Is there any team in the world that can really compete with the United States?
Filled with athleticism, length, quickness and future college stars, Team USA defeated Turkey, 96-56, in the FIBA U17 World Championships gold medal game on Sunday afternoon.
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) July 3, 2016
2017 guard Collin Sexton scored 16 points and dished out eight assists on Sunday to led Team USA. He also won MVP of the World Championships, capping an impressive tournament run in which he averaged 17 points, four rebounds and 4.2 assists.
Gary Trent Jr. (17 points) was a monster on the fast break, while Wendell Carter Jr. (11 points and eight rebounds) made his money around the basket and on the glass.
But it wasn’t any individual performance that boosted the United States in this particular game or in the entire tournament in general. Sure, Sexton boosted his stock with his savvy offensive skills and Trent showed off his strength and ability to finish around the rim, but it was the depth and team work that helped the club cruise through the tournament without any major tests.
In fact, USA won seven games by an average of 45 points, with their “slimiest” margin of victory coming against Turkey in the group stage (18 points). USA gave up 81 points to Korea in the Quarterfinals, but still won by 52 behind 24 points from Sexton. They beat Argentina by 53 and demolished Chinese Taipei in their opening game of the tournament, winning by 74 (!).
With 12 players that will begin their college careers at the Division I over the next three years, USA is five steps ahead of other countries around the world.
And when they are moving the ball, working as a team and developing chemistry, there’s no one in the country who can match their firepower.
Against Turkey, Team USA dished out 20 assists. Troy Brown Jr. rocketed a one handed pass in the first quarter that Carter finished with authority, Sexton had numerous flashy pass on the break, and Carter delivered a baseball pass that traveled length of the floor and ended in a layup at the rim.
Despite all the success, USA actually showed nerves in the opening minutes. Turkey took an early 8-2 lead thanks to two quick Kevin Knox turnovers and a sloppy play by the rest of the USA squad.
But the best team in the world responded with a quick 11-0 run, sparked by Trent and Sexton.
From there, it was all United States. Sexton dominated the first half – he scored 12 points on 6-of-6 from the field – and Carter seemed to clean up every miss or mistake his teammates made.
The transition attack was fluent and the United States buckled up defensively, limiting Turkey to just 10 points after the first quarter and 20 at the half.
The game was over by halftime, but Team USA continued to dig in deep on both ends of the floor, limiting Turkey to contested shots and using Knox’s versatility to their advantage.
This team is near unstoppable-able and don’t expect that to end any time soon, even as they bring in a new crop of players next year.