Cooper Flagg, Ace Bailey, Dylan Harper, Asa Newell lead USA to victory in Nike Hoop Summit | Zagsblog
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Thursday / May 30.
  • Cooper Flagg, Ace Bailey, Dylan Harper, Asa Newell lead USA to victory in Nike Hoop Summit

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    Duke commit Cooper Flagg, Georgia signee Asa Newell and Rutgers pledges Dylan Harper and Ace Bailey all scored in double-figures to lead Team USA to victory in the Nike Hoop Summit Saturday night in Portland.

    Flagg posted 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds, Newell posted 17 points and 10 boards and Harper and Bailey scored 14 apiece, combining for 28 points, 13 rebounds, five steals and three assists.

    “They came in with the right mindset and the right attitude,” head coach Sharman White said. “They wanted to win this game really bad, they wanted to represent their country, they wanted represent themselves, their community, their families, and they came here, and they did that.”  

    For Team World, Class of 2025 star AJ Dybantsa Jr. led the way with 21 points and 6 rebounds, France’s Nolan Traore scored 18 and Baylor commit VJ Edgecombe went for 17.

    Bailey opened the Nike Hoop Summit with a pull up jumper from the top of the key to spark the U.S. on a 9-2 run. The World Team stormed back in response as they went up 10-9 but Flagg halted their push after hitting a mid-range jumper over his defender while falling to his left.  

    Flagg ran into foul trouble in the first half nabbing three early fouls.

    “You have to be better then your excuses,” Flagg said. “I just went out with that mindset and just stayed positive.”  

    Boogie Fland came into the game midway through the first quarter and instantly connected with Jayden Quaintance on a transition alley-oop slam to go up five (17-12). Dybantsa Jr. and Edgecombe kept the Americans honest as they led Team World to a 24-23 lead after quarter number one.  

    The two teams proved to be equal competitors as they traded baskets over the second quarter. Fland kept the U.S. on pace in this frame as he scored seven of his nine points the second that included a floater, a tough finger roll finish off the glass and a step back three-pointer.  

    The United States did just enough to be up two points (42-40) heading into the break. 

    “We dominated the glass and that was one of the things we really pressed upon ourselves to make sure we were good at,” White said.

    The United States out rebounded Team World 58-35, including 17 offensive rebounds compared to their seven.  

    Flagg (11 rebounds), Newell (10), Harper (seven) and Bailey (six rebounds) all contributed to their successful night on the glass.  

    Offense slowed down in the opening minutes of the second half as the shots weren’t hitting from either squad. Dybantsa (21 points) threw down an alley-oop with the pass coming from Nolan Traore to give World Team their last lead of the game (50-48) with 6:28 to go in the third.  

    The efforts of Harper, Morez Johnson Jr., and Flagg helped swing the momentum back in the United States favor as they led by eight (68-60) going into the final frame.  

    “Any setting I’m in, that we’re in, and that the rest of my teammates are in, I think we’re going to compete at a high level, and I think that’s what really set us apart from them,” Harper said. “We just really competed and wanted it more.”   

    The United States separated themselves from their counterparts in the fourth and grew their lead up to 15 (84-69) after Ian Jackson connected with Bailey for an easy triple.  

    The highflying U.S. threw down several forceful dunks to close the door on this one as they outscored World Team 30-15 in the fourth quarter.  

    “We have a really special group of guys,” Flagg said. “We had a lot of guys that sacrificed themselves and just played a role tonight.”  

    “We had to find the 12 guys that we felt like could win one game,” White said. “And that’s the way we treated it and we felt like we picked the right 12. If you look at the score, I think we picked the right 12.”  

    USA Basketball improves to 18-7 all-time at the Nike Hoop Summit, winning for the fourth consecutive year.  

    (Release/Photo via USA Basketball)

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    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.

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