Category Archives: USA Basketball

Duke Trio Selected to USA Basketball Team

Three future Duke Blue Devils have been selected to the USA Basketball team that will compete in the Nike Hoop Summit.  Tre Jones joins Cam Reddish and Zion Williamson in the game which takes place on April 13th in Portland, Oregon.



Mike Krzyzewski Honored by USA Basketball

ht1COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Duke University and former United States National Team head coach Mike Krzyzewski was named a co-recipient of the 2016 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year Award on Thursday in recognition of USA Basketball’s third consecutive Olympic gold medal.

Krzyzewski shared the honor with Geno Auriemma, who led the U.S. Women’s National Team to Olympic gold in Rio.

This honor marks the record seventh time Coach K has earned at least a share of the USA Basketball National Coach of the Year Award. He was similarly honored in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014.

“Certainly, I am honored to share the 2016 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year award with Geno Auriemma, a terrific leader whose accomplishments in women’s basketball stand alone,” Krzyzewski said. “Any award that a coach or individual receives is the product of having a great team. Starting with the leadership of Jerry Colangelo, we’ve had that in USA Basketball. Our staff was together every step of this journey, and our players were, too. It was another magical run to gold in Rio, and I was thrilled and honored to be a part of it.”

Coach K, who produced an 88-1 record as head coach of the USA Men’s National Team, is the first head basketball coach to win three Olympic gold medals, and he and Henry Iba (1964, 1968 and 1972) are the only coaches to lead three straight U.S. Olympic teams.

“He motivated all of us every single day, and the standard that he held us to was a championship-level standard,” Kevin Durant, the leading scorer on the 2016 USA Olympic Team, said. “We followed that blueprint from day one. We all believed in him, he believed in us and we were able to go out there and accomplish something special.”

Krzyzewski is also the first coach in the history of international basketball to win back-to-back Olympic and FIBA World Cup titles.


Coach K Talks Gold and USA win

Duke head man Coach K is going for Gold.
Duke head man Coach K won his 3rd consecutive Gold Medal as USA trounced Serbia in Rio.

Duke Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski  or Coach K as he is known to many, led Team USA to its third consecutive Gold Medal with a 96-66 win over Serbia in Rio.  That's something no other coach has done to date,  Krzyzewski finished up his USABB coaching career with a phenomenal 88-1 record including a 24-0 mark in Olympic play.  Krzyzewski has now won two world championships, three gold medals and five national titles which puts him in living legend status.  Here is his post gold medal game comments.

Opening statement:

Well, the very first thing, I would like to say that from our entire staff, all the players, the personnel, we want to thank the people of Brazil for putting on an excellent Olympics, and the people of Rio de Janeiro. We were treated fabulously. Like really, I cannot think of one thing, one time that we were not treated at the highest level, and it was an honor to play in this fabulous country and this great city. We beat three outstanding teams in order to win in Argentina, Spain and Serbia, and congratulations to Serbia on the silver medal and Spain on the bronze. I’m just proud of my guys. These two guys are now the top two (Olympic) scorers in the history of United States basketball, and one of them is the top rebounder, too. So, the commitment that these guys – KD doesn’t rebound (laughing). It’s alright, he shoots it pretty well. He actually averaged nine rebounds a game (in his NBA season). Just these two guys, to have two veterans who’ve won it before to serve as the leaders for our team was fabulous.

Can you describe the journey with this team and with your journey as the national team coach?

This team kept getting better and even those three games in pool play, we had not played that type of game against that type of level.  We said it was a learning experience and our guys did learn.  We put it to good practice.  We kept getting better even though it didn’t necessarily reflect in the differential in the score but we were getting better and more knowledgeable.  That’s where I commend the leadership of our veterans for keeping us on course for that.  As far as (his tenure), Carmelo’s been here as long as I’ve been here.  We shared a press conference in Japan in 2006 where after our only loss, he set the tone in that press conference for what was to be one of the standards of our program and that’s collective responsibility.  He didn’t make any excuses.  We took responsibility for the loss and gave credit to the Greek team.  We built on that.  I call it character.  At that moment, sometimes in  a loss, you find out a deep character in someone and that’s what happened with Carmelo in then the commitment from LeBron and Kobe and all these guys, Chris, Kevin, all these guys have great character.  It’s just built to where now we have a great, great culture.

What are you proudest of coaching three different types of teams to a gold medal?

