USA Men’s U18 Team Rolls Over Mexico For 110-59 Win
June 17, 2012 • Sao Sebastiáo do Paraiso, Brazil
Led by Jake Layman’s (King Phillip Regional H.S./Wrentham, Mass.) game high 18 points, the USA’s Men’s U18 Team won its second game in as many days, routing Mexico 110-59 in preliminary play of the FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Men on Sunday afternoon in Sao Sebastiáo do Paraiso, Brazil.
Next up for the 2-0 United States men is host Brazil. The winner of the USA-Brazil clash will claim preliminary round Group A’s No. 1 seed for the medal round semifinals.
“I thought we came with really good energy. I though be played better today than we did yesterday, which we’re trying to do, play better and better as we go along,” said USA and University of Florida head coach Billy Donovan. “I thought we were really unselfish. We kept our turnovers down a little bit better than what we did yesterday and I thought we were well balanced.
“Jake Layman gave us really good 3-point shooting and obviously our frontcourt did a great job on the glass. When we subbed everybody today contributed and gave us really good minutes. Everybody scored and I think when we subbed we didn’t really have a drop off , everybody really contributed and helped.
“I think Mexico in the frontcourt was undermanned, undersized, and I thought by having one game to watch them play last night and understanding Estrade (Jose Estrada Stone), who’s the guy who got 33 points against Brazil, and Vazquez (Gabriel Vazquez Mejia), who I think got 19, I thought our guys had a pretty good awareness of where those guys were on the court and we didn’t give them anything easy,” added Donovan.
The USA’s quickness, power inside, and defensive focus quickly took its toll on Mexico as the Americans jumped out to a 19-4 lead and never looked back.
Leading 6-4, Julius Randle (Prestonwood Christian Academy/ McKinney, Texas) helped launch the U.S. on a 13-0 run that quickly took the resolve out of Mexico as the USA moved ahead 19-4 with 5:35 to play in the opening quarter.
The U.S. finished the first quarter strong and outscored Mexico 13-6 to grab a 32-12 advantage. Pressured and chased by the USA press, Mexico coughed the ball over 10 times in the game’s first 10 minutes.
If Mexico held any hope of rallying, it was quickly crushed in the second quarter as the USA, after seeing Mexico score to open the second period, ripped off 18 consecutive points to take total command, 50-16.
All 12 USA players scored in the game. Layman paced the USA’s offensive onslaught making 3-of-5 3-point attempts, while Rodney Purvis (Upper Room Christian/Raleigh, N.C.) and Shaq Goodwin (Southwest DeKalb H.S./Decatur, Ga.) each contributed 13 points, Montrezl Harrell (Hargrave Military Academy/Tarboro, N.C.) tossed in 12 and Randle contributed 11.
“I felt good shooting. They were leaving me open so I took the shots and I was putting them in today,” remarked Laymsn.”
Led by seven rebounds from Harrel and Goodwin, and six from guard Nathaniel Britt, II (Gonzaga H.S., D.C./Upper Marlboro, Md.), the Americans outrebounded the Mexican squad by a 50-38 margin.
“It was really good for us to come out and get out to a good start and take the fight out of them early. This is a good momentum game for us going into tomorrow and playing against Brazil, they’re the home-country team so it will be a really good game. But today was good for us, it gave us something to build off,” said 6-4 USA guard Purvis.
In the second day’s other games, Argentina improved to 2-0 with a 76-65 win against Puerto Rico (0-2). The day’s final two games feature host Brazil (1-0) playing U.S. Virgin Islands (0-1) and Canada (1-0) going against Colombia (0-1).
Eight teams are competing in the 2012 U18 Americas zone qualifier, including the USA, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Mexico, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. The top four finishing teams in the tournament will qualify for next summer’s 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship.
The USA concludes Group A preliminary round action against host Brazil on Monday (June 18 at 5 p.m. EDT). The top two teams from Group A and Group B will advance to play for 1st-4th place, while the No. 3 and No. 4 ranked teams play out for 5th-8th place. The semifinals will be played on June 19, and the final round games will be contested on June 20.
In the hunt for a sixth gold medal, USA men's teams are 38-2 overall in previous FIBA Americas U18 Championships (formerly known as the Junior World Championship Qualifier), and have captured gold in 1990, 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010, while winning a silver in 2008 and a bronze medal in 2002.
Serving as USA assistant coaches are Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few and Shaka Smart from Virginia Commonwealth University.