I don't know if I'm supposed to be shocked to see that Team USA lost to Lithuania in the quarterfinals of the World University Games. It's so hard to tell these days if we should assume America should always win these tournaments or if the rest of the world has caught up with us. In this case, I guess so.
Plagued by ice-cold shooting, including 0-of-14 from 3-point in the second half, the USA (5-1) fell to Lithuania (5-1) 76-74 in the quarterfinals of the 2011World University Games on Saturday night at the Universiade Main Gym in Shenzhen, China.
After battling back from as many as eight points down in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 74-74 with just under two minutes remaining, the USA missed its last five shot attempts as Lithuania sank two free throws to secure the win.
Scoop played a scant 12 minutes, scoring five points on 1-8 shooting and dishing three assists.
Team USA recovered Sunday when they jumped out to a 12-0 run against Romania (3-4) and never looked back in a 94-73 win. Scoop registered six points, two assists and three turnovers in 14 minutes of action in the win.
The USA advanced to the 5th/6th place game where it will meet Germany (6-1) at 6 a.m. Eastern Time today.
Just like Team USA, Brazil responded to the loss with a win, taking down Mexico 79-61 on Sunday, setting up a match-up with Israel in the 13th/14th place game. No stats just yet on Melo's performance.
Ultimately, regardless of the disappointing results, the real win of the China trip was apparently the bonding time that Scoop and Fab got to have together. Scoop details much of it in his postcard from the tournament to Syracuse.com.
I’ve spent a lot of time with Fab. It’s given me a great understanding of him and where he comes from. Before, I saw Fab in our country, but I never saw him interact with his peers and with his friends from home. I just gave one of his friends a lot of my USA stuff that I won’t be needing any more.
I eat breakfast with him if I don’t have to eat with my teammates. Every game he has that I don’t have a game, I go see him. If I can’t watch him, I check up on his stats. When I’ve watched him, I’ll tell him later how he played, what things he did well, what things he needs to work on. I was hoping we’d get a chance to play them, but they lost.
That's some serious senior leadership kind of stuff. Nice, Scoop. And then there's this:
There’s Chinese food and there’s Muslim food because there’s an Iraqi team here. And there’s American food. Guess what we eat? McDonalds. I told myself that I would try to explore, to take advantage of other foods I never get to eat. Today they had some great chicken and rice for dinner.
Chicken and rice...the most exploratory meal any American could possibly eat while in China.