I think the fact that we’ve done with five teams because to me, if Kevin doesn’t do what he did in Istanbul, he might not have done what he did in London.  To me what he did in Istanbul is what he did today.  The coaching staff was saying that.  In fact, he took two shots further than he ever did in Istanbul today.  It’s called the ultimate green light.  You didn’t hear me saying don’t shoot.  What I’ve loved the most about these guys and not just these two but the guys who have made these commitments, they’ve set the example for the younger generation of the United States to where now everybody is proud of USA Basketball.  It’s because not just how they played but how they acted and how unselfish they were.  I’m amazed at these guys.  I’ve learned so much from being around them.  It’s made me a better coach.  This experience this summer has made me a better coach.

How much did coach Tom Thibodeau help you out on the sideline?

Tom is one of the great coaches on this planet. Obviously defense, a lot of people have said that’s what we need. He and Monty (Williams) are amazing. I think having him for these four years, he and Monty have been a blessing to me. To be quite frank, he talks to the team more than I do. Then when I need to interpret something, I’ll interpret some things, I’ll interject something or today’s meeting I cut short a little bit, but it was a good move. It was a good move today (laughs).

Having Tom’s voice there, it’s one reason, I always sit down during the ball game. I’m not a coach who stands a lot, because I got good guys around me. The best guy around me is Jim Boeheim. For 11 years, he and I have been co-coaches for this team. But to have Tibs next to me, yelling, I’ve learned a lot. I think the people in Minnesota are very lucky. His players are going to have … they’re going to be taught the game well. One thing about Tibs, he’s got a great voice, he’s got an unbelievable voice. I said, “If you weren’t a basketball coach, you should have a radio show from midnight to 4 in the morning and you could be saying, ‘This is Tom Thibodeau from Minneapolis.’” That’s what I feel about him.

How does today’s victory rank among your USA Basketball victories?

This ranks just like the others. I’ve been really a lucky guy, collegiately and internationally to be a part of championship teams. I’m just proud of the fact that Jerry Colangelo, when he took over he gave me an opportunity. The way these players have felt, they’ve been given an opportunity to play for their country and you make the most of it. I love the fact that almost a year ago, well, probably seven, eight months ago, we already named Gregg Popovich to take over. So, you have the best guy in the world coach the team now. That says a lot about the program that’s been developed.

With three gold medals, yet you don’t have any gold medals. What do you take home from this?

The main thing is all the memories and for me, seven of my grandchildren were here, out of my nine.  A few of them have been to all three Olympics, what a blessing. The night before the last three games, I had a chance to eat with my grandchildren, my daughters, my wife. For them to share this, a lot of the guys their families have shared this. That’s what I take from this. It’s been a joy. I’ve been so lucky to be given this opportunity.

Team USA Announces 30 Finalists

 411-300x244COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Kyrie Irving was among 30 finalists for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team announced Monday by USA Basketball, furthering the former Duke star’s quest to make his first Olympic appearance.

The official 12-member 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team roster will be announced later this year.

Duke’s Naismith Hall of Fame head coach Mike Krzyzewski will once again lead the 2016 USA coaching staff. He will be assisted by Jim Boeheim (Syracuse University), Tom Thibodeau and Monty Williams (Oklahoma City Thunder).

Krzyzewski has coached USA National teams to a sterling 52-1 record in official FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions since 2006, while also compiling a 23-0 mark in exhibition games and leading teams to gold medal finishes at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, 2012 London Olympics, 2010 FIBA World Championship, 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship.

“This selection process was difficult from the start, and obviously it is only going to get more difficult as we look to get to the official, 12-man roster,” Krzyzewski said. “I’m excited about the possibilities this team has. Among the finalists, we have multiple players who won gold medals at the Olympic or World Cup level. The roster of finalists features incredible talent, great balance, outstanding leadership, and I believe like we had with our previous teams, this team will have a special chemistry.

“Having a deep, very talented and extremely versatile roster is of critical importance in pursuit of the Olympic gold medal in Rio. All of the players who have been part of the national team program should be recognized and commended for their commitment and contributions, acknowledged for their willingness to do whatever asked and for representing the United States in such outstanding fashion.”

Irving was named MVP of the 2014 FIBA World Cup for his role in leading the U.S. to a 9-0 record and the gold medal. He started all nine games, averaging 12.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, a team-leading 3.6 assists and 1.9 steals. For the tournament, he shot 56.3 percent from the field, 60.9 percent from beyond the arc and 83.3 percent from the free throw line.


The West Orange, N.J., native also owns a gold medal from the 2010 USA U18 National Team that plowed through the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship with a 5-0 record. In 20 total games for USA Basketball, Irving has averages of 12.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists while shooting 56.1 percent from the floor, 51.1 percent from three-point territory and 87.2 percent from the line.


