USA Downs World Select Team 92-80 In 14th Annual Nike Hoop Summit
Portland, Ore. • April 9, 2011
The USA Basketball Junior National Select Team’s depth and defense helped it withstand the first triple-double in Nike Hoop Summit history as the Americas rolled to a 92-80 win over the World Select Team Saturday night in front of a national television audience and a Rose Garden crowd of 8,955 in Portland, Ore.
While four U.S. players scored in double-digits and all 10 USA team members put points on the board, Bismack Biyombo (Fuenlabrada, Spain and DR Congo) tallied 12 points, 11 rebounds and a Nike Hoop Summit record 10 blocked shots for the first triple-double in the game’s history.
However, Biyombo’s individual performance was no match for a stellar USA team effort.
“I’m a big believer in having depth, and with this particular team you have quality depth,” said USA head coach Kevin Sutton (Orlando, Fla.). “Having a bench where you could rotate players in freely with very little to no drop off was part of our game plan. We wanted to use our length, we wanted to use our athleticism and we wanted to make it a full court game versus a half court game. So having depth contributed to us being successful tonight.”
The USA was led by 20 points from guard Austin Rivers (Winter Park H.S./Winter Park, Fla.); a double-double of 16 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots from 6-9 Anthony Davis (Perspectives Charter/Chicago, Ill.); 16 points, five rebounds and five blocks from 6-7 forward Michael Gilchrist (St. Patrick H.S./Somerdale, N.J.); and 12 points and three assists from guard Quinn Cook (Oak Hill Academy/Bowie, Md.).
“This is my first time playing with USA Basketball, and it’s a great opportunity that I got selected and got to play with them, and playing against the top talent in the world,” said Davis, who has signed to play at the University of Kentucky. “We really locked down on defense. Defense leads to offensive fast breaks, and that’s how we got our points. Luckily we came out with the win.”
The USA’s defense limited the World Team to 37.5 percent shooting from the field overall, including just 14.3 percent in the first quarter and 26.8 percent at halftime. Poor shooting meant the World Team was unable to capitalize on its 23 offensive rebounds and its 41-39 rebounding advantage over the USA.
“I was trying to win,” Biyomba said. “We came here; we’ve been practicing for four days. It’s really hard to play like we did today. We tried our best on the court, but something happened.”
The World Team’s Mateusz Ponitka (AZS Politechnika and Poland) put the first points on the board with a three pointer at 9:10, and for the first few minutes of the game the international squad led the Americans. Trailing 7-4, Gilchrist took over and scored the USA’s next seven points, converting an old-fashioned three-point play at 4:44 that gave the USA an 11-9 lead. It was the only lead change of the game as the USA never again trailed. After four U.S. players helped outscore the World Team 9-3 to close the quarter, the red, white and blue headed into the first break up 20-12.
“It’s hard to get a rhythm,” Rivers said. “A lot of us haven’t played with each other. I thought we actually did great for having not ever played with each other. I started out a little bit slow, and then I knocked down a couple shots and after that I just kept going. My teammates did a good job of finding me, and I just tried to get out in the open court because Anthony (Davis), (James) McAdoo and all of those guys were working so hard getting the rebounds. We were just sitting right there waiting so it worked out.”
As was the case throughout the game, the World Team several times threatened to take the lead from the USA in the second period, coming as close as three points, 27-24, following a 3-pointer by Kevin Pangos (Dr Denison HS, Ontario and Canada) at 5:39. Rivers scored eight points in the last 3:20 of the quarter, however, to help the USA take a 42-31 lead to the locker room at halftime.
Davis, who scored the first points of the second half with an alley-oop from Bradley Beal (Chaminade College Prep/St. Louis, Mo.) at 9:22, then scored six more points in the next 2:26 to give the USA a 50-36 lead at 6:56, but was sent to the bench at 6:43 with his third foul. The World Team took advantage and compiled a 6-0 run to cut the lead to eight, 50-42 at 4:51.
Two points from James McAdoo (Norfolk Christian/ Norfolk, Va.) ended the World Team’s streak, while Cook tallied seven of the USA’s next 16 points to help secure a 66-53 lead headed into the final stanza.
While the World Team never surrendered and twice came as close as nine points in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, the USA had an answer for every attack. Led by eight points from Rivers in the period, eight U.S. players scored to help the USA take its largest lead of the game – a 20 point advantage, 86-66, that came off of a Gilchrist free throw at 3:23.
“We implemented our game plan all week long and I thought the kids really believed in it and they really believed in their own talents,” Sutton said. “So tonight we went out and showed how talented we are, we executed our game plan and I really like how we sustained it over the course of the game.”
Tony Wroten (Garfield H.S./Seattle, Wash.) finished with a game-high five assists, and Davis’ 10 rebounds tied the U.S. Nike Hoop Summit record for rebounds. Tyler Hansbrough also grabbed 10 boards in 2005, as did Jermaine O’Neal in 1996 and Kevin Garnett in 1995.
Additionally, with six attempted 3-pointers, Davis Bertans (Union Olimpija and Latvia) and Portland local Kyle Wiltjer, (Jesuit H.S., Ore. and Canada) tied the international record for 3-pointers attempted. The World Team also tied international Hoop Summit records for field goals attempted with 80 and blocked shots with 11 rejections.
Ponitka was the top scorer for the international squad with 17 points, while Wiltjer added 12.
The Nike Hoop Summit, which sees America's top senior high school players take on a World Select Team consisting of many of the world's top players 19-years-old or younger, has given an extraordinary number of talented youngsters the chance to showcase their abilities. More than 100 Hoop Summit alumni have been drafted into the NBA.
With the win, the USA improves to 11-3 in the 14-game history of the event and has now won the last two Nike Hoop Summits.