Duke signee Jahlil Okafor of Whitney Young High in Chicago scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds to lead the USA to a 84-73 win against the World Select team Saturday at the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland.
The USA holds a 12-5 series lead in the Hoop Summit but it was the team’s first win since 2011.
It was a big day for Duke signees. Besides Okafor, Justise Winslow had 16 points and point guard Tyus Jones had 13 points and six assists for the USA team.
“It was a good day just for Team USA,” Jones said by telephone after the game. “We all contributed. … The guys who have played USA Basketball have a great chemistry because we have played together a lot. Me and Jahlil have a really strong chemistry and bond.”.
The World Select squad was led by the Republic of Congo-born Emmanuel Mudiay of Prime Prep (Dallas), who had 20 points, making eight of 18 shots from the floor. Arsenal Tech (Indianapolis) forward Trey Lyles, who has signed with Kentucky, had nine points and 11 rebounds for the World Select team.
Jones said Team USA wanted to force the World Select squad into a faster tempo than they felt comfortable with.
“Emmanuel is a great player,” Jones said. “We just wanted to make him work for everything and not give him any easy shots. I think we were able to force the defensive pressure and we somewhat controlled the tempo. Winning this year was definitely a push. The coaches stressed it going into the week.”.
With 6-9 Kansas signee Cliff Alexander of Curie (Chicago) and the 6-11 Okafor underneath, the USA team was able to take advantage inside, especially after World Select center Karl-Anthony Towns of St. Joseph (Metuchen), who has played for the Dominican Republic National team, got into early foul trouble.
The game annually pits the USA Basketball Men’s Junior Select Team, comprised of the top high school seniors, playing against a World Select Team of players 19 and under.