USA vs. Mexico - Things To Know
Entering the third and final window of first-round play, the USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team carries a 4-0 record into its June 28 game versus 2-2 Mexico. Scheduled to tip 9:30 p.m. (EDT), the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.
For the first time in the first round, the USA will be faced with the task of playing “true” road games in front capacity and passionate crowds.
Coach Van Gundy's Overview of Mexico
“It’s going to be hard, every road game is hard. Mexico has its best players playing in this competition, they didn’t the time we played them November and so we can’t underestimate how hard it is going to be to play on the road, at altitude, and against a team desperate to qualify for the FIBA World Cup. We have to make sure we match that type of intensity and passion that we know they’ll bring.”
Most Recently - USA Downs Mexico 91-55 in World Cup Qualifying Action
Starting the game with six-straight 3-pointers, the USA Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team relied on a balanced scoring attack to defeat Mexico 91-55 on Nov. 26 at the Greensboro Coliseum Fieldhouse in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Four U.S. players finished with 14 points each, including Markel Brown, Jonathan Holmes, Xavier Munford and Travis Wear, who added 10 rebounds to finish with a double-double.
The USA shot a solid 50.8 percent (33-65 FGs) from the field, but it was even better from 3-point, where it was 54.2 percent (13-24 3pt FGs). Despite having a short training window in which to develop team chemistry, the USA also tallied 21 assists.
The U.S. offense was not the only highlight, however. It’s defense also was impressive, limiting Mexico to 31.1 percent (19-61 FGs) from the field and converting 18 turnovers into 21 points.USA-Mexico Box Score
Coach Van Gundy On What He Likes About This Team:
“They’re together. This is a good group of committed athletes that I think are going to represent us well. That doesn’t mean that we’ll win, but they’ll represent us well and they’re going to work hard and compete for each other and for the country, and that’s all you can ask."
Mexico City Facts
Mexico City is the capital of Mexico and its population is estimated to be 8.9 million while the metropolitan area boasts of an estimated population of 21.2 million. Mexico City is located 7,500 feet above sea level.
The game between Mexico and USA is being played at a sold out Gimnasio Olimpico Juan de la Barrera of Mexico City. The Mexican National Federation reported that the 5,000 tickets sold in 45 minutes.
The arena, Gimnasio Olimpico Juan de la Barrera, hosted the 1968 Olympic basketball competition. The American squad compiled a perfect 9-0 record, and in the process captured the USA's seventh consecutive Olympic basketball gold medal. Host Mexico finished 7-2 and in fifth place. Spencer Haywood, the youngest player to ever make a USA Olympic basketball team at that time, led the U.S. squad with a 16.1 points-per-game average. He also shot a sizzling 71.9 percent from the field to set a U.S. Olympic shooting percentage record. University of Kansas all-American Jo Jo White, a senior, ran coach Henry Iba's fast break offense to perfection, averaging 11.7 points a game.
USA-Mexico Boast of Plenty of History
USA Basketball teams are 28-1 all-time versus Mexico in international play. Mexico's lone win came in the 2011 Pan American Games that were held in
USA national teams 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. In Olympic play, the U.S. is 2-0 against Mexico having won 25-20 in the 1936 Olympics and 71-40 in the 1948 Games.
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 9-0 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. He also was head coach of the November 2017 and February 2018 USA World Cup Qualifying teams that went 4-0.
Seven World Cup Qualifying Players Are Back In The Mix
Not only are Van Gundy and USA assistant coach John Thompson III back on the sidelines for USA Basketball, but so are seven players from USA World Cup Qualifying teams. Returning from the November 2017 USA World Cup Qualifying Team that finished 2-0 are: Reggie Hearn, Jonathan Holmes, Amile Jefferson and Xavier Munford. Back after leading the USA to a 2-0 record during the February 2018 USA World Cup Qualifying second window are Taylor Braun, David Stocktonand RaShawn Thomas.
Additionally, Trey McKinney Jones and Marcus Thornton were selected to the roster after previously having to withdraw from the February USA World Cup Qualifying Team training camp due to signing 10-day contracts with NBA teams.
Sunday, Sunday, Sunday - USA vs. Cuba In Havana
The USA will close out first-round action with a road game versus Cuba in Havana on Sunday, July 1. It will be a historic clash as the last time a USA men's team played in Havana was 1991 at the Pan American Games. The USA team, which was comprised of collegians including future Olympians Grant Hill and Christian Laettner, finished 6-1 and won the bronze medal.
In The First Two First-Round Windows
In the first competition window, held Nov. 23-27, the U.S. played its first Americas Zone Group C game Thanksgiving evening and defeated Puerto Rico 85-78 at the University of Central Florida’s CFE Arena in Orlando. The U.S. then closed out the first window with a convincing 91-55 victory over Mexico on Nov. 26 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Window two saw the U.S. play a pair of home games in Santa Cruz, California. Opening against Cuba on Feb. 23, the USA strolled to a 84-48 win, then three days later knocked off Puerto Rico for a second time by the score of 83-75.
FIBA World Cup Qualifying First-Round Results
Check out the cores and standings for the Americas World Cup Qualifying. 2017-19 Americas World Cup Qualifiers Schedule/Results
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.
The third, first-round competition window, June 28-July 1, 2018, will see the USA hit the road for game versus Mexico on June 28 and Cuba on July 1.
Following completion of the first round, the top three finishing teams in each of the four, first-round groups advanced to the second round and will keep their record. The three advancing teams from Group A and from Group C will form Group E. The top three finishers from Group B and Group D will form Group F. The three second-round windows of competition will take place Sept. 13-17, 2018; Nov. 29-Dec. 3, 2018; and Feb. 21-25, 2019.
Following completion of the Americas second-round games, seven teams will qualify out of the zone for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, including the top three finishing teams from second-round Group E and Group F, and the best fourth placed team between Group E and Group F.
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
USA - Mexico Game Information
The game is available via ESPN+
LiveStats: USA vs. Mexico Live Stats