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#1

any potential free agent targets.

in Voliere & Einrichtung 14.08.2018 05:17
von officialsbaseball | 300 Beiträge

The first round is over. The U.S. is halfway to the Basketball World Cup.

The Americans wrapped up the first stage of the new qualifying format Sunday by beating Cuba 93-62 Tyron Smith Cowboys Jersey , bouncing back from a loss in Mexico on Thursday to finish alone atop their group at 5-1.

Using G League players instead of the NBA stars they’ve been relying on to dominate for more than a decade, the Americans lost a game at the national team level for the first time since 2006 and were pushed a couple other times in the new qualifying format in which teams play home-and-away games against regional rivals.

They expect things to be just as difficult in the second round, which begins in September.

”We have really good players that are playing right now. We just don’t know who is going to be available,” coach Jeff Van Gundy said. ”But the point is we have to play better because the competition does get better.”

Reggie Hearn and Xavier Munford each scored 16 points for the Americans in their first game in Havana since 1991, when they earned a bronze medal in the Pan Am Games with a team that included Duke stars Christian Laettner and Grant Hill.

NBA players were introduced in the Olympics the next year and the Americans have almost always been able to count on a talent advantage since. But they shuttled in players from the G League for all three windows of games in the first round, and had two tough victories over Puerto Rico before the loss in Mexico City.

”We had lots of different guys participate and so the weakness is that we had a constant turnover of players,” Van Gundy said. ”But our strength is our defense and our 3-point shooting.”

Cuba led 28-24 after the first quarter Sunday before the U.S. quickly seized control with a 19-1 run to start the second.

The Americans plan to continue using G League players in the second round http://www.buffalobillsteamonline.com/tremaine-edmunds-jersey , when they move into a group that will feature Argentina, Uruguay and Panama, along with Puerto Rico and Mexico. The first-round record carries over, and the Americans will have to finish in the top three of that group or be the best fourth-place finisher from the Americas to qualify for the 2019 World Cup in China.

That tournament will serve as a qualifier for the 2020 Olympics.

The Houston Rockets believe they got a steal by adding Southern California’s De’Anthony Melton with the 46th pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday night – and they aren’t worried about his off-court headlines.

Melton was drafted by the Rockets following a season in which he was ruled ineligible because of an extra benefits scandal.

”He’s a guy that if he had played we feel pretty comfortable that he would have been a top-20 pick,” general manager Daryl Morey said. ”So that’s why we were really happy to get him there. I think he was a little out of sight, out of mind.”

Houston also added Purdue forward Vincent Edwards in a trade for cash with Utah after the Jazz selected the senior with the 52nd pick.

”We feel like both these guys are not too far from potentially contributing for us,” Morey said.

USC never had Melton in the lineup last season due to eligibility concerns tied to a sprawling college basketball corruption case. The 6-foot-4 Melton Myles Garrett Browns Jersey , who started 25 games as a freshman and averaged 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists, sat out after an investigation by the FBI alleged that a friend of Melton’s family accepted $5,000 to influence Melton to sign with a certain agent and financial adviser when he reached the NBA.

His eligibility first came into question when USC’s Tony Bland was one of four assistant coaches around the country accused of taking bribes to influence players to sign with certain agents, advisers and apparel brands. Bland was arrested and has pleaded not guilty to four charges concerning bribery and wire fraud.

”Obviously we have to do our homework and look into everything,” Morey said. ”That was something we were extremely comfortable that was not an issue.”

After leading his high school to consecutive state titles, Melton averaged 8.3 points Jason Witten Jersey Womens , 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists as a freshman in the 2016-17 season. Scouts see him as a solid defender who needs to develop offensively.

Melton and Edwards will join a team led by James Harden and Chris Paul that won a franchise-record 65 regular-season games but was eliminated by the eventual champion Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals.

Paul and center Clint Capela lead a group of free agents the Rockets will work to re-sign. Houston is also expected to make a play for LeBron James, but NBA rules kept Morey for commenting directly on any potential free agent targets.

”This was really about setting up our future but it doesn’t affect free agency,” Morey said of the draft. ”Now we shift our focus to free agency. And the challenge of upgrading a very good team is not easy, so we’re going to have to be aggressive.”

The 6-foot-8 Edwards was named second-team All-Big Ten after averaging 14.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists a game last season. He shot 39.8 percent from 3-point range and was an 83.3 percent free throw shooter last season. Edwards joined Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine and Tulane’s Jerald Honeycutt as the only three players in the last 25 years to finish their college careers with at least 1,600 points, 750 rebounds Mike McGlinchey Jersey , 400 assists and 170 3-pointers.

”He sort of can do it all,” Morey said. ”He can defend multiple positions. He really fits our style of play … one thing unique about him is he can handle the ball and pass at his size and he’s already an accomplished shooter.”



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