Captain Canada leads important win over Turkey

Quietly this summer’s version of the Senior Men’s team has developed a strong team character based on defending and rebounding.  While much has been made of the terrible free throw shooting by our opponents today – to correct an obvious erroneous comment from our ‘expert’ announcers on TSN, Turkey would not have been “in control” of this game had they made all their free throws – the fact remains that Canada’s team defensive effort guarding the ball, collapsing on Turkey’s size in the low post, closing out on shooters and finishing defensive possessions with rebounds was the main catalyst in today’s very important 77-69 win over Turkey that puts the Canadians in position to avoid a semi-final match-up with tournament favorite France.  And certainly another sterling offensive performance from 6’2″ Cory Joseph, especially in the third quarter when Canada extended to their largest lead of 17 points mid-way through the frame, was very important.  It is clear that the veteran N.B.A. guard is Canada’s leader and his decision-making and ability to read ball screens is as strong as it’s ever been in his career.  Joseph had a game-high 21 points and chipped in with 3 rebounds and 5 assists.  Fellow NBA star 6’11” Tristan Thompson added 10 including a sweet ally-oop dunk in the third quarter and was instrumental in defending the paint against the taller, lankier Turks.  Canada received outstanding performances from a pair of CIS alumni as 6’7″ Thomas Scrubb started and played 29 minutes, guarding the 3 spot and adding 9 points/6 rebounds.  His length defensively and decision-making prowess offensively were evident throughout and CIS fans will appreciate a third-quarter play where Scrubb ripped down a defensive board and then went coast-to-coast, finishing with a patented left handed floater, showing that he has gained a strong degree of confidence for playing at this level; reminding many of an international version of Tayshawn Prince.  Brother Phil Scrubb (10 points, 7 in the second half, 2-4 3’s, 5 rebounds, 2 assists) was strong down the stretch, finding 6’9″ Khem Birch for a sweet lay-in and knocking down a big 3 from the right baseline to give Canada a 13 point lead late in the game.  Canada received another under-rated effort from 6’7″ Melvin Ejim who was tough defending inside including a wicked block and knocked down a huge, in-rhythm 3 late in the third when Canada was facing a Turkey run.  This group has quietly emerged as a difficult team to play and hopes to build on their success against Senegal tomorrow, a team that will play without 6’11” Gorgui Dieng, another Minnesota Timberwolves player who has decided against playing for his country this summer.  Game time tomorrow is 6:30 AM ET.


2 thoughts on “Captain Canada leads important win over Turkey

  1. Was not his best game but don’t agree it was garbage. He defended their bigs well and admittedly did make some tough decisions with the ball in the open court against the press that allowed Turkey to get back in the game late in the third quarter. Tough crowd though – we win a game that most thought we wouldn’t and he was important even after his first game back after emotions of NBA championship and probably a week where he didn’t play at all. Did share the ball; nice pass to Bennett and, as I said, he defended and rebounded the ball. Defending and rebounding is what they want from him first and foremost. He is not a go-to scorer guy. They will make adjustments to have someone else in the middle of the press break and have TT at the back to finish. Thomas Scrubb was great today and should be a bit more involved early when we work to break pressure.


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