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