MEN'S TOURNAMENT OF THE AMERICAS -- 2003
San Juan, Puerto Rico • August 20-31, 2003
It was a clean sweep of its goals. The 2003 USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team finished a perfect 10-0, won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and most importantly, qualified the USA men for the 2004 Olympics.
2003 USA RESULTS (10-0)
2003 FIBA AMERICAS OLYMPIC QUALIFYING FINAL STANDINGS
"We just wanted to play the right way. Show everybody we could play as a team and we could do the things that all the European and international teams do. We wanted to go from an all-star team to a team," said USA head coach Larry Brown, who will also serve as head mentor of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team and who has now compiled a spectacular 43-3 record as a member of USA coaching staffs.
The United States got off to an impressive start when it opened preliminary round play on Aug. 20 facing South American and Pan American Games champ Brazil and behind 17 points from Tim Duncan and Elton Brand posted a 110-76 victory. Tracy McGrady scored 17 as the U.S. posted a 111-73 win over the Dominican Republic, and McGrady scored 16 in the USA's 98-69 win against Venezuela. Allen Iverson led the scoring effort with 17 points in the United States' 113-55 lopsided decision against the Virgin Islands.
Opening the second round versus Canada, Iverson scored 28 and shot 10-for-13 from the field and was 7-for-8 from 3-point, making alll seven of his 3-point field goals during the final 7:41 of the third quarter, as the U.S. rolled to a 111-71 win. In the much anticipated game with Argentina, the team that ended the U.S. senior team's 58-game win streak with an 87-80 win in the 2002 World Championship play, Jermaine O'Neal finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds as the U.S. prevailed with a 94-86 victory. Behind identical 16 point efforts from Duncan, the USA closed out second round play with a 96-69 winning effort against Mexico and a 91-65 win over host Puerto Rico
Advancing to the medal round semifinals, the U.S. met Puerto Rico for the second time in three days and the outcome in the semis was very similar to the teams' first meeting as the USA behind 15 points from Ray Allen recorded an 87-71 victory and qualified itself for the 2004 Olympics. Facing Argentina for the second time, this time for the gold medal, Duncan posted 23 points and 14 rebounds as the Americans finished the tournament in spectacular fashion, recording a
106-73 win to claim the gold and finish 10-0.
Duncan and USA frontcourt mate O'Neal were both named to the five-member all tournament team, joining Canada's Steve Nash, and Argentina's Adres Nocioni and Emanuel Ginobili. Nash was voted the tournament's Most Valuable Player by the media.
The USA showing in San Juan was a team effort that saw six of the squad's 12 players finish averaging in double digits in scoring. The USA was led by center Duncan, who averaged team highs of 15.6 ppg. and 8.0 rpg., Iverson posted 14.3 ppg., while Vince Carter and McGrady each accounted for 12.6 ppg., O'Neal added 11.2 ppg. and 6.2 rpg., and Allen finished averaging 10.6 ppg. Kidd and Bibby led the USA in assists, averaging 5.0 apg. and 4.8 apg., respectively.
It wasn't entirely smooth sailing for the USA club. First, Kobe Bryant was forced to withdraw from the USA team prior to the start of its training after he underwent knee and shoulder surgeries. The USA named Carter to replace him on the roster. Then veteran Karl Malone was lost for the tournament three days into the team's training after the death of his mother. Martin was added to the roster on Aug. 19 replacing Malone.
Injuries forced some juggling too. McGrady, who at the time ranked as the USA's leading scorer, missed three-and-a-half games because of a back woes. McGrady sat out the second half of the Virgin Islands game because of a tight back, and missed the USA's next three games. He returned for the Aug. 28 Puerto Rico game. Iverson, the USA's leading scorer after eight games at 14.3 ppg., missed the USA's final two games because of a sprained right thumb which was suffered in the first half of the Aug. 28 Puerto Rico game.
