Men's U17 Depth And Defense Leads To 82-70 Win Over Argentina
-- Michael Gilchrist’s 24 Point, 15 Rebound Double-Double Leads The Way --
July 2 , 2010 • Hamburg, Germany
The USA Men’s U17 Team’s (1-0) athleticism won out over Argentina’s (0-1) 3-point shooting as the USA sprinted its way to a 82-70 victory Friday afternoon in the opening day of preliminary round play at the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship in Hamburg, Germany.
Michael Gilchrist (St. Patrick H.S. / Somerdale, N.J.) came in off the bench to spark the Americans with an impressive showing that saw the 6-7 guard/forward, who has given the University of Kentucky a verbal commitment, shoot 9-of-14 from the field and 6-of-6 from the foul line, while grabbing four offensive boards and 11 defensive boards, and adding three assists in just under 28 minutes of playing time. Further aiding the USA to the win were Quinn Cook (DeMatha H.S. / Bowie, Md.), 14 points, Brad Beal (Chaminade College Prep H.S. / St. Louis, Mo.), 11 points, and André Drummond (St. Thomas More School / Middletown, Conn.), eight points and 10 rebounds.
The win was the same result the USA enjoyed last summer when the USA U16 team defeated Argentina 101-87 in Mendoza, Argentina (June 21, 2009) in the FIBA Americas U16 gold medal game.
“I want to congratulate Argentina for a very well played game. We played them last year in Argentina in the U16 gold medal game and I thought they really improved a great deal since last year. They took us out of our game somewhat, we had too many turnovers to really put them away and a lot of that credit goes to Argentina’s defense,” said USA U17 World Championship Team and Mid-Prairie High School (Iowa) head coach Don Showalter. “I like the way our kids stuck together. I thought we had some very, very good stretches of one or two minutes stretches where we scored in bunches and that’s kind of what our team is all about. We can score points in a hurry if we play good defense and take the passes away from their offense.”
Holding a 13-12 advantage with 4:49 to play in the opening quarter, the U.S. closed out the opening stanza with an 11-5 scoring run that saw guards Marquis Teague (Pike H.S. / Indianapolis, Ind.) and Tony Wroten, Jr. (Garfield H.S. / Seattle, Wash.) score four points each, while Chasson Randle (Rock Island H.S. / Rock Island, Ill.) added three.
Argentina stormed out at the start of the second period and after out producing the USA on the scoreboard 12-2, took a 29-26 lead. The USA, getting points from four different players, countered with a 9-0 run that aided it to a 35-29 advantage and at halfway break the USA was up 41-36.
Argentina continued to battle the Americans and in fact regained the lead 50-48 after Garino Gullotta connected on a 3-pointer with 5:08 to play in the third quarter.
Upping its defensive pressure and relying on its athleticism and depth, the Americans forced Argentina into four consecutive turnovers that helped fuel a decisive 13-0 run in the third quarter. The U.S., behind eight points from Gilchrist, outscored the South Americans 13-0 to move ahead 61-50.
“Obviously Michael is a great player and when he came in he gave us a little bit of ball handling, a little bit of size, as did Marquis Teague. I thought both those players came in and gave us a real shot. I think it was a one or two point game when we put Michael and Marquis in the game and our press got to working and we stole some passes as our quickness picked up a little bit,” Showalter commented,
Trailing the U.S. 64-56 heading into the fourth quarter, Argentina closed the gap to seven, 73-66, with 3:10 left, but an offensive rebound and put back by James McAdoo (Norfolk Christian H.S. / Norfolk, Va.), one of five offensive boards he had in the game, was followed on the next possession by a rim-rattling slam by Gilchrist and the U.S. regained control and went on to post the 82-70 win.
“Definitely our advantage is our depth,” stated Cook. “Our fellas know there’s no 12 guys who are better than our 12 guys. Coach Showalter made some substitutions and brought fresh bodies in. Marquis (Teague), Tony (Wroten) and Gilchrist got us going. Those three really helped us make that run.”
Thanks to Gilchrist’s 15 boards, Drummond’s 10 and McAdoo’s nine careens, the USA held a dominating 57-35 advantage on the glass. The game also featured turnovers galore, as the U.S. was whistled for 26 and Argentina 25. While neither team managed to shoot particularly well, the U.S. defense limited the Argentines to just 9-of-33 shooting from 3-point, and a chilly 37.5 percent overall from the field.
Other results from the opening day’s games saw Lithuania (1-0) rally to defeat China (0-1) 85-72; Serbia (1-0) easily disposed of Egypt (0-1) 99-67, and Poland pounded Australia (0-1) 71-54. Left to be played were host Germany versus Canada and South Korea going against Spain.
The USA continues FIBA U17 World Championship preliminary play on July 3 against Lithuania, then faces China on July 5, Egypt on July 6 and closes opening round play against Serbia on July 7. The top four finishing teams from each preliminary round group will advance to the July 9 medal quarterfinals, with semifinals games scheduled for July 10 and the gold and bronze medal games to be contested on July 11.
Serving as assistant coaches for the 2009-10 USA Developmental National Team and 2010 USA U17 World Championship Team are Herman Harried, head coach at Lake Clifton High School (Md.), and Kevin Sutton, head coach at Montverde Academy (Fla.).