FIBA U19 World Championships

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.

R.J. Barrett stars as Canada shocks Team USA in FIBA U19 semis

AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
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The United States won’t be three-peating at the FIBA U19 World Cup.

Canada knocked off the Americans in rather shocking fashion, 99-87, on Saturday in the semifinals to hand the USA its first loss in the event since they finished fifth in 2011.

The top recruit in the class of 2019, R.J. Barrett, had a monster day for the Canadians, posting 38 points, 13 rebounds and five assists before fouling out in the final minutes. He was clearly the best player on the floor for the entire day. Barrett’s huge day helped Canada hand the U.S. a defeat despite being without its captain, Lindell Wigginton. The Iowa State-bound guard missed his second-straight game due to a concussion.

The John Calipari-led Americans looked haggard throughout the day, struggling to find a rhythm offensively or put up much resistance defensively. They shot 58.1 percent from the free-throw line and 26.1 percent from distance.

Kentucky-bound big man P.J. Washington led the way in the scoring column for the USA, tallying 17 points. Auburn’s Austin WIley had 13 points and 17 boards.

Canada will play Italy on Sunday for the U19 championship while Team USA will face Spain in the third-place game.

How the non-US college players fared in the FIBA U19 World Championships

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The FIBA U19 World Championships are ending on Sunday as the event gave a handful of college basketball players a chance to play in a competitive environment over the summer. While the American team is the primary focus of the casual college basketball fan, plenty of players on international rosters competed as well. Here’s a look at how those players performed through the last few weeks.

Australia

Jack McVeigh (Nebraska): The future Nebraska wing was second on the team at 11.1 points while also pulling in a team-leading 5.7 rebounds per contest. The 6-foot-7 McVeigh shot 47 percent from the field and was up to 54 percent from the field when not including his 0-for-9 3-point shooting.

Canada

Drew Urquhart (Vermont): A 6-foot-8 forward, Urquhart played four games and saw around 10 minutes per outing. He averaged 4 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

Jalen Poyser (UNLV): The 6-foot-4 future Runnin’ Rebel was a potent reserve scorer, averaging 7.9 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in only 13.6 minutes of action.

Dillon Brooks (Oregon): One of the better players in the event was the 6-foot-7 Oregon rising sophomore. Brooks averaged 18.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.

Justin Jackson (UNLV commit): Another UNLV commit, 6-foot-7 Jackson averaged 14.8 points, 8 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per game in six games.

Corey Johnson (Harvard): The 6-foot-3 sharpshooter had a great tournament from beyond the arc (46 percent, 24-for-52) while averaging 12.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.

Chris Egi (Harvard): The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while also registering 1.3 blocks per contest.

Jadon Cohee (Seattle): A 6-foot-4 freshman reserve at Seattle, Cohee averaged 6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game in 20 minutes a contest.

Matt Neufeld (Saint Louis): The Saint Louis commit provided reserve minutes and the 6-foot-11 big man averaged 5.1 points and 3 rebounds a game on 56 percent shooting.

Dominican Republic

Weisner Perez (Harvard): The 6-foot-6 rising freshman played a reserve role for the Dominican Republic, averaging 3.6 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

Greece

Tyler Dorsey (Oregon): Getting a last-minute roster spot, Dorsey averaged 15.9 points, 5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Even more impressively, Dorsey was 55 percent from the floor and 52 percent from 3-point range.

Konstantinos Mitoglou (Wake Forest): The Wake Forest big man averaged 9.7 points and 7 rebounds per game. A 6-foot-11 rising sophomore, Mitoglou also shot 45 percent from the floor.

Giorgios Papagiannis (potential 2015 recruit): A potential center in college basketball next season, Papagiannis averaged 8.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. The 7-foot-1 big man also shot 59 percent from the field.

Georgios Tsalmpouris (Iowa State): A 7-foot-1 rising sophomore, Tsalmpouris averaged 3.7 points and 2 rebounds per game in a role off the bench.

Spain

Francisco Alonso (UNC Greensboro): The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 9.1 points, 3.1 assists and 2 rebounds per game while shooting 41 percent from 3-point range.

