The United States U-18 squad dominated Team Canada from the opening tip last night, winning handily 122-89.
In one of the more hyped match-ups of a tournament, the Maple Leaf Nation had little to no chance. Especially with Duke 2011 top target Austin Rivers going crazy and scoring 35 points—a record for this competition. Rivers was uncanny, hitting his first nine three-point shots. His sixth trey broke the USA record—in the first half. It was a Ray Allen-like performance for Austin, while his father, Celtics coach Doc Rivers, watched from the San Antonio stands.
Our 2010 commitments also played well; Irving netted 12 points and dished out seven assists. Kyrie got into the lane at will, distributing to USA’s capable forwards. Josh Hairston rebounded from a disappointing game against Argentina, posting 10 points and four rebounds. Josh did a good job of finishing around the basket, and knocked down both of his free throws.
Quincy Miller cooled off after his big game against Argentina, but he had an admirable stat line of seven points, six rebounds and five assists. Miller shows tremendous poise in the open court; he handles the ball like a guard on fast breaks, slicing into the lane and getting by his defender with a variety of quick moves, including a vicious spin cycle that leaves him alone at the rim. Quincy is perhaps the biggest talent on this team, and we are really just seeing small flashes of what he is capable of (The hilariously incompetent commentator of these games referred to Quincy’s ’16 straight threes in practice the other day’ a dozen times in the past two nights).
Amir Williams, who has been at the end of the bench for Team USA, is still getting into the flow of the game. Williams shows promise—finishing off one nice assist for a two-handed slam against the Nucks—but his hands are ’07 Lance Thomas-esque and he seems a little lost out there. Nonetheless, playing for his country will be a great experience for him, and Williams will definitely improve with time. He has gotten a lot of looks recently, and we’re sure that K and Co. will keep tabs on Amir—perhaps fellow Detroit Country Day veteran Shane Battier can give him a few pointers.
Wednesday night at 8 p.m. EST, Team USA is back in action against Brazil, who pulled away late from Argentina to secure a spot in the title game. We hope that you join us for our final live-blog of this tournament—it has been a lot of fun talking basketball with a big cast of Duke fans for the past two games. Again, you can check out the live feed of the game here.
<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=43482c78e5″ mce_href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=43482c78e5″ >FIBA Americas – U18 Championship</a>