Dee and Dupree Shoot for Gold

By Stefan Swiat
Posted: Sept. 30, 2010

The U.S. Women’s National Team has cruised to a 6-0 record in the 2010 FIBA World Championships after defeating Greece, Senegal, France, Canada, Belarus and Australia. The only country the team hasn’t routed by more than 20 points was Australia, considered one of Team USA’s toughest matchups in the tournament.

Representing the Mercury in the tournament are guard Diana Taurasi and forward Candice Dupree. Taurasi currently leads the team in scoring at 12.3 a game, while Dupree has led the team in rebounding. In fact, Dupree has impressed Team USA Head Coach Geno Auriemma so much that she was moved into the starting lineup two games ago.

The 6-2 forward is also third on the team in scoring.

“I thought that it (starting her) gave us another post player that was a true post player,” Auriemma said. “And I think Candice has responded by playing some of the best basketball I’ve seen her play. Going into last night’s game, she was probably the most productive player in the tournament per minutes played.”

As the team advances out of group play and into the quarterfinals, it’ll need Taurasi and Dupree to keep thriving as it faces South Korea. South Korea, which finished fourth in their group, concluded group play with a 3-3 record.

“We’re taking it one game at a time and are focused on South Korea tomorrow,” Taurasi said. “Their style of play is really difficult. Five girls moving all at the same time and shooting threes; it’ll be a good test for us.”

The toughest teams remaining in the tournament are Russia (6-0), Spain (5-1) and Australia (5-0).

“We can’t look ahead to any game but the one we have coming up you can’t get caught up in thinking about who you could play in the gold-medal game.”

Team USA faces South Korea at 6:30 a.m. (Phoenix time) in the Czech Republic on Friday.