FIBA’s first attempt at popularizing amateur basketball in the United Arab Emirates has introduced this side of the world to a tenured truth: the USA excels at basketball. The Under 17 division is no exception to this, as team USA walks away with its third title in as many titles after a narrow 99-92 victory over Australia.
Despite a tightly contested final, team USA has made little work of their opponents this tournament. To open the round of 16, Japan managed to score just 38 points against the U.S.’s 122.With final scores typically sporting canyon-wide margins, it might be difficult to see much intrigue in this tournament. With that being said, college hoops fans did get a potential look into some bright futures.
Team USA’s roster featured some of the top ACC targets in the country, showcasing their talents despite the coaching staff’s dominance-by-distribution approach.
North Carolina target Malik Newman is treating an international audience to an efficient display. Shooting at a blistering pace of 50 percent from the field (including 40 percent from deep), Newman is showing a glimpse into why he’s so heavily touted among the nation’s guards. In their final win of the tournament, Newman led team USA with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Power forward Ivan Rabb, the top ranked recruit among the class of 2015, has seen his minutes limited to nine per contest. From such limited floor time, one gets little more to evaluate on outside a 4 ppg, 3.4 rpg line.
Nevertheless, Rabb has used his time in action to showcase the springy athleticism that has scouts raving. Boasting an exemplary second jump, Rabb has altered enough shots in this tournament to discourage otherwise heady drives.
The nation’s top prospect is fielding offers from North Carolina, Louisville, and Duke among others.
The lion’s share of time at center has been taken by the top ranked center in the country, Diamond Stone. The 6’10”, 250-pound big man has dominated the paint, putting together 22 points and snagging 10 rebounds in an opening contest against Greece. Against Japan, Stone headlined a stingy defense, swatting away six shots. Ranked fourth among ESPNU’s top 100, Stone is considering Duke and UNC among other offers.
Fifth-ranked recruit Henry Ellenson, like Rabb, has seen very limited time on the floor. Despite that, the 6’9″, 225-pound big man leveraged 15 minutes into a 21-point, 10-rebound line against China.
Though in possession of a solid stroke from outside, Ellenson has lived on high percentage looks in the painted area to help dismantle opponent after opponent. Ellenson is fielding offers from Boston College, UNC, and Duke among others.
As with most international basketball competitions, the USA was shown to be as dominating as ever. The exception with the amateur ranks is that fans get a glimpse at guys they’ll very likely see in suits, dawning a NBA cap one fateful June evening.