Preview >> USA Women vs. Greece
Sept. 22 • Ostrava, Czech Republic
Complete Game Notes (PDF)
TV: Live on NBA TV, 12:00
*All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time.
A Little History
The No. 18 ranked country in FIBA's women's rankings, Greece will appear in its first FIBA World Championship in 2010 after placing fifth in the 2009 European Championship, where it recorded a 5-4 record.
This past week, Greece played two exhibition contests against Russia. Losing 81-73 in the first game despite 19 points from Evanthia Maltsi and 18 from Pelagia Papamichail, and falling 70-59 in the second matchup, when Stella Kaltsidou tallied 22 points.
“After almost a month of practices, things are very good in our team and we are all waiting for the great challenge of the World Championship,” veteran point guard Dimitra Kalentzou told FIBA.com. “Thank God there were no injuries in our team.”
Players to Watch
Greece forward Evanthia Maltsi, aka the "Greek Killer," was selected as MVP of the 2009 European Championship after she led the field in scoring (22.6 ppg.), steals (3.1 spg.) and free throw percentage (91.0 percent), while also recording 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game and shooting 40.0 percent from 3-point. The veteran certainly will be a force for Greece again in 2010, and American basketball fans may recognize Maltsi from her time with the Connecticut Sun in 2007.
Second to Matsi in scoring for Greece at the 2009 zone qualifier were Pelagia Papamichail and Stella Kaltsidou, who each averaged 9.2 points per game. In addition to four years of professional experience in Spain, Croatia, France and Greece, Papamichail is a 24-year-old power forward who played in the 2007 and 2009 European Championship and the 2006 U20 European Championship. Kaltsidou is another forward, 27 years old, who played for Greece in 2007 and 2009 and has extensive international experience as well.
The Scouting Report
USA Assistant Coach Doug Bruno (DePaul University)
How do you prepare for a team like Greece, which you don't know much about?
We're so excited about having our team together. It's almost a euphoria to finally have our team together, and it's the day before our first game. We are really counting on what we are going to be doing against Greece, because the only tape we have of Greece is more than a year old. That makes it very difficult to scout their team, and it's going to have to be about what we do in the game.
What are the keys for the USA?
Our aggression level on the defensive side of the ball has to be constant. That's where we have slipped up at times. The attention to detail on defense will be critical for us. We've had some great halves during our exhibition play, and we've had some mediocre halves. Whenever we are on it on the defensive side of the ball, we are a very, very good team.