The U.S. compiled impressive statistics during the 12-day tournament. Averaging 101.7 points a game, and an amazing 29.3 assists a game, the U.S. owned a 30.9 average margin of victory through its 10 wins. The USA shot 56.2 percent from the floor, an outstanding 46.8 percent from 3-point, and outrebounded its opponents by 11.3 rebounds a game. The USA opponents averaged 70.8 ppg., and shot just 38.1 percent overall, including 36.3 percent from three. The USA as a team ranked first in seven of nine statistical categories. The Americans finished tops in scoring offense (101.7 ppg.), scoring margin (+30.9 ppg.), field goal percentage (.562), 3-point field goal percentage (.468), scoring defense (70.8 ppg.), defensive field goal percentage (.381) and rebounding margin (+11.3). The USA also ranked seventh in free throw percentage (.717) and fifth in 3-point field goals made per game (7.40).
Host Puerto Rico earned the third and final 2004 Olympic qualifying invite with a 79-66 victory over Canada in the bronze medal game.
2003 USA MEN'S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING TEAM ROSTER
|Ray Allen||G||6-5||205||28||Seattle SuperSonics / Connecticut '96|
|Mike Bibby||G||6-1||190||25||Sacramento Kings / Arizona '98|
|Elton Brand||F||6-8||265||24||Los Angeles Clippers / Duke '99|
|Vince Carter||G/F||6-6||225||26||Toronto Raptors / North Carolina '98|
|Nick Collison||F/C||6-9||250||23||Seattle SuperSonics/Kansas '03|
|Tim Duncan||C||6-11||248||27||San Antonio Spurs/ Wake Forest '97|
|Allen Iverson||G||6-0||165||28||Philadelphia 76ers / Georgetown '96|
|Richard Jefferson||F||6-7||222||23||New Jersey Nets / Arizona '01|
|Jason Kidd||G||6- 4||212||30||New Jersey Nets / California '94|
|Kenyon Martin||F||6-9||234||25||New Jersey Nets / Cincinnati '00|
|Tracy McGrady||G||6-8||210||24||Orlando magic / Mount zion Christian Academy '97|
|Jermaine O'Neal||F/C||6-11||242||24||Indiana Pacers / Eau Claire H.S. '97|
|Head Coach: Larry Brown, Philadelphia 76ers|
|Assistant Coach: Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs|
|Assistant Coach: Oliver Purnell, Clemson University (SC)|
|Assistant Coach: Roy Williams, University of North Carolina|
|Team Physician: Sheldon Burns, Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Team Physician: Tony Daly, Los Angeles Clippers|
|Athletic Trainer: Will Sevening, San Antonio Spurs|
|AthieticTrainer: Tim Walsh, New Jersey Nets|
2003 USA MEN'S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS
|Duncan||9/9||54- 89||.607||0- 2||.000||32- 37||.865||72/ 8.0||140/15.6||31||14||7|
|Carter||1-/ 3||48- 75||.640||14- 31||.452||16- 20||.800||24/ 2.4||126/12.6||14||1||11|
|Iverson||8/8||41- 73||.562||15- 28||.536||17- 21||.810||20/ 2.5||114/14.3||30||2||13|
|O'Neal||10/10||43- 69||.623||0- 1||.000||26- 34||.765||62/ 6.2||112/11.2||24||12||6|
|Allen||10/2||40- 69||.580||16- 29||.552||10- 12||.833||31/ 3.1||106/10.6||22||0||6|
|McGrady||7/7||37- 68||.544||8- 19||.421||6- 15||.400||20/ 2.9||88/12.6||21||4||9|
|Bibby||10/ 0||29-48||.604||16- 28||.571||13- 16||.813||21/ 2.1||87/ 8.7||48||2||15|
|Brand||10/ 1||26-43||.605||0- 0||.---||20- 33||.606||39/ 3.9||72/ 7.2||9||5||8|
|Martin||10/ 0||25- 57||.439||1- 2||.500||11- 20||.550||40/ 4.0||62/ 6.2||16||9||9|
|Collison||8/ 0||15- 20||.750||2- 2||1.000||7- 13||.538||15/ 1.9||39/ 4.9||9||1||0|
|Jefferson||10/ 0||13- 36||.361||0- 3||.000||11- 16||.688||17/ 1.7||37/ 3.7||19||2||5|
|6- 7||.857||27/ 2.7||34/ 3.4||50||3||12|