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Devearl Ramsey

USA U17 Men Surge Past Serbia In Second Half, Advance To Gold-Medal Game With Hard-Fought 89-68 Semifinal Victory

  • Date:
    Aug 15, 2014

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Box Score 

• Additional Quotes

• Photo Gallery


After holding onto a narrow 39-36 edge at halftime, the 2014 USA Men’s U17 World Championship Team (6-0) broke away from previously unbeaten Serbia (5-1) to take an 89-68 victory at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship for Men semifinal game on Friday night at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Americans will play inSaturday’s gold medal game for the third time in as many editions of the U17 World Championship, where it will face Australia (5-1) in a rematch of the 2012 U17 gold medal game.

Australia advanced to play for gold after battling back from a 22-point deficit and going to overtime before defeating Spain (3-3) 80-74 in the other semifinal contest. The Aug. 15 gold medal game will be carried live by ESPN3 (1 p.m. EDT), while ESPNU/Watch ESPN will show a replay of the title contest later that night (10 p.m. EDT).

“We knew coming in it was going to be a tough test,” said USA head coach Don Showalter (Iowa City H.S., Iowa), who now owns an overall 22-0 win-loss record in FIBA U17 World Championship games and piloted the 2010 and 2012 USA U17 teams to gold. “We told our kids that Serbia has had a history of really giving the United States trouble in games. You go back and the mid-2000’s and games like this Serbia has won. I know their coach and team has been preparing to play us for the past couple of years. So, we prepared our kids. Our kids really were prepared mentally, physically for a really knock-out, tough game.”

Malik Newman (Callaway H.S./Jackson, Miss.) scored 15 points to lead the USA’s offensive efforts, Diamond Stone(Dominican H.S./Milwaukee, Wis.) followed with 12 points, and Harry Giles (Wesleyan Christian Academy/Winston-Salem, N.C.) posted a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

The bench again played an integral part in the USA’s victory, especially through the production of Caleb Swanigan(Homestead H.S./Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Tyus Battle (Gill St. Bernard’s School/ Edison, N.J.). Swanigan scored 11 points, hit 7-of-11 from the line after drawing eight fouls, grabbed eight boards and nabbed a pair of steals; while Battle’s seven points came at key moments for the Americans: a jumper to end the first half, a steal and layup to cap the third quarter and a 3-pointer to open the fourth.

 “Caleb is one of those guys who doesn’t get a lot of credit for what he does,” said Showalter. “But, he just comes in and is a workhorse. He did a fantastic job tonight. He had 11 points, eight rebounds, diving on the floor after loose basketballs, taking a charge. He’s a high-energy guy. You have to love guys like that who play. I thought Tyus Battle was Usain Bolt for us tonight. And those guys, if they don’t play they’re not sitting on the bench pouting. They’re great teammates and when they have the chance, they make the most of it.”

After not trailing for even a second through its first five games, the U.S. again scored first and jumped out to a 17-7 lead over the first six minutes of the contest.

Serbian teams are not known for giving up easily, however.

With the USA still holding a 10-point lead, Serbia scored the first quarter’s final two points to cut into single digits, 24-16, and then hit back-to-back buckets to pull to within four, 24-20, 47 seconds into the second quarter. Serbia continued to chip away at the USA’s lead and knotted the contest at 28-all with 4:02 to play before halftime.

Stone hit the second of two attempts from the line to put his side back in front. Stefan Peno, who shot 4-of-7 from 3-point and score 18 points, answered with a long 3-pointer as the 24-second clock expired, giving his team its first lead of the night, 31-29, at 3:21.

Trailing 31-30, Devearl Ramsey (Sierra Canyon H.S./Los Angeles, Calif.) drove inside to put the USA back on top, 32-31, and the Americans never trailed again. After a strong defensive effort by Swanigan on the other end, Jayson Tatum (Chaminade College Prep/St. Louis, Mo.) hit the USA’s first 3-pointer of the game to extend the gap to 35-31.

Serbia called a time-out and returned to outscore the USA 5-2 and inch to within a point, 37-36, but Battle responded with a jumper off a Ramsey pass for the USA’s 39-36 halftime lead.

“(Coach Showalter told us) to keep doing what we were doing, execute, rebound and pressure the guards, especially No. 4 (Stefan Peno) because he was the one who really distributed the ball well and found his teammates,” said Battle on Showalter’s halftime speech. “We just had to put pressure on the guards and that’s what we did.”

