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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.
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Friday / August 18.
  • USA, Canada Roll at U19 World Cup as Potential Semifinal Matchup Looms

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    The USA and Canada both rolled in their Round of 16 matches on Wednesday and remain on track for a semifinal matchup in the FIBA U19 World Cup in Cairo, Egypt.

    The Americans routed Mali 117-69 as Kentucky’s P.J. Washington notched his second straight 20-point game while UNLV’s Brandon McCoy added a double double with 19 points and 13 rebounds.

    The Americans have won their first four games — over Iran, Angola, Italy and Mali — by a combined 182 points. Next up for the USA will be a quarterfinal matchup with Germany (3-1) on Friday after Germany defeated New Zealand, 72-65.

    “We’re playing kind of with units,” said USA head mentor John Calipari of Kentucky . “When we started the game that group didn’t have the intensity or fight, they were just playing.  Well, Mali plays really hard. They’ve got a couple of really good players and then after that they’re not as good.  But, they play hard so they can make you look bad. So, then we went to the other group and that group went in and played out of their minds, so I left them in.  They got us up 20, so they stayed in.

    “But then in the second half that group that I started played well and so I left them in. I’m not sure I want to play groups like this, but they are getting to learn to play together petty well and maybe it’s six or seven in a group, then I play the other guys and see how they are and give them some minutes,” added Calipari.

    Washington dropped 20 for the second straight day and looks like he will be among Kentucky’s leading scorers as a freshman.

    “I just felt like I had to be a little bit aggressive. I felt like I could get by my man every time, so I just tried to do that and make plays for my team,” said Washington, who also added eight rebounds and three assists in his 18:05 of playing time.

    Meantime, Canada routed Angola, 87-65, as Danilo Djuricic led the way with 22 points while Oregon’s Abu Kigab added 17 points and 16 rebounds. RJ Barrett chipped in with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.

    After the quarterfinals on Friday, the semifinals are set for Saturday and the championship game on Sunday.

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    Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. 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.