LONDON – While the Chinese are piling up the medals in another Olympics, the most popular team in the increasingly sports-crazy nation was overwhelmed from the start.
The men's basketball team went 0-5 in pool play and lost by an average of 25.2 points per game. They failed to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since the 2000 Sydney Games.
In the wake of Yao Ming's retirement, coach Bob Donewald says simply qualifying for the London Games was an accomplishment. He says for the basketball program to move forward without Yao, it has to revamp the antiquated system for developing young talent.
China surprised some by making it this far. But Donewald says the level of competition "was a lot to chew and it was just a little bit too much."