Powered by a balanced scoring attack that saw all 12 USA players register points, including a team best 13 points from UCLA alum Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves), the Americans took control early and sailed on to post an 88-51 victory over Iran (1-3) Tuesday night atAbdi IpekciArena in Isanbul, Turkey. The win improved the U.S. record to 4-0 in preliminary play and guaranteed the squad Group B's number one seed for the medal round and Eighth-Finals.
"That's what we wanted to do," saidLamar Odom on the U.S. earning the number one seed for Group B."We came out, focused on our goal, attained it and now it's time to move on."
The U.S. concludes preliminary play Thursday versus Tunisia. The medal round eight-finals, which features the top four teams from each of the four preliminary round groups advancing, will be played Sept. 4-7. Quarterfinals action is slated for Sept. 8-9, with semifinals scheduled for Sept. 11 and the gold and bronze medal games will be contested Sept. 12.
"We were a little bit fresher today. In our last game, when we played Brazil, that was our sixth game in 10 days in three countries. I just thought we were tired, more mentally than physically. No U.S. team has ever played six games in 10 days in three countries," said USA mentor and Duke University's Hall of Fame coachMike Krzyzewski. "I thought as the game moved along, we got better in the game and we're hoping we can do that again.
"It's just a long race and people want to judge you by every game instead of looking at your body of work. Our kids have done a good job, and they did a good job again in a hard-fought game today."