Games of the XVIth Olympiad -- 1956
Melbourne, Australia • November 22 - December 1, 1956
Because the seasons are reversed in Australia, the 1956 summer Olympics were held during the USA's winter time. The Australian government poured a then unthinkable sum of $13,440,000 into the Olympics, at that time the highest amount ever spent for the Games.
1956 USA RESULTS (8-0)
1956 OLYMPIC GAMES FINAL STANDINGS
Behind the play of 6'10' Bill Russell and 6'1' K. C. Jones, two key players on the University of San Francisco's 1956 NCAA national championship team, the USA proved that it was still far ahead of the rest of the world in the American-originated sport. The United States averaged nearly 100 points a game, actually surpassing the century mark in four of eight games, and the USA's average margin of victory was an impressive 53.5 points a game.
Arriving in Melbourne November 15, the USA opened the Olympic competition with a dominating 98-40 win over Japan as Russell poured in 20 points. All 12 U.S. men scored as Thailand was overwhelmed by the U.S. squad 101-29, and the Philippines were crushed 121-53 as all 12 players again scored, including seven in double digits, led by Robert Jeangerard's 21 points. Bulgaria fell 85-44 as Jeangerard scored 19, and the U.S. upped its record to 5-0 with a 113-51 whipping of Brazil as nine U.S. players scored nine or more points.
The Soviet men were bettered by the Americans by 30 points, 85-55, with Russell dropping 20 points in the victory. Moving into the finals, Uruguay was man-handled 101-38 as Ron Tomsic scored 18 points. Closing the 1956 Olympic competition against the Soviet Union, the Americans won even easier than they had in the first meeting. Taking control early, the U.S. led comfortably at half, 56-27, and went on to record an 89-55 win. Jeangerard led the U.S. with 16 points, while Jones, James Walsh and Russell finished with 15, 14, and 13 points, respectively.
Returning to the United States, the '56 Olympic team entered and won a college tournament in mid-December that also featured teams from San Francisco, Loyola and Santa Clara.
Russell, who had delayed his pro-debut so he could compete in the Olympics, reported late to the Celtics. But Russell still managed to play in 48 of Boston's 72 games in 1956-57, and led the Celtics in field goal percentage and rebounding as Boston captured their first of many NBA titles while Russell occupied the post.
1956 U.S. MEN'S OLYMPIC TEAM ROSTER
|Dick Boushka||F||6-5||195||22||Wichita Vickers (St. Louis University)||Albuquerque, NM|
|Carl Cain||F||6-3||190||22||University of Iowa||Freeport, IL|
|Charles Darling||C||6-8||225||26||Phillips 66ers (Colorado)||Bartlesville, OK|
|William Evans||G||6-1||185||24||U.S. Armed Forces (Kentucky)||Houston, TX|
|Gilbert Ford||G||6-4||200||25||U.S. Armed Forces (Texas)||Amarillo, TX|
|Burdette Haldorson||F||6-7||207||22||Phillips 66ers (Colorado)||Austin, TX|
|William Hougland||F||6-5||190||26||Phillips 66ers (Kansas)||Bartlesville, OK|
|Robert Jeangerard||F||6-3||190||24||Phillips 66ers (Colorado)||Wilmette, IL|
|K.C. Jones||G||6-1||201||24||University of San Francisco||San Francisco, CA|
|Bill Russell||C||6-10||220||22||University of San Francisco||Oakland, CA|
|Ron Tomsic||G||5-11||185||23||U.S. Armed Forces (Stanford)||Oakland, CA|
|James Walsh||G||6-4||190||26||Phillips 66ers (Stanford)||San Francisco, CA|
|HEAD COACH: Gerald Tucker, Phillips 66ers (Bartlesville, OK)|
|ASSISTANT COACH: Bruce Drake, United States Armed Forces|
|MANAGER: James Coogan, Connecticut AAU|
|ASSISTANT MANAGER: Major Roy Johnson, U.S. Air Force Academy (CO)|
|ATHLETIC TRAINER: Wally Bock|
1956 U.S. MEN'S OLYMPIC TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS
|Russell||8||46- 96||.479||21- 27||.778||5||113/ 14.1|
|Jeangerard||8||45- 74||.608||10- 11||.909||9||100/ 12.5|
|Tomsic||8||34- 92||.370||21- 25||.840||12||89/ 11.1|
|Jones||8||32- 75||.427||23- 27||.852||11||87/ 10.9|
|Walsh||9||27- 61||.443||19- 21||.905||17||73/ 9.1|
|Halodorson||8||28- 58||.483||13- 15||.867||14||69/ 8.6|
|Boushka||8||27- 68||.397||10- 10||1.000||12||64/ 8.0|
|Darling||8||22- 44||.500||12- 15||.800||7||56/ 9.3|
|Evans||8||21- 55||.382||12- 18||.667||11||54/ 6.8|
|Houghland||8||20- 51||.392||6- 6||1.000||5||46/ 5.8|
|Ford||8||17- 44||.386||5- 7||.714||14||39/ 4.9|
|Cain||2||1- 5||.200||1- 2||.500||2||3/ 1.5|