Butler Helps USA Lock Up Medal Round Spot

Back in the starting lineup, West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler scored ten points and grabbed five rebounds as Team USA locked up a spot in the medal round of the World University games with a 108-77 win over Greece.

Butler continued his all-around excellence by posting four assists against no turnovers and adding a steal in 20 minutes of action. He hit foru of his six field goal attempts, including 2-4 from three-point range as the U.S. put on a second half surge to down the squad from Greece.

Both of Butler's threes came during a 21-7 third period run that put the U.S. ahead by 65-46 and essentially sealed the game.

"It felt good," said Butler. "The last couple of games, I haven't been shooting the ball that well. I trust in my teammates, and they found me in the right spots, and I took it from there and just tried to make the shots."

The U.S. faces Serbia (3-0) on July 7 (2:00 p.m. EDT) to close out second round play, and the winner of that contest will advance as the Group I's No. 1 seed. Group I crosses over in quarterfinal play with Group L, and the U.S. will play either Bulgaria (3-0) or Latvia (3-0), depending on who wins the USA versus Serbia contest and Bulgaria versus Latvia game tomorrow night. The No. 1 seed in Group I will play the No. 2 seed out of Group L, and vice versa.

Medal quarterfinals will be played on July 9, semifinals are scheduled for July 10 and the gold medal will be contested on July 11.


On the team's chemistry:

"It's a definite difference the first exhibition game we played, or even the second game we played, to here and now. Guys are accustomed to each other. They are learning to work together. They are enjoying each other and playing for this team.

"We didn't understand what coach wanted in the beginning, but now everybody is starting to grasp his idea of what we need to do, and we are doing it. The first game, we didn't have that many post touches, and now we are pretty much working out of the post and playing through the post, and things are working out for us."

On the USA's defense:

"It's a team effort. Nobody can do the job by themselves. We are always going to need a team effort to get a win against the kind of teams we are up against."

On the USA's third quarter surge:

"It was just a matter of effort. We played hard, but we didn't execute as much in the first half as we did in that third quarter. We came out and set our mind on what we needed to do, and we ended up doing it."

Are you looking forward to playing Serbia again?

"Definitely. I feel like they got us the first time. They have been playing together for a while, and we are starting to get the hang of playing with each other and knowing what people's weaknesses and strengths are. I think it will be a better match up than last time. "

BlueGoldNews Top Stories