Larry Drew II

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USA cruising through Americup, advances to Finals

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Jeff Van Gundy remains undefeated as the Team USA coach.

He and a group of D-League players who will represent the USA in World Cup qualifying later this year and into next year — because international governing body FIBA decided to put qualifying during the NBA season — are 4-0 and have advanced to the Finals of the Americup tournament taking place in Argentina. The Americans have won their games by an average of 23.5 points per contest.

After the USA handled the Virgin Islands on Saturday 90-62 they are in the tournament Finals Sunday against Argentina or Mexico (the game was still underway as of this writing).

The USA is being led by Damian Hillard, who played in 39 games for the Pistons last season and is averaging 13 points a contest. After that Jameel Warney of the Texas Legends is averaging 10.8 per game, and Xavier Munford of the Greensboro Swarm is at 10.3 per contest but had 20 against the Virgin Islands Saturday. Warney leads the USA with 9 assists per game, while Larry Drew II is averaging 5 assists per contest.

Van Gundy will lead this Team USA squad in games in November and February as part of the World Cup Qualifying. Yes, you would think as the reigning World Cup and Olympic champion the USA wouldn’t have to play its way into the World Cup, but then you’re not thinking like FIBA. The USA should qualify, at which point NBA players coached by Gregg Popovich will suit up.

 

Kendall Marshall, Marshall Plumlee headline Team USA’s AmeriCup roster

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AmeriCup, previously called the FIBA Americas Championship, lost its luster when FIBA decided the continental tournament wouldn’t double as World Cup qualifying.

But the U.S. is still sending a team, coached by Jeff Van Gundy. The roster (team last season):

  • Billy Baron (UCAM Murcia, Spain)
  • Alec Brown (Windy City Bulls)
  • Larry Drew II (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  • Reggie Hearn (Reno Bighorns)
  • Darrun Hilliard (Detroit Pistons)
  • Jonathan Holmes (Canton Charge);
  • Kendall Marshall (Reno Bighorns)
  • Xavier Munford (Greensboro Swarm)
  • Marshall Plumlee (New York Knicks)
  • Jameel Warney (Texas Legends)
  • C.J. Williams (Texas Legends)
  • Reggie Williams (Oklahoma City Blue)

The Americans should still be favored, though obviously not as overwhelming as they’d be with NBA players, in a field also comprised of Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Uruguay, Panama and U.S. Virgin Islands.

This will be a good benchmark, as the U.S. might take a similar roster into World Cup qualifying.