Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
The USA beat Serbia, 80-78, Friday in pool play of the FIBA U19 Championships in Latvia.
Joe Jackson of Memphis led the U.S. with 19 points, Patric Young of Florida had 13 points and Tim Hardaway of Michigan and Tony Mitchell of North Texas scored 11 apiece.
Hardaway scored off a drive to give the U.S. a 80-78 lead with 47.1 seconds left.
“It was a team effort,” USA head coach Paul Hewitt said by phone from Latvia.
“Tony Mitchell was really the guy who came off the bench and gave us a huge lift. Joe Jackson came off the bench and made some huge plays. Joe Jackson and Tony Mitchell really carried us in the fourth quarter.”
Hewitt said UConn rising sophomore Jeremy Lamb grabbed a defensive rebound to ice the game.
“He reminded me of Kerry Kittles,” said Hewitt, also the head coach at George Mason. “Kittles used to sky up over everybody. He looked like Kittles over there.”
Lamb had 15 points in a 115-60 rout of Egypt, but Hewitt said he is still adjusting to the international game.
“The game over here is a lot more physical,” Hewitt said. “He’s adjusting to that.”
“He’s an effortless scorer,” Hewitt added. “I think Jeremy would probably tell you there are some things he has to work on in his game. He’s a big time player. I think he’s proved that already.”
The U.S. is now 2-0 and faces China in pool play Saturday.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.