VIth NIKE HOOP SUMMIT -- 2000
Indianapolis, Indiana - April 2, 2000
Behind a 24 point (11-17 FGs) and eight rebound showing by the USA's Zach Randolph (Marion High School / Marion, Ind.), the USA Basketball Junior Select Team fought off an International Select Team 98-97 April 2, 2000, at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind., to capture the 6th annual International Hoop Summit.
An annual game that pits the USA top senior boys high school players, against the world's best 20-year-old or younger players, the win improved the USA's upper hand in the series to 4-2. The USA has now recorded wins in 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2000.
Trailing by five, 88-83, with 7:37 remaining, five different players scored as the USA mounted a 15-9 scoring run to close the game and earn the victory. However, the U.S. missed four free throws in the final 42 seconds and was only assured of its victory after the International Team guard Tony Parker missed a well defended three point attempt in the closing seconds. Although Goran Cakic put back Parker's miss at the buzzer to close the gap to the final 98-97 score.
'Someone asked me if there was pressure, for me there was a lot of pressure,' conceded USA head coach George Pitts (Science Hill High School / Johnson City, Tenn.). 'I have coached 800, 900 high school games and there's always another game, you have another chance. But when it's the USA against the world, I'm more likely to never have that chance again.
'The biggest thing that impressed me was that we had 12 outstanding basketball players that had good attitudes. If you look at the box score almost everything was even, fast break points, points in the paint, everything. It was a very good game and we were fortunate to win.'
The USA jumped on the International Team at the start and appeared on the verge of making the game a blowout as it took charge 10-2 thanks to six points from Chris Duhon (Salmen High School / Slidell, La.) and four from Randolph. With 9:47 left in the opening half the U.S. was in control 34-24, but Parker scored five points during a 12-2 International scoring run and with 7:29 left before half the score was tied 36-36.
The International squad took a 59-58 lead to the locker room at halftime, however,the U.S. opened the second half with a 10-1 spurt to regain control 68-60 with 16:48 to play. Following back-to-back three pointers by International guards Parker and Mark Popovic, and after Parker sank three free throws after being fouled on three point attempt, the International Team had opened up an 84-79 lead with 9:03 to go.
The two teams battled down the stretch and with 3:55 left and the International squad clinging to a 93-91 lead, Duhon drained his third three-pointer of the day to give the Americans a 94-93 lead. A short jumper by Darius Miles (Lincoln High School / East St. Louis, Ill.) pushed the USA advantage to 96-93, but the International Team cut the lead to one, 96-95, after Nostjan Nachbar made a pair of free throws with 2:07 showing on the clock. Randolph scored the USA's final points when he tipped in a miss to give the U.S. a 98-95 lead with 1:31 to play.
In addition to Randolph's scoring, the USA offense was paced by 15 points and eight rebounds from Miles, 14 points and six assists from Omar Cook (Christ the King High School / Middle Village, N.Y.) 11 points, four rebounds and fours assists from Marcus Taylor (Waverly High School / Lansing, Mich.), while Duhon finished with nine points and six assists, and Darius Rice (Lanier High School / Jackson, Miss.) also was credited with nine points.
The International Team was paced by Parker's 20 points and seven assists, while 6-11 Nigerian Olumide Oyedeji added 19 points and 13 rebounds.
Allowing the International Team to shoot 61.5 percent (24-39 FGs) in the first half, the American defense cranked up the pressure in the second half and limited the International Team to 39.4 percent (13-33 FGs) shooting. The U.S. shot 50.0 percent (37-74 FGs) for the game, and the battle on the boards ended dead even with each team credited with 40 boards.
|Nick Anderson||F||6-6||215||01/22/81||Southern Lab/Baton Rouge, LA/*Texas A & M|
|Andre Brown||F||6-9||230||05/12/81||Leo/Chicago, IL/*DePaul|
|Omar Cook||G||6-1||185||01/28/82||Christ the King/Middle Village, NY/*St. John's|
|T.J. Cummings||F||6-8||205||08/31/81||Homewood-Flossmoor/Homewood, IL/*UCLA|
|Chris Duhon||G||6-1||180||08/31/82||Salmen/Slidell, LA/*Duke|
|Rolando Howell||F||6-9||225||04/29/82||Lower Richland/Hopkins, SC/*South Carolina|
|Jared Jeffries||F||6-10||215||11/26/81||Bloomington North/Bloomington, IN/*Indiana|
|Darius Miles||F||6-9||190||10/09/81||Lincoln/East St. Louis, IL/*St. John's|
|Zach Randolph||F/C||6-9||270||07/16/81||Marion/Marion, IN/*Michigan State|
|Darius Rice||F||6-9||205||10/16/82||Lanier/Jackson, MS/Undecided|
|Scooter Sherrill||G||6-2||185||07/23/81||West Rowan/Mt. Ulla, NC/*North Carolina State|
|Marcus Taylor||G||6-3||185||11/25/81||Waverly/Lansing, MI/*Michigan State|
|Head Coach: George Pitts, Science Hill High School / Johnson City, TN|
|Assistant Coach: Will Robinson, Woodbridge High School / Woodbridge, VA|
|*Indicates college where player has signed a national letter of intent|
|INTERNATIONAL SELECT TEAM|
|Y. I. Musa||0||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||8|
|USA JUNIOR SELECT NATIONAL TEAM|
|* J. Jeffries||2||4||0||1||0||2||3||3||6||3||4||1||2||0||1||14|
|SCORE BY PERIOD||1||2||Total|
|International Select Team||59||38||97|
|USA Junior Select Team||58||40||98|