July 1, 2009
"It was just good to finally just be able to put on my jersey and play," Casto said in an interview with USA Basketball following the game. "We've been working hard for 14 days, putting in a lot of work, so it was really good to put on your jersey and actually go out and showcase our talent."
A native of Spokane, Wash., Casto finished the game 5-for-6 from the field and added two rebounds. He was one of seven USA team members to score in double figures. Thompson, from Ladera Ranch, Calif., added three rebounds, three assists and a steal to his nine points. He was 3-for-8 from the field and 2-for-6 from beyond the 3-point arc. Both Cougars started for the United States, as Casto won the opening tip, while Thompson played the third-most minutes by an American, logging 19:27.
"It was really cold in the gym so it was hard to get warm and loose and outrun the other team and get down to the other end of the court," Casto said on USABasketball.com. "But that's how I got some pretty easy buckets, just out work the other team the whole time. That's what coach has been telling me what I need to do and that was how I was going to get my easy money so that's what I did."
The USA (1-0) was led by Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor with 13 points, three assists and two steals. Seth Curry (Duke, 12 points), Terrico White (Mississippi, 11 points), John Shurna (Northwestern, 11 points, 10 rebounds), Ashton Gibbs (Pittsburgh, 10 points) and Howard Thompkins (Georgia, 10 points) joined Casto in double figures.
Mohammad Hasanzadeh and Arsalan Kazemi led Iran (0-1) with 17 and 15 points, respectively.Hasanzadeh added a team-high six rebounds, while Kazemi had a game-best seven steals.
The USA got off to a slow start, leading by two, 14-12, with less than three minutes to go in the first quarter. At that point, USA went on a 16-1 run to take a 30-13 lead after the first period of play. The United States team went on to a 55-27 halftime lead as Casto had eight points at intermission and Thompson put up three in the first half.
Casto, Thompson and the USA squad continue Group B play as they take on France, Friday, July 3 at 10 a.m. NZDT (Thursday, July 2, 3 p.m. PDT). Incoming WSU freshman Brock Motum will take the court with the Australian U19 squad, tonight (Wednesday) at 10 p.m. PDT.