After averaging 17.5 points and 4.3 assists in his lone season at Duke, Irving was selected first overall in the 2011 NBA Draft. He was named 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year and has been named both an NBA All-Star and All-NBA selection in each of the last three seasons.

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games will be held Aug. 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Men’s basketball preliminary play will be held Aug. 6-15, with the quarterfinals scheduled for Aug. 17, semifinals on Aug. 19 and the gold and bronze medal games on Aug. 21.

2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team Finalists

LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs

Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards

Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls

Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies

DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors

Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets

Rudy Gay, Sacramento Kings

Paul George, Indiana Pacers

Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

James Harden, Houston Rockets

Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz

Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets

Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors

Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers

Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs

Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers

Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors

John Wall, Washington Wizards

Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder


Managing Director: Jerry Colangelo

Head Coach: Mike Krzyzewski

Assistant Coach: Jim Boeheim

Assistant Coach: Tom Thibodeau

Assistant Coach: Monty Williams

Liston Wins Gold at World University Games

ListonThe USA Women won Gold today in Kazan, Russia at the World University Games with a 90-71 victory over host Russia in the Championship Game. Duke guard Tricia Liston averaged 8.2 points per game in 13.7 minutes of action, during the tournament. She made 42.9 percent (9-21) of her 3 point field goal attempts and was a perfect eight for eight from the free throw line.

The toughest game for the United States was a 79-78 victory over Australia in the semi-finals. Australia stormed out to a large 1st quarter lead before the United States battled back with tenacious defense to build a 17 point lead. However, Australia wasn’t finished as they mounted a furious comeback and took the lead with less than a minute to play in the game. Crystal Bradford (Central Michigan University) scored the decisive basket with 14 seconds remaining in the game.

The USA was led by Bria Hartley (Connecticut), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Connecticut) and Odyssey Sims (Baylor).

In preliminary round play, the USA was not challenged and easily defeating Mali (120-32), the Czech Republic (101-61) and Brazil (105-75). Liston scored 13, 14 and nine points respectively in those three games.

The quarterfinals saw the USA defeat Sweden 103-72. Liston scored 11 points in the victory.

Stanley Johnson: All-American

Stanley Johnson, Photo by Andrew Slater of BDN

Stanley Johnson, a 6'6" wing from Mater Dei, has experienced  quite a bit in the past year. As a freshman, the Fullerton native helped the Monarchs of Mater Dei win their eighth state title, grabbing fifteen rebounds in the state title game against De La Salle. Johnson was named a MaxPreps Freshman All-American.

Last June, Stanley was expected to give a defensive presence to the USA U-16 team as they competed for the FIBA Americas U-16 Championship in Mexico. Although Johnson was the youngest member of the USA U-16 team, he wound up starting the first two games in Cancun, against Brazil and Argentina, respectively, before suffering a fracture-dislocation of his left index finger at 4:03 of the first quarter of the second game, which eliminated his ability to play for the remainder of the tournament. Despite the injury, the 2014 prospect enjoyed representing his country, his time with his eleven teammates, including roommate and friend Tyus Jones,  and scored fourteen points in the opening game against Brazil.

The youngest of five, Johnson gets some of his pedigree and tutelage from his mother, Karen Taylor, who was able to play both forward positions at Jackson State and professionally in France. He wears the number 41 in honor of her, believing that four plus one means grace.

Last month, Stanley, a sophomore, was tasked by Mater Dei head coach Gary McKnight with guarding Duke 2012 recruit, Shabazz Muhammad, at the City of Palms in Ft. Myers, FL. Johnson held arguably the most explosive scorer in the 2012 class to two first-half points by forcing him to use his right hand. This Monday at the HoopHall Classic at Springfield College, he overcame  a sub-par shooting night (3/10 FG) to contribute a team-high fifteen rebounds and nine points, while utilizing his athleticism and physical play to employ solid defense on Christ The King. The night before he won the 2012 Hoop Hall Slam Dunk Contest with an explosive dunk off of a pass out of the bleachers from his senior teammate Katin Reinhardt.

Stanley Johnson spoke afterwards with Blue Devil Nation about a variety of issues, including his experience with USA Basketball, his mother's influence, Duke's recent interest, defending Austin Rivers, and being labeled a team player.



Talk about the game today. 

It was a really good win for the team. We had a lot of guys get into the game, which is always good. We played really hard and I think it was one of the best games we played this season... and it showed on the scoreboard. I think if we keep playing like we did today,  we’ll be pretty good.

Well, you guys play a pretty competitive schedule.

