KAZAN, Russia -Creighton standoutDoug McDermott scored a game-high 23 points to help Team USA to a 96-53 win over Czech Republic on Monday afternoon at the World University games in Kazan, Russia.
McDermott scored the game's first two points as the heavily favored USA squad never trailed. The rising senior finished the first quarter with six points and a team-high five rebounds as the Americans bolted to a 20-9 lead.
Team USA would start the second quarter with a 10-2 run to build a 19-point margin, and would maintain a 41-22 halftime lead. McDermott had eight points and seven rebounds at intermission, trailing only Baylor's Cory Jefferson (10 points, 10 rebounds) at the midpoint.
McDermott got it going early in the third quarter, converting a three-point play, draining two free throws, sinking back-to-back three-pointers, and a steal & layup during a personal 13-2 run for the Americans that spanned just 2:15. USA would lead 66-38 after three quarters as McDermott had 21 points and 10 rebounds heading into the final period.
McDermott had one basket on a reverse up-and-under lay-up early in the final stanza before resting for the game's final six minutes. He would score 23 points and grab 10 rebounds on the afternoon, sinking 8-of-15 field goal attempts and 5-of-5 from the line. His 23 points were his personal high in a Team USA jersey, surpassing the 19 he had in 2011 as a member of the U19 National Team.
Jefferson finished with 10 points and 15 rebounds, while Louisville's Luke Hancock added 15 points for Team USA.
"I’m very pleased," said Team USA head coach Bob McKillop. "I see the development of the players trusting the system, the coaches understanding the talents of the players and the evolving teamwork that is a result of that. They’re talking more. There are great opportunities for leadership out there for individuals; I think this is a very profitable experience every time they step on the floor with us."
The USA will continue preliminary round play against Sweden at Noon Central on July 10; Australia at 9:30 a.m. Central on July 11; and Canada at 4 a.m. Central on July 12.
Following the preliminary round, the first and second-placed teams in each of the four pools advance to the medal quarterfinals on July 14 to compete for first through eighth places; while the remaining teams will play out for ninth to 24th places. The semifinals will be played on July 15, and the finals will be contested on July 16.
Assisting McKillop on the USA sideline are John Beilein of the University of Michigan and Frank Martin of the University of South Carolina.
The USA is looking for its first gold medal at the World University Games men’s basketball competition since 2005, and currently holds a 140-9 all-time record in World University Games play.
USA Basketball Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international competitions, as well as for some national competitions.
During the 2009-12 quadrennium, 1273 men and women players and 235 coaches participated in USA Basketball, including the USA Basketball 3x3 FIBA championships, USA Basketball trials and USA teams.
Between 2009-12, USA Basketball men's and women's teams compiled an impressive 264-35 win-loss record in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions, the Pan American Games, the World University Games, the Nike Hoop Summit and in exhibition games. USA teams are the current men's and women's champions in the Olympics; men's and women's FIBA World Championships; men's and women’s FIBA U19 World Champions; men's and women's FIBA U17 World Champions; and the men's and women's U18 and U16 FIBA Americas Championships.
USA Basketball also currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.