Yankuba Sima (St. John’s): In seven games, Sima was productive and put up 9.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2 blocks per game. The 6-foot-10 center could see immediate minutes at St. John’s this season.

USA U19 team wins in overtime of gold-medal game over Croatia at FIBA World Championships

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The United States men’s U19 team captured back-to-back titles at the FIBA World Championships for the first time since 1983 as the Americans defeated Croatia in overtime, 79-71, on Sunday afternoon.

Struggling to find consistent offense for much of the afternoon, the trio of Class of 2016 stars the Americans have relied on during the tournament fell cold. Jayson Tatum (13 points), Harry Giles (13 points, 16 rebounds) and Josh Jackson (10 points) all finished in double figures to lead Team USA, but they combined to shoot 13-for-46 from the field on the day.

Villanova incoming freshman point guard Jalen Brunson was outstanding for the Americans, scoring 14 points and adding seven assists while never turning the ball over in 40 minutes of play. Louisville rising sophomore big man Chinanu Onuaku provided valuable minutes as an additional interior defender, as he scored six points and added eight rebounds and four blocks.

After regulation ended tied at 67, the American pressure defense finally seemed to wear out a short-handed Croatian team at the U.S. went on a 10-0 run to start the extra frame. Even without Jackson in overtime, who fouled out during the final seconds of regulation, the United States had plenty of bodies to throw at Croatia using its full-court press.

Nik Slavica led Croatia with 23 points while point guard Marko Aropovic added 16 points and 12 rebounds.

These two teams also met in group play earlier in the event as the Americans came away with a 103-81 win. Croatia was without potential 2016 NBA lottery pick Dragan Bender, who was stuck in a shoe contract dispute, while the team’s starting point guard, Lovro Mazalin and center Ante Zizic, were both out with injury.

United States advances to FIBA U19 World Championships gold medal game

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Saturday’s semifinal matchup with Greece was expected to be the United States U19 team’s most difficult game to date at the FIBA U19 World Championships for multiple reasons. Not only were the Greeks playing in front of a partisan crowd in Heraklion, Crete, Greece, but they also possessed size in the post and perimeter talent capable of giving Sean Miller’s team trouble.

Thanks to players such as Tyler Dorsey and Georgios Papagiannis the Greeks hung around throughout, but in the end the United States proved to be too much. Villanova guard Jalen Brunson once again led the way from the point, scoring 30 points and dishing out four assists in the 82-76 victory.

Next up for the United States is Croatia, which blew out Turkey 91-56 in Saturday’s other semifinal, in the gold medal game Sunday afternoon.

Brunson was joined in double figures by three 2016 prospects, as Harry Giles scored 13 points (and grabbed 11 rebounds) and Jayson Tatum and Terrance Ferguson added 11 apiece. Turnovers were once again an issue for the Americans, as they handed the ball over on the first two possessions of the game and finished with 22, but Greece managed just eight points off turnovers.

The United States shot 52.4 percent inside of the arc and scored 38 points in the paint, areas in which they held a clear advantage over Greece. Dorsey led the hosts with 23 points and Vasilis Charalampopoulos added 21, making five of his eight shots from beyond the arc, but Greece could get no closer than three points in the second half. A Tatum three-point play with just under a minute remaining essentially sealed the game for the United States.

Sunday’s matchup with Croatia is a rematch of a group play meeting the United States won by 22 points. But at that point in the event Croatia was just getting used to not having highly-regarded forward Dragan Bender, who wasn’t allowed to play due to a sneaker dispute (he’s sponsored by adidas, the Croatian basketball federation requires players to wear Jordan/Nike).

Since then they haven’t lost a game, winning four straight with their seven-point Round of 16 win over China being the lone single-digit victory. 7-footer Ivica Zubac (18.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg) leads the team in scoring and has been one of the best players in the tournament.

POSTERIZED: Jayson Tatum throws one down on Greek defender

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Saturday afternoon the United States U19 team faced its toughest challenge at the FIBA U19 World Championships in Crete, as they took on the host country Greece in a semifinal matchup.

And 2016 forward Jayson Tatum provided one of the highlights of the event in the second quarter, as he threw down a powerful one-handed dunk on a Greek defender. Not only did the defender get dunked on, but he wound up with a bloody nose as well.

Credit: FIBA