* The opening of the men's basketball competition at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens on Sunday found the USA on the short end of a 92-73 rout at the hands of Puerto Rico.
"I've seen teams learn from big losses and come back. But that's a team and that's what we've got to become in a very short period of time," said USA coach Larry Brown at the postgame press conference. "We have a great opportunity. I've learned a lot from this game and I'm hopeful I can relate that to our players and I'm looking forward to it."
The 0-1 U.S. team is still alive for a gold medal. They must finish no lower than fourth in the six-team Group B to advance to the single-elimination quarterfinals on August 26.
"I'm not mystified. I'm not surprised because I have so much respect for the people we play and the commitment these other teams make in terms of trying to win and truly being a team," said Brown when asked if he was mad, frustrated or mystified about the shocking 19-point loss by the NBA stars to Puerto Rico. "I'm angry because the mentality of this team was like this from day one. We now have to coach them better. Now we're going to find out if we're ready to truly become a team."
On Tuesday, the USA faces Greece, the host team, in front of a packed house at 3:15 p.m. EDT on USA. Greece is 1-0 after downing Australia 76-54 yesterday.
The opponent on Thursday will be Australia, featuring Andrew Bogut (Utah), at 7:30 a.m. EDT on USA. The game against Lithuania, featuring Darius Songaila (Wake Forest) and Sarunas Jasikevicius (Maryland), is on Saturday at 1 p.m. EDT on NBC. The final game of the preliminary round is next Monday (8/23) against Angola at 7:30 a.m. EDT on USA.
HOLMES HEADED FOR DENMARK
* Inside Carolina has learned that UNC grad Jonathan Holmes will be on his way to Denmark next week to begin training for his second pro season. "I have signed with Horsens IC, the 2nd-place team in Denmark's top division last season. Horsens is located about two hours north of Hamburg, Germany," Holmes said about his new team. "I am really excited about the opportunity to continue my professional career."
Holmes made his pro debut last season in England with the Leicester Riders. He played 16 games in England's pro league, the BBL, connecting on 20-of-50 three-point attempts (.400, 12th) while averaging 5.4 points and 4.0 assists (16th) in his rookie season that was shortened by an ankle injury.
ACC HANDBOOK ADDS DOHERTY
* The ACC Basketball Handbook 2005 edition will be available the first week of October, according to information posted at the magazine's website. This year, the ACC Handbook will have an article about the "Top 25" authored by former North Carolina player and coach Matt Doherty.
Another new contributor for the publication will be former Duke star Mike Gminski, who will analyze the teams of the ACC. For more info visit www.acchandbook.com or call 1-800-747-9287 to place an order.