USA Basketball

R.J. Barrett’s highlights from the FIBA U19 World Championships

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R.J. Barrett led Canada to the FIBA U19 World Championships on Sunday with a 79-60 victory over Italy in the title game held in Cario, Egypt.

Barrett, rated as the top overall prospect in the Class of 2019 by Rivals, earned MVP honors for his performance, averaging a tournament-best 21.6 points to go along with 8.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game over the seven games.

His semifinal performance made waves over in the U.S., as he dropped 38 points to hand USA Basketball its first defeat since 2011.

Joining Barrett on the all-tournament team was teammate Abu Kigab, Payton Pritchard of the U.S., and the Italian duo of Lorenzo Bucarelli and Tommaso Oxilia. Kigab and Pritchard will be teammates this season at Oregon.

The 6-foot-7 Barrett, who plays his prep ball at powerhouse Montverde Academy in Florida, spent this spring playing for UPlay Canada in the Nike EYBL. In eight appearances, he averaged 28.0 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.

Top plays from FIBA U19 World Championships (VIDEO)

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The FIBA U19 World Championships concluded on Sunday with Canada defeating Italy, 79-60, to claim gold in Egypt.

USA Basketball knocked off Spain, 96-72, to earn bronze. Canada had upset the United States in the semifinals, led by 38 points from R.J. Barrett, considered the top prospect in the Class of 2019.

Barrett, the 6-foot-7 Montverde Academy (Fla.) small forward, was the tournament’s breakout star, returning home with MVP honors. It’s not a surprise that when FIBA released it’s top 10 plays from the event that he made several appearances. Purdue’s Carsen Edwards also earned a spot in the top 10.

However, the top spot went to a future Kentucky Wildcat.

USA Basketball releases 28-man roster for U19 training camp

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USA Basketball has invited 28 players to compete for a spot on the U19 team for next month’s FIBA World Cup in Cairo, Egypt.

The list includes:

Desmond Bane, TCU
Bol Bol, Class of 2018
Marques Bolden, Duke
Chaundee Brown, Wake Forest
Devon Daniels, NC State
Hamidou Diallo, Kentucky
Carsen Edwards, Purdue
Malachi Flynn, Washington State
Kevin Huerter, Maryland
Louis King, Class of 2018
Kevin Knox II, Kentucky
Romeo Langford, Class of 2018
Brandon McCoy, UNLV
De’Anthony Melton, USC
Charlie Moore, Kansas
Chuma Okeke, Auburn
Josh Okogie, Georgia Tech
Shamorie Ponds, St. John’s
Payton Pritchard, Oregon
Immanuel Quickley, Class of 2018
Cameron Reddish, Class of 2018
Mitchell Robinson, Western Kentucky
Quinton Rose, Temple
Jeremiah Tilmon II, Missouri.
PJ Washington, Kentucky
Austin Wiley, Auburn
Kris Wilkes, UCLA
Trae Young, Oklahoma

The team will be coached by Kentucky head coach John Calipari. He will bring Colorado’s Tad Boyle and Wake Forest’s Danny Manning as assistants. The United States have won back-to-back World Cup (previously known as World Championships) titles.

The United States have won back-to-back World Cup (previously known as World Championships) titles. The latest came back in July 2015, ending with the U.S. defeating Croatia, 79-71, in overtime. Villanova’s Jalen Brunson was named tournament MVP.

Training camp will take place June 18-25 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The roster will eventually be trimmed to 12.

The U19 World Cup will run from July 1-9.

Purdue to represent Team USA in 2017 World University Games

AP Photo/R Brent Smith
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Less than a year after Bill Self’s Kansas program represented the United States at the World University Games and won the country’s first men’s basketball gold medal at the event since 2005, another Division I program announced that it will represent the nation at next year’s World University games.

Tuesday morning it was announced that next summer it will be Purdue that represents the country at the World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan. Matt Painter’s program joins Kansas and Northern Iowa (2007) as programs that have been selected to represent the United States at the World University Games.

