With three of the last four Nike Hoop Summit contests being decided by single digits, Saturday’s matchup between the USA Select and World teams didn’t look to be one that would get out of hand.
But thanks to the superior rebounding and ball movement of the World Team there wasn’t much suspense in Portland, as the World won 112-98 at the Rose Garden.
Andrew Wiggins was the most notable name on the World roster and he certainly had an impact, accounting for 17 points, nine rebounds and four assists on the evening. Wiggins is down to four schools, with Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina still jockeying for his services.
But the biggest star may have been French forward Livio Jean-Charles, who tallied 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting along with 13 rebounds.
As a team the World out-rebounded the USA 50-35, and with guards Wiggins, Dennis Schroeder (Germany) and Dante Exum (Australia) leading the way Roy Rana’s team assisted on 24 of its 38 made baskets.
“That was a really good game for the World Team, and probably the most impressive thing is the way we’ve shared the ball from the very first practice,” said Rana following the win.
“I thought there was great chemistry, kids just phenomenal to coach. Like I told them in the locker room, certainly going to be one of my more memorable coaching experiences, just because of the quality of the kids that we’ve had here this week.”
By comparison the USA Select team accounted for just 15 assists on 37 made field goals, with guards Kasey Hill (five) and Andrew Harrison (four) the only players to record multiple assists.
Jabari Parker, who will attend Duke next season, led the Americans with 23 points and Kentucky commits Andrew Harrison and Julius Randle added 19 apiece. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who will attend Arizona, scored 17 points off the bench.
As a result of the victory the World team has won consecutive games in the Nike Hoop Summit for the first time in the history of the event. The question going forward is whether or not 2014 prospect Karl Towns Jr. (Kentucky commitment) can help carry the torch for the World team in next year’s event.