Sunday’s action represented the final day of pool play at the U18 FIBA Americas Championships in Colorado Springs, with the United States U18 team taking on an Argentina squad that was also 2-0 in pool play. Yet while there was no separation in the records there was in the skill level, with Billy Donovan’s team reaching the 100-point mark for the third consecutive game as they rolled to a 118-64 victory.
As a result of the victory the United States has now locked up a spot in next summer’s U19 World Championships.
2015 five-star point guard Jalen Brunson led six Americans in double figures with 16 points, and as a team the United States shot 54% from the field. The United States scored 62 of its 118 points in the paint, and they also converted 16 Argentina turnovers into 27 points. They never trailed Sunday, with a 16-2 run in the middle of the first quarter establishing a margin that proved to be too much for Argentina to overcome.
Joining Brunson in double figures were Syracuse signee Tyler Lydon (14 points; 12 in the first half), Duke signee Justise Winslow (13), 2015 five-star guard Allonzo Trier (13), 2015 five-star forward Jaylen Brown (ten) and 2015 Duke commit Luke Kennard (ten). Kennard and Winslow also led a balanced effort on the glass with nine and eight rebounds, respectively, and Texas signee Myles Turner accounted for four of the team’s ten blocked shots.
Also of note for the United States was their improvement in the turnover department. After committing 15 turnovers in their 100-46 win over Mexico on Saturday, the Americans committed just eight against Argentina and assisted on 21 of their 45 made field goals. Brunson (six assists) and Duke signee Tyus Jones (nine) combined for 15 of those assists, committing just one turnover apiece.
Next up for the United States is a semifinal matchup with the Dominican Republic on Monday evening, with Canada and Argentina meeting in the first semifinal. The Dominican Republic went 2-1 in Group A, with their lone defeat being a 79-67 result against Canada.