Game Preview: USA-Slovenia
USA vs. Slovenia
Gran Canaria Arena
Gran Canaria, Spain
2 p.m. ET, ESPN2
The USA Men’s National Team will close out its 2014 exhibition tour facing Slovenia Tuesday on the island of Gran Canaria, Spain. The 2 p.m. EDT game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
The Americans, who have now won 53 straight games in international play (official competitions and exhibition games), enter the friendly with Slovenia owning a 3-0 record, having already defeated Brazil (95-78), the Dominican Republic (105-62) and Puerto Rico (112-86) during domestic stops on the 2014 exhibition tour. The average margin of victory for the USA in the three games has been 28.7 points a game.
The U.S. in its three games has averaged 104.0 ppg. and been led in scoring by 2012 Olympic gold medalist James Harden, 14.3 ppg. Also averaging in double-digits are DeMar DeRozan, 13.0 ppg., Anthony Davis, 12.3 ppg., Stephen Curry, 12.3 ppg., Andre Dummond, 12.0 ppg., Klay Thompson, 11.0 ppg., and Rudy Gay, 10.3 ppg.
The USA and Slovenia are meeting for the first time ever in an exhibition game. However, the two men’s national teams have met in the last two FIBA World Championships, where the USA collected a 22-point win (99-77) in 2010 and a 19-point (114-95) victory in 2006.
Slovenia, fresh off a 74-72 exhibition win over Lithuania, will be paced by NBA Phoenix Suns standout guard Goran Dragić, guard Domen Lorbek, forward Zoran Dragić and 7-foot center Alen Omić.
For USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski, the two days of training and the final exhibition game in Gran Canaria are the first with the official 12-man roster that was announced Friday night.
“We want to start putting our entire system in now that we have 12 guys,” said Krzyzewski during Sunday’s training. “Roles can now be easier defined especially for (players) nine through 12. The first seven or eight guys kind of know what we’re doing. Anthony (Davis) will be impacted on by having three other bigs, because we can use him at the four so his role will even be expanded.”
Following the final exhibition contest, the U.S. squad will travel Wednesday to Bilbao, Spain, where it will conduct its last two training sessions before opening World Cup preliminary round play. The USA will make its World Cup debut on Aug. 30 facing Finland.
Just The Facts: Slovenia
FIBA World Ranking: #13
How Slovenia Qualified: FIBA Europe 5th place (7-4)
World Cup Appearances: 2
World Cup Overall Record: 7-8 (.467%)
World Cup Finishes: 8th (2010); 9th (2006)
World Cup Record vs. USA: 0-2 (77-99, 2010; 95-114, 2006)
Last Senior Team Meeting vs. USA: 2010 WC (77-99)
2012 Olympic Finish: DNP
2013 Head Coach: Bozidar Maljkovic
2013 Key Players In FIBA Europe Championship: Goran Dragic (15.8 ppg., 3.5 rpg., 4.5 apg.), Zoran Dragic (10.6 ppg., 5.3 rpg.), Bostjan Nachbar (9.1 ppg., 4.2 rpg.).
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