USA Basketball U18 Men Dispatch Argentina 88-67
June 28, 2010 • San Antonio, Texas
With three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic gold medalist David Robinson looking on, the USA U18 National Team (3-0) exacted a bit of revenge Monday night with an 88-67 victory over Argentina (2-1) in the final preliminary game at the FIBA U18 Americas Championship for Men at Bill Greehey Arena in San Antonio, Texas. Quincy Miller (Quality Education Academy/ Winston-Salem, N.C.) led all scorers with 22 points. Miller shot 9-of-12 from the field, 3-of-5 in 3-point range, and pulled in five rebounds.
At the 2008 tournament, Argentina beat the USA for the U18 gold medal in Formosa, Argentina.
“We have a lot of respect for Argentina,” said USA and University of Oklahoma head coach Jeff Capel. “We have a lot of respect for how hard they play, a lot of respect for how good they are and how well they’re coached. I think our guys played accordingly, with the exception of that last quarter. Our guys really came out with urgency to play, defend, rebound and execute. We did it with some foul trouble. We were battling foul trouble. Our best guard, Kyrie (Irving) wasn’t in there. We took that lead and kept that lead with Kyrie not being on the floor. I thought Jereme (Richmond) once again was terrific. Our guys off the bench did a really good job of coming in and giving energy.”
“Coach said you need to go out and be aggressive to win this game, so that’s what I came out to do,” said Miller.
On Tuesday, the USA, which won Group B, will face Canada (2-1), the second-place team in Group A. Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m. (all times CDT). Argentina, which finished behind USA, takes on Brazil (3-0), the first-place team from Group A, at 5:00 p.m. The gold medal game is slated for 7:00 p.m. Wednesday. All four teams earlier qualified for the 2011 U19 World Championship in Latvia.
Austin Rivers (Winter Park H.S. / Winter Park, Fla.) added 13 points and three assists; Florida signee Patric Young (Providence School / Jacksonville, Fla.) scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Rounding out the double-figure scorers was Duke freshman-to-be Kyrie Irving (St. Patrick’s H.S. / Elizabeth, N.J.), who saw limited playing time due to two fouls in the first quarter, with 10 points.
Tony Mitchell (L.G. Pinkston H.S. / Dallas, Texas) was the game’s leading rebounder, with nine boards. Missouri will get Mitchell’s services next year.
In the early part of the game, Argentina led 10-7. But the USA rallied and led 24-16 at the end of the first period, and 51-25 at halftime. USA’s biggest lead was 37 points, 78-41, on a 3-pointer by Miller in the final minute of the third quarter. Argentina went on a 9-0 run to close the game, as USA did not score in the final 3:00.
“We knew that our team has all the tools to just go out there and dominate, but Argentina definitely gave our team a run for our money today because they can shoot and screened us really hard today. It definitely affected how I played today, that’s for sure. The first time I got hit I said, ‘Wow, these guys are really ready to play.’
“None of us are used to getting screened as much as Argentina screens, so after the first quarter we got around the screens a lot better and forced them to play one on one,” said Young. ‘They’re not really as talented and athletic as we are, so when they had to play on-on-one they had to get out of their style of play.”
USA shot 51.6 percent (33-64 FGs) in the game, and Argentina hit 43.3 percent (26-60 FGs). Neither team made a great impact in 3-point percentage. USA shot 36.0 percent (9-25 3pt FGs) and Argentina made 21.1 percent (4-19 3pt FGs). The North Americans led 31-28 in rebounding, and held a 13-8 advantage in offensive boards. Argentina committed 27 turnovers, and USA made 18. The USA’s bench contributed 49 points in the win.
Argentina was paced by Carlos Paredes and Cristian Jose Scaramuzzino, with 10 points each. Mateo Bolivar contributed nine points and a team-best five rebounds. Juan Gieveno was the assists leader, with eight, while scoring two points.
In today’s other Group B contest, the U.S. Virgin Islands (1-2) got its first win with a 88-78 final over Mexico (0-3). In Group A, Brazil (3-0) held off a Canada (2-1) comeback attempt for an 83-78 victory to finish atop the pool, while Uruguay (1-2) also picked up its first victory after downing Puerto Rico (0-3) 67-54.
The 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship runs through June 30 at Bill Greehey Arena on the St. Mary’s University campus. Single-day tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door.
Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt and University at Buffalo head coach Reggie Witherspoon are serving as assistant coaches for the 2010 USA U18 National Team.
Players eligible for this competition must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1992.
“Canada is more talented and well coached,” commented Capel on the USA's upcoming semifinal game. “They play hard and a little bit more athletic than the first two teams we played. It will be a different challenge for us. The Canadian team is a very good team. They are going to play with a sense of urgency tomorrow, and we need to come out with that same sense of urgency.”