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Okafor, Winslow fill stat sheet at FIBA U19 World Championships

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Currently, the U.S. is competing in the FIBA U19 World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic. They’ve won (no, dominated) their first three games, outscoring opponents a combined 316-133.

On Saturday evening against Russia, the U.S. team led by players like Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart, Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell and Duke’s Rasheed Suliamon to name a few, blasted Russia 115-47 and seven players finished in double figures.

What was on display was impressive. What made it even more impressive is that the top two players in points and rebounds in that game are the two that won’t be playing college next year. They’ll still be in high school.

Jahlil Okafor had 15 points to lead a very balanced U.S. attack and Justise Winslow had eight boards to go along with 10 points. Both are consensus Top 20 recruits — Okafor is considered the top recruit in the class by various scouting services —  in the 2014 class.

So far, the 6-10, 280-pound Chicago-bred Okafor that has every major program in the nation vying for his services, is averaging 12 points and 6.3 rebounds so far. Winslow, a 6-7 Houston native who has Arizona, Baylor, Duke and Florida coming after him, among others, is averaging 12.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game in Prague.

Okafor and Winslow are two of four players — the other two being Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes (10.3) and leading scorer Arizona-bound Aaron Gordon (13.7) — averaging double-figure points for the tournament.

No doubt that these two will be doing this consistently at the college level beginning in 2014-15, if they so choose. If anything, this a prime example that the future of U.S. hoops is in capable hands.

As for the rest of the team, they’re averaging 105.3 points per game, pulling down 51.7 rebounds per game and shooting 60.8 percent from inside the arc through three games. Though they’re just hitting at just a 28.3-percent clip from three during the tournament.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.