My apologies for the dearth of posts on this event from this week. I am on vacation in Dauphin Island, Alabama with very spotty internet. That has not stopped our guys from having a real successful tournament at the FIBA U19 World Cup in Latvia. Jaden Ivey and Caleb Furst have been undefeated with Team USA, leading them to the quarterfinals. Zach Edey is also undefeated with Team Canada, also leading them to the quarterfinals. If each team wins their next game they will face off on Saturday in the semifinals.
United States 83, Turkey 54
United State 100, Mali 52
United States 87, Australia 66
United States 132, South Korea 60
The U.S. has not really been challenged so far, especially today in their first knockout stage game against South Korea where they won by an astonishing 72 points. Ivey was the leading scorer in the win over Turkey with 21 points. So far he has also been Team USA’s leading scorer at 14 points per game in just 16.8 minutes per game. He is 11th in the entire tournament in scoring. He had 14 against Mali, 20 against Australia, and 11 today in the blowout over South Korea. For more excitement, he is shooting 50% from the field and averaging 2 assists and almost 2 steals per games.
It seems like Ivey has been Team USA’s best player so far. the only downside is shooting just 30% from three (6 of 20). He is stuffing the stat sheet in every game and even had 7 rebounds against Australia.
As for Furst, he has also done well. He is averaging 9.5 points and 5 rebounds per game in 13.8 minutes per game. He had 14 points each against Mali and South Korea, but only 3 against Australia. He is shooting an incredible 75% from the field (15 of 20) and has at least stepped out to shoot one three.
If anything, Ivey and Furst playing together is a good thing. It remains to be seen how much Furst will be on the floor this year with Trevion and Edey at his primary spot, but it is still fun to watch.
Canada 80, Lithuania 71
Canada 100, Japan 75
Canada 85, Senegal 56
Canada 86, Puerto Rico 56
While Ivey and Furst have been, Edey basically qualifies as an International Incident and might have to be regulated by the World Court at The Hague if he causes any more damage. He is averaging 13.5 points per game and he is by far the leader in rebounds at 14 per game. Only one other player, a guy from Senegal, is even over 10 at 10.3.
Edey is a human double-double in this tournament. He has had a 12-16, a 14-15, and an 18-17 in the group stage. In today’s knockout round he had a more pedestrian 10 and 8, but his team won by 30, so that is no big deal. As expected, there are few teams that can match his size, and a potential USA-Canada matchup in the semifinals would be fascinating as it would be Furst against Edey directly.
Thursday is an off day, then a sprint to the finish with everyone playing three games in three days. Even with a loss Canada and the U.S. will play three games as there are classification and consolation rounds to play. The U.S. gets a surprise in Senegal, who was 1-2 in the group stage with only a win over Japan, but they upset host Latvia in the round of 16. Canada gets Spain, who rolled South Korea, had a one point overtime win over France, and a one point loss to Argentina in the group stage. They beat Australia 86-73 in the round of 16.
The remaining tournament games are available on YouTube to watch and are as follows (all times ET):
Canada vs. Spain - 5am
Lithuania vs. France - 8am
Senegal vs. United States - 11am
Serbia vs. Argentina - 2pm
The schedule for Saturday’s semifinals have not been announced, and should the U.S. or Canada lose tomorrow they will play in the 5th through 8th place semifinals. Again, if both win, we will have Boiler-on-Boiler crime sometime on Saturday.