Jaden Ivey and Caleb Furst’s U19 USA Team is about to smash headfirst into Zach Edey’s Canadian National Team after another full day of FIBA basketball in Latvia.
For Purdue fans, it will be a tantalizing, and strange, look at three of their Boilermakers on an international scene wearing something other than gold and black, and in this instance, facing off against one another.
It’s arguable that Jaden Ivey and Zach Edey have been the two best players in the tournament. Ivey’s USA squad has had a pretty easy go of it, but the sophomore to be has been Team USA’s best scorer, flashing an improved jump shot, and a penchant for highlight drives to the hoop. He’s looked unstoppable with the ball in his hand and too big and quick for opposing guards to breathe comfortably with a dribble or get the ball off a screen.
But there’s not been a better performance in the tournament than Edey’s absolute dominance against Spain in a 81-77 battle where Spain looked like the better team any time Edey didn’t have the ball in his hands.
Edey’s state line reads like Coach Brantley fan fiction: 24 points, 15 rebounds, and 4 blocks.
Edey did all this in just 25 minutes. He got to the line 15 times. Spain had no answer for him. He was relentless, attacking in the post, and off the offensive glass. He was 7 of 10 from the field. The rest of team Canada shot 20 for 60. In a tournament with the best under 19 players in the world, Edey has continued to look like a problem that there are no answers for. He has had a double-double in every game with at least 15 rebounds in every game but one.
As for Team USA, Jaden Ivey is just one of a bevy of guards that have hounded opposing back courts, and been too quick and too big to slow on the offensive end. There’s been no close games to really test Coach Dixon’s squad just as today’s game was never in doubt, with Senegal falling 88-58.
But he’s been the lead scorer for Team USA while working his way into the starting lineup. He’s flashed major athleticism and an improved jump shot from range. He’s hit multiple threes in three of his five games.
As for Caleb Furst, he is a big man caught in a guards tournament. Team USA is too talented to offer up post up looks so Furst has played hard, been in the right spots, and received dump offs for easy dunks. He’s excelled at this task though he struggled to finish against Senegal’s length, going 1 of 6. He was 15 of 20 from the floor going into the game.
Now all three Boilermakers will be on the court, something we’re likely to see in West Lafayette this coming season. But this time, one of them will be standing on the other side.
Will Edey be too much for even Team USA’s bigs? Will Ivey try and block the big man’s shot at the rim? Will Ivey finally be challenged?
Can the future of Purdue basketball really be this bright?
There will be a lot of questions going into the game tomorrow, and hopefully we’ll get a few answers. This is gonna be a fun one.
You can watch the game on espn+. The time for the game has not been announced yet. We’ll update when we get a time.