Playing a competitive schedule makes you play harder because you have the ability to lose at any time. Our coach says that he’s going to schedule us in these competitive games because we play harder in these harder games and he wants to challenge us.


I guess the long-term benefits would be success in the state playoffs. That’s what you guys are going for.

Yeah, the long-term goals are the state playoffs and trying to win another state title, where we’ll hopefully be more used to the physical and tough competition than the opposition will be. That's the game plan.

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses?

My strengths are getting to the basket and just playing with physical play. I try to be a bit physical out there. My weaknesses are my jump-shot and my ball security. I’ve got to work on that a little bit more. 

And do you work on that in the off-season?

 I work on that all of the time. I do it through the season, all twelve months of the year. You always can get better and so I want to try to get better at everything.

In terms of emulating players, is there a guy you try to model your game after?

I like LeBron because he does a lot of everything. He scores, defends, rebounds, and can pass the ball well too. He gets a lot of triple-doubles.

How tall are you?

I’m 6’6.”

And you have a few more years of potential growth. Do you like his style?

Yeah, I like him because he puts up high numbers. I just like how he can do everything out there. I like that. I want to be an all-around player. 

Which schools are after you right now?

The whole Pac-Twelve, Kentucky, Duke, Auburn, Texas, Kansas, Kansas State, all of the above. All of the schools I’m very interested in.  There are so many schools, I wouldn’t want to leave anyone out, but those are most of them.

How does it break down in terms of those with formal offers and those who have shown serious interest?

Well, I have a lot of offers on the table. I haven’t gotten a chance to go out to colleges and stuff because I’ve been busy with school. I haven’t gotten a chance to get out, but I’m going to try to get out soon, as soon as I can.

Are you planning on doing some visits in the off-season? Well, between the AAU season and the high school season..

 I’ll be trying to visit a lot of colleges and stuff cause that’s when I’ll get a chance. I’ll have my really off period.

Are you a good student? Because you’re articulate, I didn’t know.

Yeah, I’ve got between a 3.3 and a 3.4.  I try to do well in school, but, yeah, during the off season I’m going to try to visit schools.

In terms of a timeline, are you in a rush to decide?

Oh, no, I’m not rushing this at all. I feel like I just want to go through this once. I don’t want to rush this decision because I don’t think anything good comes from rushing a decision. I feel like my recruiting process is just getting started. I want to make sure that everything is even, make sure I really want that school. I don't want to go through the process more than once.

What will you be looking for whenever you do decide?

Oh, well, I live in California, so I like that home feeling of California. My high school coach is awesome. I’d like to have that kind of feeling. 

He's built quite a powerhouse at Mater Dei.

Yeah, they accept me. They like the way I am. They’re cool with me.

They embrace you.

Yeah, they embrace me. So I want that, and I just want it to be good. A good offense and a good defense.

What style of play do you prefer? I really rarely get to see you during the high school season, but I've seen you at camps and in AAU basketball. Do you prefer an up-pace tempo or one that employs more half-court sets?

I like fast-paced, but I can play the half-court system. You know, as a team, we try to do both things and so I feel comfortable in either system. 

You're just trying to win the game, whatever it takes.

Yeah, whatever it takes to win the game. 

Who’s the toughest player you’ve faced so far?

Oh, Austin Rivers. 

Austin Rivers?

Yeah, I had to guard him last year at the City of Palms. He was an absolute killer.

This gentleman that I respect was telling me that you did a tremendous job of guarding Shabazz Muhammad this year.

Oh, Shabazz. I guarded him pretty well. I think he only had like 16 on me for the whole game, but then I came out in the middle of the fourth quarter and he got some points at the end. But Shabazz, he’s really good. He’s strong left-handed and his right is alright, so my coaches were telling me to stay on his right. "Just stay on his right." Make sure he goes right and then I just got the opportunity. I mean, he’s my size. He’s got my athletic ability, so I tried to make him go right every time. I tried to slow him down a little bit and then when I came out of the game, he got some more points.

Sort of on the same topic, but how would you assess your defense at this time in general?

I feel like I do a lot of agility drills and I feel like my feet are on point. I feel like, with my quickness, I can guard anyone from a one to a four. Fast or small, big or tall. (laughs)

And can you go back to that matchup with Austin one more time?

Austin could do everything, I mean, I couldn’t find a weakness with him. I played him left and he hit a floater off of me. I played him off and he hit a jumper over me. I played him tightly and he drove right by me. He hit the mid-range. He was doing everything. 

He’s tough to defend.

Yeah, yeah, he’s good.

Speaking of Austin, what's Duke’s interest level in you and what do you know about the program?

