USA U-19s dominate Russia in 115-47 rout

basketball-newPutting on a display of defensive tenacity that those in attendance will not likely forget, the USA U19 squad never stopped coming in waves at the Russians (1-2) Saturday night as the U.S. quickly forced Russia into submission and posted a dominating 115-47 victory to cap FIBA U19 World Championship first-round play in Prague, Czech Republic.

The win improved the U.S. record to 3-0 and earned it Group D’s No. 1 seed for the second round. Following a day offSunday, the U.S. will return to the court to face Brazil (12 p.m. EDT) in the first of three second-round games.  On July 2 the Americans will go against Australia (2:15 p.m.EDT), then onJuly 3 they will face 2011 U19 World Championship silver medalist and Group C No. 1 seed Serbia (2:15 p.m. EDT).

All 12 USA players scored and seven reached double digits in what was another show of depth by the U.S.

“They obviously had a hard time with the press, and I thought our athleticism inside, the pace of the game and us turning them over really caused them some problems. I thought we did a pretty good job of defending the 3-point line,” stated USA and University of Florida head coach Billy Donovan.

In the USA’s first three games of the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship, the squad has averaged its wins by 61.0 points a game, while limiting its opponents to just 44.3 points game, 30.9 percent shooting from the field and the red, white and blue is pressuring its opposition into 26.7 turnovers a game.

Rising high school senior Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young H.S./Chicago, Ill.) headed the USA offensive charge with 15 points and added seven rebounds, Montrezl Harrell (University of Louisville/Tarboro, N.C.) chipped in 13 points on flawless 6-for-6 shooting from the floor; Michael Frazier (University of Florida/Tampa, Fla.) and Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty H.S./San Jose, Calif.) scored 12 points each, while Mike Tobey (University of Virginia/Monroe, N.Y.) was credited with 12 points and game high nine rebounds. Rounding out the USA’s double-figre scorers wereRasheed Sulaimon (Duke University/Houston, Texas), 11 points, and Justise Winslow (St. Johns H.S./Houston, Texas) scored 10 points and cleared eight rebounds.

“Coach told us before the game to impose our will and be extremely physical,” said the 17-year-old Okafor. “They told me this team was extremely physical so I wanted to match that and over match that, and I just tried to get offensive rebounds and get easy baskets that way.”

The USA’s high intensity press paid dividends right from the start as the U.S. forced two turnovers and took a 6-0 lead before the game was a minute old.

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