Brad Beal Lights Up Australia From Afar As USA Cruises To 105-70 Win
-- It’s On To U17 World Championship Medal Round Semis For 6-0 USA Team --
July 9, 2010 • Hamburg, Germany
When playing the athletic and deeply talented USA U17 Men’s World Championship Team, it’s pick your poison. You can focus on shutting down the red, white and blue’s inside game and hope for an off shooting night. Or you can extend out on the USA shooters and hope your inside men can contain the USA bigs. Australia elected to try and stop the U.S. inside game and guard Brad Beal (Chaminade College Prep H.S. / St. Louis, Mo.) made them pay in a big way, scoring a game high 25 points on a sizzling 7-of-9 shooting performance from behind the 3-point arc and the USA improved to 6-0 with a dominating 105-70 victory over Australia (3-3) Friday night.
“When we found out we would be playing the USA it was a matter of trying to identify an area of the game where the USA wouldn’t play so well,” explained Australia head coach Guy Malloy. “We decided that we would try to keep them away from the basket and hope their 3-point play wouldn’t go so good. But their 3-point play turned out to be outstanding.”
The win advanced the USA U17 squad into Saturday’s U17 World Championship medal round semifinal against 4-2 Canada, who defeated China 102-96 earlier in the afternoon to move on. Winners of the two semifinal games advance to play in Sunday’s gold medal game, with the semifinals losers meeting in the bronze medal game.
“Canada is a very good team,” said USA head coach Don Showalter about the USA’s semifinal opponent. “They are probably as athletic as any team we’ll play here. We kind of know them from last year and it’s going to be a very interesting game. I think they’re going to give us some problems just from the standpoint of their athleticism, because we really haven’t played against that yet.
“The keys are going to be if we can control the boards and our guard play. They have an outstanding point guard as obviously we do, but between our guards and their guards I think whoever controls the game will come out the winner.”
The U.S. quickly established control in its game versus Australia. Tied 8-8, the USA’s James McAdoo (Norfolk Christian H.S. / Norfolk, Va.) tallied five points and Chasson Randle (Rock Island H.S. / Rock Island, Ill.) and Adonis Thomas (Melrose H.S. / Cordova, Tenn.) each connected on a three as the Americans posted a 14-0 run over just 2:25 to take charge 22-8 with 3:19 yet to go in the opening quarter.
Carrying a comfortable 28-16 lead into the second period, the Americans expanded their advantage to 36-21. But Australia, in a last gasp, reeled off eight straight points to tighten the contest to 36-28 with 4:09 left before intermission.
Beal hit his first 3-pointer with 3:50 left to stop the Aussie run, and when the halftime buzzer sounded he had added two more threes and another basket to account for 11 points and help stretch the U.S. lead to 52-34.
If Australia harbored any hope that this would be their night for a comeback, Beal and company quickly crushed it in the third quarter. In a matter of 2:01, Beal dropped four consecutive 3-balls to expand the U.S. lead to 66-40 and the outcome of the game was decided except for the final score.
“I thought we really came together in the third quarter. You look at Brad Beal’s line, then you also look at Quinn Cook’s and he had seven assists and I’d say six of those were to Brad. We did a great job of finding the player that was hot,” Showalter added. I was really pleased with our rebounding as well, we had 54 to 33. Andre Drummond had a really good game on the glass, Adonis Thomas had a nice game too, and I thought Johnny O’Bryant had one of his better effort games today. I thought he really got in there and mixed it up. Of course you can’t forget James McAdoo who is just really solid.”
Beal’s sizzling performance didn’t start off all that hot as the sharpshooter started 0-for-3 from the field.
“In the beginning I was playing terrible. I missed like three layups; missed a three…a ball hit me in the face; I was dropping passes and everything like that, but I regained focus in the second quarter. It feels good just to be able to knock down shots and just be able to have your teammates cheer you on and tell you to keep shooting.,” remarked Beal, who currently leads the USA offense averaging 18.3 points a game while shooting 48.9 percent from 3-point.
“Mac (James McAdoo) got off to a good start. He and Johnny (O’Bryant) were both battling on the boards and finishing well and that really opened up the perimeter game because they started doubling down on the bigs.”
In addition to Beal’s 25 points, McAdoo finished with 17 points on flawless 8-for-8 shooting, and collected nine rebounds in just 18 minutes. Tony Wroten, Jr. (Garfield H.S. / Seattle, Wash.) was credited with 11 points, seven assists and three steals, Marquis Teague (Pike H.S. / Indianapolis, Ind.) finished with 10 points and a game best eight assists, and André Drummond (St. Thomas More School / Middletown, Conn.) had a productive evening with a double-double of 10 points and a game best 12 boards in only 14 minutes of action.
“You know every time he (Beal) touches the ball it’s going in,” said USA guard Cook who recorded seven assists in his 15 minutes. “I was just trying to pull the defense to me, shoot the gaps, and his man kept leaving him for some odd reason and I kept finding him and he kept knocking them down.
McAdoo, who is averaging14.3 ppg. and 7.3 rpg. and shooting a lights-out 70.9 percent from the floor, noted that tonight it was the inside game that opened things up for the U.S. shooters. “Some of the game it’s been the opposite, Brad, Quinn and the other guys were knocking down the 3-point ball and opening it up for me. But it seemed like my being able to dominate in the post this game really opened it up for them and as we saw, they were able to knock down a lot of threes.”
“I feel like James (McAdoo) he the X factor of this team. He gets us going defensively and offensively, whether it’s blocking a shot or getting a nice dunk. It’s definitely fun playing with him and he makes everyone better,” said McAdoo’s teammate Cook.
In Friday’s other medal round quarterfinal round play, Canada (4-2) advanced to the medal round semifinals after knocking off China (3-3) 102-96; Lithuania (5-1) kept rolling and its gold medal hopes alive with a 74-61 win over host Germany (3-3); and Poland (6-0) remains undefeated after pounding Serbia (1-5) 100-70.
While in the consolation semifinals, Argentina (2-4) downed South Korea (0-6) 90-77 and Spain (2-4) beat Egypt 62 (0-6) 87-62.
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.).