Hollins Helps USA Juniors Remain Undefeated
July 2, 2003
DALLAS, Texas -- Behind Deron Williams' (Illinois/ The Colony, Texas) 4-of-4 shooting from 3-point and team high 14 points, the USA Junior World Championship Team (2-0) jumped out early and marched on to an impressive 97-77 dismantling of the Global Games Select Team (1-1) Monday night in Global Games action at Southern Methodist University's Moody Coliseum. The USA continues play in the Global Games Wednesday facing 1-1 Africa.
The two teams struggled with their shooting touch during the first quarter's first five minutes, but when the USA found its shooting eye, it quickly made the game no contest. Trailing 9-7 with 5:05 to play in the opening quarter following a basket by the Global Games Select Team's Dez Willingham, the USA finished the quarter with a 14-0 run that was powered by scoring from six different players. The Global Games team was limited by the U.S. defense to a 3-of-14 shooting from the field and was forced into seven turnovers in the game's first 10 minutes.
Taking a 22-9 advantage into the second quarter, the USA put the game away early with a 14-4 offensive spurt that saw the USA juniors move ahead 36-13 with 6:23 still to play in the second period. During the game-ending run, Williams nailed the door shut after sinking three straight 3-pointers. Leading 50-32 at halftime, the Global Games Team never threatened again as the U.S. rolled to the 97-77 win.
The USA shot well for the second consecutive night, making 52.3 percent from the field overall. Owning a 39-23 advantage on the glass, the USA defense forced 23 turnovers and limited their opponents to 45.0 percent shooting.
The USA offense was again a balanced affair, with 10 players scoring between 14 and six points. In addition to Williams 14 points, the USA cause was assisted by 11 points from Paul Davis (Michigan State / Rochester, Mich.), 10 from Kevin Pittsnogle (West Virginia / Morgantown, W. Va.), while Maurice Ager (Michigan State / Detroit, Mich.), Ryan Hollins (UCLA / Pasadena, Calif.) and C.J. Watson (Tennessee/Las Vegas, Nev.) each contributed eight points. Davis and Graham Brown (Michigan / Mio, Mich.) spearheaded the USA rebounding effort with eight boards a piece, while Daniel Brown (Illinois/Maywood, Ill.) and Watson were each credited with five assists.
Along with his eight points (2-3, 0-0, 4-5), Hollins, who last season as a 6-11 true freshman was UCLA's starting center, before fouling out contributed four rebounds (1-3), one assist, a game-high tying two blocked shots and a game-high tying three steals in 18 minutes of play.
'I was impressed with our composure to listen to a game plan and execute a game plan for about 32 minutes of that game. I was really impressed with how far this team has come in a very short period of time,' stated USA head mentor Ernie Kent. 'We blew this game open with our defense. Our defense gave us an opportunity to get down the floor; our defense gave us an opportunity to get into a great rhythm offensive. We found Daren wide open and he was in a great rhythm and stroked the ball really well.'
The USA Junior squad began training June 24 and will compete July 10-20 in the 2003 FIBA Men's Junior World Championship that was recently moved from Malaysia to Thessaloniki, Greece. Featuring 16 junior national teams that qualified last summer, the teams have been placed into four groups of four for preliminary round robin play. The top two teams from each group will advance to the medal second round, while the remainder of the field will compete for 9th - 16th place. The USA has been placed in Group C, joining China, Nigeria and Slovenia. The USA will open play against Slovenia on July 10, and face China on July 11 and Nigeria on July 12. Second round action is being played July 14-16, while the world championship semifinals slated to be held July 19 and the finals will be played July 20.
Eligibility for the 2003 USA Basketball Men's Junior World Championship Team is limited to any male athlete who is a U.S. citizen and 19-years-old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1984). The USA team finalists were selected by the USA Basketball Men's Collegiate Committee. The official 12-member USA junior team will be finalized during the team's June 24-July 6 training camp in Dallas. The USA squad as part of its training for the FIBA Junior World Championship is taking part in the 2003 Global Games that feature 10 teams.
Results from Tuesday's other Global Games contests saw Yugoslavia (2-0) post an 84-74 victory over Puerto Rico (1-2) to remain perfect, Africa (1-1) bested Lithuania (0-2) 62-53, Ukraine (1-1) earned its first win with a 95-89 decision over winless Brazil (0-2), while Canada improved to 2-0 after disposing of Scandinavia(1-2) 98-71. Wednesday's Global Games competition features Lithuania versus Canada, Yugoslavia faces Ukraine, the Global Games Select Team goes against Brazil and the United States takes on Africa.
2003 Global Games Schedule/Results
Sunday, June 29
Puerto Rico 99, Scandinavia 85
Yugoslavia 121, Brazil 69
Monday, June 30
Canada 73, Africa 65
Scandinavia 84, Ukraine 66
Global Games Select 104, Puerto Rico 93
USA 79, Lithuania 63
Tuesday, July 1
Ukraine 95, Brazil 89
Canada 98, Scandinavia 71
Africa 62, Lithuania 53
Yugoslavia 84, Puerto Rico 74
USA 97, Global Games Select 77
Wednesday, July 2
2:00 p.m. Lithuania vs. Canada
4:00 p.m. Yugoslavia vs. Ukraine
6:00 p.m. Global Games Select vs. Brazil
8:00 p.m. USA vs. Africa
Thursday, July 3
12:00 p.m. Lithuania vs. Ukraine
2:00 p.m. Africa vs. Scandinavia
4:00 p.m. Brazil vs. Puerto Rico
6:00 p.m. Global Games Select vs. Yugoslavia
8:00 p.m. USA vs. Canada
Saturday, July 5
2:00 p.m. Medal Round Game
2:00 p.m. Medal Round Game
4:00 p.m. Medal Round Game
6:00 p.m. Bronze Medal Game
8:00 p.m. Gold Medal Game
NOTE: All times are Dallas local times (CDT). All games played at Southern Methodist University's Moody Coliseum.