USA secures prelim victory over Ecuador in FIBA U18 Americas Championship
2022 FIBA U18 Americas Championship | June 6-12 | Tijuana, Mexico
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- 2022 USA Basketball MU18 National Team Fact Sheet
- 2022 FIBA U18 Americas Championship Schedule
- For the full game box score, click here
Behind Jared McCain’s 22 points and Gregory “GG” Jackson’s 20-point and 12-rebound double-double, the 2022 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team secured a 123-41 victory over Ecuador at Auditorio Zonkeys in Tijuana, Mexico, Tuesday afternoon.
“We’ve talked from the beginning about not being our own worst enemy and playing to the gold standard USA Basketball has for itself, and I think our guys have done a great job at that,” head coach Tad Boyle said. “Our guys are really sharing the ball on offense and playing with pretty good energy on defense.”
The USA let defense lead to offense, as the team forced 30 turnovers and totaled 14 blocks in the prelim win. The USA produced 45 points off the turnovers, while the 14 blocks tied a single-game USA U18 record, which was set against the Bahamas in 2008.
“We have great athleticism and length on this team and guys that can block shots,” Boyle said. “We are a good shot-blocking team, I just want to make sure we are not relying on that too much. What I want defensively is to play with great energy, create offense with our defense, but also play with great discipline.”
The USA also received another great outing from Kel’el Ware. Ware scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds, again anchoring the middle of the floor and running in transition with skill.
“Our bigs, Brandon [Garrison], GG, Kel’el, can all get up and down the floor really well,” Boyle said. “The best way to beat a defense is not to let it get set up. They do a great job at that.”
Mark Armstrong also found his grove against Ecuador, scoring 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting while also adding three assists in the mix.
In total, the USA had four double-digit scorers, and nine players scored at least five or more points.
Both Anthony Black and Kanaan Carlyle tallied three blocks, and both were two blocks away from tying the individual single-game blocks record set by James Banks in 2016.
Next up for the USA is a matchup against Puerto Rico. The two have met five times in the history of the U18 competition, and the USA holds a perfect 5-0 record. The last time these two teams played was in 2018 when the USA won 115-71.