Behind a record-setting seven 3-pointers from uncommitted five-star wing Terrance Ferguson, the USA Team went on to record the largest margin of victory in the event’s history.
Rolling to a 101-67 win, the 2016 USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Select Team earned its largest margin of victory (34 points) against the World Select Team in Nike Hoop Summit history on April 9 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.
The 19th annual event saw the USA jump out to a 20-7 first quarter lead, due in part to forcing 12 turnovers out of the World Team in the first 10 minutes, and then USA guard Terrance Ferguson (Advanced Prep International/Dallas, Texas) heated up to sink six 3-pointers in less than four minutes to propel the USA to a 44-22 halftime lead.
“I have to say that we came out today and played very well,” said USA head coach L.J. Goolsby (KC Run GMC, Kansas). “When you look at the stats sheet, they shot close to 16 percent from 3, had 29 turnovers, and our whole motto this week was to come out and be very aggressive from the beginning. And I thought that the guys did an excellent job today at that to set the tone early.”
Ferguson, who finished as the USA’s leading scorer with 21 points, set a U.S. Nike Hoop Summit record for 3s made (7), and he tied the U.S. event record for 3-point attempts with 11.
University of Washington-bound Markelle Fultz (DeMatha Catholic H.S./Upper Marlboro, Md.), who tallied 11 points and three assists, tied the U.S. record with five steals, and as a team, the USA set records for 3s made (14) and attempted (36).
“It wasn’t all about offense today,” said Ferguson, who is undecided about his college future. “Our main focus was on defense. I mean, I think we caused (29) turnovers on the defensive end, so that was unbelievable, and that caused most of our points right there. Like I said, I got the hot hand, and the players were going to feed me, so I was shooting it.”
The USA got off to a dominating start thanks to defensive pressure. Utilizing a mix of man-to-man and zone defenses, the USA had forced five turnovers to lead 10-0 when the World Team called its first timeout at 2:41. After the break, the World Team managed to nearly keep pace with the USA, scoring seven points to the USA’s 10.
Trailing 20-7 to start the second quarter, the World Team cut the deficit to 22-14 at 7:09, but Ferguson nearly single-handedly shutdown the momentum. From 7:02 to 3:22, he made six 3-pointers – tying the U.S. Nike Hoop Summit record for made three pointers in the second quarter alone.
The USA’s 44-22 halftime advantage grew to 48-22 when Ferguson made his seventh 3 at 8:19 in the third quarter, and the USA outscored the World Team 29-16 to lead 73-38 at the final quarter break.
With the outcome of the game already decided, the World Team outscored the USA 29-28 in the fourth quarter to bring the game to its 101-67 final.
Future Duke University Blue Devil Jayson Tatum (Chaminade College Prep/St. Louis, Mo.) added 14 points and was 6-of-6 from the line; and local guard Payton Pritchard (West Linn. H.S./West Linn, Ore.), who will play at the University of Oregon in 2016-17, rounded out the USA’s double-digit scorers with 12 points. Undecided prospect Jarret Allen (Saint Stephen’s Episcopal H.S./Austin, Texas) was the game’s best rebounder with nine.