USA wallops Spain to win bronze medal

Coming off a disappointing loss Saturday in the semifinals to Canada, USA Basketball showed zero signs of any negative aftereffects on Sunday.

Kentucky and USA head coach John Calipari’s U19 team came out of the gates on fire and walloped Spain 96-72 in the bronze-medal game of the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup in Cairo.

Kentucky freshman PJ Washington was Team USA’s leading scorer at the World Cup, averaging 12.9 points per game. (photo credit USA Basketball)

“To be able to bounce back and play the way they did from start to finish shows me a lot about them,” Calipari said. “We were all still really disappointed. We came here to not only play for the gold, but win the gold, and to play like we did and have Canada come out and play so well, it was just disappointing that we couldn’t get it done. To come back today and play and win the bronze, it’s a good way to end.”

Kentucky freshmen Hamidou Diallo and PJ Washington both had quiet games Sunday for Team USA. The electric 6-foot-5 Diallo scored nine points on 3-of-6 shooting, grabbed four rebounds, including two offensive boards, and had two assists. Washington, a versatile 6-8 forward who was coming off his first double-double of the tournament, battled foul trouble on Sunday and finished with six points on 2-of-3 shooting.

The Americans hit five of their first eight 3-point attempts in the first quarter and led 25-8 after the opening 10 minutes. USA (6-1) never looked back from there, shooting 53.6 percent from the field and an impressive 63.2 percent (12-19) from 3-point range.

“I think it was very important (to have a strong start),” Calipari said. “In these kinds of games, it’s almost like one team will go away. We just didn’t want it to be us. I thought we started really good.”

Kentucky freshman Hamidou Diallo averaged 10.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game for USA at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup. (photo credit USA Basketball)

Despite committing 25 turnovers, USA was able to cruise to victory over Spain thanks, in part, to its strong defense. USA held Spain to 34.1-percent shooting and outrebounded Spain 51-35.

Diallo averaged 10.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game for USA in Cairo. He led USA in scoring in its opener again Iran, finishing with 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including a 2-for-3 mark from outside. Washington was Team USA’s leading scorer at the World Cup, averaging 12.9 points per game, and was third on the team in rebounds at 5.1 rebounds per game. He shot 54.8 percent from the field.

“I learned a lot about PJ and Hami, both some strengths and weaknesses,” Coach Cal said. “You saw, I did some stuff with Hami at the end because he was struggling, and I wanted him to know that I’m with you. I’m with you. I’m going to help you, but you have to let me coach you. And, I think those two are going to be outstanding. I can’t wait to get back to my team.”

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 continued playing out for classification. The medal semifinals were held Saturday, and the gold- and bronze-medal games were Sunday.

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 L, 99-87
Sunday, July 9 Spain W, 96-72

 

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 L, 74-70
Sunday, July 9 Egypt W, 85-69

 

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
Canada 2-11 0-1 4-8 3 2 4 3 2 0 8
Spain 3-6 0-0 3-4 4 2 4 2 0 0 9
TOTAL 29-63 2-10 16-28 27 14 17 9 8 2 76
AVERAGE .460 .200 .571 3.9 2.3 2.4 1.3 1.1 0.3 10.9

 

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
Canada 4-14 0-1 9-16 11 2 4 3 1 2 17
Spain 2-3 0-1 2-5 0 1 4 1 1 0 6
TOTAL 34-62 1-6 21-43 36 14 22 20 7 3 90
AVERAGE .548 .167 .488 5.1 2.0 3.1 2.9 1.0 0.4 12.9

 

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
Puerto Rico 6-10 0-0 3-5 13 3 1 4 1 3 15
Egypt 8-13 0-0 1-3 10 2 2 1 0 2 17
TOTAL 43-71 0-0 14-25 65 13 15 21 5 14 100
AVERAGE .606 .000 .560 9.3 1.9 2.1 3.0 0.7 2.0 14.3