USA Trash Talk

By Jeff Lippman - August 07, 2007

Anyone following USA Basketball this summer - both men's and women's - has seen the red, white and blue become golden on three occasions out of a possible five medals.

And the gold medals are all hanging around the women's necks.

The USA women rolled to gold medals in the FIBA Under-21, FIBA Under-19 and Pan American Games tournaments, while their male counterparts only managed one medal, a silver for the U19 team. The Pan Am Games team finished fifth, failing to medal.

And now, for the piece de resistance, the World University Games are underway in Bangkok, Thailand and both the men and women decided, for the first time ever, to ship an entire team over instead of picking and choosing their own.

For the women, Charlotte was chosen to compete, and for the men, University of Northern Iowa.

And while the ladies continued to do what has been expected of them - namely win - the men also continued down their usual path. They lost.

It took overtime for the women to defeat Latvia Tuesday, 58-55, on what is clearly and expectedly the weakest USA team of the summer. But the bottom line is, at least they won, which is much more than can be said of any of the men's USA teams.

This time it was Lithuania that got the better of a team wearing uniform's with different colors and a school abbreviation of USA instead of UNI, 97-63.

The 97 points scored on our men continues in the storyline of Team USA and the porous defense.

For whatever reason - and it is not my job to speculate as to what that reason is - the men's versions of Team USA have been struggling for quite some time now, while the women have been proving their international dominance.

I'm not saying that the women of the United States should ridicule their male counterparts mercilessly for their failures, but maybe some playful ribbing and a little trash talk from the ladies is just what the men need to realize just what they are playing for.

It seems, to me, that the U.S. women's programs have the right idea when it comes to assembling a team for international competition. They stress unity, togetherness, a team atmosphere and most importantly to winning basketball, defense.

If the men stress these qualities in looking for their players, you could have fooled me. In either case, they could learn a thing or two from the ladies.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 11:30 AM on August 07, 2007
Comments (1)


Latvia is hardly Lithuania ... lets watch how the rest of the World U Games go before jumping to judge the end result ...

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