USA Men’s U17 Team’s Defense Busts China 113-73
-- USA Forces 36 Turnovers, Records 32 Assists And 27 Steals In Rout --
July 5, 2010 • Hamburg, Germany
To learn the outcome of Monday’s FIBA U17 World Championship game between the United States and China, all that was required was a quick glance over the box score. China was forced into 36 turnovers; the U.S. was credited with 27 steals and 32 assists; and most importantly, the USA outscored China (1-2) 113-73 to earn the win and improve to 3-0. Although two preliminary round games remain for the U.S., the win insured the Americans of advancing to the medal round quarterfinals.
As dominating as some of the USA statistics were, there were plenty of impressive individual stat lines for USA players too.
James McAdoo (Norfolk Christian H.S. / Norfolk, Va.) made 13-of-14 shots en route to posting a game high 26 points. Guard Brad Beal (Chaminade College Prep H.S. / St. Louis, Mo.) made five 3-pointers in the game’s first 15 minutes and finished with 20 points. Guard Quinn Cook (DeMatha H.S. / Bowie, Md.) scored seven points and handed out a game best 13 assists. Adonis Thomas (Melrose H.S. / Cordova, Tenn.) was the fourth American to score in double-digits, finishing with 15 points.
“A credit to our team is that we did not take China lightly. We prepared very, very well for China,” commented USA U17 World Championship Team and Mid-Prairie High School (Iowa) head coach Don Showalter. “Our pressure defense obviously caused them some trouble. I’m very pleased when you look at our assists to see we had 32 for the game. For a bunch of 17-year-olds who haven’t played much together, I think that makes a statement that they’re willing to find their teammate on open passes.”
Beal set the offensive tone for the game right from the start, pumping in three consecutive threes, including his first that was a four-point play after he was fouled on the make. Beal's red hot shooting staked the U.S. to a 10-2 lead with the game just two-and-a-half minutes old.
“Before the game started, Quinn (Cook) came up to me and said ‘Brad you know what you do wrong when you miss?’ I said no and he said ‘you hesitate all the time.’ He told me ‘don’t hesitate; when I pass it to you shoot it.’ So on the first play I was open and I just let it go and it went in and I just kept my confidence throughout that whole streak,” Beal said about his red hot start.
Pressuring China the entire court, the American defense wreaked havoc on China. Pushing its lead to 24-11, the Americas were on top 29-14 at the end of the first period and had already forced 12 turnovers and recorded 10 steals.
China finally settled down and found some rhythm to stay with the USA over the second quarter. Zhu Xuchang hit his third 3-pointer of the first half with 11 seconds remaining before halftime to close the USA lead to nine, 45-36. But USA center André Drummond (St. Thomas More School / Middletown, Conn.) tipped in a miss on the rim with one second left to push the USA advantage to 11, 47-36 at halftime.
The USA and China traded baskets in the early minutes of third quarter and with 4:43 left in the stanza, the U.S. lead was down to seven, 62-55.
Thomas and Cook scored on back-to-back possessions to reenergize their team as the USA outscored China 15-4 over the final 4:43 of the third quarter to grab a secure 77-59 lead. The American U17s out produced China 36-14 in the fourth quarter to roll in for the 113-73 win.
The USA’s pressure defense was dominating for the third consecutive game and that’s not by accident.
“Our kids are quick and they are strong, and you really can’t prepare for that other than in the game,” said Showalter, who also led the USA U16 Team to gold last summer in Argentina. “We took advantage of a lot of those steals, China had 36 turnovers and I’m sure we scored a ton of points on those turnovers. We can do that with 12 players rather than just five. We bring kids off the bench that are really good defensive players and I think everybody is starting to buy into our defense, the way we want to play it, when that happens we can be pretty good.”
Beal agreed that the U.S., despite averaging 99.0 points game after three contests, thinks defense first. “Coach always stresses defense before we play. He writes it on the board under things we must do, and defense is always number one.”
China came into the game with the U17 championship’s second leading scorer, guard Guo Ailun, who was averaging 22.5 points a game. Thanks to the defensive efforts of Thomas and Tony Wroten, Jr. (Garfield H.S. / Seattle, Wash.), the Americans limited China’s gunner to just three points.
“We really wanted to concentrate on Guo, key in on him, He was averaging the second most points in the tournament coming in and I just tried to stop his penetration. I knew with his penetration he would make plays for others and make plays for himself,” said Thomas.
While McAdoo leads the USA offense after three games averaging 16.3 points a game, he knows the more the USA can shoot from the outside successfully, the more the inside will open up. “Brad and Quinn definitely helped open up the middle. Adonis hit a couple outside jumpers, a lot of guys were knocking down outside shots so it opened up the middle for the big guys to get easy dunks and layups and put backs. It definitely helped open it up.”
“Brad had a tremendous start and then obviously they ended up guarding him closer so that left someone else open and James McAdoo ended up having a great game. Our bench came off and really gave us a lift. Maybe not so much from a scoring standpoint, but we were able to rest people and that had a lot to do with the third quarter being so good,” said Showalter.
“Quinn Cook probably had his best game since I’ve been around him. He had 13 assists, so he really directed the offense well. I thought Marquis Teague (Pike H.S. / Indianapolis, Ind.) came in and added to that so our two point guards really did a nice job tonight.”
In Monday’s other game action, Canada (2-1) battled back in the final minutes to down Spain (1-2) 79-72; Australia (1-2) got its first win thanks to an 84-70 decision over South Korea (0-3); Serbia (2-1) knocked off Argentina (1-2) 70-Serbia 62’ and Poland (3-0) won the battle of unbeatens, crushing host Germany (2-1) 79-33.
The USA men will continue FIBA U17 World Championship preliminary play facing Egypt on July 6, then closes out preliminary 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.
“The two assistant coaches I have, Kevin Sutton (head coach at Montverde Academy, Fla.) and Herman Harried (head coach at Lake Clifton High School, Md.), are just tremendous. If there are better basketball minds in high school basketball and college basketball, I haven’t seen them. They are tremendously prepared coaches and have done a great job working together with the kids and myself to help bring us together as a unit.”