2013 USA U16 Men Run Past Bahamas 121-52, Improve to 3-0
-- U.S. Top Seed Out Of Group A For Medal Semifinals, Qualifies For 2014 U17 Worlds --
Maldonado, Uruguay • June 13, 2013
Behind a 26-point outburst from Malik Newman (Callaway H.S. / Jackson, Miss.), the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team (3-0) outpaced Bahamas (0-3) 121-52 on Thursday afternoon at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Maldonado, Uruguay. With the win, the U.S. not only clinched the top seed out of Group A for the June 14 medal semifinals, it also earned a berth to the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship as all four medal semifinalists advance to next summer’s U17 Worlds.
Next up for the USA U16 squad is the No. 2 seed out of Group B, the victor of the 7:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. EDT) game between Chile (1-1) and Puerto Rico (1-1). Canada (2-0), which faces host Uruguay (0-2) in tonight’s final game, already advanced as Group B’s No. 1 seed. Argentina (2-1) advanced to the semifinals from Group A after defeating Mexico (1-2) 81-51. The USA will play its semifinal at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. EDT) on June 14, and the finals will be played on June 15. All games are being streamed live online at FIBAAmericas.com.
All 11 healthy members of the team scored, including a total of six in double digits as Jayson Tatum(Chaminade College Prep / St. Louis, Mo.) put up 17 points to go with three assists and four steals; Daniel Giddens (Wheeler H.S. / Mableton, Ga.) notched the game’s lone double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds; Diamond Stone (Dominican H.S. / Milwaukee, Wis.) just missed out on a double-double as he scored 14 and grabbed nine caroms; V.J. King(St. Vincent - St. Mary H.S. / Akron, Ohio) produced 11 points, six rebounds and four assists; while Ivan Rabb (Bishop O’Dowd H.S. / Oakland, Calif.) contributed 10 points, seven rebounds and had a game-high six blocked shots.
“Bahamas came ready to play,” said USA Basketball U16 head coach Don Showalter (Iowa City H.S., Iowa). “As it goes, our depth paid off over the course of the game. I give Bahamas a lot of credit. I thought they hung in there and really used their abilities to score. From that standpoint, they did a nice job.”
Newman, who notched his 26 points in just 20 minutes of action, hit a stellar 11-of-13 from the field and also picked off four steals.
“Malik is the best pure scorer in our class,” said Giddens. “I think being here on the USA (team) really solidified that. Malik can really score at will and that’s what he did. He played his game.”
As has been the case in its previous two games, the USA struck first and never trailed.
Rabb got the U.S. off by putting back his own miss at 9:30 and by the 6:42 mark, the U.S. was up 13-4. Bahamas refused to back down and hit back-to-back buckets to closed to within five points, 13-8 at 6:08. However, that scoring spurt was short-lived. The USA went off on a 10-2 scoring run to surge ahead by double digits, 23-10, with 1:09 remaining in the period. Twelve seconds later Bahamas got a put-back for the quarter’s final points to end the first with the U.S. up 23-12. Using their athleticism to try and combat the height disadvantage, Bahamas forced the red, white and blue into seven turnovers in the first 10 minutes of action.
“We came out flat,” said Seventh Woods (Hammond School / Columbia, S.C.), who scored six points, dished out a game-high seven assists, grabbed two blocks and had three steals. “But, all we needed was to pick up our intensity and play smart and aggressive like coach always says. We turned it up in the second.”
Regrouping at the break, the USA’s hallmark defensive effort was turned up a notch in the second quarter. Following a King put-back, Terrance Ferguson (Prime Prep Academy / Flower Mound, Texas) picked a Bahamian’s pocket and converted it into two points to up the score to 27-12. Bahamas managed to counter with a 3-pointer, but was held scoreless as the U.S. reeled off 11 consecutive points as the game began to tilt heavily in favor of the stars and stripes, 38-12, with almost six minutes to play before halftime. During the first four minutes of the second quarter, the USA blocked four shots, forced Bahamas into shooting 1-of-6 from the field and coughing up the ball five times.
While Bahamas finally began to connect on buckets and outscored the U.S. 13-12 over the next few minutes, the Americans closed out the half on a 7-0 run for a 59-28 halftime lead.
“It’s very important (to have a deep bench), because you can’t play your starters the whole time when you have five games in five days,” said Newman. “So, for us to have a deep bench like we do, it’s very good.”
Showing no let-up in the second half, the U.S. turned the ball over only four times in the game’s final 20 minutes, while outscoring Bahamas 28-16 in the third quarter and 34-12 in the fourth. Further, after logging nine turnovers in the first half, the USA finished with 13 in all.
The 11 healthy members of the U.S. squad logged between 10 and 22 minutes in the game, which aided in wearing down the islanders.
“You hope that as it gets close to the gold medal game, you hope that (our depth) really takes its toll on our opponents,” said Showalter. “Our kids play about 20 minutes a game, maybe. So, we want to work it so that our bench is a big factor in the games and I think it has been.”
Thomas Bryant (Bishop Kearney H.S. / Rochester, N.Y.) contributed seven points, four rebounds and three blocked shots in the win; Josh Jackson (Consortium College Prep / Southfield, Mich.) added seven points, seven boards, three assists and a pair of blocks; while Devearl Ramsey (Sierra Canyon H.S. / Los Angeles, Calif.) scored two points, had six rebounds, three assists and four steals.
Sebastian Gray scored a team-high 12 points for Bahamas.
The U.S. dominated in every category. Earning 32 points off of 31 Bahamian turnovers, whereas Bahamas converted the USA’s 13 turnovers into just 10 points, the USA outrebounded Bahamas 68-50, outscored the islanders 74-30 in the paint, 72-24 off the bench, and 23-6 on second chances. The USA shot 52.7 percent (48-91 FGs) from the field and 42.9 (6-14 3pt FGs) from 3-point, but still struggled from the line, hitting just 45.2 percent (19-42 FTs). In contrast, Bahamas was held to a frigid 26.3 percent (21-80 FGs) from the field and 25.0 percent (4-16 3pt FGs) from 3-point.
Harry Giles (Wesleyan Christian Academy / Winston-Salem, N.C.) suffered a left knee sprain during the USA’s second game and is sidelined for the remainder of the tournament.
“I’m just cheering them on,” said Giles when asked how he’s helping his team. “I’m still part of this team, even though I’m injured. So, I just cheered them on like I was on the court with them. That dunk show was solid. I’m excited for everyone and I just want to jump up and cheer, even though I can’t. I’m just cheering them on.”
Two-time defending gold medalist at the biennial event that was launched in 2009, the U.S. now owns an unblemished 13-0 all-time record at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship.