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




Shop Now USA Basketball
Jayson Tatum

USA Men’s National Team Set to Face Australia in Two Exhibitions

  • Date:
    Aug 21, 2019

With 13 players on an eventual 12-member roster and just 10 days until the start of the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China, the USA Men’s National Team’s next challenges are two exhibition games against Australia at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne.

The soonest Australia and the USA could meet at the 2019 FIBA World Cup would be the quarterfinals, and both teams are viewed as podium contenders. The matchup is sure to be hard-fought, despite the games being for bragging rights only.

“They are one of the teams that can win the whole thing, without a doubt,” said USA head coach Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs). “I’m not saying that because I’m here. It’s just a fact. They’ve been close for several years, and they are hungry. They are talented. Coach Lemanis does a good job, and they are a team. They are together. They know what they are doing. They execute really well, so that’s what it takes. They have the toughness and physicality to go with it. I think they are one of the top contenders without a doubt.”

The USA, meanwhile, still is refining its identity, and every opportunity is one the athletes and coaches are looking to capitalize on.

“We are trying to get better every day,” said USA guard Joe Harris. “So, whether it’s practice or games, we are going out to compete in a way where we are improving and we are getting better, and that is regardless of who we are playing against. It could be practice like today where we are playing against ourselves, but all of our focus is just trying to be the best Team USA that we can be and hoping that we can piece everything together. And then, you hope that the results follow if we are doing stuff the right way.”

Several of the Australian team members should be familiar to U.S. basketball fans, as well as the U.S. team members and coaching staff due to their time in the NBA. Certainly, Donovan Mitchell should be able to offer some insight into his Utah Jazz teammate, Joe Ingles; while Popovich is the long-time coach of Australia’s Patty Mills; U.S. guard Derrick White played alongside Mills in the 2018-19 season; and USA assistant coach and Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr had Australian star Andrew Bogut on his roster at the end of this past season.

“We joke a lot and goof off in practice and compete,” Mitchell said of Ingles. “I’m expecting a lot of trash talking from him, and I’m excited about it. I think we’ve been looking forward to this ever since I told him I was playing for the U.S. team, so I’m excited. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Like I said, just go out and challenge each other and make each other better.”

Over the years many other players have met either on an NBA floor or at a FIBA competition, such as at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Cup for Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics). Not only did Tatum help the USA battle back from an early 10-point deficit to earn a 99-92 gold medal game victory over Australia then, he also played with Australia’s Aron Baynes for two years in Boston.

Very tough,” Tatum said when asked what he expected out of Australia in the two friendless. “I played with Aron Baynes for two years with the Celtics, and he is one of my favorite guys to play with, favorite people. So, I’m excited to play against him for a change.”

Certainly with more than 40,000 fans expected to attend each game, the atmosphere should be high-energy. To help adapt Marvel Stadium, which primarily is a soccer facility, for a basketball game, additional big screens were added.

The second matchup on Aug. 24 sold out, and overall, the games sold more than 90,000 tickets less than three months after tickets were released.

“This definitely will be the most amount of people I’ve ever played in front of,” said USA forward Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks). “So, I’m excited about it. I’ve seen (the stadium) on TV. We are the road team, which is always fun to be playing on the road like that, with a crowd like it is going to be.”

Fans back in the United States can watch the USA’s three remaining exhibition games on NBA TV and on Twitch at Following each live broadcast, content also will be available on Twitch for fans to view on-demand.

Right now, we are just focused on getting our stuff down pat: the things we work on in practice, our plays, our defensive schemes, rotations, things like that,” said USA guard Kemba Walker. “We’re trying to clean those things up, get better with those things. Of course, we want to win. Both teams want to win, I’m sure.  We’ll go out there and battle as much as we can, but the main goal right now is to get better game-by-game, day-by-day, practice-by-practice, leading up to China.”

Related Tags:

Related Videos

Don't miss some of USA Basketball's funniest sound from 2021.

USA Basketball press conference to announce the 2022-24 USA Basketball Men's National Team Coaching Staff of USA head coach Steve Kerr, with USA MNT managing director Grant Hill.

From our family to yours, happy Thanksgiving.

Related Content

  • Author:
    Mike Hall, USA Basketball Writing Program
  • Date:
    Mar 14, 2023

The international portion of the USA Basketball Showcase begins with matchups against Slovenia (Aug. 12) and Spain (Aug. 13) in Malaga, Spain. Then, on Aug. 18 and Aug. 20, the program is slated to host exhibitions against both Greece and Germany, respectively, in Abu Dhabi in the days prior to the 2023 FIBA Men’s World Cup.

USA Basketball announced the U.S. Men’s National Team will play two games in Malaga, Spain, as part of the USA Basketball Showcase in preparation for the 2023 FIBA Men’s World Cup.

  • Author:
    Kyle Leverone, USA Basketball Writing Program
  • Date:
    Mar 10, 2023

It doesn’t entirely matter what team it is. And the circumstances don’t entirely matter, either. They could be playing somewhere in the United States or halfway around the world. If you play for USA Basketball, there is only one thing fans want to know.

USA Basketball announced an agreement with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), under which the United States will host three games in Abu Dhabi featuring the men’s national teams from the U.S., Germany and Greece.

  • Author:
    Steve Drumwright, Red Line Editorial
  • Date:
    Feb 28, 2023

Don Barksdale’s impact on the game of basketball can’t be overstated as a pioneer we honor during Black History Month.

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login

Forgot Password?