FIBA released a list of 21 players under the age of 21 that starred in the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers that were played in recent weeks, and two potential All-Americans popped up on the list: Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura and Duke’s R.J. Barrett.
We all know the story of Barrett by now. He’s a a 6-foot-6 wing from Canada that put up 38 points, 13 boards and six assists in a semifinal win over Team USA in the U19 World Championships last summer. He’s the top prospect in the Class of 2018 and looks to be the favorite to get picked No. 1 the 2019 NBA Draft.
And Hachimura shouldn’t be a secret here, either. The 6-foot-10 Beninese-Japanese forward was a star for Gonzaga down the stretch last season, and he put on a show in Japan’s win over Australia, going for 24 points and seven boards.
What may be even more interesting are the other names on this list that we are going to see in the college ranks.
Specifically, No. 5: Louisville’s Jordan Nwora. In three games playing for Nigeria, he averaged 21.7 points and 8.0 boards, including a 36-point outburst in a win over Mali. As a freshman with the Cardinals last season, Nwora averaged 5.7 points. Then there is Barrett’s Canadian teammate, Andrew Nembhard, a 6-foot-3 point guard that is headed to Florida. He’s just 18 years old, but he averaged 5.0 assists in 15 minutes playing with Canada’s senior national team. He was ranked 15th on that list.
The other American player is point guard Nico Mannion, a top 15 prospect that just reclassified into the Class of 2019. He was called up to the Italian national team for their final qualifier.