Men's U16 National Team Blows By Puerto Rico 126-73
June 19, 2009 - Mendoza, Argentina
|(From left to right) Head Coach Don Showalter, Assistant Coach Herman Harried, Assistant Coach Kevin Sutton|
Brad Beal (Chaminade College Prep H.S. / St. Louis, Mo.) poured in 18 points to lead six U.S. players in double digits as the 2009 USA Basketball Men's U16 National Team (3-0) dominated Puerto Rico (1-2) 126-73 at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship on Friday evening in Mendoza, Argentina. The USA advances to the June 20 medal semifinals as the No. 1 seed from Group A after finishing preliminary play with a perfect 3-0 slate.
Every U.S. player contributed points in the high-scoring game, including 10 who posted eight or more. In addition to Beal, Sterling Gibbs (Seton Hall Prep / Scotch Plains, N.J.) and Adonis Thomas (Melrose H.S. / Cordova, Tenn.) were credited with 17 points apiece; James McAdoo (Norfolk Christian H.S. / Norfolk, Va.) had 15 points, his third 15-point performance in the tournament; AndrĂ© Drummond (Capitol Preparatory Magnet School / Middletown, Conn.) and Chasson Randle (Rock Island H.S. / Rock Island, Ill.) each contributed 10; Quinn Cook (DeMatha H.S. / Bowie, Md.) finished with nine to go with his eight assists; while Brandan Kearney (Southeastern H.S. / Detroit, Mich.), Johnny O'Bryant (Eastside H.S. / Cleveland, Miss.) and Tony Parker (Miller Grove H.S. / Lithonia, Ga.) chipped in eight each.
In today's other games, Venezuela (2-1) defeated Brazil (0-3) 81-58, Mexico (1-2) earned its first win after surpassing the Bahamas (0-3) 84-73 in overtime, while Argentina (3-0) clipped Canada (2-1) 87-81 in overtime.
In addition to the United States, also advancing to the June 20 medal semifinals were: Argentina, Canada and Venezuela. As the top-ranked team advancing from Group A, the U.S. will face Canada, Group B's second place team at 6:00 p.m. EDT; while Argentina and Venezuela will meet up in the other semifinal at 8:00 p.m. EDT. The semifinal winners automatically qualify for the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship and will vie for gold on June 21 (5:00 p.m. EDT), while the semifinal losers will battle at 3:00 p.m. EDT for the bronze medal and the third spot allocated to FIBA Americas for the 2010 U17 Worlds.
-Coming in we told the kids that Puerto Rico was going to be ready for us because they had to win the game tonight to get into the top two and advance," said USA head coach Don Showalter, head coach of Mid-Prairie High School (Iowa). -They hit five out of their first seven threes. After that, it was pretty much our game. I loved our defensive pressure. We played together really well as a team. We had 22 assists. Our team really has found each other on the court. You can tell they really enjoy playing with each other, making the right passes. Obviously we need to step that up tomorrow night, but that was a great way to end up pool play."
Puerto Rico scored first with a three, but it didn't take long for the U.S. to take the lead for good. Trailing 3-2, McAdoo stole the ball on Puerto Rico's second possession, the U.S. pushed it up the court and McAdoo finished with a layin to put the United States in the lead for good, 4-3, at 8:46. However, Puerto Rico netted five 3-pointers in the first quarter to keep the U.S. close and at the end of the first period it was a five-point, 26-21, game.
-Coach said they're a real scrappy team," said Beal. -They like to get after it and play hard. We had to stick to the game plan, which is: stay calm, make sure we check all of our passes and be real consistent on the offensive end and defensive end."
Scoring two quick buckets to open the second quarter, the U.S. expanded its lead to 30-21 and at the 6:04 mark the gap was seven, 32-25. That's when the North Americans began a run that blew the game wide open. Over the next three minutes the United States' defensive pressure forced five Puerto Rican turnovers, resulting in a 13-0 spurt that featured a highlight reel of steals, a 3-pointer, and a couple of crowd-pleasing and rim-rattling dunks. With three minutes to play before halftime the USA was in complete control, 46-25. By halftime the U.S. led 56-33 and had three players in double digits, including McAdoo with 13, Thomas with 11 and Gibbs with 10.
-The main thing he stressed (at the break between quarters) was not trading baskets," said McAdoo. -We knew we were going to score on offense. We just had to stop them on defense. We really tightened our belts and stopped them from scoring."
Puerto Rico had no answer for the USA's energy as the red, white and blue went up 89-52 after the third quarter and won the fourth quarter 37-21.
The United States, which passed out 22 assists, owned a 45-32 rebounding advantage and scored 17 points on 21 Puerto Rican turnovers. The U.S. was deadly from the field, shooting 62.2 percent (46-74 FGs) overall and 47.6 percent (10-21 3pt FGs) from 3-point; while its defense held Puerto Rico to just 33.8 percent (27-80 FGs) from the field, 36.0 percent (9-25 3pt FGs) from beyond the arc. The USA's bench scored 59 points and 70 of the USA's 126 points came from the paint.
Puerto Rico was paced by Gary Ramirez Brown with 16 points and Carmelo Betancourt scored 10.
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.).