COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Dec. 15, 2014) On the heels of gold-medal performances that secured the USA men and women a berth into the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, the 2014 USA Men’s World Cup and USA Women’s World Championship teams have been selected as co-recipients of the 2014 USA Basketball Team of the Year. USA Basketball’s Board of Directors is responsible for selecting its annual award winners.
“USA Basketball is proud to recognize the accomplishments of the USA Men’s World Cup and USA Women’s World Championship teams and to honor them as the 2014 USA Basketball co-Teams of the Year,” said USA Basketball CEO/Executive Director Jim Tooley.
The 2014 USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Team captured a 9-0 record and the gold medal at the FIBA Basketball World Cup from Aug. 30-Sept. 14 in Bilbao, Barcelona and Madrid, Spain.
“We talked about selflessness on this team when we first got together in Las Vegas, and I think this team epitomized that," said Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball Men's National Team managing director. “Different people stepped up on different nights to lead the charge, and it was just a great experience. With no discredit to our previous teams, this may have been the hardest-working team on our tenure because the attitude was there every day. This was also the youngest team we've ever had, and maybe that's a part of that reason or logic. But the work ethic was terrific; we couldn't have asked for more.”
“I think the most special thing about this team was the experience as a whole,” said USA men’s head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University).
The 2014 USA Basketball Women’s World Championship Team captured a 6-0 record and the gold medal at the FIBA World Championship from Sept. 27–Oct. 5 in Istanbul, Turkey.
“We really didn’t have a lot of time or preparation and had a lot of new players on the team we tried to incorporate,” said USA women’s head coach Geno Auriemma (University of Connecticut). “We played exceptionally well in Istanbul and had a great group in terms of how easy they were to coach. The chemistry we had on the team was about as smooth sailing as any USA Basketball team I’ve been involved with.”
This year’s announcement marks the 19th time USA Basketball has presented the Team of the Year Award, which first was earned in 1996 by the historic USA Women’s Olympic/National Team.
The USA Men’s World Cup team featured: DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn Nets); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors). Assisting Krzyzewski were Jim Boeheim (Syracuse University), Tom Thibodeau (Chicago Bulls) and Monty Williams (New Orleans Pelicans).
The USA men became just the third country in FIBA Basketball World Cup history to capture consecutive titles, and its +33.0 points per game differential was the most by a U.S. men’s team in a FIBA Basketball World Cup or Olympic Games since the 1994 Worlds (+37.8).
Irving was selected MVP of the FIBA World Cup, and Faried joined him on the five-member all-tournament team.
With six players averaging double figures, led by 14.2 points per game from Harden, the USA led the 24-team World Cup field in scoring offense (104.6 points a game), scoring margin (+33.0), field goal percentage (.524), rebounding (44.8), rebounding margin (+9.0), defensive rebounds (29.9), assists (20.4), steals (12.1) and turnover margin (+8.3).
The team also tallied a 4-0 exhibition record with dominating wins over Brazil (95-78, Aug. 16, Chicago, Ill.), Dominican Republic (105-62, Aug. 20, New York, N.Y.), Puerto Rico (112-86, Aug. 22, New York, N.Y.) and Slovenia (101-71, Aug. 26, Gran Canaria, Spain).
Additionally, as part of USA Basketball’s Hoops for Troops program, the team toured the United States Military Academy at West Point on Aug. 18, met with the families of military members lost in battle and ate lunch with more than 4,000 cadets before holding an open practice on campus. During the USA Basketball Showcase in Las Vegas on Aug. 1, nearly 200 men and women marched out onto the court and pledged their service to the United States Army, and USA Basketball provided courtside seats for men and women military members who serve at Nellis Air Force Base.
The USA women’s team featured: Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx); Sue Bird (Seattle Storm); Tina Charles (New York Liberty); Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury); Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury); Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream); Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx); Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks); Odyssey Sims (Tulsa Shock); Breanna Stewart (University of Connecticut); Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury); and Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx). Auriemma was assisted by Doug Bruno (DePaul University), Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx) and Dawn Staley (University of South Carolina).
The women’s title was a record ninth FIBA World Championship gold and second consecutive gold for the USA, and Moore was selected MVP of the World Championship while Griner joined her on the five-member all-tournament team. Further, Bird became FIBA’s most decorated World Cup/Championship player of all-time, male or female, having also earned gold in 2002 and 2010 and a bronze medal in 2006.
The USA’s 75-point win over Angola in its final preliminary round game was the USA’s largest margin of victory in FIBA World Championship play, and it tied for the most points scored by a U.S. team in a World Championship.
Led by three players in double figure scoring, the USA led the 16-team field in points per game (92.2), scoring margin (+28.8), field goal percentage (.542), field goal percentage defense (.323), 3-point percentage (.431), rebounding offense (50.8), rebounding defense (31.0), rebounding margin (19.8) and assists (22.3).
The team also tallied a 4-1 exhibition record with wins over Canada (76-51, Sept. 15, Bridgeport, Conn.), Australia (72-66, Sept. 19, Paris) and China (99-75, Sept. 20, Paris), a loss to France (76-72, Sept. 21, Paris) and a win over Czech Republic (76-41, Sept. 23, Prague, Czech Republic).
As part of USA Basketball’s Hoops for Troops program, the team conducted a clinic for children of military families on campus at the U.S Naval Academy and at a clinic a Boys & Girls Club in Annapolis, Maryland, on Sept. 10. On Sept. 11 at the University of Delaware during the USA Basketball Showcase, a Red-White exhibition game, the team honored members of the military in a halftime presentation.