Games of the XIVth Olympiad -- 1948
London, England • July 30 - August 13, 1948
An easy United States march to the gold proved in the first post-World War II Olympiad that the U.S. remained the world leader in basketball. Obviously, a war-torn Europe had not had the opportunities to advance the game like the United States and South America. In fact, five of the eight teams in the quarterfinals were from the Americas, and a sixth, Argentina, almost upset the U.S. in the preliminaries.
1948 USA RESULTS (8-0)
The Phillips 66ers, winners of the 1948 national AAU title, met the 1948 NCAA champs, University of Kentucky, in the final game of the Olympic Trials. The 66ers edged Kentucky, 53-49, and Bud Browning of the 66ers was named head coach, and University of Kentucky legend Adolph Rupp was selected as his assistant.
During a pre-Olympic tour in Scotland, Browning and Rupp, each believing his own members of the team played best as a unit, concocted a strategy of unit substitution -- one unit of five 66ers and one unit of five Kentucky Wildcats.
Relying on the two coaches' unit plan, Switzerland was beaten 86-21 as Alex Groza led all scorers with 19 points, and several days later, nine Americans scored in a 53-28 win over Czechoslovakia. Still utilizing the unit plan as much as possible against Argentina, the starting 66ers five forged a 14-9 lead. When the second group of Kentucky players were substituted, Argentina rallied and by half led 33-26. The original starting crew returned at the start the second half, but eventually it had to be revised because of foul trouble. With three minutes remaining and the score even, 55-55, Kenneth Rollins sank a free throw, Jack Robinson added a field goal and Gordon Carpenter added one free throw to clinch the USA's 59-57 victory. Rollins and Carpenter led the U.S. with 12 points each.
Egypt proved no match for the U.S. in a lopsided 66-28 U.S. win, and with Wallace Jones leading the way with 12 points, the U.S. crushed Peru 61-33. Kurland scored 19 points as the Americans handed South American champion Uruguay a 63-28 setback, and the U.S. moved within a victory of the Olympic gold after discarding of Mexico, 71-40, as Groza scored 19 points.
Facing France in the finals, Browning started his five 66ers. Only leading 9-4, the unit system was abandoned and Browning began substituting one player at a time. At half the U.S. was in command 28-9, and the Americans went on to record an easy 65-21 victory over France. The USA's scoring was led in the gold medal game by Groza and Raymond Lumpp who tallied 11 points each.
1948 U.S. MEN'S OLYMPIC TEAM ROSTER
|Clifford Barker||F||6-2||185||27||University of Kentucky||Satsuma, FL|
|Don Barksdale||C||6-6||200||25||Oakland Bittners (UCLA)||Los Angeles, CA|
|Ralph Beard||G||5-10||176||20||University of Kentucky||Louisville, KY|
|Lewis Beck||G||6-0||165||26||Philips 66ers (Kansas)||Pendleton, OR|
|Vincent Boryla||G||6-3||190||21||Denver Nuggets (Univ. of Denver)||Englewood, CA|
|Gordon Carpenter||C/F||6-7||220||21||Phillips 66ers (Arkansas)||Lakewood, CA|
|Alex Groza||C||6-7||220||21||University of Kentucky||San Diego, CA|
|Wallace Jones||C/F||6-4||205||22||University of Kentucky||Lexington, KY|
|Robert Kurland||C||7-0||220||23||Phillips 66ers (Oklahoma State)||Bartlesville, OK|
|Raymond Lumpp||G||6-0||170||25||New York University||East Williston, NY|
|R.C. Pitts||F||6-5||200||29||Phillips 66ers (Arkansas)||Baton Rouge, LA|
|Jesse Renick||G||6-2||185||30||Phillips 66ers (Oklahoma State)||San Francisco, CA|
|Kenneth Rollins||G||6-0||170||24||University of Kentucky||Charleston, NC|
|Jack Robinson||G||6-0||180||21||Baylor University||Fort Worth, TX|
|HEAD COACH: Omar Browning, Phillips 66ers (Bartlesville, OK)|
|ASSISTANT COACH: Adolph Rupp, University of Kentucky|
|MANAGER: Louis Wilke, Phillips 66ers (Bartlesville, OK)|
1948 U.S. MEN'S OLYMPIC TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS
||8- 14||.571||19||78/ 11.1|
||11- 15||.733||17||65/ 9.3|
||14- 19||.737||16||54/ 9.0|
|R. C. Pitts||4||13-||
||5- 6||.833||3||31/ 7.8|
||8- 10||.800||11||36/ 7.2|
||5- 9||.556||11||43/ 7.2|
||9- 12||.750||6||35/ 7.0|
||6- 10||.600||11||28/ 5.6|
||5- 7||.714||13||39/ 5.6|
||7- 11||.636||3||33/ 4.7|
||4- 5||.800||5||24/ 4.0|
||5- 12||.417||13||19/ 3.8|
||6- 12||.500||7||26/ 3.7|
||1- 3||.333||6||13/ 2.6|