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2013 FIBA U19 World Championships: Canada vs. USA: Historically a lopsided affair, will it be any different without Andrew Wiggins?

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Andrew Wiggins Canada Basketball

Prague, CZ – (BasketballBuzz) – USA vs. Canada regardless of sport, competition or age group always brings the best of the two nations. Unfortunately for Canada the results between the two at U19 level haven’t been kind to them. The Americans are 6-0 against Canada’s Junior Nationals dating back to July 2009, including a 54-point trashing, 113-83 in 2012.

When the 2013 Junior Men’s National Team Training Camp rosters were announced by both the USA Basketball and Canada Basketball one couldn’t help but look head at the potential clash between the two neighboring countries. Specially at a time where Canada’s growth of Basketball is at an all-time high.

Given those results one would wonder, why should we all be salivating at the possibility of what on paper is pretty much guarantee to be another American blow out victory?

The Simple Answer, Andrew Wiggins!

The opportunity to see Wiggins, Trey Lyles, Tyler Ennis and company perhaps represented the best opportunity for Canada to make that loud statement that they have finally arrived. Or more importantly, help close the huge gap that has stood between the two nations.

With Wiggins decision to focus on Kansas those chances have diminished greatly, which is rather disappointing for this special group because even at full strength, the challenge to defeat the USA would’ve been enormous and would’ve required a special performance like the one that occurred on August 2005 in Mar del Plata in Argentina.

A closer look at the archives revels that the last time Canada defeated the United States at Junior National level was at 2005 FIBA U21 World Championships, when it got one of the best individual performances to date, as former Pittsburgh Panther and veteran member of Canada’s Senior National Team Levon Kendall unleashed a 40 point, 12 rebound master-piece to pull off a 93-90 over-time shocker.

The American squad featured Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics), Rudy Gay (Toronto Raptors), J.J Reddick (Milwaukee Bucks) & Glen “Big Baby” Davis.

The two nations will once again meet, this time at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championships. The United States comes into the highly anticipated prime-time quarter-final match-up with a perfect 6-0 record while averaging a tournament best 95.3 points per game and limiting their opponents to just 52 points.

Must Read:  Canada earns silver at 2019 FIBA U16 Americas Championships

Yes, that is margin of victory of 43 points.

Canada (3-3) the sixth ranked country in the World is riding a two-game winning streak and playing their best basketball of the tournament after two tough losses against Spain (81-70) and Croatia (79-66) to open the World championships.

Leading the way for the Americans is Aaron Gordon (Arizona Wildcats) with 13.7 points and 6.8 rebounds and 6’10 Center Jahil Okafor with 12 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.

Tyler Ennis (21.3 points, 3 assists) and Trey Lyles (19.5 rebounds, 8.8 rebounds) and have carried the Canadians and both sit at the top of the scoring list. Ennis started the tournament by pouring four straight games of 20-plus points including a team-high 28 points in a disappointing lose to Lithuania after holding a 19-point lead. Trey Lyles has been as good, if not better than advertised with four double-double in six games and also ranks (6th) at the top of the rebounding leaders.

All eyes will be on Canada – for the first time in a long, long time a meaningful amateur basketball game will be televised nationally across Canadian airwaves with the only unfortunate part being that that everybody has done their part to ensure that this moment would be as meaningful as possible. To bad Wiggins will not be there to either put on the individual performance required to pull off the shocker or help close the large 28-point margin of victory that has separated the North American rivals.

The choice to represent your country at the international level is an individual decision which is often influenced by many factors and in the case of Wiggins, the choice of skipping  this Golden opportunity is not one that should labelled as selfish, arrogant and nor should it be an indicator of his intentions to not represent the Maple Leaf in the future.

Rather, we should look at this, simply, from the perspective of a lost opportunity.

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FIBA

Record 17 Canadian NBA players invited to 2019 FIBA World Cup Training Camp

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Cory Joseph Leads Canada Basketball 2016 Olympic Qualifying Roster

Canada Basketball has released it’s highly anticipated 2019 FIBA World Cup training camp roster.

Loaded with 29 high-skilled Canadians — 17 currently under NBA contracts, the roster is Canada’s best-assembled talent of all-time and represents the country’s best shot at reaching the podium at the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup in China — and potentially earning a return trip to the 2020 Olympics games in Tokyo.

Tough decisions will need to be made by recently announced head coach Nick Nurse who will have the difficult task of cutting multiple NBA players for the first time in order to finalize the final 12-man roster that is expected to be committed to the goal from training camp through the World Cup.

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2019 SMNT Training Camp Roster

Top Canadian Basketball players not invited

Record 17 Canadian NBA players invited to 2019 FIBA World Cup Training Camp
Andrew Wiggins absent from FIBA 2019 World Cup

Other Canadian NBA players under contract but absent from the list included Andrew Wiggins (Twolves), Anthony Bennett (Houston Rockets), Kyle Alexander (Miami Heat) and Knicks rookie Ignas Brazdeikis — a dual-citizen that is expected to opt to play for Lithuania. Other former NBA players omitted from the list include Andrew Nicholson, a 2012 draft-pick, 19th overall selection of the Orlando Magic and Olivier Hanlan a former 2015 second-round pick of the San Antonio Spurs.

Canada will kick-off a short 3-day training camp from August 4-6 at the OVO Athletic Centre in Toronto before embarking on a loaded exhibition schedule that features two games on home soil against Nigeria and a final marquee-against the USA on August 26th.

