1986 USA Men's World Championship Team

TENTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP -- 1986

  • Date:
    Jun 10, 2010

Madrid, Spain • July 5-20, 1986


For the first time in 32 years, the United States men brought home the World Championship gold medal. The boycotts and political overtones of the past few Olympiads had tarnished the Olympic gold and made the World Championship title the most coveted and prestigious of all.

1986 USA RESULTS (9-1)

USA 99 Ivory Coast 63
USA 107 China 81
USA 81 F. R. Germany 68
USA 73 Puerto Rico 72
USA 86 Italy 64
Argentina 74 USA 70
USA 77 Canada 65
USA 69 Yugoslavia 60
USA 96 Brazil 80
USA 87 USSR 85

1986 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL STANDINGS

1. USA (9-1) 13. Australia (2-3)*
2. Soviet Union (9-1) Angola (2-3)*
3. Yugoslavia (9-1) F.R. Germany (2-3)*
4. Brazil (8-2) France (3-2)*
5. Spain (7-3) Ivory Coast (0-5)*
6. Italy (7-3) Malaysia (0-5)*
7. Israel (5-5) Netherlands (2-3)*
8. Canada (6-3) New Zealand (1-4)*
9. China (2-8) Panama (1-4)*
10. Greece (3-7) Puerto Rico (2-3)*
11. Cuba (3-7) Uruguay (2-3)*
12. Argentina (5-5) South Korea (0-5)*
*NOTE: Records reflect results from preliminary rounds only. Teams did not qualify for finals.

Relying on relative unknowns from the college ranks, head coach Lute Olson and his 12-man team were widely considered a dark horse to win the title. But the U.S. behind the play of future stars like David Robinson, Charles Smith, Kenny Smith and Tyrone Bogues captured the USA's first World Championship title since the 1954 American squad did so.

The U.S. emerged from pool play in Malaga, Spain, undefeated but not before escaping a scare from Puerto Rico. Winning its first three games against Ivory Coast, China and West Germany easily, the U.S. needed a jumper from Robinson in the final minute before claiming a 73-72 win over Puerto Rico. Behind Kenny Smith's 20 points, the U.S. disposed of Italy 86-64.

Opening the semifinal round, Argentina shocked the U.S. 74-70 despite 17 points from Charles Smith. Needing wins in its two remaining semifinal games if any medal was to be realized, the young American team regrouped and played inspired basketball for the remainder of the tournament. Defeating Canada 77-65, the U.S. never trailed as Charles Smith scored 18 points, and Steve Kerr and Derrick McKey each added 15 more. Relying on a swarming defense, the U.S. advanced on to the medal round with a 69-60 win over highly touted Yugoslavia. 5'3' Tyrone Bogues held 6'5' Yugo star Drazen Petrovic scoreless for the first eight minutes as the U.S. jumped out to a 19-2 lead. Robinson led the U.S. with 21 points and 17 rebounds.

The USA advanced to the gold medal game after upending Brazil 96-80. Leading Brazil 50-24 with five minutes left in the first half, the U.S. cruised to the win as Robinson's 17 points led six American players in double figures. However, Kerr was lost for the gold medal game after severely injuring his knee.

The USA-USSR gold medal matchup was no less dramatic than one would expect when two world powers meet. Leading 48-38 at halftime, with 7:45 remaining the U.S. was comfortably ahead 78-60. But the Soviet's, behind the play of 7'2' star Arvidas Sabonis and the deadly shooting of Vlademaras Khomichus, stormed back and closed the gap to a single basket with 50 seconds remaining. A Kenny Smith layup over the towering Sabonis with 15 seconds left pushed the USA's lead to 87-83 and the US. held on to win 87-85. Kenny Smith finished with 23 points, Robinson added 20 and Charles Smith finished with 17 points.

1986 USA MEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM ROSTER

NAME
POS
HGT
WGT
AGE
SCHOOL HOMETOWN
Tommy Amaker
G
6-0
155
21
Duke Arlington, VA
Tyrone Bogues
G
5-3
135
21
Wake Forest Baltimore, MD
Sean Elliott
F
6-6
195
18
Arizona Tucson, AZ
Armon Gilliam
F
6-8
230
21
Nevada-Las Vegas Pittsburgh, PA
Tom Hammonds
F
6-7
209
19
Georgia Tech Crestview, FL
Steve Kerr
G
6-2
175
20
Arizona Los Angeles, CA
Derrick McKey
F
6-7
190
19
Alabama Meridian, AL
David Robinson
C
6-10
217
20
U. S. Naval Acad. Woodbridge, VA
Rony Seikaly
F
6-9
235
21
Syracuse East Syracuse, NY
Brian Shaw
G
6-3
190
20
California-Santa Barbara Richmond, CA
Charles D. Smith
F
6-10
230
21
Pittsburgh Bridgeport, CT
Kenny Smith
G
6-2
175
21
North Carolina Brooklyn, NY
HEAD COACH: Lute Olson, University of Arizona
ASSISTANT COACH: Bobby Cremins, Georgia Tech
ASSISTANT COACH: Jerry Pimm, University of California-Santa Barbara
ASSISTANT COACH: Scott Thompson, University of Arizona
TEAM PHYSICIAN: Tim Taft, University of North Carolina
ATHLETIC TRAINER: Tim Garl, Indiana University

1986 USA MEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS

NAME G
FGM-FGA
PCT
3PM-3PA
PCT
FTM-FTA
PCT
REB/AVG
PTS/AVG
AT
BK
ST
C.D. Smith 10
61-117
.521
0- 0
.000
28- 46
.609
58/ 5.8
150/ 15.0
2
7
19
K. Smith 10
58-115
.504
17- 42
.405
15- 19
.789
8/ 0.8
148/ 14.8
6
2
26
Robinson 10
53- 97
.546
0- 0
.000
25- 52
.481
68/ 6.8
131/ 13.1
1
25
15
McKey 10
37- 59
.627
0- 0
.000
18- 25
.720
35/ 3.5
92/ 9.2
2
8
18
Steve Kerr 9
30- 66
.455
18- 36
.500
5- 9
.556
15/ 1.7
83/ 9.2
1
0
15
Gilliam 8
21- 44
.477
0- 0
.000
6- 16
.375
33/ 4.1
48/ 6.0
0
1
7
Elliott 10
19- 48
.396
1- 2
.500
13- 22
.591
24/ 2.4
52/ 5.2
2
3
10
Amaker 10
21- 47
.447
1- 11
.091
4- 5
.800
8/ 0.8
47/ 4.7
5
0
25
Bogues 10
17- 47
.362
0- 0
.000
8- 10
.800
3/ 0.3
42/ 4.2
21
0
37
Seikaly 8
11- 24
.458
0- 0
.000
6- 11
.545
21/ 2.6
28/ 3.5
0
9
4
Hammonds 8
8- 14
.571
0- 1
.000
5- 8
.625
14/ 1.8
21/ 2.6
0
1
0
Shaw 5
1- 1
1.000
0- 0
.000
1- 1
1.000
3/ 0.6
3/ 0.6
0
0
0
USA 10
337-679
.496
37- 92
.402
134-224
.598
290/ 29.0
845/ 84.5
40
56
176
OPP. 10
265-659
.402
56-139
.403
126-183
.689
266/ 26.6
712/ 71.2
33
 
151

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