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1997 USA Men's World Championship Qualifying Team

FIBA Americas Championship -- 1997

  • Date:
    Dec 15, 2010

Montevideo, Uruguay • August 21-31, 1997

Featuring 12 players from the Continental Basketball Association (CBA), the U.S. squad proved to be an especially tough team down the stretch, persevering to win a number of close games to finish 8-1 and successfully reclaim the Tournament of the Americas title.


1997 USA RESULTS (8-1)

Venezuela 85 USA 75
USA 98 Dominican Rep. 70
USA 102 Canada 97
USA 93 Puerto Rico 82
USA 100 Cuba 88
USA 98 Uruguay 84
USA 91 Argentina 78
USA 93 Brazil 89
USA 95 Puerto Rico 86

1997 FIBA AMERICAS CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL STANDINGS

1. #USA (8-1) 6. Cuba (4-5)
2. *Puerto Rico (5-4) 7. Venezuela (4-4)
3. *Brazil (6-3) 8. Uruguay (3-5)
4. *Argentina (4-5) 9. Dominican Rep. (0-4)
5. *Canada (5-4)   Mexico (0-4)
   
*Qualified for the 1998 FIBA World Championship
#Qualified for the 1998 FIBA World Championship as the 1996 Olympic champion

Featuring 10 nations from the Americas, the teams competed not only for the title, but also for one of the America's zone four qualifying berths to the 1998 FIBA Men's World Championship.

The U.S. entered the tournament not needing to earn a qualification berth for the World Championship, the U.S. had previously qualified for the World Championship by capturing the gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games. Based on the final results, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Argentina and Canada claimed qualifying spots for the ‘98 FIBA Men's World Championship.

Despite fighting back to grab a three-point lead late in the second half, the USA faltered down the stretch and fell to Venezuela 85-75 in its opener. One day later, behind 33 points and a perfect 6-of-6 shooting from 3-point by Jason Sasser, the U.S. routed the Dominican Republic 98-70.

The USA stormed back from a 94-89 deficit in the final 1:42 of the game to snatch a 102-97 victory from a stunned Canadian team as Travis Williams accounted for 24 points. Getting 29 points from Williams, the U.S. handed Puerto Rico a 93-82 setback.

Opening the semifinal round against Cuba, Mike McDonald came off the bench to score 17 points and Williams also added 17 as the U.S. posted a 100-88 victory. The U.S. shut down upset minded Uruguay in the game's final minutes and behind Williams’ 26 points, the Americans outscored the hosts 24-4 over the game's final 7:38 to earn a 98-84 victory.

Led by Rusty LaRue’s 16 points and 15 points from Sasser and Williams, the USA’s balanced scoring effort and strong defensive showing resulted in a 91-78 victory over Argentina on August 29.

With a spot in the gold medal game already assured for the USA, behind a 20 point and 12 rebound effort from Williams and Corey Beck’s 19 points on 5-for-6 shooting from three, the U.S. was solid down the stretch and earned an impressive 93-89 victory over Brazil.

Facing Puerto Rico in the gold medal game on August 31, six U.S. team members scored in double-figures, including a team best 18 points from Beck, and the USA defeated Puerto Rico 95-86 to finish 8-1 overall, and capture the gold medal. Although the U.S. led Puerto Rico 52-28 at halftime, Puerto Rico rallied to within one point several times in the second half, however, the U.S. each time managed to turn away Puerto Rico's upset efforts.

 

1997 USA TOURNAMENT OF THE AMERICAS TEAM ROSTER

NAME
POS
HGT
WGT
AGE
AFFILIATION/SCHOOL HOMETOWN
Corey Beck
G
6-3
200
26
Sioux Falls Skyforce/Arkansas Memphis, TN
Evers Burns
F
6-8
265
25
Oklahoma City Cavalry/Maryland Laurel, MD
Jim Farmer
G
6-4
190
32
Fort Wayne Fury/Alabama Dothan, LA
Adrian Griffin
F
6-5
220
23
Connecticut Pride/Seton Hall Wichita, KS
Kermit Holmes
F
6-6
225
28
Oklahoma City Cavalry/Oklahoma Okmulgee, OK
Reggie Jordan
G
6-4
195
29
Sioux Falls Skyforce/New Mexico State Maywood, IL
Rusty LaRue
G
6-2
195
24
Idaho Stampede/Wake Forest Oak Ridge, NC
Erik Martin
F
6-6
220
26
Idaho Stampede/Cincinnati West Covina, CA
Mike McDonald
C
6-10
232
28
Grand Rapids Hoops/New Orleans Longview, TX
Russ Millard
F
6-8
240
24
LaCrosse Catbirds/Iowa Cedar Rapids, IA
Jason Sasser
F
6-7
200
23
Sioux Falls Skyforce/Texas Tech Dallas, TX
Travis Williams
F
6-7
220
28
Florida Beachdogs/South Carolina State Columbia, SC
HEAD COACH: Mo McHone, Sioux Falls Skyforce
ASSISTANT COACH: Eric Musselman, Florida Beachdogs
ASSISTANT COACH: Mark Hughes, Grand Rapids Hoops
TEAM PHYSICIAN: Steve Foley, Sioux Falls Skyforce
ATHLETIC TRAINER: Geoff Clark, Yakima Sun Kings

1997 USA TOURNAMENT OF THE AMERICAS TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS

NAME G
FGM-A
PCT
3PM-A
PCT
FTM-A
PCT
REB
PTS
AT
BK
ST
Williams 9
59-102
.578
0- 4
.000
37- 52
.712
64/ 7.1
155/ 17.2
3
3
13
Sasser 9
51-102
.500
11- 28
.393
35- 41
.854
41/ 4.6
148/ 16.4
8
1
16
Beck 9
37- 67
.552
14- 23
.609
16- 23
.696
15/ 1.7
104/ 11.6
12
0
16
LaRue 9
36- 65
.554
23- 41
.561
7- 8
.875
26/ 2.9
102/ 11.3
2
5
7
Burns 9
27- 53
.509
0- 0
.---
22- 26
.846
43/ 4.8
76/ 8.4
4
5
11
Jordan 9
33- 68
.485
0- 0
.---
7- 16
.438
37/ 4.1
73/ 8.1
27
3
16
Holmes 9
25- 55
.455
13- 31
.419
10- 12
.833
8/ 0.9
73/ 8.1
0
0
5
McDonald 9
22- 30
.733
0- 0
.---
14- 17
.824
35/ 3.9
58/ 6.4
2
9
7
Martin 9
12- 20
.600
0- 0
.---
6- 15
.400
25/ 2.8
30/ 3.3
6
9
5
Farmer 7
4- 20
.200
2- 8
.250
3- 3
1.000
9/ 1.3
13/ 1.9
1
0
1
Griffin 6
2- 6
.333
0- 3
.000
4- 6
.667
9/ 1.5
8/ 1.3
0
0
1
Millard 5
1- 6
.167
1- 2
.500
2- 2
1.000
2/ 0.4
5/ 1.0
0
0
0
USA 9
309-594
.520
64-140
.457
163-221
.738
314/34.9
845/93.9
65
37
98
OPP. 9
244-542
.450
65-172
.378
206-270
.763
237/26.3
759/84.3
41
15
104



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