USA U16 Men Overwhelm Chile for Record-Setting 138-59 Win
Fueled again by a balanced scoring attack that was paced by Ian Jackson’s (Cardinal Hayes H.S./Bronx, N.Y.)USAU16 record-setting 30 points (14-20 FGs, 1-3 3pt FGs, 1-2 FTs), the USA U16 Men’s National Teamsteamrolled its way to a 138-59 victory over Chile (0-3)in FIBA Americas U16 Championship action onWednesday afternoon in Xalapa, Mexico.
The USA, which has not lost a U16 game since the start of the competition in 2009, improved its all-time record in U16 games to a spotless 34-0.
Multiple USA U16 single-game records fell in the victory. For the second-straight game, the USA established a U.S. U16 record for most points scored, and recorded new highs for most field goals made with 60 (breaking the previous mark of 56 set versus Mexico in 2013), most assists with 48 (breaking the previous record of 35 set against Costa Rica in 2011), while tying the USA record for most steals with 26 (tying the record set against Argentina in 2017).
Jackson’s 30 points surpassed Jabari Parker’s 27-point mark set versus Brazil in 2011, and his 14 made field goals betteredthe previous record of 11 that was achieved on three occasions. (Combine Academy/Hickory, N.C.) handed out a USA record 12 assists, breaking Richard Issacs’ record of 11 assists set against the Dominican Republic in 2019.
“I felt good on the court and I felt like my teammates gave me a lot of confidence to do what I had to do and they encouraged me to have a good game,” said Jackson, a 6-foot-6 guard. “This is big to me. I’m glad I was able to break the record at this level, on this stage, representing my country. So it’s big to me but I’m more glad we got the win.
“I feel like we believe in each other. We believe in each other that we can make shots and that we can all make the right play, and I guess that comes from our team chemistry and how we have bonded.”
“Ian (Jackson) has come in and done everything we’ve asked him to do,” said (Pace Academy, Ga.), USA U16 National Team head coach. “He’s been very efficient in his time on the floor and his breaking the scoring record doesn’t surprise me because of his efficiency on the floor. (Robert) Dillingham has done a great job of not just scoring the basketball but distributing the basketball. He showed a different side of his game today as he’s probably more so known for scoring, and he was able to find guys, and he did a great job. It doesn’t surprise me that those guys were able to do what they did today, but the most rewarding part is to see their teammates cheering them on and trying to assist in every kind of way for them to achieve those feats.”
Entering the contest, there wasn’t much of a question if the USA would come out on top versus Chile, the question was how well would the USA take care of its business.
“It’s amazing to be able give these guys some things to take into each game and see how they respond to it and take it and go out and apply it,”said White.“We told them, let’s try to be extremely focused and take care of this in a professional manner and go out and take care of our business. They responded so well, and we’re so proud of how they did that. They didn’t let the lesser competition and opponent dictate how they played. That’s a signature mark of a really good team.”
The U.S. team entered its final preliminary round game averaging 125.5 points a game, and had defeated its first two opponents by 51 points and 59 points. Chile on the other hand, was averaging 45.5 points a game and had suffered two losses by an average of 48.9 points a game.
Relying on a focused, workmanlike effort, the USA went to work from the opening tip. The Americans never trailed and scored the game’s first basket just seven seconds into the contest on a Jalen Lewis (Overtime Elite/Oakland, Calif.),layup off a pass by(Mount St. Joseph H.S./Bowie, Md.).
Just over halfway through the opening quarter, six USA players had already put points in the book and the U.S. led 18-4.
By the end of the first 10 minutes the U.S. was in full control and its lead had ballooned to 35-9.
The onslaught continued in quarter two, as the USA outscored Chile 32-17 to grab a 67-26 lead at intermission.
At the half, the U.S. was shooting 60.0% from the field (30-50 FGs), had recorded 21 assists on its 30 made field goals,outrebounded Chile 22-14,forced Chile into 19 turnovers, andrecorded 14 steals. The only thing the red, white and blue hadn’t done was block a shot.
Despite the score, the U.S. focus remained sharp in the second half and the USA opened the third period with a 9-0 run to expand its advantage to 76-26.
Outscoring Chile 35-17 in the third stanza, the U.S. hit the 100 point mark on a Jeremy Fears Jr. (La Lumiere School/Chicago, Ill.) basket with 56 seconds remaining in thequarter. The USA also won the final quarter 36-16 to sail in for the victory.
All 12 USA players scored. Dillingham added 17 points, (Oak Hill Academy, Va./Plano, Texas) each registered 15 points, Lewis finished with 13 points, Jaylen Curry (Julius L. Chambers H.S./Charlotte, N.C.) contributed 12 points and six assists,and Kylan Boswell (Arizona Compass H.S./Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) was credited with 10 points and five assists.(Duncanville H.S./Dallas, Texas) and
The USA finished shooting a blistering 62.5%(60-96 FGs) from the field, while owning a 49-34 advantage on the glass. Forcing Chile into 36 turnovers, the U.S. scored 50 points off turnovers, and the USA defense allowed Chile to shoot just 34.8% (24-69 FGs) from the field.
“They continue to strive to get better,” said White. “We challenge them every game, ‘can we be better,’ and they have taken it to a different level and sharing the basketball is something they all have gotten accustomed to doing. It’s a signature mark of USA Basketball, how you play for the team. You’re playing for each other, you’re not playing for yourself. They have embodied that to the maximum and I’m proud of the way they’ve done that.”
Following a day off Thursday, the USA now advances to the quarterfinals on Aug. 27. As the Group B No. 1 seed. The USA will meet Group A’s No. 4 seed,which will be determinedafter completionof today’s final preliminary round games. The quarterfinal winners play in the semifinals on Aug. 28. On Aug. 29, the semifinal winners meet in the gold medal game, while the semifinal losers play in the bronze medal game. All games are being streamed live on the FIBA YouTube channel.
The top four finishing teams at the 2021 FIBA Americas U16 Championship will qualify for the 2022 FIBA Men’s U17 World Cup.
Assisting White with the 2021 USA U16 National Team are assistant coaches(St. Edward H.S., Ohio) and (Gonzaga College H.S., D.C.).
A biennial event launched in 2009 and open to athletes 16 years old or younger, the FIBA Americas U16 Championship features eight national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. The USA Basketball men have won the gold medal in all six editions of the tournament since its debut in 2009.