2019 Canadian Senior Men’s National Team Schedule

DateTime/TeamTimeLocation
August 4-6 Training Camp OVO Athletic Centre – Toronto, ON
August 7 Canada vs. Nigeria (Exhibition) 7:00 PM Mattamy Athletic Centre – Toronto, ON
August 9 Canada vs. Nigeria (Exhibition) 8:00 PM Bell MTS Place – 
Winnipeg, MB
August 16 Canada vs. Australia (Exhibition) 5:30 AM RAC Arena – 
Perth, Australia
August 17 Canada vs. Australia (Exhibition) 5:30 AM RAC Arena – 
Perth, Australia
August 20 Canada vs. New Zealand (Exhibition) 5:30 AM Quaycentre – 
Sydney, Australia
August 21 Canada vs. New Zealand (Exhibition 5:30 AM Quaycentre – 
Sydney, Australia
August 26 Canada vs. USA (Exhibition) 5:30 AM Qudos Bank Arena – Sydney, Australia
September 1 Canada vs. Australia
3:30 AM
FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019
China
September 3 Canada vs. Lithuania 7:30 AM FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019
China
September 5 Canada vs. Senegal 3:30 AM FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019
China

Major time zone difference

Outside of the two home games against Nigeria, Canadian basketball fans should brace themselves and get ready for early morning basketball depending on which coast you reside in. Sydney, Perth, Australia and China are a whopping 14, 12 and 12 hours ahead of Canadian eastern time zone – meaning early morning Tim Hortons to support the national pride.

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FIBA

USA ends Mali’s historic run win 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup Gold Medal

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Usa Ends Malis Historic Run Win Record 7th Fiba U19 World Cup Gold Medal

The United States of America are back on top of the FIBA U19 World Cup.

Two years after finishing a record low, third-place in Cairo Egypt — the Americans defeated and ended rising African champion’s historic basketball run with a 93-79 victory over Mali to claim the 2019 U19 World Cup in Heraklion, Greece.

The USA fought off a hot and confident Mali squad playing in their first ever FIBA World Cup finals to win their record seventh FIBA U19 gold medal.

Champions Usa Ends Malis Historic Run Win Record 7th Fiba U19 World Cup Gold Medal
USA 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup Champions – Photo: FIBA

Mali got off to an outstanding start on the strength of Hassan Drame’s 9 points, as Mali ripped off a 11-0 run and took a early 11-3 lead with 6:58 to play. The USA pounded Mali on the offensive glass pulling down 13 offensive rebounds on their way to out-rebounding the African side 19-12 in the quarter to quickly close the gap as Mali led 22-20 lead after 10 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CHR64fDqmw

The USA went to a 3-2 zone early in the second-quarter and slowly grinded Mali out with tight defense and relentless offensive rebounding to finally take a 37-36 lead, their first since leading 3-0. A late three-pointer, the USA first of the half, put the Americans ahead for good at with a 42-40 at half-time.

Scott Barnes Jr Flexing Usa Ends Malis Historic Run Win 2019 Fiba U19 World Cup Gold Medal
USA Scott Barnes Jr flexing against Mali at 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup Gold Medal game -Photo: FIBA

The USA opened the third-quarter with a 14-0 run, holding Mali scoreless for the first 3:00 minutes of the second-half and forcing Mali head coach Alhadji Dicko to call a time-out to restore orders as the lead swell to double-digits at 54-40.

Mali showed their resiliency and pride, fighting until the final whistle to close a game-high 20 point lead to single digits at 84-77 — on a made pull-up three pointer by Martin Diakite with 4:11 to go. The USA clamped down, allowing Mali just two points the rest of the way for the 14 win.

Must Read:  Andrew Wiggins dominates takes home 2015 NBA Rising Stars MVP
Cade Cunningham Usa Ends Malis Historic Run Win Record 7th Fiba U19 World Cup Gold Medal
Cade Cunningham throws down a major dunk over Oumar Balla – Photo: FIBA

Undeclared point guard Cade Cunningham paced a loaded USA offense with 21 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and had several highlight reel dunks. The 6’7″ Montverde Academy standout holds offers from Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Virginia and a long-list of major suitors. Jalen Suggs added 15 points and 5 rebounds. Scott Barnes Jr. finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds and tournament MVP Reginald Perry also finished in double figures with 10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.

Mail had four players in double-figures led by continuous all-around talent of Hassan Drame with 17 points, 9 rebounds, 5 steals and 4 assists. Karim Coulibaly (Pittsburgh Panthers) showed a nice soft touch around the rim with 17 points and 3 blocks. Gonzaga commit Oumar Ballo came-up short of fourth straight double-double and finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks.

Ballo, a sure-shot NBA prospect showcased multiple Point guard Siriman Kanoute capped off a stellar tournament with 16 points , 4 rebounds and 3 steals.

2019 Fiba U19 World Cup All Stars
2019 FIBA U19 World Cup All Stars – Photo: FIBA

2019 FIBA U19 MVP & All-Stars

Joel Ayiyi – France
Oumar Ballo – Mali
Tyrese Haliburton – USA
Siriman Kanoute – Mali
Reginald Perry – USA

The USA had previously beaten Mali twice at the 2017 World Cup — 117-69 and 118-56, a 55-point margin of victory.

2019 FIBA U19 Final Standings

StandingsTeamRecord
1USA 7-0
2Mali 5-2
3France 5-2
4Lithuania 4-3
5Russia5-2
6Puerto Rico 2-5
7Serbia5-2
8Canada3-4
9Australia 5-2
10Greece3-4
11Argentina 5-2
12Latvia 1-6
13New Zealand 4-3
14Philippines 1-6
15Senegal 1-6
16China 1-6

Boxscore USA vs. Senegal

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