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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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Wednesday / August 23.
  • R.J. Barrett, Canada Stun USA in U19 World Cup Semifinals

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    R.J. Barrett and Canada stunn P.J. Washingtoned the United States in the semifinals of the FIBA U19 World Cup on Saturday in Cairo, Egypt and will play for the gold medal against Italy on Sunday.

    The 6-foot-6 Barrett went off for 38 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists before fouling out with 2:55 remaining in Canada’s 99-87 win over coach John Calipari and the USA.

    “The reality was, one kid really went crazy, and then the rest of their kids did what they did, so hats off to them. Congratulate Canada,” Calipari said. They deserved to win the game.”

    Incoming Oregon freshman Abu Kigab added 14 points and 6 rebounds. Nate Darling chipped in with 13 points and 3 assists.

    Auburn sophomore Austin Wiley dominated down low with 13 points and 17 rebounds while Kentucky freshman P.J. Washington had 17 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks.

    Italy beat Spain, 66-63, in the first semifinal. The USA will face Spain in the third-place game at noon ET on Sunday.

    The Americans hadn’t lost a U19 game since falling to Croatia and Russia in 2011, when Doug McDermott and Tim Hardaway Jr. were on the team. They went a combined 16-0 en route to winning gold in 2013 and ’15.

    In the quarterfinals, R.J. Barrett led the way with 27 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in a win over France.

    “He’s had incredible balance playing with other great players in the event, and he demonstrated his ability to fit in with other great players,” Montverde coach Kevin Boyle said. “Then he showed he could step up against the best players in the world. I’ve said all along he’s the No. 1 pick in the draft.”

    Barrett, who attends Montverde (FL) Academy, is considering reclassifying to 2018 from 2019 and would then be eligible for the 2019 NBA Draft.

    Arizona, UCLA, USC, Kentucky, Texas, Kansas, UNLV, South Carolina, Illinois, Duke, Oregon and Michigan all reached out to Barrett on June 15 when college coaches could begin calling rising juniors.

    “Right now, I don’t know,” Barrett told ZAGSBLOG in June. “Right now I’m still 2019 and I will make a decision in August.”

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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.