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August 8, 2009

USA struggles in Nike World Games

HILLSBORO, Ore.- It was a humbling day for the USA at the Nike Global Challenge with two of the three teams falling in defeat. The USA East squad, however, put together a strong team effort in a 135-91 win over the All-Asia Camp Team behind the leadership of Josh Selby.

Selby scored 14 points on 50 percent shooting, but more importantly he dished out 10 assists to only two turnovers. His unselfish and efficient play set the tone for the USA.

Will Barton was the lead scorer with 25 points on 12-16 shooting. He also had six assists without a turnover.

Kyrie Irving added 21 points on 8-13 shooting and came away with nine steals o defense.

DaJuan Coleman and Tobias Harris dropped in 18 and 17 points respectively.

Senegal 66, USA Midwest 65

In a shocking upset, the USA squad failed to secure a defensive rebound up two points, and Senegal capitalized by nailing a fade away three-pointer at the buzzer.

The game was ugly from start to finish with the USA team committing 25 turnovers, and Senegal turning it over 31 times. Senegal shot 30 percent from the field with the USA shooting only 28.2 percent.

The one bright spot for the USA squad was the play of Harrison Barnes. He scored 20 points on 7-18 shooting, 2-6 from three and also led his team in rebounding with seven boards.

Tony Mitchell was the only other double digit scoring with 10 points.

The standout for Senegal was Montverde (Fla.) Academy small forward Papa Samba Ndao who scored 17 points on 6-19 shooting, 3-12 from three and grabbed 8 rebounds.

In perhaps the most telling stat of the game, the USA team was outrebounded 65-40, giving Senegal as many rebounds as points scored by the USA.

Brazil 92, USA West/South 62

As if the loss to Senegal wasn't bad enough, the USA suffered a humiliating 30 point loss to Brazil. The Brazilians hit 50 percent of their shots and hit an impressive 12-23 from behind the arc. The USA managed only 28.4 percent from the field. The Brazil also out rebounded the USA 49-35.

There are not many positive things to write about a USA squad that got down 0-12 to start the game and showed little fight or competitiveness throughout the game. C.J. Leslie did play with a spark during stretches and scored 14 points but that was on 5-16 shooting from the field and 4-12 shooting from the line.

J.T. Terrell had a team high 20 points, but the majority of those came during the fourth quarter against a passive 2-3 zone. Terrell hit 6-15 shots and 5-12 from behind the arc.

Jelan Kendrick was the leading rebounder for the USA with seven boards.

A couple of youngsters on the Brazilian team impressed. 6-foot-10 center Lucas Riva Amarante Nogueira blocked five shots and had a team high seven rebounds. And point guard Raul Togni Neto diced up the USA defense for 14 points. He also came away with five steals.

Canada 97, Serbia 66

Texas commitment Tristan Thompson led Canada with 17 points on 6-17 shooting, 5-11 from the line and in rebounds with nine.

Fellow Texas commitment Myck Kabongo was outstanding at the point guard position, dishing out eight assists to only two turnovers and playing his typical harassing defense.

Also standing out for Canada was incoming Gonzaga commitment Mangisto Arop who slashed his way to 16 points on 6-10 shooting, 1-2 from three.

Recruiting news

After having a tremendous month of July, Tony Mitchell named Arizona State, Georgetown and Kansas State as the three schools recruiting him the hardest. He plans to officially visit all three. More visits might be in order as he plans to wait until the spring to sign.

Brewster Academy's Melvin Ejim of the Canadian squad has a top three of Iowa State, Butler and George Washington. Having already visited Iowa State, Ejim would like to visit the other two schools before he makes a decision this fall. He is also being pursued by Boston College, Xavier, Providence, Vermont and Ivy League schools.

More information on the event can be found at www.nikeglobalchallenge.com.


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