USA U17s Warm Up with Scrimmage Win Over Puerto Rico
The 2018 USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Cup Team got its first taste of international competition on June 25 with a scrimmage victory over Puerto Rico just one day after arriving in Argentina ahead of the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup.
The USA was impressive throughout – unofficially earning a 106-46 win, but the experience was what USA U17 head coach Don Showalter (USA Basketball) was focused on.
“I like a lot of things we did tonight,” Showalter said. “For a scrimmage situation, I thought our kids took it very game-like. Our defense got better as the game went on.
“There are always things you can work on and improve. Our kids always get better as they play with each other more as the tournament goes on. So, this scrimmage and our two exhibition games are going to be really big for us.”
Before the 2018 USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Cup Team takes the court for its first game in the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup against China on June 30, the team already will have gotten in three games in Santa Fe, Argentina.
In addition to the scrimmage victory against Puerto Rico, the USA will continue preparations in a four-team exhibition tournament with a game against France on June 26, followed by either Serbia or Argentina on June 27 depending on who wins and loses.
“For us, our kids are ready to play somebody else,” Showalter said. “So, we are coming in to work on some things. We want to find out our best combinations for defense, for offense, for whatever.”
The USA began training camp back on June 15, which was the start of the team’s roster selection and included 30 hopefuls. Even including that, the USA has had just 14 practices over eight days in the United States.
“First of all, everybody knows what everybody is doing when we scrimmage each other. We like to play somebody who doesn’t have the level of knowledge our kids have about each other. We just want to make sure we can run through things the way we want to run through them in a game situation. That is why the scrimmage tonight was so important.”