USA MEN'S YURI GAGARIN CUP TEAM -- 1978

USA MEN'S YURI GAGARIN CUP TEAM -- 1978

Vilnius, Soviet Union - August 24-29, 1978


In a reciprocal effort for the World Invitational Tournament that the United States hosted in April of 1978, the Soviet Union held the Yuri Gagarin Cup Tournament in Vilnius, Soviet Union, from August 24-29, 1978. The tournament featured six teams, including two from the Soviet Union, and was played in a round-robin format that awarded the team with the best record top honors.

1989 USA Men

1978 USA Yuri Gagarin Cup Team



1978 USA RESULTS (4-1)

USA 106 Lithuania 68
USA 118 Sov. Union #2 87
USA 118 Mexico 86
USA 112 Czechoslovakia 104
Sov. Union #1 104 USA 99

1978 YURI GAGARIN CUP FINAL STANDINGS

1. Soviet Union #1 (5-0)
2. United States (4-1)
3. Czechoslovakia (3-2)
4. Soviet Union #2 (2-3)
5. Lithuania (1-4)
6. Mexico (0-5)

Ouachita Basptist University (Ark.) mentor Bill Vining served as head coach of the USA squad that was headlined by future NBA superstar guard Earvin 'Magic' Johnson. At only 19-years-old, Michigan State's Johnson, who also played on the USA World Invitational Tournament Team, and 6-9 Southern California center Cliff Robinson headed up the USA's campaign that saw them post a 4-1 record and claim the silver medal.

After playing a warm-up scrimmage with each of the two USSR teams, the USA opened the Yuri Gagarin Cup in strong fashion by pounding Lithuania 106-68. The Americans continued their winning ways by posting nearly identical scores, 118-87 and 118-86, over the Soviet Union's second team and Mexico, respectively.

Czechoslovakia was the USA's next victim as the U.S. handily defeated the Czechs 112-104.

The USA entered its final game undefeated with a 4-0 record and squared-off against the also unbeaten top Soviet team. The U.S. held a narrow 54-53 lead at halftime, but the USSR proved to be a little more than the young USA contingent could handle as the Soviets rallied to claim a slim five-point 104-99 win and the gold medal.

Johnson and Robinson shared honors as the USA's top scorer at 15.2 ppg. and were joined in double figures by Duke's Eugene Banks with 14.0 ppg., Iowa's Ronnie Lester with 11.6 ppg. and North Carolina's Mike O'Koren with 11.2 ppg. Banks was also the USA's leading rebounder with 10.2 rpg.

Finishing in first place, the Soviets finished with a perfect 5-0 record, while Czechoslovakia finished in third with a 3-2 mark. The second-tier Soviet team placed fourth at 2-3 while Lithuania (1-4) and Mexico (0-5) rounded out the field in fifth and sixth place.

 

1978 USA Yuri Gagarin Cup Team Roster
NAME

POS

HGT

WGT

AGE

SCHOOL HOMETOWN
Eugene Banks

F

6-7

210

19

Duke Philadelphia, PA
Roosevelt Bouie

C

7-0

230

19

Syracuse Kent, NY
Rickey Brown

F/C

6-10

230

19

Mississippi State Canton, MS
Reggie Carter

G

6-3

195

20

St. John's Brookville, NY
Earvin Johnson

G

6-8

210

19

Michigan State Lansing, MI
Ronnie Lester

G

6-1

165

19

Iowa Chicago, IL
Michael O'Koren

F

6-7

205

20

North Carolina Jersey City, NJ
Clifford Robinson

C

6-9

215

18

Southern Cal Oakland, CA
Craig Shelton

F

6-7

215

21

Georgetown Washington, DC
Darnell Valentine

G

6-1

195

19

Kansas Wichita, KS
Danny Vranes

F

6-7

195

19

Utah Salt Lake, UT
Michael Woodson

G

6-5

195

20

Indiana Indianapolis, IN
HEAD COACH: Bill Vinning, Ouachita Baptist University (AK)
ASSISTANT COACH: Gerald Myers, Texas Tech University
MANAGER: Frank Kovaleski, New Castle High School (IN)
ATHLETIC TRAINER: Doug Huffman, Georgetown University (DC)
CHIEF OF MISSION: Duane Woltzen, Lakeland College (WI)

1978 USA YURI GAGARIN CUP TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS

NAME G FGM-FGA PCT FTM-FTA
PCT
REB/AVG PTS/AVG
Earvin Johnson 5
34-54
.630
8-9
.889
18/ 3.6
76/ 15.2
Cliff Robinson 5
34-52
.654
8-10
.800
17/ 3.4
76/ 15.2
Eugene Banks 5
31-54
.574
8-10
.800
51/ 10.2
70/ 14.0
Ronnie Lester 5
23-36
.639
12-12
1.000
7/ 1.4
58/ 11.6
Mike O'Koren 5
22-29
.759
12-13
.923
20/ 4.0
56/ 11.2
Darnell Valentine 5
17-44
.386
13-17
.765
10/ 2.0
47/ 9.4
Mike Woodson 5
18-33
.545
6-8
.750
5/ 1.0
42/ 8.4
Craig Shelton 5
17-31
.548
3-5
.600
31/ 6.2
37/ 7.4
Rosevelt Bouie 5
13-20
.650
10-14
.714
19/ 3.8
36/ 7.2
Reggie Carter 4
9-19
.474
6-6
1.000
9/ 2.3
24/ 6.0
Rickey Brown 5
11-15
.733
5-8
.625
9/ 1.8
27/ 5.4
Danny Vranes 1
2-5
.400
0-0
.---
5/ 5.0
4/ 4.0
USA TOTALS 5
231-392
.589
91-112
.813
201/ 40.2
553/ 10.6
OPP. TOTALS 5
 
 
 
 
 
449/ 89.8