Call it a bit of a role reversal.
Andrew Bogut had the stats.
DeMarcus Cousins left with the win.
The United States' 98-88 win over Australia in men’s basketball on Wednesday night marked an international chapter in the rivalry between Bogut and Cousins.
Cousins, the starting center for Team USA, finished with 6 points, 8 rebounds and an assist. By comparison, Bogut compiled a stat line of 15 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal and 3 blocks.
Bogut, a former University of Utah standout, ended his college career with a loss to the Kentucky Wildcats 62-52 in the 2005 Sweet 16. Though he spent just two years in Salt Lake City, Bogut boasts a gaudy college resume that includes an All-America selection and Naismith College Player of the Year honors in 2005, the same year he was winner of the John R. Wooden Award. Bogut was taken first overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2005 NBA draft.
Five years later, Cousins averaged 15.1 points and 9.8 rebounds playing just 23.5 minutes per game during his lone campaign at Kentucky, good for All-American honors. He was selected fifth overall in the 2010 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings
Bogut’s trade to the Golden State Warriors in 2012 landed him in the same Western Conference as Cousins, so the two elite centers are familiar foes, with their teams located less than 100 miles apart.
Cousins has been twice selected to the Western Conference All-Star team in his six seasons with Sacramento, and was a Second Team All-NBA selection in 2015 and 2016. In 11 NBA seasons, Bogut has not been an All-Star selection, though he was a Third Team All-NBA selection in 2010.
While individual accolades are nice, Bogut owns the one piece of hardware that truly matters: the 2015 Larry O'Brien Trophy for winning the NBA championship with the Warriors.
Bogut started for the Boomers in the 2008 Beijing Games, but missed the London Olympics four years later with a broken ankle. This is Cousins’s first Olympic action.
Cousins scored 17 points on 6 of 8 shooting and added 5 rebounds in the Americans’ 57-point dismantling of China on Saturday, and contributed 7 points and 12 rebounds to the U.S.’s 44-point rout of Venezuela on Monday.
Bogut had 18 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds in Australia’s convincing 87-66 win over France on Saturday. His line of 9 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 blocks was solid in a 95-80 win over Serbia on Monday.
For Bogut, the early success has been nice, but the real goal is to bring home the first medal in the history of Australian men’s basketball.
“We haven’t done anything we didn’t expect to do. These are the goals we set. We’re not happy being 2-0. We want to continue on and go to the medal rounds.” Bogut told the Associated Press. “We haven’t done (anything) the last 20 or 30 years of basketball and we still haven’t done anything, so we got a lot to do,”
American Klay Thompson, also a star with Golden State, played alongside two Boomers during his two years at Washington State. Thompson averaged 17.9 points over his three years, when his 98 3-pointers and 21.6 points per game both led the Pac 10 in 2010-11, his last season.
Bogut’s backup, the Detroit Pistons’ Aron Baynes, played at Washington State from 2005 to 2009, averaging 8.7 points and 5.4 rebounds over the course of his career, while Australian power forward Brock Motum is fifth on the Cougars all-time scoring list with 1,530 points over his four-year career good for a 12.8 point average. His 18.7 point per game during his senior year in 2012-13 earned him a second team All Pac-12 nod. He now plays professionally in Lithuania.