USA Basketball

United States World University Games team falls to Canada, won’t medal

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Following their nine-point loss to Australia on Thursday, the United States World University Games team needed to beat Canada by ten points or more to guarantee themselves a spot in the medal round.

Baylor senior guard Brady Heslip had other ideas as he scored 20 points off the bench to lead Canada (5-0) to a 94-85 victory, nullifying a 27-point outing by Louisville senior Luke Hancock. Now out of medal contention, the U.S. (3-2) will compete for ninth place in the consolation bracket.

Bob McKillop’s squad hit 15 three-pointers (on 32 attempts) on the day while Canada made eight (15 attempts), but it was the work inside of the arc that ultimately made the difference. Canada, which also received 13 points from Arizona State senior Jordan Bachynski and ten from Stanford senior Dwight Powell, made 49.1% of its two-point attempts while the U.S. shot 35% inside of the arc.

“We probably could have done a few things better defensively, and we could have finished around the basket maybe a little bit better, but you have to give [Canada] credit. They are a good team,” said BYU junior Tyler Haws following the defeat.

Also reaching double figures for the U.S. were Creighton senior Doug McDermott (17 points, nine rebounds) and Baylor senior Cory Jefferson (17 points, seven rebounds), with Colorado junior guard Spencer Dinwiddie dishing out a game-high eight assists.

Canada will be joined by Australia (4-1) as Group C representatives in the medal round, with the Australians beating the United Arab Emirates 131-43 Friday morning.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Knee injury temporarily sidelines Memphis assistant

Toronto Raptors vs Charlotte Hornets
Associated Press
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With practices beginning this weekend, not only are players looking to avoid the injury bug but their coaches are as well. And in the case of Memphis, the Tigers won’t have one of their assistants on the court for a little while due to a knee injury.

Assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who returned to Josh Pastner’s staff this summer after a two-year stint at Arizona, suffered the injury during a recent workout according to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. And Stoudamire will require surgery, which will put him on the shelf for a little bit.

“He was working out himself and I think he thought he was in his rookie year,” Pastner said. “We think he’s got a torn meniscus, which will require surgery and put him out for a couple of days.”

Stoudamire isn’t the only assistant coach working through pain either. Syracuse’s Mike Hopkins, who is also Jim Boeheim’s heir apparent as head coach, suffered a neck injury body surfing during a family vacation last month. Hopkins spent some time in a neck brace while putting players through workouts as a result of the injury.

As for the Tigers, they’ll have a mixture of experience on the perimeter and youth in the front court as they look to get back to the NCAA tournament after missing out last season. Among the newcomers are talented forwards Dedric and K.J. Lawson, with experienced guards such as Kedren Johnson, Trahson Burrell and Ricky Tarrant (grad transfer from Alabama) expected to be key contributors on the perimeter.

Duke figuring out approach for this season

Duke University head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski speaks with the media about the Blue Devils' 2013-14 basketball season, Wednesday, March 26, 2014, in Durham, N.C. (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
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Duke is coming off of a national championship but the roster will look almost completely different for the 2015-16 season. That means last season’s approach to things on the offensive and defensive end will have to change and head coach Mike Krzyzewski mentioned to reporters on Friday how the Blue Devils are still figuring some things out.

“We’re putting in a different offensive system, to personalize it for these guys,” Krzyzewski said to reporters. “And a different defensive system so that we can max out on the talents that they have.

“We’re really proud of our team. I think we’re going to be a really good team.”

Without Jahlil Okafor in the middle, Duke’s offense could shift to a mostly perimeter-oriented team, as the wing and guard depth is superior for this year’s group.  Coach K and his staff making adjustments to schemes to fit personnel is a nice move from the Hall of Famer, as he’s done a better job in recent years of making adjustments like this after his stint with USA Basketball.

As the program moves on from Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow and Quinn Cook, it’ll be intriguing to see who emerges as a potential go-to offensive player early in the season and how Duke’s offense potentially evolves as the season wears on.