The United States U18 national team captured the 2014 FIBA Americas gold medal with a 113-79 win over Canada on Tuesday night at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Justise Winslow, the Duke signee, finished with a double-double with a team-high 20 points and 10 rebounds. Arizona-bound Stanley Johnson scored 19 and three reserves — Jalen Brunson, Isaiah Briscoe and Luke Kennard — all scored in double figures. Canada was led by Findlay Prep (Nevada) 2015 small forward Dillion Brooks with a game-high 27 points. Huntington Prep (West Virginia) wing Montaque Gill-Caesar added 22 points.
The United States had yet to be tested entering the gold medal game. After 14 combined turnovers in the first quarter — 45 in all — Canada had cut the U.S. lead to two, twice, in the first few minutes of the second quarter.
The Canadian team has high-major college talent such as Gill-Caesar, No. 22 in the Class of 2015, according to Rivals, and Harvard-commit Chris Egi. The best non-American in the field was Brooks, the three-star recruit, who ended as the tournament’s leading scorer. But the U.S. roster was too deep, as almost all 12 players saw 10 or more minutes on Tuesday night.
The depth continued to fuel the Americans’ defensive pressure, and helped create some separation in the second quarter. Canada committed four turnovers in a 90-second span, which let U.S. extend the lead to 30-21. The U.S. would build on that lead, which got as high as 16 in the second quarter.
The U.S. entered halftime with a 49-35. Canada would never cut into that deficit in the second half. The United States won every game this week by at least 34 points.
This is the the third time Billy Donovan had led Team USA to gold. In 2012, he led the U18 team to gold, followed by winning U19 gold the next season. Providence’s Ed Cooley and Arizona’s Sean Miller served as assistant coaches.
The Dominican Republic won the bronze medal with a 64-53 win over Argentina.
Matisse Thybulle will return to Washington for his senior season after contemplating declaring for the NBA draft following a junior campaign in which he was named the Pac-12 defensive player of the year.
“The NBA is really enticing and it was definitely something that I seriously considered when the season was over,” Thybulle told the Seattle Times. “I talked it over with my family and we came to the conclusion that it would be in my best interest to stay and get my degree (in communications) and grow as a basketball player and take this last year to mature and fine tune everything so I can be fully prepared to take that next step when it’s time.”
The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 11.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game last season. He shot 44.5 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from 3-point range.
“I talked to coach (Mike Hopkins) and he gave me some good advice that was honestly something that helped in the grand scheme of things,” Thybulle said. “He told me that if I do it (enter the draft), then I should be all in because that’s what I’m going to be up against is a whole bunch of guys fighting for their lives. He thought it would be a better idea for me to stay in school until I’m at that point.”
Washington is awaiting the decision of Noah Dickerson, who declared for the draft but has not hired an agent. The 6-foot-8 averaged 15.5 points and 8.4 rebounds last season.
Steve Wojciechowski added a significant piece to his 2019-20 team over the weekend.
Koby McEwen announced his intention to transfer to Marquette from Utah State late Sunday evening.
“I would like to thank God, my family, inner circle and all the schools/coaches that recruited me during this process!” McEwen tweeted. “With that being said, I’m proud to announce that I’ll be furthering my college career at Marquette University.”
McEwen picked the Golden Eagles over fellow finalists Creighton and Grand Canyon after he decided to transfer when the Aggies announced South Dakota coach Craig Smith was taking over the program last month. The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 15.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range as a sophomore.
After sitting out the upcoming season, McEwen will have to years of eligibility remaining. Marquette went 21-14 last season, but missed the NCAA tournament for the third time in Wojciechowski’s four years in Milwaukee.
Given that six Wildcat players have entered the draft (Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Hami Diallo are signing with agents), getting the 6-foot point guard back for a second season is a massive deal for Calipari and Co. The Wildcats have always been at their best under Calipari with returning players as the cornerstones of the roster with talented one-and-dones providing the extra boost. Getting one such returner at the point guard position is even more critical.
Green, who came to Kentucky as a five-star recruit last year, averaged 9.3 points and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and a respectable 37.1 percent from 3-point range, an area where Kentucky continually needs help.
With Green back in the fold, Kentucky will now await the decisions of PJ Washington, Wenyen Gabriel and Jarred Vanderbilt, who are all going through the pre-draft process without hiring agents, which will potentially allow them to return to school and bolster a Kentucky roster has the look of a top-five team.
CBT Podcast: NBA Draft Early Entry Deadline: Winners, losers and who has the most on the line?
The NBA Draft Early Entry Deadline came and went on Sunday night, meaning there are now roughly 60 college players that have signed with an agent and another 100 or so that have declared for the draft while retaining their college eligibility. Who were the winners? Who were the losers? Who has the most on the line? Sam Vecenie of the Game Theory podcast joined Rob Dauster to talk through all of it. The rundown:
OPEN: What do NBA teams value in players these days?
10:00: Villanova has more on the line during this testing the water process than anyone
19:00: Just how important was De’Andre Hunter’s decision to return to Virginia
25:25: Gonzaga getting Rui and Killian Tillie back makes them a title favorite
32:10: Nevada has a top ten season on the line with the Martin twins and Jordan Caroline
36:15: #RANTALERT – The decision to turn pro is so much more complicated than “is he a first round pick”
48:30: Rapid fire: Maryland, Kansas, Syracuse, Nebraska, Purdue and Michigan. What do they have on the line?