World Cup Rumors

The U.S. men’s basketball team will host its next two World Cup qualifying games in Santa Cruz, California, at the home of the Golden State Warriors’ G League affiliate. The Americans will play Cuba on Feb. 23 and Puerto Rico on Feb. 26 at Kaiser Permanente Arena, USA Basketball announced Monday. The Americans beat Puerto Rico last month during their 2-0 start in the new qualifying format for the 2019 World Cup in China.
Xavier Munford scored 12 points and Markel Brown added 10 for the Americans, who trailed 57-51 late in the third. A 10-0 run late in that quarter gave the U.S. the lead, and a 22-12 burst in the fourth decided things. “Those of our players that have played in a FIBA game, I think knew what to expect,” U.S. coach Jeff Van Gundy said. “But those that had not played in a FIBA game, it was harder for them initially to adapt and adjust. We got hit with haymakers early, and I was really proud of our guys.”
“I think it’s a good idea to have these windows, so people can go, like soccer, in the middle of the year and see your national team at home,” longtime Spanish guard Jose Calderon said. “That’s the nice part. But to be able to do that, you’ve got to be able to get everybody on the same page so players can go play like in soccer. What you cannot do is ask the player to do something when they really don’t know what to do. They’re being pulled from both sides.”
Storyline: World Cup