Following their nine-point loss to Australia on Thursday, the United States World University Games team needed to beat Canada by ten points or more to guarantee themselves a spot in the medal round.
Baylor senior guard Brady Heslip had other ideas as he scored 20 points off the bench to lead Canada (5-0) to a 94-85 victory, nullifying a 27-point outing by Louisville senior Luke Hancock. Now out of medal contention, the U.S. (3-2) will compete for ninth place in the consolation bracket.
Bob McKillop’s squad hit 15 three-pointers (on 32 attempts) on the day while Canada made eight (15 attempts), but it was the work inside of the arc that ultimately made the difference. Canada, which also received 13 points from Arizona State senior Jordan Bachynski and ten from Stanford senior Dwight Powell, made 49.1% of its two-point attempts while the U.S. shot 35% inside of the arc.
“We probably could have done a few things better defensively, and we could have finished around the basket maybe a little bit better, but you have to give [Canada] credit. They are a good team,” said BYU junior Tyler Haws following the defeat.
Also reaching double figures for the U.S. were Creighton senior Doug McDermott (17 points, nine rebounds) and Baylor senior Cory Jefferson (17 points, seven rebounds), with Colorado junior guard Spencer Dinwiddie dishing out a game-high eight assists.
Canada will be joined by Australia (4-1) as Group C representatives in the medal round, with the Australians beating the United Arab Emirates 131-43 Friday morning.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.