Team Canada bowed out of FIBA Americas tournament, Sunday, after a promising start, losing to Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and Argentina over the last three games to seal their fate in second round play. Tristan Thompson was solid throughout the tournament, on the boards and at the line, averaging 10 boards a game, and 78% from the free throw line. And yes, he was shooting right handed. From the field, he was a pretty lackluster 40%. Having not watched the games, other than highlights, it’s hard to tell the kind of looks he was getting, but TT was shooting at a pretty high rate. He finished the tourney as the No. 2 rebounder, behind Uraguay’s Esteban Damian Bautista Hernandez.
Canada’s wing scoring and perimeter defense were lackluster throughout the second round of the tourney. From the the highlights I saw, Tristan and the rest of the Canucks were not exactly committal about closing out shooters. Luis Scola rained jumpers all the way out to the three point line against the Canadian front court for 28 points in the final game. While TT, Andrew Nicholson, and Corey Joseph made up the core of the squad, Andrew Wiggins’ absence seems to have been felt quite acutely. (He’s currently preparing for his freshman year at Kansas). I’d be pretty pissed if I was part of the Canada Basketball program and Wiggins was the reason I wasn’t playing in the World Cup next year. Instead, Argentina, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico rose to join the U.S. (which has an exemption from the Olympics) as the Western Hemisphere’s representatives in the World Cup, next summer. Team Canada will have to wait for Olynyk, Wiggins, and Bennett to join the squad, to try to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.
At Eurobasket, incoming Cavs rookie, Sergey Karasev had been faring poorly, with inconsistent playing time for 0-4 Russia, who played Turkey in their final game, Monday. He’d average 4.3 points and four boards in 18.3 minutes a game (in only three games), shooting 44% from two, but only 1/6 from three. Then Sergey went and totally redeemed himself.
Karasev had a monster final game yesterday, scoring 25 points on 70% true shooting in 33 minutes to lead Russia to an 89-77 defeat of Turkey, who finished the tourney 1-4. For Sergey’s box score, click here. For his tourney stats, click here. I’ll leave you with a Karasev interview interspersed with highlights of Sergey’s silky smooth jumper.