USA juniors defeat world team 84-73
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Duke-bound Justise Winslow scored 16 points and the U.S. junior national team pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat the world select team 84-73 Saturday in the annual Nike Hoop Summit.
Kelly Oubre scored 14 points, Jahlil Okafor had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Tyus Jones had 13 points as USA had four players score in double figures.
It was a big day for future Duke players: Okafor, Jones and Winslow signed with the Blue Devils in November. Oubre is headed for Kansas.
The game’s leading scorer was Emmanuel Mudiay with 20 points for World Selects. Mudiay, a 6-foot-5 guard from Democratic Republic of Congo, is headed to Southern Methodist.
World’s only other player in double figures was Canadian guard Jamal Murray with 10 points.
The win ended a two-game losing streak for the Unite States, which leads the overall Hoop Summit series 12-5. USA coach Mike Jones said there was plenty of soul searching following last year’s 112-98 loss. Additional training and planning went into Saturday’s game plan in an attempt to turn things around.
”Our weakness last year is that they had thrown four or five defenses at us throughout the course of the game, and we weren’t ready for that,” Jones said. ”This year, we tried to prepare for a little bit of everything. . the kids did a great job with it.”
Though the Duke-bound trio stood out, Tyus Jones said they weren’t trying to make a statement with statistics.
”We weren’t looking at it as individual stats at all. Anything we can do, whether it got recorded on a stat sheet or not, we wanted to do,” Jones said.
The Nike Hoop Summit, first played in 1995, has been an annual game since 2004 between the USA’s junior national team and a select group of elite junior international players. Portland has been the Hoop Summit home since 2008.
This year’s World team was made up of players from nine countries, including two players from Canada and Dominican Republic.
Of the 22 players in the game, 14 have signed with a Division I school, most for prominent programs.
World controlled the game’s early stages, taking a 24-15 lead two minutes into the second quarter. USA soon rebounded and took the lead as Oubre and Winslow combined to score eight points during a 16-3 run. Winslow’s 30-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer gave USA a 44-38 halftime lead.
World grabbed a 62-61 lead early in the fourth quarter when USA made its decisive run. The 6-foot-10 Okafor had a three-point play and Reid Travis scored two baskets as USA ran off nine consecutive points to take a 70-62 lead.
Tyus Jones was dominant down the stretch, scoring 10 of his 13 points during the final five minutes.
”It was incredible how he literally took the game over. He made us run what we needed to run,” Mike Jones said.
World coach Roy Rana thought his team played well, but USA was too much in spurts to overcome.
”We were competitive, but in the end, they had the better possessions down the stretch than we did,” Rana said.