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USA vs. Mexico - Things To Know

  • Date:
    Nov 25, 2017

Fresh off an 85-78 win over Puerto Rico, the USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team takes on 1-0 Mexico on Sunday, Nov. 26, at 5 p.m. EST in a match-up of undefeated Group C teams.

Coach Van Gundy's Overview Of Mexico
"They're similar to Puerto Rico, really good, incredibly physical and strong, experienced and tough, well coached, and it's going to be a difficult game."

Coach Van Gundy's Keys To The Game
"Just like always, the ability to handle the ball through body pressure, ball pressure, the clutch and grab of the the FIBA game, I think that's important. We've got to do a little bit better job defending the 3-point shot. They took 30 in their game the other night against Cuba. Like always, we're going to have to rebound the ball against a bigger team."

Coach Van Gundy On What Pleased Him In The Puerto Rico Game:
"I thought our mental strength was good when we were tested. I thought we were unselfish and played through some chaotic sequences, and I thought Puerto Rico was the aggressor early. I thought we did a good job of uppping our level of intensity and passion and aggression through the course of the last three-and-a-half quarters."

The New World-Wide Qualifying Process
FIBA's World Cup Qualifying games are an entirely new process, not only for the USA but the rest of the world, too. The qualifiers will be used to determine the nations that will qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. In the first competition window, from Nov. 23-27, each national team plays a total of two games. The U.S. played its first Americas Zone Group C game Thanksgiving evening and defeated Puerto Rico 85-78 in Orlando. The American squad will close out the first window facing 1-0 Mexico on Sunday (Nov. 26) in Greensboro, N.C.

The second, first-round competition window, Feb. 22-26, 2018, will see the USA host (site TBA) two home games against Cuba (Feb. 23) and Puerto Rico (Feb. 26). Group C first-round play will conclude on the road for the red, white and blue, but not until June 28 and July 1 against Mexico and Cuba.

The USA team primarily is comprised of NBA G League athletes. For more information on the new World Cup Qualifying process, check out our crash course here: WCQ Crash Course

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday - USA vs. Mexico In Greensboro
The USA will be play its first home game against Mexico on Nov. 26 at the home of the Charlotte Hornets NBA G League affiliate Greensboro Swarm, the Greensboro Coliseum Complex Fieldhouse in Greensboro, North Carolina.

USA 85, Puerto Rico 78 
The USA, behind solid play from several members of the gold-medal winning 2017 USA AmeriCup Team, battled its way on Thanksgiving evening to an 85-78 win over Puerto Rico. Tied 63-63 early in the fourth quarter, Semaj Christon and Xavier Munford each scored five points in a 10-2 USA run that lifted the red, white and blue to a 73-65 lead with 5:21 left in the game. Puerto Rico never again got closer than four points, ang the USA held-off Puerto Rico for the 85-78 win.

AmeriCup MVP Jameel Warney recorded 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, and AmeriCup gold medalist Reggie Hearn added 17 points and eight rebounds. AmeriCup gold medalist Xavier Munford tossed in 12 points and guard Markel Brown added 10 points. The USA bench outscored Puerto Rico’s bench 49-28, and the USA dominated the glass and outrebounded Puerto Rico 44-26, including 17 offensive boards.

“I was really proud of our guys. For those of our players that have played in a FIBA game, I think (they) knew what to expect. But those that had not played in a FIBA game, it was harder for them initially to adapt and adjust,” said USA head coach Jeff Van Gundy. “We got hit with haymakers early, and I was really proud of our guys. We played well down the stretch and we made big time plays. I’m really proud of them, happy for them.”  USA 85, Puerto Rico 75 Box Score

Mexico 72, Cuba 66
Mexico, which trailed Cuba 36-32 at halftime, outscored visiting Cuba 40-30 in the second half to claim a tight, 72-66 win on Thursday night in Leon, Mexico. Six-foot-nine forward Hector Hernandez, who played collegiately at Fresno State, tallied 23 points (9-18 FGs and 4-10 3pt FGs) to lead Mexico, while 6-foot-6 forward Juan Toscano, who played collegiately at Marquette, recorded 15 points and 11 rebounds, and guard Gabriel Giron added 12 points (3-6 3pt FGs). Cuba's effort was paced by 6-foot-11 Javier Justin, who was credited with game-highs of 25 points and 19 rebounds.

Van Gundy Looks To Continue Winning Form
Jeff Van Gundy, who serves as an NBA color commentator for ESPN when he’s not on the USA sideline, is now 6-0 as a USA head coach. This past Aug. 25-Sept. 3, Van Gundy served as the head coach for the gold-medal winning USA AmeriCup Team, which defeated Argentina 81-76 in Cordoba, Argentina, on Sept. 3, with a furious second-half comeback. Van Gundy’s team of NBA G League players won two true road games during the FIBA AmeriCup 2017 – in Argentina and another in Uruguay – en route to an unblemished 5-0 record.

Five USA AmeriCup Players Are Back In The Mix
Not only are Van Gundy and USA assistant coach Mo McHone back with USA Basketball, so are five players from the AmeriCup squad, including tournament MVP and current Texas Legends player, Jameel Warney. Warney shot a team-high 65.0 percent from the field and averaged 12.8 points and a team-best 8.6 rebounds per game for the USA in South America.

Also back from the AmeriCup team are Larry Drew II (Sioux Falls Skyforce), Reggie Hearn (Reno Bighorns), Jonathan Holmes (Maine Red Claws) and Xavier Munford (Wisconsin Herd). Drew averaged a team-best 5.0 assists per game, while Hearn averaged 10.0 ppg. and 3.6 rpg. Holmes started the first three games for the USA in preliminary round play and averaged 5.7 ppg. and 3.3 rpg. before being sidelined with an ankle injury, and Munford boasted a healthy tournament line of 10.2 ppg., 3.8 rpg. and 3.0 apg.

Plenty Of History
The USA is 27-1 all-time versus Mexico. Mexico's lone win against the USA came in the 2011 Pan American Games that were held in Guadalajara, Mexico. Shooting just 32.7 percent (18-53 FGs) from the field and sinking only 23.5 percent of its attempts from behind the 3-point line, the USA fell 71-55 to host Mexico who was spurred on to the win by an at-capacity, raucous crowd. Current USA team member Donald Sloan, who also was a member of the 2011 USA Pan American Games Team, accounted for seven points and a USA-best eight rebounds in the loss.

The two teams last met at the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in a game in which the USA recorded a 127-52 victory. The USA defeated Mexico 86-63 in the 2014 FIBA World Cup preliminary play, and the USA defeated Mexico 127-100 in the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas.

FIBA World Cup Qualifying First-Round Results
The first games of the 2017-19 Americas World Cup Qualifiers are in the book, and Argentina and Uruguay in Group A, Brazil and Venezuela in Group B, and Canada and Dominican Republic in Group D all chalked up double-figure victories. Group A saw Uruguay down Panama 86-73, while Argentina defeated Paraguay 96-63. In Group C, Brazil beat Chile 86-73, and Venezuela knocked off Colombia 85-71. In Group D action, Dominican Republic slipped past the U.S. Virgin Islands 99-89 and Canada dominated the Bahamas 93-69. 2017-19 Americas World Cup Qualifiers Schedule/Results

USA - Mexico Game Information
Tickets still are available: USA vs. Mexico Tickets
The game is available via WatchESPN & the WatchESPN App: Steaming Live on the ESPN App
LiveStats: USA vs. Mexico Live Stats

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