USA overcomes slow start, tops Germany

A sluggish first half by Kentucky head coach John Calipari’s USA U19 team kept Friday’s FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup quarterfinal game against Germany close, but the Americans eventually found their footing and advanced to the semifinals in Cairo.

USA led Germany by just two points at halftime and trailed early in the third quarter against Germany, but closed out the third quarter in dominating fashion and eventually cruised to an 81-59 victory. It was the closest game USA (5-0) has played in the World Cup.

“Here’s what happens – you have teams that are going to play with such high intensity and focus, it’s just can they do it for 40 minutes?” Coach Cal asked. “The way we are doing this, when we are playing 10 or 11 kids and they are playing 22 or 18 minutes, you just keep coming at people in waves.

Kentucky guard Hamidou Diallo was big for Team USA during its third-quarter surge against Germany on Friday. (photo credit USA Basketball)

“We don’t have any weak links on this team. We just don’t. What I’m seeing right now is us pressuring them, and at some point, they will back off.”

Kentucky freshmen Hamidou Diallo and PJ Washington had their quietest games of the tournament. Diallo, who played a big role in USA’s third-quarter surge Friday, finished with eight points on 3-of-7 shooting, three rebounds, two assists and one steal. Washington, coming off back-to-back 20-point games, battled foul trouble and had just three points on 1-of-5 shooting, two rebounds and one assist.

Saturday’s game was much closer than USA’s four previous games. Going into Friday’s quarterfinal game with Germany, USA’s average margin of victory was 45.5 points. Germany, which had won three straight games after falling to Lithuania in its preliminary-round opener, trailed by six points after the first quarter and was down by only two at halftime.

Germany (3-2) took a two-point lead early in the third quarter, but an 11-0 run by the Americans put them back up by nine and they didn’t look back from there. USA closed out the third quarter on a 21-4 run and led by 15 going into the final 10-minute quarter, where they stretched the lead out to as many as 23 points.

USA will face Canada (4-1) in the semifinals on Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET. Canada’s lone loss in the World Cup was a five-point setback to Spain in its second game in the group phase. Canada defeated Angola by 22 points in the round of 16 and then France by six points in the quarterfinals.

FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup

The 16 teams in the nine-day event were broken up into four groups of four. USA was in group D with Angola, Iran and Italy. New Zealand was in group A with Argentina, France and South Korea.

The world cup began with the preliminary round (pool play), where each team played the other three teams in their respective group. The preliminary round concluded Tuesday. Following the preliminary round, all 16 teams were seeded according to their group-play results and advanced to the round of 16 on Wednesday. Winners then advanced to the medal quarterfinals on Friday, while the remaining teams continue playing out for classification. The medal semifinals will be held Saturday, and the gold- and bronze-medal games are slated for Sunday.

Team USA, the two-time reigning U19 championship winners, will face Canada in the semifinals on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET. UK sophomore Tai Wynyard and New Zealand will face Puerto Rico in the classification 9-12 bracket on Saturday at 10 a.m. ET.

All games in the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup are being livestreamed via FIBA’s livestream channel, which can be accessed here. FIBA also has a U19 Basketball World Cup playlist that features a livestream of every game.

USA FIBA U19 World Cup Schedule/Results

Date Opponent Time (ET)/Result
Saturday, July 1 Iran W, 108-48
Sunday, July 2 Angola W, 109-68
Tuesday, July 4 Italy W, 98-65
Wednesday, July 5 Mali W, 117-69
Friday, July 7 Germany W, 81-59
Saturday, July 8 Canada 2:30 p.m. ET

 

New Zealand FIBA U19 World Cup Schedule/Results

Date Opponent Time (ET)/Result
Saturday, July 1 South Korea W, 88-81
Sunday, July 2 France L, 80-69
Tuesday, July 4 Argentina L, 74-70
Wednesday, July 5 Germany L, 72-65
Friday, July 7 Mali W, 87-63
Saturday, July 8 Puerto Rico 10:00 a.m. ET

 

Hamidou Diallo game-by-game numbers

Opponent FGs 3-FGs FTs REB ASST PF TO STL BLK PTS
Iran 7-9 2-3 1-2 4 2 2 0 1 1 17
Angola 6-11 0-2 3-5 3 2 0 0 3 1 15
Italy 2-9 0-1 1-2 4 3 2 0 0 0 5
Mali 6-10 0-2 2-2 6 3 2 2 1 0 14
Germany 3-7 0-1 2-5 3 2 3 2 1 0 8
TOTAL 24-46 2-9 9-16 20 10 9 4 6 2 59
AVERAGE .522 .222 .563 4.0 2.5 1.8 0.8 1.2 0.4 11.8

 

PJ Washington game-by-game numbers

Opponent FG 3FG FTs REB ASST PF TO STL BLK PTS
Iran 6-9 0-0 1-2 4 2 3 3 1 0 13
Angola 4-10 0-2 3-8 7 4 2 4 2 0 11
Italy 8-9 1-2 3-4 4 1 2 2 2 0 20
Mali 9-12 0-0 2-7 8 3 4 5 0 1 20
Germany 1-5 0-0 1-1 2 1 3 2 0 0 3
TOTAL 28-45 1-4 10-22 25 11 14 16 5 1 67
AVERAGE .622 .250 .455 5.0 2.2 2.8 3.2 1.0 0.2 13.4

 

Tai Wynyard game-by-game numbers

Opponent FG 3FG FTs REB ASST PF TO STL BLK PTS
Korea 10-11 0-0 2-2 6 1 3 4 1 2 22
France 5-8 0-0 2-6 5 3 0 3 0 2 12
Argentina 1-8 0-0 1-2 9 1 2 3 1 3 3
Germany 5-10 0-0 4-5 9 0 4 4 2 1 14
Mali 8-11 0-0 1-2 13 3 3 2 0 1 17
TOTAL 29-48 0-0 10-17 42 8 12 16 4 9 68
AVERAGE .604 .000 .588 8.4 1.6 2.4 3.2 0.8 1.8 13.6