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
USA-Slovenia

World Cup Quarterfinal Preview: USA Vs. Slovenia

  • Date:
    Sep 8, 2014

 

Date:  Sept. 9, 2014

Quarterfinals:  USA vs. Slovenia

Palau Sant Jordi

Barcelona, Spain

3 p.m. ET, ESPN

Quotes From Monday Practice

Photo Gallery

• VIDEO: Coach K on Slovenia

• VIDEO: Stephen Curry Speaks

• VIDEO: James Harden on Slovenia

• VIDEO: Derrick Rose on Slovenia


Victors in convincing fashion over Mexico in their Round of 16 game Saturday, the 6-0 USA team faces 5-1 Slovenia in Tuesday’s quarterfinals round game. It’s a continuation of the elimination round meaning win and advance, lose and go home.  The 3 p.m. EDT game will be broadcast live on ESPN. 

Having met just two weeks ago in the USA’s final exhibition game that was held in Gran Canaria, Spain, the U.S. captured a solid 101-71 win.  Anthony Davis led the way with 18 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots in 18:34 of action; while Kenneth Faried added 14 points and eight boards; Kyrie Irving finished with 13 points; Rudy Gay and Derrick Rose tallied 11 points apiece; and Stephen Curry added 10 points. Playing on his 25th birthday, James Harden added nine points and a game-high four assists. Zoran Dragič led Slovenia with 16 points and Edo Muric added 14 points.

The USA and Slovenia meet for the third consecutive World Cup. The U.S. collected a 22-point (99-77) win over Slovenia in the 2010 FIBA World Championship and posted a 19-point (114-95) victory in 2006.

Slovenia is led by the Dragić  brothers, NBA Phoenix Suns standout guard Goran Dragić, who is scoring 16.5 ppg., and guard Zoran Dragić, who is adding 13.2 ppg. Also, guard Domen Lorbek is adding 11.5 ppg., Jure Balazic is contributing 8.5 ppg., and 7-foot center Alen Omić, 8.3 ppg. and a team leading 5.8 rpg.

“They (Slovenia) are unusually good in that they have one of the great guards in the world in Goran Dragić. And his brother (Zoran) is outstanding, too, and with (Domen) Lorbek, those three guys on the perimeter provide probably, outside of Spain, the most experienced perimeter that you have in the tournament. And then you surround them with 3-point shooters. You can have really five guys who can shoot the three, so they have great spacing, they share the ball, half their shots are threes, and they are going to be a tough team to defend. We think they are one of the best teams,” said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who is now 72-1 since leading his first USA national Team in 2006.

The Americans as a team lead the World Cup in scoring averaging just under 100 points game at 99.5 ppg., and Slovenia ranks fourth, scoring 82.7 points a game.  The USA is also the number one ranked team in field goal percentage, shooting 52.8 percent in its six games, while Slovenia lists fifth making 49.7 percent. 

The USA’s balanced scoring features five players averaging in double-figures and a total of seven guys averaging between 13.8 and 8.8 points a game.

Davis paces the USA offense averaging 13.8 ppg., 6.3 rpg. and 2.1 blocks, while Faried is credited with 12.8 points and a team leading 7.8 rebounds a contest. Adding to the USA’s offense are James Harden, 12.4 points and 4.0 assists a game; Stephen Curry, 11.2 points and 3.8 assists; Klay Thompson 11.0 points; DeMarcus Cousins, 9.8 points and 5.0 rebounds; and Kyrie Irving, 8.8 points and 3.5 assists (USA six game cumulative statistics are available at http://archive.usab.com/misc/14_mwc_USA.pdf). 

But as the old sports saying goes, defense wins championships and that certainly is not lost on Krzyzewski.

“I think the main thing I’m happy about is no matter what we’re doing offensively, the defense hasn’t suffered. They continue to play really positive defense,” said Krzyzewski   following the win against Mexico.

Defensively, the U.S. is limiting teams to 68.0 points a game, 38.6 percent shooting from the field overall, and 31.5 percent from 3-point.  The Americas have forced their opponents into committing a World Cup high 23.7 turnovers a game.

Having claimed the World Championship title in Turkey in 2010, 2014 presents an opportunity for the U.S. to repeat for the very first time. However, history has shown that capturing consecutive world titles is no easy chore. Only two countries, Brazil (1959 and 1963) and Yugoslavia (1998 and 2002), have earned back-to-back FIBA world titles since the event was initiated in 1950, and although the United States has won the world crown four times, it has never won consecutive titles.

The winner of the USA-Slovenia game will keep its World Cup title hopes alive and will advance to the Sept. 11 semifinals where it will face the winner of the Lithuania-Turkey quarterfinal game in Barcelona.


Just The Facts: Slovenia

FIBA World Ranking:  #13

How Slovenia Qualified: FIBA Europe 5th place (7-4)

World Cup Appearances: 3

Current All-Time World Cup Overall Record: 12-9 (.571%)

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: 2014 MNT Tour (71-101)

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.).

 

***** 

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

Twitter - https://twitter.com/usabasketbal

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/usabasketball 

Instagram - http://instagram.com/usabasketball

Vine - https://vine.co/u/962865913139515392

YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/user/therealusabasketball

Related Videos

20 Players Selected to Attend 2019 USA Basketball Men’s National Team Training Camp

In celebrating Black History Month, Olympic gold medalists Chris Bosh and Dawn Staley talk about some of the pioneers of basketball who came before them.

USA Basketball Men's and Women's National Teams were in action in 2018 - catch USAB.com's Best of Slomo.

We weren't always on court this year. Some of our favorite scenes from outside the lines with 2018 USA Basketball National Teams.

Related Content

Carol Callan becomes the first female president of a FIBA zone.

20 Players Selected to Attend 2019 USA Basketball Men’s National Team Training Camp

August 5-9 USA Men's National Team training camp to be used to select finalists for USA World Cup Team.

The USA Basketball Men’s National Team will face Canada in a pre-World Cup exhibition game on August 26 in Sydney, Australia.

Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce was named to the USA Basketball Men’s National Team coaching staff. Pierce replaces Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillian who withdrew because of scheduling conflicts.

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login



Forgot Password?