On a day when the only question was whether Team USA could possibly win by a hundred points or more, USA Basketball's World University Games squad got its preliminary round off to a rousing start on Sunday, running away from the United Arab Emirates by a score of 140-46.
In the Group C opener for both sides, played at the Basket Hall in Kazan, Russia, BYU's Tyler Haws saw his first international action, playing 11 minutes off the bench and becoming the first BYU player in 30 years to wear the Team USA jersey in competition.
Haws made one of his three field goal attempts and both free throw attempts for four points; he added seven rebounds and two assists, finishing with a game-high four personal fouls.
Team USA takes a spot at the top of the table in Group C, joined by Australia and Canada, both of which recorded opening-day wins.
In the Aussies' 85-57 defeat of the Cezch Republic, former St. Mary's Gaels Clint Steindl and Mitchell Young were key contributors, with 15 and 12 points respectively.
Canada's 84-69 win over Sweden was keyed by Baylor product Brady Heslip's 22 points, while Gonzaga's Kevin Pangos added 12. Heslip faced BYU three times over the last two seasons, while BYU fans recognize Pangos as a now-familiar West Coast Conference foe.
The U.S. plays the Czech Republic Monday morning at 3:00 a.m. MT; the game will be televised live on ESPNU (see schedule below).
Photo: Courtesy USA Basketball