World University Games Update: 7/6/2009

After Monday, July 6th, 6 of the 8 teams playing for a medal has been decided.

Team USA beat Greece 108-77. Brackins got 7 points and 7 rebounds, in 16 minutes of play off the bench. Team USA will play Serbia at 1pm CST to determine 1st and 2nd place in Group I.

Thus far, it's tough to get a read on how Brackins is doing. If you just look at the stats, it would appear he's been inconsistent. International play is typically less physical and relies on more jumpshooting. I would figure that would be a situation in which Craig would do well, as I think he'd have to be more of a perimeter player in the NBA unless he bulks up. At the same time, international play is often more fundamentally sound than college basketball and the NBA. This means there are players that actually know how to play defense. Perhaps players are playing good defense on Craig, and Craig isn't used to be guarded like that.

Germany had a tough loss to Lithuania yesterday, losing 76-75. Lucca started, scoring 21 points, getting 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals on 7-18 shooting (including 4-12 from beyond the arc) in 35 minutes of play. Germany will play Romania today at 1pm CST as well.

Germany will not advance to the medal round, as the best they can do in their group is 3rd place. Even though they will not win a medal, Germany will continue to play. This basketball tournament places all 26 spots, so Germany will play 2 more games (3 including today's) regardless. It's just more of a question if they'll be shooting for 9th to 12th place, or 13th to 16th place.

Lucca is doing very well in this tournament. He's Germany's leading scorer and he's been racking up minutes as well. Although he's been scoring a lot, he isn't shooting all that great from 3, as he's 11-30 (36%) for the tournament thus far. Lucca has been a lot more effective from inside the arc, shooting 9-15 (60%), although it's hard to tell if these are legitimate shots, or fastbreak types of layins. Regardless, 36% from 3 is decent, but next season I'd like to see him take more shots from inside the line. He'll score more, and it will force him to be more selective on his 3s. We need a guy who can shoot the 3, but we also need a guy who can make them at a relativley high percentage. When you're the 3rd option on a team, you do not need more than 10-12 ppg. You just have to score those efficiently, and score more than that on a given night if needed.

Thus far, here are the teams going on to play for medals: USA, Serbia, Lithuania, Israel, Bulgaria, and Turkey, although not all the placements are set. Russia, Romania, Lativa, and Canada are on the bubble.  Russia will advance unless they lose to Italy (0-2) AND Canada (1-1) beats Israel (2-0). Romania will advance unless they lose to Germany (0-2) AND Latvia (1-1) beats Lithuania (2-0). I am going to play it safe as assume Russia and Romania will indeed advance.

I will post another update after play today, outlining where everyone will go, and my predicitions. Here's to Brackins and Lucca doing well, and continuing to get valuable experience over the summer!

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