USA 3x3 Men’s AmeriCup Team Advances to Nov. 14 Quarterfinals After 2-0 Start
After securing 22-point wins over Mexico (1-1) and Uruguay (0-2) in its pool play games at the inaugural FIBA 3x3 AmeriCup on Friday at Bayfront Park in Miami, the USA 3x3 Men’s AmeriCup Team (2-0) will advance to Sunday’s quarterfinals as the No. 1 seed out of Group A.
On Nov. 14, the USA will play Jamaica (3-1), the No. 2 seed from Group C, at 10:50 a.m. (all times listed are EST). Brazil (2-0), the No. 1 seed from group A, is set to face Mexico, the No. 2 seed from Group A, at 1:15 p.m. The final two quarterfinal matchups will be determined following conclusion of pool play on Nov. 13.
Quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinals, which along with the bronze and gold medal games, will be played on Nov. 14. The gold medalist men’s and women’s teams at the 2021 FIBA 3x3 AmeriCup each earn a qualifying berth into the 2022 FIBA 3x3 World Cup.
“The biggest thing is getting the first two games out of the way. So, coming up with two wins on day one is great for us. There were some good things we did. We got some stuff we got to work on. The beauty of it is we get to come back Sunday and keep playing,” said Trey Bardsley (Nebraska Wesleyan/Beatrice, Neb.).
Against Mexico, which wound up being a 22-12 win for the USA, the red, white and blue trailed 6-3 after Mexico hit its second 2-pointer at 7:28. Those were the last 2s the USA allowed Mexico, however, and from there Charlie Brown Jr. (Delaware Blue Coats/Saint Joseph’s/Philadelphia, Pa.) stole the ball, made a jump shot and then sank two 2-pointers to kick off a 7-0 run that gave the USA a 10-6 lead when Kareem Maddox (Princeton/Los Angeles, Calif.) connected from behind the arc at 6:21.
Mexico scored twice from the field to come within two points, 10-8, but consecutive scores from Bardsley restored the USA’s cushion, 12-8 at 5:07. Canyon Barry (Iowa Wolves/Florida/Colorado Springs, Colo.) added two points on top of that to give the USA a 14-8 advantage at 3:16. The USA outscored Mexico 8-4 over the final minutes and capped the win with a 2-pointer from Maddox with 1:10 remaining on the clock.
The USA forced nine turnovers in the game. Brown led U.S. scorers with seven points; Maddox had five points and seven rebounds; Barry added five points and five rebounds; and Bardsley had five points and four rebounds.
“We continued to play hard,” Maddox said of the USA’s opener. “Basketball as a game of stretches, of runs, so we withstood their runs, and then we did our thing.
“Our goal for this tournament is to get better every game, and we can use every possession we have on the court to do that.”
In the USA’s second game of the day, which it won 22-14 over Uruguay, the game was tied at 3-3 and 4-4 before the USA found some breathing room. Brown scored and Maddox sank back-to-back 2-pointers to put the USA up 9-5. Uruguay put together a 3-0 run to bring the score to 10-8 at 5:21, but this time Bardsley hit consecutive 2-pointers, and the USA led 14-9 with 5:00 on the clock.
Once more, a similar pattern repeated. Uruguay cut the margin to two points, 14-12, however, Barry sank a 2 and Brown connected from deep, and the USA was back on top 18-12 at the 3:43 timeout. Brown scored two more points to put the USA at 20 points and on the verge of the win, and Barry ended the game with a 2-pointer with 2:33 left in regulation play.
“I think we are finding our rhythm, our chemistry,” Bardsley said. “The more the game goes on, the better we get at it. And then (Mexico and Uruguay), they hit some shots early that kept them in the game.”
Brown had eight points and four rebounds; Barry added five points; Maddox also scored five points; and Bardsley tallied four points.
The USA 3x3 Women’s AmeriCup Team will play its first games on Nov. 13, taking on Trinidad and Tobago at 1:50 p.m. and Argentina at 5:40 p.m.
The USA is represented by Cierra Burdick (Seattle Storm/Tennessee/Charlotte, N.C.), Blake Dietrick (Princeton/Wellesley, Mass.), Haley Gorecki (Duke/Palatine, Ill.) and Brionna Jones (Connecticut Sun/Maryland/Havre de Grace, Md.).
Joe Lewandowski (Point Park University), who has been coaching/advising USA Basketball 3x3 national teams since 2014, will serve as head coach for both teams.