While the USA kept Serbia from scoring on seven of its first eight possessions of the second half, Serbia’s defenders stymied the Americans on the other end and at 5:42 the USA managed to extend its lead to six, 46-40. 

A 7-0 spurt, which included a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer from Terrence Ferguson (Prime Prep Academy/Flower Mound, Texas), gave the Americans another double-digit cushion, 53-40. 

But again Serbia would not back down and Vojislav Stojanovic, who scored 18 on the night, netted back-to-back 3s that kept his side within striking distance 53-46 at 3:49 in the third. Both teams found it hard to score over the ensuing minutes and with the U.S. up 57-48 and with fewer than 20 seconds left on the third-period clock, Battle picked off a pass, sprinted the court for a layup and Serbia never again got within single digits. 

Up 59-48, Showalter stressed during the quarter break that the first five possessions would be key for the game’s outcome and while both sides missed on their first two possessions, he was not far off. 

Battle nailed his third 3-pointer of the tournament at 8:34, eliciting a huge response from the bench.

After Serbia scored a lay-in, Swanigan followed that with four-straight points and then took a charge to force a turnover at the other end. Those possessions took the wind out of Serbia’s sails and gave the USA a 16-point, 66-50, lead with 6:38 to play. 

“(Caleb) played great,” said Newman. “Our bench has really been coming in for us. Henry (Ellenson) in the last game, Caleb tonight with the big rebounding and finishing. He really brought a lot of energy off the bench, him and Tyus (Battle) both.”

From there the red, white and blue continued to increase its lead and eventually earned its spot in the gold-medal game.

“(Tyus Battle and Caleb Swanigan) dominated the game in spurts,” said Ivan Rabb (Bishop O’Dowd H.S./ Oakland, Calif.). “Every player on this team is capable of doing that, it’s just when it’s your time, you have to come out and play. That’s what they did really well today. I was happy for both of them.”

Overall, including a brief 3-2 Serbian lead, the U.S. trailed for 58 seconds of the game.

Nikola Rakicevid, who was a perfect 10-of-10 from the line, scored a game-high 19 points.

The USA outrebounded Serbia 58-39 and outscored Serbia 42-22 in the paint and 37-28 off the bench. The USA finished shooting 38.5 percent (30-78 FGs) from the field, while holding the Serbs to 30.9 percent (21-68 FGs). The teams were fairly evenly matched in other categories. The U.S. edged Serbia 11-10 in points off of turnovers (18 USA turnovers, 16 Serbian turnovers), 6-5 on second chances and 19-15 points on the fast break.

In classification play, Italy (4-2) defeated Angola (2-4) 77-71 and will play for ninth place; Japan (1-5) picked up its first win, a 91-49 victory over host UAE (0-6) and will play for 13th place; Egypt (1-5) also notched its first win after downing the Philippines (0-6) 92-67 and will go up against Japan in the 13th place game; Argentina (4-2) advances to the ninth place game with a 65-54 win over Greece (3-3). Canada (4-2) beat China (2-4) 92-81 and Puerto Rico (5-1) pushed past France (3-3) 70-63 and will meet in the fifth-place game.

Two-time defending U17 gold medalists, the USA now has a perfect 22-0 record at the U17s. The U.S. qualified for this year’s U17s by virtue of its gold-medal finish at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship. 

Players eligible for this competition must be citizens of the country they represent and have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1997.

Joining Showalter on the sideline as USA assistant coaches are Eric Flannery (St. Edward High School, Ohio) and L.J. Goolsby (KC Run GMC, Kan.).

2010 was the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship for Men. The USA captured gold with a perfect 8-0 record and Brad Beal was tabbed MVP of the tournament of the biennial event. In 2012 Jahlil Okafor earned MVP honors and was joined on the all-tournament team by Justise Winslow as the U.S. again rolled up a perfect 8-0 slate en route to gold.

 

 

 

USA Basketball

Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball, chaired by Jerry Colangelo, is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men’s and women’s basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA-sponsored international competitions, as well as for some national competitions.

 

During the 2009-12 quadrennium, 1,273 male and female players and 235 coaches participated in USA Basketball, including USA Basketball teams and trials, and USA Basketball 3x3 FIBA championships.

 

USA Basketball men’s and women’s teams between 2009-12 compiled an impressive 262-35 win-loss record in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions, the Pan American Games, the World University Games, the Nike Hoop Summit and in exhibition games.

