September 26, 2022 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: Breaking down Team USA and the 2022 World Cup at its halfway point

From A (Australia) to U-S-A, The Next's Missy Heidrick and Isabel Rodrigues break down the FIBA World Cup so far

It’s time for another episode of the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast. This one has an international feel to it as host Missy Heidrick welcomes The Next contributor Isabel Rodrigues to discuss the FIBA World Cup, which runs through Oct. 1. Led by 2022 WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson, Team USA is currently 4-0 and will play its final game of group play at 12:01 a.m. ET on Tuesday.

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Isabel talks about Team USA head coach Cheryl Reeve’s roster configurations during a tournament that requires teams to play up to eight games in 11 days:

“Looking at the the folks that [Reeve] has put on her starting lineups has been really interesting. Especially because we talk a lot about, in women’s basketball and basketball in general, this idea of positionless basketball and moving away from traditional positions … to people who can be flexible and move within positions. I think, honestly, especially because of the turnaround [between games], having so many players that can play at multiple spots and really be able to change their mindset from one second to the next has been really beneficial for them.”

Isabel also discusses many of the other teams in the field, including what Emma Meesseman‘s calf injury means for Belgium and how Han Xu has led China to a 3-1 record so far. Here’s Isabel on Australia and Lauren Jackson, the Hall-of-Fame forward/center who is making an impressive comeback at 41 years old:

“She hasn’t really played all that much, which is to be expected; she’s 41 years old. So as much as you can get out of her is excellent. But weirdly she’s turned into a pretty good outside shooting threat. She went 2-for-4 from three today and hit some pretty critical 3-pointers that helped Australia prevail over Canada, which was a huge win for them and ended up securing them that spot in the knockout round. So, I mean, she’s had limited minutes, but in her limited minutes has been really, really a good force for them.”

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast. Watch it on YouTube or listen wherever you find your podcasts. And click here to see all of The Next‘s FIBA World Cup coverage.

Written by The Next

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