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.
USA Basketball now 30-0 in U17 World Championship play since 2010. Coach Showalter (@dshow23) 45-0 overall. 8 FIBA championships in 8 years.
— 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.
Video Surfaces Showing Agent Christian Dawkins Promoting Connections to Top Coaches
Another layer has unraveled in the college basketball corruption trial on Wednesday when a video recording of a conversation about paying college coaches and athletes was played on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Paula Lavigne.
In the video dated June 6th 2017, aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins brags about his connections to top NCAA basketball coaches, including Arizona head coach Seam Miller.
When referring to incoming (at the time) Arizona player Deandre Ayton (who currently plays for the Phoenix Suns) Dawkins says Miller told him, “I’m taking care of everything myself. I wanna bring you in. I’ll turn everything over to you.”
Dawkins is currently on trial for allegedly bribing college coaches.
Marty Blazer, a former financial advisor who was being questioned by prosecutors and who was present for the conversation, said the reference was about Miller “taking care” of payments for Ayton.
“Sean Miller has to know everything that’s going on. I can call Sean and have a conversation … like this is what is needing to be done,” Dawkins said on the video. He said that Miller is, “talking on the phone about stuff he shouldn’t be talking on the phone about.”
Unites States District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos ruled back on Friday that defense attorneys could not subpoena Miller and LSU’s Will Wade to testify during the federal bribery trial.
Rick Barnes Says He Would Have Left Tennessee if UCLA Paid Buyout
Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes could have been the next head coach for UCLA, instead of Mick Cronin, if only the Bruins were willing to open up their wallets.
Barnes says that if UCLA would have promised to pay Barnes’ $5 million buyout, he would have left Tennessee to take the job at UCLA.
“I think I would’ve been the coach at UCLA,” Barnes said (h/t ESPN). “I’ve said that to people before. I really felt at that time that’s what would happen.”
Barnes was honest and open with his decision process during the news conference, saying that he struggled with making a final decision due to financial matters.
Barnes has since agreed to a new deal with Tennessee that will pay him $4 million per year before increasing to a $6 million annual sum by the end of the contract and provide more cash for his assistants.
“I’m supposed to be at Tennessee,” Barnes said. “And it’s really above and beyond the basketball program. I’m in love with this community. I’m in love with this state. I just think we got a lot of great things going on in this town.”
“A lot of praying went into it, I can tell you that,” Barnes said. “There was a lot going on. When you get down to a situation like that, it has to make sense from a financial standpoint. Bottom line is we couldn’t work it out with the buyout.”
Barnes also informed UCLA that he would not depart Knoxville without talking to athletic director Phillip Fulmer and others in the community.
I told them point blank, ‘I’m not going to walk out of here and not meet with my team,'” Barnes said. “‘I’m not going to walk out of here and not meet with people here that have been really good to me.’ … I said, ‘You just can’t say send a plane tomorrow and we’re leaving. I’m going to make sure this is done the right way.'”
“There was one time in my mind I truly felt that’s what would happen,” Barnes said about potentially taking the UCLA offer. “It got to that point where I felt like my prayers had been answered.”
The Madness is Underway
As we inch closer to selection Sunday, many conference tournaments are underway finding teams who will automatically make the NCAA Men’s basketball. Here are the teams that currently in the tournament:
Atlantic Sun: Liberty
Big South: Gardner–Webb
Horizon: Northern Kentucky
Missouri Valley: Bradley
MEC: Fairleigh Dickinson
Ohio Valley: Murray State
Summit League: North Dakota State
Summit League: Saint Marry’s
Out of the 32 conferences with automatic bids in the tournament, 12 of them have been clinched. All the until selection Sunday the remaining 20 conferences will have their tickets punched. Who will that be? Stay tuned!
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