mason also leads the USA team with 15 steals and his 2.5 steals per game are tied for fourth in the WUG. Forward Hunter Mickelson is seventh the WUG in two-point field goal percentage at 61.0 percent. He has a team-best four blocked shots and is averaging 9.2 points and 4.8 rebounds. Moore scores 7.0 points per contest and is second on the team with 10 three-pointers and 11 steals. Guard Julian DeBose, who led USA with 18 points against Switzerland (7/9), has a 5.3 scoring average, just ahead of guard Lagerald Vick’s 5.0 ppg. Forward Landen Lucas is third on team with a 5.2 rebound average. He is scoring 2.5 points per game.
As a team, USA holds a +11.5 rebound margin and has outrebounded five of six opponents. Additionally, the USA squad is outshooting its opponents 46.2 percent to 33.1. It’s 46.2 percent is second in the WUG as is its 80.8 scoring average. USA leads the WUG with a 35.8 three-point field goal percentage. In scoring, the USA has 108 points in the first (18.0 average), 125 in the second (20.8), 126 in the third (21.0) and 126 in the fourth (21.0).
Russia finished first in Pool B posting a 5-0 record. It opened the World University Games with a 63-62 win versus Montenegro on July 4 then defeated Sweden 79-62 the following day. Russia outdistanced Mongolia 99-33 on July 6 and Mexico, 87-68, on July 8. Russia’s 68-61 win versus Canada on July 9 won Pool B with Canada finishing second. Through six games, Russia is outscoring opponents 80.3 to 58.5 for a +21.8 scoring margin. The Russians have two 7-foot plus players and five athletes listed 6-8 or taller, and are outrebounding opponents 42.8 to 31.6. Russia shoots 45 percent from the field, which is third in the WUG, while its opponents are shooting 39 percent. Russia also averages 3.5 blocked shots per game.
No. 19 Ivan Strebkov (6-3) leads Russia in scoring at 10.2 points per game, which is just ahead of No. 22 Pavel Antipov (6-8) who is at 10.0 points per game. Antipov leads the team in rebounds with a 6.7 average. No. 5 Artem Komolov (6-4) has made a team best 13 three pointers, which is tied for fourth in the WUG, to complement his 8.2 scoring average. No. 13 Artem Vikhrov (6-6) has a team-best 25 assists and scores 5.3 points per game. No. 15 Andrei Desiatnikov (7-3) leads the team with 11 blocked shots.
Should the USA advance to the gold medal game of the 2015 World University Games, it would play on Monday, July 13 at 9 p.m. local, 7 a.m. in Kansas, at Yeomju Gymnasium in Gwangju against the winner of the Brazil-Germany contest. The gold medal game will be televised on ESPNU and the Watch ESPN app. The losers in those semifinal games will play for the bronze medal on July 13 at 3 p.m. local, 1 a.m. in Kansas, at Gwangju University Gymnasium. The bronze medal game will not be televised.
USA Quarterfinal Recap
The USA went on a 25-2 run from the final minute of the third quarter to just over five minutes of the fourth period to outdistance Lithuania, 70-48, and advance to the semifinals against Russia.
With the score 43-42 with 1:04 left in the third quarter, USA guard Julian DeBose’s free throws started what would be an incredible run by the Americans. Guard Nic Moore made four of the first six points with two steals, resulting in a layup and a jumper. Guard Frank Mason III sandwiched in a traditional three-point play, forcing a Lithuania timeout with 8:38 to play and the USA up 52-42. Not two minutes later, Wayne Selden, Jr., drained a three-pointer off a forward Landen Lucas assist, forcing a second Lithuania timeout. Rolling, forward Perry Ellis dunked from another Lucas assist and Lucas then made a free throw to give USA a 58-42 lead at the 5:07 mark and Lithuania had yet to score in the period. Following a Lithuania basket by Paulis Dambrauskas at 4:44, the USA went on a 10-0 run en route to the victory.
Mason led USA with 18 points and four assists to go along with four steals. Selden, the Games leading scorer entering the day, poured in 13 points. Moore had six steals to add to his nine points, while Lucas pulled down a team-high nine rebounds in scoring seven points. Ellis scored 11 points with six boards.
USA Goes Undefeated in Pool D
With its 96-57 win against Switzerland on July 9, the USA posted a 5-0 record in winning Pool D. USA opened the Games with two nine-point victories against Turkey (66-57) on July 4, and Brazil (81-72) on July 5. Following a 106-41 blowout win versus Chile on July 7, the USA team won a 66-65 nail biter against Serbia on July 8. The Americans closed out pool play with the win versus Switzerland.
How this Happened
In April 2014, the Kansas basketball team was selected by the United States International University Sports Federation (US-IUSF) to represent the United States in the World University Games. Kansas was selected as the team to represent the U.S. from the schools that expressed interest.
With more than 150 countries competing in 21 sports, the World University Games are held every two years and are governed by the International University Sports Federation. Only current university student-athletes or recent graduates, born between Jan. 1, 1990, and Dec. 31, 1997, are eligible for the 2015 Games. For Kansas’ participation, only U.S. citizens can compete and incoming freshmen and transfers qualify. The Kansas travel party, consisting of 12 competitors and 11 staff (23 total), will leave Lawrence June 28 and live in the athlete village throughout the Games.
