menu close twitter facebook snapchat instagram youtube article basketball gallery graph left-arrow right-arrow search star trophy video net clipboard shield-check shield-star stopwatch filter reset Share
DeMarcus Cousins

Game Preview: USA-Ukraine

  • Date:
    Sep 4, 2014

Bilbao, Spain

USA vs. Ukraine

Bizkaia Arena

Bilbao, Spain

11:30 a.m. EDT, ESPN2


The USA’s final World Cup preliminary round game, its fifth game in six days, will be a first ever meeting against Ukraine.  The USA and Ukraine have never met in a senior level FIBA competition. The game is being broadcast live (11:30 a.m. EDT) by ESPN2.

However, the USA-Ukraine contest does feature two coaches very familiar with each other.

“They have one of the greatest coaches in the world. He is one of my best friends and I’m not joking about one of the greatest coaches in the world, I think Mike Fratello is very special,” said USA and Duke University mentor Mike Krzyzewski. “He and I have been friends for four decades. I think the Ukraine is very luck to have him and his staff, they’ve put together a fabulous team that really is well disciplined, they can really shoot the ball, and would like to play at a slower tempo than us.

“They’re having a terrific tournament so we’re going to be ready and we respect them. It will be funny coaching against Mike because I’m always pulling for him and I know he’s always pulling for me.”

Serving as head coach of the Ukraine team is former NBA mentor Fratello. As a former head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Memphis Grizzlies, he lists as the NBA’s 18th all-time leader for regular season wins (667) and 19th for games coached (1,215). Assisting Fratello is NBA coaching veteran Brian Hill, who also boasts of NBA coaching experience as a former head coach of the Orlando Magic and Memphis Grizzlies.

Carrying a 2-2 record into the game against the USA, Ukraine is led by Eugene Jeter who has averaged a team high 16.0 points and 5.8 assists a game over the course of the first four games. Point guard Olexandr Mishula has come off the bench to average 10.0 points and has made 10-of-19 3-point shots, while 6-foot-6 shooting guard Sergii Gladya averages 9.0 ppg., and 6-foot-11 Phoenix Suns center Slava Kravtsov is grabbing a team high 6.0 rebounds a game and adding 5.5 points. University of Kansas basketball fans could get a glimpse of their incoming 6-foot-6 freshman Sviatos Mykhailiuk, who although just 17 years old, made the Ukraine World Cup roster.

As a team, Ukraine is averaging 68.2 points a game on 40.7 percent shooting from the field and 35.6 percent from 3-point. 

Meanwhile, the USA, winners of their first four preliminary round games of the 2014 FIBA World Cup and owners of a current 58 game winning streak that dates back to the 2006 World Championship bronze medal game, continue to feature a balanced offensive attack.

The U.S. is currently led by 21 year old Anthony Davis, who is averaging 16.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots a game, and by Kenneth Faried who is adding 14.8 points and a team leading 7.8 rebounds, while shooting a sizzling 78.4 percent (29-37 FGs) from the floor. Contributing to the USA’s firepower that sees the squad scoring an average of 104.0 points a game, are James Harden, 11.5 ppg. and 4.3 apg.; Klay Thompson, 11.0 ppg.; Kyrie Irving, 9.5 ppg. and 3.3 apg.; DeMarcus Cousins, 9.3 ppg. and 5.0 rpg.; while Stephen Curry is averaging 8.3 points and a team high 4.5 assists a game. 

As a team, the U.S. is averaging 104.0 points game, shooting 54.9 percent from the field, 33.8 percent from 3-point and 70.1 percent from the foul line. Defensively, the USA is holding it’s opponents to just 68.5 points a game, 38.3 percent shooting from the floor, 32.2 percent from 3-point, and is forcing opponents into 26.8 turnovers a game. Additionally, the USA is recording 16.5 steals a game.

The U.S. currently leads the World Cup in six team statistical categories.  The USA ranks first in scoring offense, scoring margin, field goal percentage, assists, steals and turnover margin, while ranking second in defensive field goal percentage, rebounding average; third in blocked shots; fourth in rebounding margin; tied for fourth in points allowed; and sixth in defensive 3-point percentage. The complete listing for team statistics can be found here.

