Team USA began their quest for the U18 FIBA Americas tournament championship today in Chile, easily taking down Puerto Rico 103-70. UK’s five recruits in the Class of 2017 weren’t world-beaters in their debut, but they excelled in their respective specialities.
Trae Young: The point guard that’s known for his shooting range only took four shots, missing his two three-point attempts. Despite only scoring 3 points, he grabbed 5 rebounds and dished out a team-high 4 assists in 22 minutes. While he was on the floor, his team was +24 on the scoreboard, better than any other player.
P.J. Washington: The power forward played more minutes than anyone on Team USA, grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds in the process. Like Young, he struggled to score, but even on bad days he’s going to effectively clean the glass.
Hamidou Diallo: Diallo made the smallest dent in the box score, scoring 4 points with 3 assists.
Quade Green: UK’s other top point guard prospect scored 8 points and handed out 3 assists. It will be interesting to see how Green’s game for Team USA works out. Playing behind Trae Young, he was only in for 13 minutes. Even though the two said playing together at the next level is a possibility, that might change if they do not play significant minutes together in this tournament.
Mohamed Bamba: Nobody made more of their minutes than Mo Bamba. He only played 13 minutes, but in that short amount of time he scored 14 points. Bamba also had 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block. It’s going to be awfully difficult to defend Bamba throughout the tournament. All he has to do is stay in shape and stay out of foul trouble.