FIBA AmeriCup -- 2022
Recife, Brazil • September 2-11, 2022
In 2022, the United States competed for the 10th time in a zone championship and their first since 2017. The event was originally slated for 2021 before being postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. faced tough competition, ultimately finishing with the bronze medal behind host country Brazil and AmeriCup champions Argentina. Featuring a team directed by former Utah Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen and relying on a roster consisting primarily of NBA G League and international players, the U.S. captured the bronze medal for the first time in competition history.
2022 USA RESULTS (4-2)
2022 FIBA AMERICUP FINAL STANDINGS
“I’m happy for our guys…There’s pressure to it, but you’re carrying it for the moment. You want to take care of what those before you had done and pass it on in good shape to those that come after. And I think our guys did a great job of that,” U.S. head coach Alex Jensen said. “It was an honor to be a part of it.”
It was a slow start for the USA, who dropped their first game to Mexico, 73-67. It was tightly contested throughout the opening half, as Mexico went to halftime holding a one-point advantage. Second half runs from both teams kept the game close, but following a 58-58 tie, Mexico was able to get control of the game and keep the Americans from coming back. Jeremy Pargo led the USA with 14 points, while Norris Cole scored 11.
The U.S. rebounded against Venezuela, and a fast start cemented a 48-21 lead at halftime. Craig Sword stood out for the Americans in first-half play, recording seven points in the first frame and 12 by halftime without missing a shot. While the U.S. made it rain on the court, the rain in Recife, Brazil led to multiple leaks in the arena room which ultimately led to a postponement of the second half.
Two days later, the U.S. finished the game, notching a 52-point victory, 101-49, and set tournament highs for total points and assists after dishing out 31 total helpers. Sword ended with 19 points, while Cole and Frank Mason each added 12 points. Patrick McCaw led the team defensively, tallying five steals which tied the USA single game AmeriCup record.
Before the U.S. finished out the second half against Venezuela, the team took its first win over Panama, 88-58. The team never trailed Panama and led by double figures following the 2:20 mark of the first quarter. Strong 3-point shooting helped the Americans elevate their play, finishing with 16 threes which marked the second-most by any team throughout the competition.
With a 2-1 record and the most points through group play, the USA took the top-seed in Group C and faced Puerto Rico in the quarterfinals. The U.S. trailed for the first 19 minutes of the game before a 13-2 run gave the team their first lead of the game (42-41). The third quarter was tightly contested, but the U.S. took a 64-60 lead into the final frame and held off Puerto Rico before the final 30 seconds, when their opponents tied the game at the free throw line, 82-82.
After Norris Cole gave the Americans a one-point lead with under 10 seconds remaining, Puerto Rico’s Tremont Waters took it back with a layup, putting the U.S. down one (83-84) with six seconds remaining. Fueled by his missed opportunity at the free throw line seconds before, Cole went on to hit the game-winning layup for the USA to punch its ticket to the semifinals. Cole was held scoreless in the first half but finished with a team-high 20 points, the most points scored by an American across the tournament.
In the semifinals, the U.S. faced undefeated Argentina. The two teams traded leads throughout the first frame, but a 10-0 run at the start of the second quarter gave Argentina its first double-digit lead of the game and a seven-point lead going into the half.
In the end, Argentina outlasted the U.S. with timely runs and an advantage at the free throw line. Cole recorded four points in the first half, but much like his performance against Puerto Rico, he came out firing in the second half. Cole finished with a team-high 18 points (7-11 FG, 2-6 3FG, 2-2 FT), eight of which he scored consecutively in the fourth (7:35-5:12) to help the USA close the margin as the game neared its conclusion. Zylan Cheatham scored 10 points for the U.S. to go along with his team-high eight rebounds.
The bronze medal game featured the U.S. and Canada in their 10th AmeriCup matchup since 1989.
The U.S. trailed at halftime 36-29 but rallied in the third quarter to pull within one possession (57-54) to enter the fourth. Gary Clark put the USA ahead, 75-73, on a layup with 1:27 remaining. From there, the Americans held on to earn the bronze.
