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May 9-11
The 2009 USA Basketball Men's U16 National Team (1-0) opened FIBA Americas U16 Championship play with a 28-point, 110-82, victory over Brazil (0-1) on Wednesday night in Mendoza, Argentina. Adonis Thomas hit 4-of-5 from 3-point and led all scorers with 21

USA Basketball Men's U16 National Team Breaks Down Brazil 110-82

Five Players Score In Double Digits In Tournament Opener

June 17, 2009 - Mendoza, Argentina

PhotoDescription
Members of the USA U16 National Team celebrate after Adonis Thomas hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game.

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The 2009 USA Basketball Men's U16 National Team (1-0) opened FIBA Americas U16 Championship play with a 28-point, 110-82, victory over Brazil (0-1) on Wednesday night in Mendoza, Argentina. Adonis Thomas (Melrose H.S. / Cordova, Tenn.) hit 4-of-5 from 3-point and led all scorers with 21 points.

A total of five players scored in double digits for the U.S., including a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds from André Drummond (Capitol Preparatory Magnet School / Middletown, Conn.), Brad Beal (Chaminade College Prep H.S. / St. Louis, Mo.) scored 19, James McAdoo (Norfolk Christian H.S. / Norfolk, Va.) had 15 and Quinn Cook (DeMatha H.S. / Bowie, Md.) just missed out on a double-double after posting 10 points and eight assists.

-André came in real strong off the bench," said McAdoo. -We definitely look to him to be an inside presence immediately, right when he comes off the bench. He really gave us that today. Brad and Adonis, their shots weren't falling in the first half. In the second half we told them to keep shooting and they eventually got hot. That's when we made our push and increased our lead."

In today's earlier games Venezuela (1-0) opened the tournament with an 87-81 victory over Puerto Rico (0-1), Canada (1-0) went up 46-20 at halftime and sailed in for a 90-44 win over Mexico (0-1), while host Argentina (1-0) took Bahamas (0-1) 106-72 today's final game.

The U.S. continues preliminary play against Venezuela on July 18 (1:00 p.m. EDT) and caps the first round with a clash against Puerto Rico on July 19 (5:00 p.m. EDT). Semifinals will be played on July 20 and the gold medal will be contested on July 21.

-Anytime you win at this level of competition, you're satisfied with the win," said USA head coach Don Showalter, head coach of Mid-Prairie High School (Iowa). -We have some things that Brazil threw at us that I thought we were prepared for like half-court traps. They never played us man-to-man so we had to adjust on the fly. We were prepared for it, we got kids in the right spots. Our rebounding was fantastic. We outrebounded them 51 to 25, that was a huge factor for us. We also had 22 assists. That shows we're moving the ball around really well. Then our 3-point shots started clicking for us in the fourth quarter. Brad Beal and Adonis Thomas hit some threes for us and broke the game open. That gives you more flexibility inside."

McAdoo scored the USA's first points on a driving layup, fueling a 16-6 opening run. By the end of the first quarter the red, white and blue was up 26-15, following a put-back dunk by Drummond with five seconds on the clock. In the first two minutes of the second quarter, Brazil mounted a comeback and pulled to 29-22.

However, behind the scoring of five different players, the U.S. mounted a 12-0 run that left Brazil trailing by 19 points, 41-22, with 5:37 to play in the half. The U.S., which came up with eight first-half steals, capped the run on a fast-breaking dunk by Thomas after a stolen ball was heaved down court.

By halftime the North Americans remained comfortably in the lead, 54-37, and were never again threatened.

Despite the commanding 17-point lead, the United States had yet to get hot from beyond the arc, shooting just 2-of-11 from afar in the first half.

-We knew that we had to shake it off after the first half," said Thomas. -In the second half we knew we had to come together, make shots. Just play as a team and move the ball around. If you're open, you just have to take the chance to make the shot."

After a third quarter that saw Brazil outscore the U.S. 21-20, the USA entered the final stanza with a 74-58 advantage and having shot five threes in 30 minutes. Opening with three 3-pointers on three straight possessions, the U.S. put on a show with a total of seven 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, including three apiece from Beal and Thomas, while Brandan Kearney (Southeastern H.S. / Detroit, Mich.) tossed in the seventh to help the USA finish strong.

In addition to the five double-digit scorers, the U.S. received seven points each from Kearney and Tony Parker (Miller Grove H.S. / Lithonia, Ga.).

The U.S. outrebounded Brazil 51-25 as McAdoo and Parker each grabbed eight boards and Johnny O'Bryant (Eastside H.S. / Cleveland, Miss.) notched seven.

The unselfish play of the team produced 22 assists and team also was credited with seven blocked shots, three of which came from Thomas.

Showalter is being assisted in 2009 and 2010 by Herman Harried, head coach Lake Clifton High School (Md.), and Kevin Sutton, head coach at Montverde Academy (Fla.).

The eight-team tournament in 2009 features U16 national teams from the FIBA Americas Zone, which includes North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. Preliminary round-robin play runs through June 19, with the top two teams from each preliminary group advancing to the June 20 semifinals. The gold and bronze medal games will be contested June 21.

The top three finishing nations at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship will qualify to compete in the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship (July TBD / Hamburg, Germany), against U17 national teams from around the globe.