 

USA teams are the current men’s and women’s champions in the Olympics; men’s and women’s FIBA World Championships (Basketball World Cup); men’s and women’s FIBA U19 and U17 World Championships; men’s and women’s U18 and U16 FIBA Americas Championships; the FIBA 3x3 Women’s World Championship; and the FIBA 3x3 Women’s U18 World Championship. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA’s world-ranking categories, including combined, men’s, women’s, boys and girls.

 

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Box Score

• Additional Quotes

• Photo Gallery

After holding onto a narrow 39-36 edge at halftime, the 2014 USA Men’s U17 World Championship Team (6-0) broke away from previously unbeaten Serbia (5-1) to take an 89-68 victory at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship for Men semifinal game on Friday night at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Americans will play inSaturday’s gold medal game for the third time in as many editions of the U17 World Championship, where it will face Australia (5-1) in a rematch of the 2012 U17 gold medal game.

Australia advanced to play for gold after battling back from a 22-point deficit and going to overtime before defeating Spain (3-3) 80-74 in the other semifinal contest. The Aug. 15 gold medal game will be carried live by ESPN3 (1 p.m. EDT), while ESPNU/Watch ESPN will show a replay of the title contest later that night (10 p.m. EDT).

“We knew coming in it was going to be a tough test,” said USA head coach Don Showalter (Iowa City H.S., Iowa), who now owns an overall 22-0 win-loss record in FIBA U17 World Championship games and piloted the 2010 and 2012 USA U17 teams to gold. “We told our kids that Serbia has had a history of really giving the United States trouble in games. You go back and the mid-2000’s and games like this Serbia has won. I know their coach and team has been preparing to play us for the past couple of years. So, we prepared our kids. Our kids really were prepared mentally, physically for a really knock-out, tough game.”

Malik Newman (Callaway H.S./Jackson, Miss.) scored 15 points to lead the USA’s offensive efforts, Diamond Stone(Dominican H.S./Milwaukee, Wis.) followed with 12 points, and Harry Giles (Wesleyan Christian Academy/Winston-Salem, N.C.) posted a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

The bench again played an integral part in the USA’s victory, especially through the production of Caleb Swanigan(Homestead H.S./Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Tyus Battle (Gill St. Bernard’s School/ Edison, N.J.). Swanigan scored 11 points, hit 7-of-11 from the line after drawing eight fouls, grabbed eight boards and nabbed a pair of steals; while Battle’s seven points came at key moments for the Americans: a jumper to end the first half, a steal and layup to cap the third quarter and a 3-pointer to open the fourth.

 “Caleb is one of those guys who doesn’t get a lot of credit for what he does,” said Showalter. “But, he just comes in and is a workhorse. He did a fantastic job tonight. He had 11 points, eight rebounds, diving on the floor after loose basketballs, taking a charge. He’s a high-energy guy. You have to love guys like that who play. I thought Tyus Battle was Usain Bolt for us tonight. And those guys, if they don’t play they’re not sitting on the bench pouting. They’re great teammates and when they have the chance, they make the most of it.”

After not trailing for even a second through its first five games, the U.S. again scored first and jumped out to a 17-7 lead over the first six minutes of the contest.

Serbian teams are not known for giving up easily, however. 

With the USA still holding a 10-point lead, Serbia scored the first quarter’s final two points to cut into single digits, 24-16, and then hit back-to-back buckets to pull to within four, 24-20, 47 seconds into the second quarter. Serbia continued to chip away at the USA’s lead and knotted the contest at 28-all with 4:02 to play before halftime.

Stone hit the second of two attempts from the line to put his side back in front. Stefan Peno, who shot 4-of-7 from 3-point and score 18 points, answered with a long 3-pointer as the 24-second clock expired, giving his team its first lead of the night, 31-29, at 3:21.

Trailing 31-30, Devearl Ramsey (Sierra Canyon H.S./Los Angeles, Calif.) drove inside to put the USA back on top, 32-31, and the Americans never trailed again. After a strong defensive effort by Swanigan on the other end, Jayson Tatum(Chaminade College Prep/St. Louis, Mo.) hit the USA’s first 3-pointer of the game to extend the gap to 35-31.

Serbia called a time-out and returned to outscore the USA 5-2 and inch to within a point, 37-36, but Battle responded with a jumper off a Ramsey pass for the USA’s 39-36 halftime lead.

While the USA kept Serbia from scoring on seven of its first eight possessions of the second half, Serbia’s defenders stymied the Americans on the other end and at 5:42 the USA managed to extend its lead to six, 46-40.

