October 1, 2022 

Daily Briefing — Oct. 1, 2022: GOLDEN AGE — USA wins fourth consecutive World Cup

A’ja Wilson named Tournament MVP, Alyssa Thomas named Best Defensive Player

Happy Saturday! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the World Cup recap. The 2022 FIBA World Cup has come to a close, following a pair of medal matches in front of over 15,000 fans. Team USA picked up its 11th World Cup gold medal, which was also its fourth in a row, with a win over China. Australia defeated Canada for bronze, marking Sandy Brondello‘s second World Cup medal as head coach of the Opals and the team’s fourth bronze medal all-time.

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A’ja Wilson was named the tournament MVP, becoming the fourth member of Team USA, and the third in a row, to receive the award since it was established in 1994. Then FIBA announced that it had added three new awards this year: Team USA’s Alyssa Thomas was named the inaugural Best Defensive Player and China’s Wei Zheng was named the inaugural Best Coach. The All-Tournament teams, including the first-ever second team, were also announced:

First Team

Second Team

Now, for some TDB realness: We’ve had an incredible summer and early fall, bringing hoops straight to your inbox on the regular. From the WNBA season through the World Cup, it has truly been a blast. With the college season looming large, big things are on the way. For the rest of October, we’ll be coming to you twice a week under a new name (I won’t spoil the surprise). On Mondays, we’ll dive deep into the news from the week, while on Fridays, we’ll catch you up on games and all things basketball, the sport. Once the NCAA season kicks off in early November, we’ll have even more coming your way. Nothing will change on your end, and we will remain free to read. Thank you, as always, for making us a part of your day.

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Next, read:

  • Our Antonio Losada answers more of your EuroLeague questions ahead of the league’s Oct. 26 tipoff. Also, check out Part 1 if you missed it!
  • Our Scott Mammoser takes you inside Team USA’s golden World Cup championship game performance.
  • For The Associated Press, Team USA’s Kahleah Copper returns with two more installments of her FIBA World Cup Diary. The Sept. 27 and Oct. 1 editions are each a total delight.
  • The Associated Press‘ Doug Feinberg details what’s to come for basketball on the African continent, the AfroBasket tournament and the hopes to host an international tournament.

World Cup recap

Gold medal match

USA beat China, 83–61. The two teams were neck and neck until the late second quarter, when the USA broke away with a 13–5 run to pull ahead by double digits. CHN was unable to recover, with the lead becoming as large as 29. The USA capitalized on CHN’s 19 turnovers while turning 13 offensive rebounds into 19 second-chance points. The USA also had a tight grip on the pace of the game, scoring 18 points on fast breaks to CHN’s four. A’ja Wilson led USA with 19 points on 8-for-15 shooting (3–4 FT), five rebounds (two offensive) and two steals. Li Yueru led CHN with a double-double of 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting (3–4 FT) and 12 rebounds (five offensive) against five turnovers.

Bronze medal match

Australia beat Canada, 95–65. CAN took a slight early lead, but by the late first quarter, AUS had taken over. CAN came within five at halftime, but then AUS blew the door open with a 14–0 run. The AUS bench was particularly effective, scoring 47 points to the CAN bench’s 19. Lauren Jackson led AUS with 30 points on 11-for-16 shooting (8–9 FT), seven rebounds (three offensive) and two steals on four fouls. Jackson’s 30-point performance was just the second in the history of FIBA World Cup medal games, the first coming from Jackson in 2002, per FIBA. Kia Nurse led CAN with 19 points on 6-for-13 shooting (2–6 3pt., 5–8 FT) and three rebounds on four fouls.

Written by Isabel Rodrigues

Isabel Rodrigues (she/her) is a contributing editor for The Next from upstate New York. She occasionally covers 3x3 and labor in women's basketball.

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