EIGHTH PAN AMERICAN GAMES -- 1979
San Juan, Puerto Rico • July 1-15, 1979
The 1979 Pan American team was one of the United States' youngest and most explosive squads ever. Behind the coaching of Indiana University's Bob Knight, the USA cruised to a 9-0 record and the gold medal, while averaging 100.8 points a game. It marked the first time that a United States team had averaged more than 100 points-per-contest in the Pan American Games.
1979 USA RESULTS (9-0)
1979 PAN AMERICAN GAMES FINAL STANDINGS
The high-powered offense of the U.S. featured five players who finished the competition averaging in double figures. Led by 6'5' Indiana University junior Mike Woodson, who averaged 18.3 ppg., collegiate All-Americans 6'7' Michael Brooks and 6'2' Kyle Macy contributed 17.4 ppg. and 12.1 ppg., respectively, while Mike O'Koren and Ronnie Lester also averaged in double figures. The USA's talent-laced roster also featured Minnesota junior Kevin McHale, and recent high school graduates Ralph Sampson and Isiah Thomas, who would all go on to stardom in the NBA.
Defeating the Virgin Islands 136-88, the USA was led by Woodson's 24 points, while O'Koren and Brooks each tossed in 21 points and Lester added 20. Knight's cagers handed Cuba an 85-53 setback as Brooks scored 16 points on seven of nine shooting from the field, while Lester accounted for 14 points and Sampson added 10 points.
Brazil proved a much tougher opponent, but behind a balanced scoring attack that featured five players scoring in double figures, including 19 from Brooks and 17 from Macy, the U.S. recorded an 82-78 victory. McHale's 17 points and seven rebounds helped lift the U.S. over Panama 88-83, and Macy's 17 points pushed the Americans to a 97-76 win over Canada. Woodson tallied a high of 30 points in the USA's 99-73 win over Argentina, then recorded 29 point showings in wins against Cuba and Brazil.
The United States clinched its seventh gold medal in eight attempts with a 113-94 victory over host Puerto Rico. Facing an outstanding team from Puerto Rico that had also compiled a perfect 8-0 mark prior to the Pan Am final, the U.S. relied on its balanced, but high-powered offense, for the win. Brooks led the USA team in its win over Puerto Rico compiling 27 points and 13 rebounds, while Indiana standouts Woodson and Thomas added 23 and 21 points, respectively.
The winning of the gold medal did not take place without controversy. The first incident was the ejection of coach Knight from the opening game against the Virgin Islands, a contest which the U.S. went on to win, 136-88. Knight also later had a run-in with a policeman at a practice session. Another occurrence took place during the second USA-Cuba contest as Macy suffered a broken jaw after being punched by Tomas Herrara of Cuba. Macy missed the final two USA games, while Herrara was only ejected from the game.
1979 USA PAN AMERICAN MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM ROSTER
|Michael Brooks||F||6-7||220||20||LaSalle University||Philadelphia, PA|
|Sam Clancy||F||6-6||235||21||University of Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh, PA|
|John Duren||G||6-3||195||20||Georgetown University||Washington, DC|
|Ronnie Lester||G||6-2||170||20||University of Iowa||Chicago, IL|
|Kyle Macy||G||6-2||175||22||University of Kentucky||Peru, IN|
|Kevin McHale||C||6-10||220||21||University of Minnesota||Hibbing, MN|
|Dick Miller||F||6-7||221||21||University of Toledo||Milwaukee, WI|
|Mike O'Koren||F||6-8||205||21||University of North Carolina||Jersey City, NJ|
|Ralph Sampson||C||7-3||205||19||Harrisonburg H.S.||Harrisonburg, VA|
|Isiah Thomas||G||6-1||178||18||St. Joseph's High School||Chicago, IL|
|Ray Tolbert||F||6-9||220||20||Indiana University||Anderson, IN|
|Danny Vranes||F||6-7||195||20||University of Utah||Salt Lake City, UT|
|Mike Woodson||F||6-5||195||21||Indiana University||Indianapolis, IN|
|HEAD COACH: Bob Knight, Indiana University|
|ASSISTANT COACH: Mike Krzyzewski, U.S. Military Academy (NY)|
|MANAGER: Fred Taylor, Ohio State University|
|ATHLETIC TRAINER: Bob Moore, San Diego State University (CA)|
1979 USA PAN AMERICAN MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS
|Woodson||9||65-111||.586||35- 38||.921||14/ 1.6||165/ 18.3||10|
|Brooks||9||60- 91||.659||37- 50||.740||55/ 6.1||157/ 17.4||9|
|Macy||7||37- 59||.627||11- 12||.917||12/ 1.7||85/ 12.1||9|
|O'Koren||9||41- 70||.586||22- 27||.815||32/ 3.6||104/ 11.6||24|
|Lester||9||38- 80||.475||20- 24||.833||10/ 1.1||96/ 10.7||23|
|McHale||9||38- 64||.594||11- 16||.688||40/ 4.4||87/ 9.7||2|
|Thomas||9||33- 55||.600||17- 19||.895||6/ 0.7||83/ 9.2||24|
|Vranes||9||15- 34||.441||8- 11||.727||22/ 2.4||38/ 4.2||8|
|Clancy||7||10- 18||.556||5- 7||.714||23/ 3.3||25/ 3.6||2|
|Duren||8||10- 20||.500||4- 6||.667||6/ 0.8||24/ 3.0||7|
|Tolbert||8||11- 18||.611||1- 2||.500||13/ 1.6||23/ 2.9||2|
|Sampson||8||8- 17||.471||4- 7||.571||10/ 1.3||20/ 2.5||1|
|OPP.||9||266-584||.455||184-283||.650||183/ 20.3||716/ 79.6||75|