This won’t be Painter’s first experience with USA Basketball, as he was an assistant on Jamie Dixon’s staff that led the U19 team to gold at the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championships in New Zealand. He was also head coach of the 2011 World University Games team, leading the United States to a fifth-place finish in Shenzhen, China.

Amongst the players on the current roster, rising sophomore forward Caleb Swanigan was a member of the United States U17 and U19 teams, winning gold at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championships and the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championships.

Leading up to next year’s event it will also be interesting to see if Painter fills out his roster with a couple players from other programs. Last year’s World University Games roster had two non-Jayhawks, SMU point guard Nic Moore and FGCU shooting guard Julian DeBose.

United States falls to Brazil in final Pan-Am Games group match

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After picking up wins over Venezuela and Puerto Rico, the United States Pan-American Games team faced its stiffest test Thursday night as they took on Brazil. The Brazilians are a veteran group that plays well together, and that was certainly the case as they beat the Americans 93-83 in Toronto.

Vitor Benite proved near impossible for the United States to stop, as the 6-foot-2 guard tallied 34 points on 10-for-17 shooting, which included 8-for-11 from beyond the arc. Benite also grabbed seven rebounds, and as a team Brazil shot 53 percent from the field and 15-for-26 from three. That was too much to overcome for the United States, which made just six of its seventeen three-point attempts.

Keith Langford led the way offensively for the U.S. with 17 points, making all eight of his shots from the foul line, with Bobby Brown (16 points), Taurean Prince (16) and Anthony Randolph (15) also reaching double figures. But the caliber of looks the team was able to find was an issue, as they finished with a total of five assists to go along with ten turnovers.

By comparison, Brazil finished the night with 16 assists, with three players having three apiece, to 12 turnovers.

While the United States will advance to the semifinals of the event, the loss means that their road to a possible gold medal gets tougher. Next up for Few’s team is host Canada, which won all three of its games in group play. Three players who will play college basketball next season are on Jay Triano’s team: Oregon’s Dillon Brooks, Kentucky’s Jamal Murray and Gonzaga’s Kyle Wiltjer.

Brazil will take on the Dominican Republic in the Friday’s other semifinal.

Melo Trimble, Ron Baker among 12 named to United States Pan-American Games team

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Sunday afternoon USA Basketball revealed the 12 players who will represent the country at this month’s Pan-American Games in Toronto, with the team being a mix of current collegians and professional players. Among those who survived the cut from 16 to 12 were Maryland point guard Melo Trimble and Wichita State shooting guard Ron Baker, who will be two of the top players in the country at their respective positions this coming college season.

Joining Trimble and Baker as collegians on the roster are Virginia guard Malcolm Brogdon, University of Louisiana forward Shawn Long, Baylor forward Taurean Prince, Arizona center Kaleb Tarczewski and Michigan State guard Denzel Valentine. That group will be joined by five players who are currently playing at the professional level overseas or in the NBA in guard Bobby Brown, center Ryan Hollins, guard Keith Langford, forward Anthony Randolph and guard Damien Wilkins.

Serving as head coach is Gonzaga’s Mark Few, with Colorado head coach Tad Boyle and former NBA head coach Mike Brown being his assistants.

“It’s a group of hard-working guys who have done a great job in camp of really playing together and being unselfish,” Few said in the release. “They came into camp with a great attitude and mindset to really work, and now we’ve got to start formulating and playing to our strengths.  This is a group that’s got some versatility, and I think we should be able to play a couple different ways.”

Beginning Monday the team will train at the Chicago Bulls’ practice facility until the 16th, heading north of the border following that for games that begin Tuesday, July 21. In group play (Group B) the United States will play games against Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Brazil, with the top two teams in each group advancing into the semifinals.

The four teams in Group A are hosts Canada (which will suit up a team that includes Anthony Bennett and Kentucky freshman Jamal Murray), Argentina, Dominican Republic and Mexico.