A 7-0 spurt, which included a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer from Terrence Ferguson (Prime Prep Academy/Flower Mound, Texas), gave the Americans another double-digit cushion, 53-40.

But again Serbia would not back down and Vojislav Stojanovic, who scored 18 on the night, netted back-to-back 3s that kept his side within striking distance 53-46 at 3:49 in the third. Both teams found it hard to score over the ensuing minutes and with the U.S. up 57-48 and with fewer than 20 seconds left on the third-period clock, Battle picked off a pass, sprinted the court for a layup and Serbia never again got within single digits.

Up 59-48, Showalter stressed during the quarter break that the first five possessions would be key for the game’s outcome and while both sides missed on their first two possessions, he was not far off.

Battle nailed his third 3-pointer of the tournament at 8:34, eliciting a huge response from the bench.

After Serbia scored a lay-in, Swanigan followed that with four-straight points and then took a charge to force a turnover at the other end. Those possessions took the wind out of Serbia’s sails and gave the USA a 16-point, 66-50, lead with 6:38 to play. From there the red, white and blue continued to increase its lead and eventually earned its spot in the gold-medal game.

“(Tyus Battle and Caleb Swanigan) dominated the game in spurts,” said Ivan Rabb (Bishop O’Dowd H.S./ Oakland, Calif.). “Every player on this team is capable of doing that, it’s just when it’s your time, you have to come out and play. That’s what they did really well today. I was happy for both of them.”

Overall, including a brief 3-2 Serbian lead, the U.S. trailed for 58 seconds of the game.

Nikola Rakicevid, who was a perfect 10-of-10 from the line, scored a game-high 19 points.

The USA outrebounded Serbia 58-39 and outscored Serbia 42-22 in the paint and 37-28 off the bench. The USA finished shooting 38.5 percent (30-78 FGs) from the field, while holding the Serbs to 30.9 percent (21-68 FGs). The teams were fairly evenly matched in other categories. The U.S. edged Serbia 11-10 in points off of turnovers (18 USA turnovers, 16 Serbian turnovers), 6-5 on second chances and 19-15 points on the fast break.

In classification play, Italy (4-2) defeated Angola (2-4) 77-71 and will play for ninth place; Japan (1-5) picked up its first win, a 91-49 victory over host UAE (0-6) and will play for 13th place; Egypt (1-5) also notched its first win after downing the Philippines (0-6) 92-67 and will go up against Japan in the 13th place game; Argentina (4-2) advances to the ninth place game with a 65-54 win over Greece (3-3). Canada (4-2) beat China (2-4) 92-81 and Puerto Rico (5-1) pushed past France (3-3) 70-63 and will meet in the fifth-place game. 

Two-time defending U17 gold medalists, the USA now has a perfect 22-0 record at the U17s. The U.S. qualified for this year’s U17s by virtue of its gold-medal finish at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship. 

Players eligible for this competition must be citizens of the country they represent and have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1997.

Joining Showalter on the sideline as USA assistant coaches are Eric Flannery (St. Edward High School, Ohio) and L.J. Goolsby (KC Run GMC, Kan.).

2010 was the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship for Men. The USA captured gold with a perfect 8-0 record and Brad Beal was tabbed MVP of the tournament of the biennial event. In 2012 Jahlil Okafor earned MVP honors and was joined on the all-tournament team by Justise Winslow as the U.S. again rolled up a perfect 8-0 slate en route to gold.

 

USA Basketball

Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball, chaired by Jerry Colangelo, is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men’s and women’s basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA-sponsored international competitions, as well as for some national competitions.

During the 2009-12 quadrennium, 1,273 male and female players and 235 coaches participated in USA Basketball, including USA Basketball teams and trials, and USA Basketball 3x3 FIBA championships. 

USA Basketball men’s and women’s teams between 2009-12 compiled an impressive 262-35 win-loss record in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions, the Pan American Games, the World University Games, the Nike Hoop Summit and in exhibition games.

USA teams are the current men’s and women’s champions in the Olympics; men’s and women’s FIBA World Championships (Basketball World Cup); men’s and women’s FIBA U19 and U17 World Championships; men’s and women’s U18 and U16 FIBA Americas Championships; the FIBA 3x3 Women’s World Championship; and the FIBA 3x3 Women’s U18 World Championship. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA’s world-ranking categories, including combined, men’s, women’s, boys and girls.

 

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