USA vs. Puerto Rico - Things To Know
The USA Basketball Men’s AmeriCup Qualifying Team opens first-round action against Puerto Rico on Thursday, 7 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.
The 2020-21 FIBA AmeriCup qualifiers feature 16 teams from the Americas zone divided into four groups of four teams. The top three finishing teams in each Group will earn a qualifying berth in the FIBA AmeriCup 2021 (2020-21 AmeriCup Qualifying Schedule).
Here are some things to know about Thursday's USA-Puerto Rico FIBA AmeriCup Qualifying game.
The 2020 February USA AmeriCup Qualifying Team (USA Roster):
Members of the 2020 February USA AmeriCup Qualifying Team include: Jaylen Adams (Wisconsin Herd/St. Bonaventure); Justin Anderson (Long Island Nets/Virginia); Cody Demps (Stockton Kings/ Sacramento State); Kyle Fogg (Beijing Royal Fighters, China/Arizona); Devon Hall (Oklahoma City Blue/Virginia); Jalen Jones (Capital City Go-Go/Texas A&M); J.P. Macura (Canton Charge/Xavier); Josh Magette (Lakeland Magic/Alabama-Huntsville); Eric Mika (Stockton Kings/Brigham Young); Ivan Rabb (Westchester Knicks/California) Levi Randolph (Canton Charge/Alabama); and James Webb III (Iowa Wolves/Boise State).
A Historic Meeting In San Juan:
The USA Basketball Men's National Team last played in San Juan in 2003 at the FIBA Americas Championship.
The 2003 USA Basketball Men's National Team finished a perfect 10-0, won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and most importantly, qualified the USA men for the 2004 Olympics. The USA twice downed Puerto Rico in the tournaments, winning 85-71 and 91-65. The USA showing in San Juan was a team effort that saw six of the squad's 12 players finish averaging in double digits in scoring. The USA was led by center Tim Duncan, who averaged team highs of 15.6 ppg. and 8.0 rpg., Allen Iverson posted 14.3 ppg., while Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady each accounted for 12.6 ppg., Jermaine O'Neal added 11.2 ppg. and 6.2 rpg., and Ray Allen finished averaging 10.6 ppg. Jason Kidd and Michael Bibby led the USA in assists, averaging 5.0 apg. and 4.8 apg., respectively.
The USA also visited San Juan in 1999 for the FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament. The 1999 USA Basketball Men's National Team was also successful in San Juan, finishing 10-0 and earning qualifying berth for the 2000 Olympics. In 1999 the USA defeated Puerto Rico 115-76. Gary Payton paced the high scoring USA offense averaging 16.0 ppg. and 4.6 assists, while Tim Duncan tossed in 12.7 ppg. and team highs of 9.1 rpg. and 2.4 blocked shots. Kevin Garnett averaged 11.9 ppg., 7.0 rpg. and 2.2 blocked shots a game, Tim Hardaway scored 11.9 ppg., Allan Houston added 10.4 ppg. Guard Jason Kidd scored 7.4 ppg. and led the U.S. in assists, handing out 6.8 a game.
Already qualified for the 1994 World Championship by virtue of winning the 1992 Olympic Games, USA Basketball sent a 12-member team of players from the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) to the 1993 Tournament of the Americas. Directing the USA team was Mike Thibault, head coach of the 1993 CBA champion Omaha Racers. Under Thibault’s hand, the USA squad rolled to a 6-1 overall record and claimed the tournament’s top finish and the accompanying gold medal by eliminating host Puerto Rico (109-95) in the gold medal game.
USA-Puerto Rico Boasts of Plenty of History:
The USA owns a 55-9 record versus Puerto Rico, and the two men’s national teams met twice during the 2017-19 FIBA World Cup Qualifying games. The USA recorded 83-75 (2/26/18) and 85-78 (11/23/17) victories versus Puerto Rico in World Cup Qualifying play.
The U.S. is 5-1 against Puerto Rico in Olympic games; 8-1 in World Cup games and 10-2 in FIBA Americas Championships contests.
Roberto Clemente Coliseum:
Thursday's AmeriCup Qualifying game is being played in San Juan's historic Roberto Clemente Coliseum. Built in 1973, the Coliseum is named after baseball hall of famer Roberto Clemente. The arena also hosted the final phase of the 1974 FIBA World Basketball Championship. The USA's opening game of the 2017-19 FIBA World Cup Qualifying versus Puerto Rico was originally scheduled to be held at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum, but because of damages suffered during Hurricane María in September 2017, the USA-Puerto Rico World Cup Qualifying game was moved to the University of Central Florida’s CFE Arena in Orlando, Florida.
In 1979, San Juan and the Coliseum hosted the Pan American Games. The USA, coached by hall of fame coach Bobby Knight, finished 9-0 to win the gold medal. The United States clinched the gold with a 113-94 victory over host Puerto Rico. Facing an outstanding team from Puerto Rico that had also compiled a perfect 8-0 mark prior to the Pan Am final, the U.S. relied on its balanced, but high-powered offense, for the win. Michael Brooks led the USA team in its win compiling 27 points and 13 rebounds, while Indiana standouts Mike Woodson and Isiah Thomas added 23 and 21 points, respectively.
USA - Puerto Rico Information
The game is available via ESPN+
LiveStats: USA vs. Puerto Rico Live Stats