Argentina defeated Brazil 75-73 in the gold medal match.
Argentina forward Gabriel Deck was named MVP of the AmeriCup and was joined on the five-member all-tournament team by Norris Cole, Facu Campazzo, Yago Santos and Dalano Banton.
2022 USA MEN'S AMERICUP TEAM ROSTER
|NAME||POS||HGT||WGT||AGE||AFFILIATION / SCHOOL|
|Zylan Cheatham||F/C||6-6||220||26||Birmingham Squadron/Arizona State|
|Gary Clark||F||6-6||225||27||Birmingham Squadron/Cincinnati|
|Norris Cole||G||6-2||175||33||Atléticos de San Germán (PUR)/Cleveland State|
|Will Davis II||F/C||6-8||220||29||College Park Skyhawks/UC Irvine|
|Anthony Lamb||G/F||6-6||227||24||Rio Grande Vipers/Vermont|
|Frank Mason III||G||5-11||190||28||Wisconsin Herd/Kansas|
|Patrick McCaw||G/F||6-7||181||26||Delaware Blue Coats/UNLV|
|Jodie Meeks||G||6-4||210||35||Raptors 905/Kentucky|
|Jeremy Pargo||G||6-2||210||36||Windy City Bulls/Gonzaga|
|Elijah Pemberton||G||6-5||195||25||Santa Cruz Warriors/Hofstra|
|Craig Sword||G||6-3||197||28||Capital City Go-Go/Mississippi State|
|Stephen Zimmerman||C||6-11||240||26||Cairns Taipasns (AUS)/UNLV|
|Head Coach: Alex Jensen, Utah Jazz|
|Assistant Coach: Steve Wojciechowski, USA Basketball|
|Assistant Coach: Mike Williams, Capital City Go-Go|
|Court Coach: Nathan Peavy, USA Basketball|
|Team Physician: Stephen Foley, Sanford Health (Sioux Falls, South Dakota)|
|Athletic Trainer: Ian Lackey, Sioux Falls Skyforce|
|Video Coordinator: Chris Jones, Utah Jazz|
2022 USA MEN'S AMERICUP TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS
|Clark||6/6||17- 40||.425||8- 29||.276||0- 0||.---||44/ 7.3||42/ 7.0||16||0||0|
|Cole||6/6||31- 58||.534||15- 32||.469||5- 6||.833||11/ 1.8||82/ 13.7||24||0||7|
|Pargo||6/0||22- 50||.440||8- 23||.348||1- 2||.500||11/ 1.8||53/ 8.8||34||2||5|
|Sword||6/6||25- 43||.581||5- 14||.357||6- 7||.857||15/ 2.5||61/ 10.2||14||3||10|
|McCaw||6/0||9- 25||.360||3- 15||.200||0- 0||.---||10/ 1.7||21/ 3.5||10||1||6|
|Mason||6/6||13- 38||.342||6-17||.353||8- 11||.727||12/ 2.0||40/ 6.7||14||0||1|
|Cheatham||6/0||17- 28||.607||0- 3||.000||16- 23||.696||32/ 5.3||23/ 8.3||6||4||2|
|Meeks||6/0||13- 34||.382||8- 26||.308||6- 8||.750||14/ 2.3||40/ 6.7||9||0||1|
|Zimmerman||6/6||16- 24||.667||0- 0||.---||6- 14||.429||48/ 8.0||38/ 3.6||8||1||3|
|Lamb||6/0||9- 30||.300||8- 25||.320||4- 5||.800||14/ 2.3||30/ 5.0||4||4||4|
|Pemberton||6/0||7- 17||.412||2- 9||.222||6- 7||.857||2/ 0.3||22/ 3.7||2||0||1|
|Davis||4/0||8- 13||.615||0- 0||.---||3- 4||.750||6/ 1.5||19/ 4.8||1||4||1|