Individually, among all World Cup players, Davis lists 11th overall in scoring and Faried is 15th; Faried is ninth in rebounding and Davis ranks tied for 18th. Faried lists second and Cousins fifth in field goal percentage, and Klay Thompson is tied for fifth for made 3-pointers. In assists, Curry currently ranks tied for seventh with Harden falling in at tied for 10th, while Harden ranks first, Curry is tied for fourth, and Cousins and Irving are tied for 11th in steals.  Davis also lists tied for fourth in blocked shots and Faried is tied for first in offensive rebounds. The complete listing for individual statistical leaders can be found here

Although one game remains in preliminary group play for all of the World Cup teams, the USA is already assured of Group C’s No. 1 seed for the Round of 16 which begins the World Cup’s elimination round action.

The top four finishing teams from each of the four preliminary round groups will advance to the Round of 16.  As Group C’s top seed, the USA will face Group D’s No. 4 seed in Barcelona on Saturday, Sept. 6.

Heading into the final day of preliminary round action, teams continue to battle for seeding and one of their group’s top four finishes. Host Spain in Group A, Greece in Group B and Slovenia in Group D, like the USA, own flawless 4-0 records and have established themselves as medal contenders. For the current World Cup standings, click here

Since the first World Championship in 1950, the USA has won 11 medals – four gold medals, three silver medals and four bronze medals – while compiling an all-time 118-27 win-loss record.

Just the Facts:  Ukraine

FIBA World Ranking: #45

How Ukraine Qualified: FIBA Europe 6th place (6-5)

World Cup Appearances: 0

World Cup Overall Record: 0-0

World Cup Finishes: None

World Cup Record vs. USA: 0-0

Last Senior Team Meeting vs. USA: None

2012 Olympic Finish: DNP

2013 Head Coach: Mike Fratello

2013 Key Players In FIBA Europe Championship: Eugene Jeter (13.5 ppg., 3.5 rpg., 4.1 apg.), Sergii Gladya (12.0 ppg., 5.0 rpg.), Kyryl Natyazhko (7.7 ppg., 4.6 rpg.).



For more behind-the-scenes video, photos and content, be sure to follow USA Basketball on every social media platform!

Twitter -

Facebook -

Instagram -

Vine -

YouTube -


Related Tags:

Related Videos

On Sept. 25 at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Vince Carter slammed what likely was the most famous dunk of his career.

Twenty years after the 1992 USA Basketball Dream Team made its indelible impact on international basketball at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, USA Basketball’s 2012 Men’s National Team, wearing 1992 USA Basketball throwback jerseys, returned to the hardwood in Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, Spain and battled to a hard-fought 86-80 win over Argentina.

USA co-captain Allen Iverson had never hit a game winning shot in his illustrious playing career until he did so on Aug. 4, 2004. With time about to run out, he dribbled across mid-court and launched a game-winning 40-foot 3-pointer to lift the USA National Team to an 80-77 victory over Germany in front of a sold-out Kolnarena crowd numbering 18,000. The Iverson answer was a fitting end to a game that was tight the entire way and one in which NBA All-Star Dirk Nowitzki almost single-handedly kept his country within striking distance. Nowitzki finished the night with a game-best 32 points on 13-for-23 shooting overall, while adding 12 rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.

The USA National Team handed the USA Select Team a 111-74 loss in an action filled contest at the University of Hawaii Stan Sheriff Center in front of 8,980 fans. Leading by only 10 points at the half after the select team's Jason Richardson poured in 19 first half points, the USA National Team behind a game high 24 points (10-10 FGs) from Vince Carter dominated the second half with its high-octane running game and posted a 111-74 victory.

The U.S. 22-and-under team, made up of college all-stars and coached by
Stanford's Mike Montgomery, led by 17 points at the half and nearly upset
the Men's Olympic Dream Team in the first exhibition game before the
Summer Games in Atlanta. 22-and-under team featured Paul Pierce,
Chauncey Billups, Tim Duncan.

Related Content

1992 USA Men's Developmental Team


La Jolla, California  • June 22-26 , 1992 When USA Basketball began its planning for the 1992 U.S. Olympic men's team training, it decided that the squad's best interest would be served if it had a team to scrimmage during its initial June 22-26 training camp in La Jolla, Calif. In...

USAB placeholder Image


Atlanta, Georgia; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Lexington, Kentucky  •  April 5-9, 1978 Days after leading his University of Kentucky squad to the 1978 NCAA Championship, hall of fame mentor Joe B. Hall undertook the challenge of directing a USA National Team comprised of top...

The Los Angeles Lakers claimed the 2020 NBA Championship and did so with a roster filled with players possessing USA Basketball experience.

Four-time gold medalist Charles Barkley tallied a 37-2 record during a USA Basketball career that spanned 14 years.

Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski’s USA Basketball career has spanned 38 years and included 12 gold medals.

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login

Forgot Password?