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

E-Team

Shop

WEAR WHAT THE TEAM WEARS

Shop Now USA Basketball

Preview: USA vs. China

  • Author:
    Ryan Gregory, IUPUI Sports Capital Journalism Program
  • Date:
    Sep 23, 2018

The USA Basketball Women’s World Cup Team (1-0) will continue Group D play when it meets China (1-0) at 1 p.m. EDT on Sunday in the FIBA Basketball World Cup, and the game will be broadcast in the United States on ESPN+.

The USA, No. 1 in the FIBA ratings, is undefeated in five previous World Cup matchups with China. The closest game was a 10-point USA victory in 1983, their first World Cup meeting.  

China’s average age is 23 years old, the youngest team in the tournament. The average age of the USA roster is 27.5, the third-most experienced squad in the tournament, behind Senegal at 28.7 and Spain at 28.3.

“Of course experience helps out a lot,” said forward Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury). “But, young or old, it’s about playing hard and playing smart basketball. We know they’re going to come out with a lot of pride and play hard. We’re going to have to bring it.”

China, currently No. 10 in the FIBA rankings, struggled in its first matchup of pool play, which was a 64-61 victory over Latvia on Saturday. Rising star center Yueru Li sometimes appeared frustrated by the stingy Latvian defense and found herself on the bench after three fouls in as many quarters. She was held to just six points, far from the 17.2 she averaged in the FIBA Asia Cup, China’s qualifier for the FIBA World Cup.

The burden of scoring then fell to forward Ting Shao. She led the team with 15 while shooting 55.6 percent from the floor. Guard Liwei Yang contributed 10 points.

“Number 14 (Li) getting in foul trouble really impacted the game,” said USA Basketball assistant coach Jen Rizzotti (George Washington), who scouted China. “She sets a tone for them in terms of getting baskets and opening up the floor for the shooters. She didn’t play much today. I definitely expect her to come out against us tomorrow and try to set the tone.”

China towered over Latvia but struggled to consistently rebound. China’s average height, 6-foot-2, is two inches taller than Latvia’s average of 6-foot. Li, 6-foot-7, and Xu Han, 6-foot-9, struggled to secure defensive rebounds against the likes of Aija Putnina and Anete Steinberga, both 6-foot-3.

China’s size can be intimidating, but Rizzotti was confident.

“We have size of our own,” Rizzotti said. “Our big players, so many of them can move away from the basket. We just have to be patient. Their post players got in a lot of foul trouble today. We have to move the ball inside and outside and take advantage of mismatches.”

USA and University of South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley maintains a similar attitude. She has faith in her players to do what they do.

“Against China or anybody, we’re going to lean on our experience,” Staley said.


Ryan Gregory is a contributor to USAB.com as part of the Sports Capital Journalism Program at IUPUI.

~~~

The USA will be in the hunt to earn a 10th World Cup gold medal at the 2018 FIBA World Cup Sept. 22-30 in Tenerife, Spain. Follow along on the team’s journey on usab.com and through USA Basketball’s social media as the team goes for gold.

Related Tags:

Related Videos

Sights and sounds from the 2021 USA Women's National Team training camp in San Antonio, Texas.

Members of the 2021 USA Basketball Women's National Team gathered in San Antonio for a training camp March 30-April 2 ahead of the NCAA Final Four. These are some highlights from each day's post-practice media calls.

The USA Basketball Women's National Team's training was cut short last March. The USA team members picked up where they left off and still have their sights set on Tokyo gold.

Sights and sounds from the USA Basketball Women's National Team training camp held in Feb. 4-7, 2021, at the University of South Carolina.

Post Practice With USA Head Coach Dawn Staley (2/5/21)

Tags

USA Women's National Team head coach speaks to the media via video conferencing following the team's practice on Feb. 5, 2021.

Related Content

Another EuroLeague season is in the books, with USA National Team athletes closing out with impressive games on the final day, including MVP honors for Breanna Stewart.

Brittney Griner and Breanna Stewart will go up against Tiffany Hayes and Katie Lou Samuelson in the 2021 EuroLeague championship game.

The 1999-2000 USA National Team posted its fifth pre-Olympic Tour win on Sept. 3, 2000, with a 97-31 thrashing of the USA Select Team in Honolulu, upping its year-long record to 34-2.

2018-21 USA Basketball Women’s National Team head coach Dawn Staley has been tabbed to head up the 2021 USA AmeriCup Team coaching staff.

Sights and sounds from the 2021 USA Women's National Team training camp in San Antonio, Texas.

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login



Forgot Password?