This is the second time a college team will compete in the World University Games. In 2007, the University of Northern Iowa participated and finished ninth in Bangkok, Thailand.
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, and are or have been within the past year, a student at a college or university.
The World University Games began in 1965 in Budapest, Hungary, with the United States men’s basketball team posting a 9-0 record in winning the gold medal. The USA has won 13 gold medals with its last in 2005 and its 19 total medals are more than any other country.
Eighteen players who have represented the USA in the World University Games have gone on to compete in the Olympic Games, including KU’s Jo Jo White, who won gold for the USA at the 1967 World University Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Seven other Jayhawks besides White have competed in the World University Games, the last being Jerod Haase, who won gold for the USA in 1995. Other KU players who have competed for the U.S. in the World University Games include: Dave Robisch in 1970 (silver), Greg Dreiling and Ron Kellogg in 1985 (silver), Mark Randall in 1989 (gold), Adonis Jordan in 1991 (gold) and Richard Scott in 1993 (gold). Additionally, former KU coach Roy Williams was an assistant coach in the 1991 World University Games, and KU Head Team Physician, Dr. Larry Magee, was the USA physician in 1995 and is with the USA squad this trip.
About the National Team
The USA National Team for the upcoming World University Games (WUG), July 3-14 in Gwangju, Korea, continued preparation for the event when the student-athletes returned to Lawrence for summer school June 7. The national team is coached by Bill Self, who has guided Kansas to an unprecedented 11-straight Big 12 Conference regular-season titles (2005-15) and two Final Fours as the Jayhawks are the winningest program in NCAA Division I since the 2006-07 season, averaging 31.1 wins in that span with an 83.8 winning percentage. In 12 seasons at Kansas, Self is 352-78 (81.9 percent), averaging 29.3 wins per year. Overall, Self has a 559-183 (75.3 percent) record in his 22nd seasons as a head coach.
Forward Perry Ellis is one of four returning all-conference performers from 2014-15 and headlines the USA National Team roster. A Wichita, Kansas native, Ellis was an All-Big 12 First Team selection last season, leading Kansas in scoring (13.8 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg). He was also named to the 2015 Academic All-Big 12 First Team and the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Guard Frank Mason III, from Petersburg, Virginia, was an All-Big 12 Second Team honoree who was second on the team in scoring with 12.6 points per game and led Kansas with 142 assists and 50 steals in 2014-15. Mason’s 42.9 percent shooting from three-point range was best on the KU team last season. Guard Wayne Selden, Jr., from Roxbury, Massachusetts, was a 2015 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection who led Kansas with 46 three-pointers made last year as he averaged 9.4 points per contest.
The only non-Jayhawks on the roster are SMU guard Nic Moore and Florida Gulf Coast guard Julian DeBose, who replaced Kansas guard Devonte’ Graham who suffered an injury which will not allow him to compete in the games. Moore was the 2015 American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and led SMU in scoring (14.5 ppg), assists (5.1 apg) and steals (1.3 spg) last season. The Winona Lake, Indiana all-conference first-team selection led the Mustangs to their first conference regular-season title since 1993. DeBose, who joined the team June 20, averaged 11.9 points and 3.9 rebounds for FGCU last year under former KU assistant coach Joe Dooley.
Ellis, forwards Jamari Traylor (4.8 points, 3.7 rebounds in 2014-15) and Landen Lucas (3.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and guards Evan Manning and Tyler Self have international experience heading to Gwangju as they competed in Kansas’ four exhibition games in Switzerland and France in August 2012. Lucas and forward Hunter Mickelson (2.4 ppg, 19 blocked shots in 2014-15) spent August 2014 playing internationally as Lucas played for the Athletes in Action touring Estonia and Latvia and Mickelson was a member of Guy Rancourt’s USA East Coast Basketball Team in the 2014 Four Nations Cup in Estonia and Finland.
Expect newcomers Carlton Bragg, Jr. and Lagerald Vick to be key contributors for the World University Games. Bragg, who broke his nose in USA’s second practice in Gwangju and may play in the WUG, is a power forward who was a McDonald’s All-American last year, while Vick is an explosive guard with great range shooting.
Timing Format for FIBA
- Timeouts (source: FIBA Rule Chart):
- 2 x 60 seconds in the first 2 quarters
- 3 x 60 seconds in the last 2 quarters – can only use 2 in the last 2 minutes of the 2nd half.
- Cannot buy an extra time out.
- Requested at score table by Coach or Assistant.
- If your team is scored upon, T.O. may be called.
- After successful free throw, either team may call T.O.
- Teams stay in huddle for 50 seconds.
- Not allowed between free throws.
- They do not carry over from one half to the next.
- 1 x 60 second time out allotted for an overtime period.
- Opportunity ends when the ball is in the thrower in’s hands.
- No time out for scoring team when the clock is under 2:00 of the 4th quarter unless an official has stopped the game.
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