I know that the program is known for winning and that’s what I like to do so that right there is automatic interest. I heard Coach K is a really good coach. I see them on TV all of the time. I want to step into a good situation. I don’t want to step into some easy situation and I don’t think they’d expect it. I see them recruiting high level players all of the time. I don’t want to step into an easy situation, I want to step into a situation where I’m going to have to work. I don’t want to walk into a place where I automatically get a starting position, I want to have to work for it. I know Coach K will give me no slack. I know he won’t give me anything and I like that. 

Some guys want guaranteed early playing time.

Yeah, some guys just want to step into an easy situation, but that’s not me. I want to work for it, I don’t need any guarantees. 

And can you talk about the interest that they’ve shown in you so far?

Yeah, I mean, I’ve gotten letters from them.

From Coach Wojo?

Yeah, I’ve gotten letters from him and I’ve called them a couple of times. He’s always telling me, when you’re ready, I’m ready. So, I mean, that’s really it, really. That’s where we’re at.


What was your experience like trying out and ultimately winning a gold medal with USA Basketball?

USA was a different challenge because there were eleven other guys on the team that could do whatever. I mean, they’re the top eleven guys. It was great to play with guys like Jabari (Parker) and Tyus (Jones). So I had to come in the game and do other things like hustle things. But I ended up starting, that was fun. I got hurt the second game, so I didn’t get a chance to play in the championship game, but it was fun. But when I was playing, I really got along with the players.

Who did you get along with best on the team?

Probably Tyus... he was my roommate. Tyus and Kendrick (Nunn), they’re pretty funny guys. 


In terms of position, I put down that you could either be a three or a two, depending on how you develop. What do you feel is your best position?

I like to think of myself as a three, but I can play the two. 

Well, if you like LeBron, you gotta learn to play the three.

(laughs) Yeah, I like to play inside a lot, I like to play in the low-post, and I like to use my body for rebounds. I like to use my body against smaller defenders on the low-post. When I go against bigger defenders, I like to face-up and just shoot right over them. I like to be able to do both things and I try to work on both.

Your mother played at Jackson State. Can you talk about her influence on you with the game?

My mother, she really knows the game, so when I was growing up, I had a coach in my house so I didn’t really have to go far to ask for questions.

So that’s definitely an advantage that you had.

Yeah, definitely. She got me right from the beginning with a ball in my hand because she was a European player as well. It happened prior to the WNBA. 

In France.

Yeah, because there was no WNBA at the time. 

That’s impressive. Now, what position was she?

She was a three and a four. She was able to play inside and out. 

So, she really does know where you should be.

(laughs) Yeah, she doesn’t let me get away with anything. 

You can’t get by on her. 

No, I can’t mess around. (laughs)


What would you like people to know about you away from the court?

I’m really goofy. If you ask any of my teammates, I’m always laughing. I’m always making jokes. There’s really no dull moment around me. 

So, you like to keep people entertained?

(laughs) Yeah, yeah.

I heard you visited New York yesterday and I’m not sure if you visited the Hall of Fame, but if so, can  you talk about those two experiences?

We actually went all around town. We went to St. John’s for a little bit. I saw the campus and I got to play a little bit on the courts there. That was really cool. That was fun, but we only got to spend one night there. It was quick. 

I’m from NY so I was interested where you went. I'm sure Coach Lavin was happy to let you guys use their facilities. Someone was describing you as being a really good "team-player" because for certain teams, you bring defense, other teams you bring scoring, you really bring whatever is needed. Do you feel that’s a good description? 

Tonight, unfortunately but obviously, nothing was falling for me. So, I just tried to do whatever I could.

Well, you were three for ten from the field tonight, but you had fifteen rebounds and played good defense.

I feel like could play with a lot of players because I feel like I can bring it, especially with the USA team I have a different role than I do with the Oakland Soldiers.

So, you’re very comfortable with different roles, wearing different hats?

I feel like I can rebound. I'll grab the ball when the shot’s not falling. I can get steals. I feel like I can play with great players, not-so-great players, and just high school players. 

I heard you picked 41 because you wanted to pick 5 for your mother but that number was taken this year and that you wanted to pick 5 because not only was it your mother’s number, but it also meant grace. Are you going to switch to that next year when it becomes available?

Yeah, my mom told me four plus one means grace. So, my Mom, well, she’s a minister.  I’m a Christian and so I believe in God. I believe in all the things about Christianity..the number 5 and the number 7, things like that. It’s encouraging to think that I have grace.

I hadn’t heard that before. When I was trying to do research on you, it was unusual. Thank you very much.

No problem, man. [/private]