DURHAM, N.C. - Duke incoming freshmen Kyrie Irving and Josh Hairston both started and combined for 15 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals in the USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team's 131-63 win over the U.S. Virgin Islands to open play at the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship on Saturday night in San Antonio, Texas. Irving tallied 11 points, one of nine double-figure scorers for head coach Jeff Capel and Team USA.
Irving went 3-of-10 from the field and 5-of-6 from the foul line for 11 points, while adding six rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block in 20 minutes of action. Hairston was 2-of-5 from the floor for four points and grabbed two rebounds in 11 minutes of play.
Team USA shot 54.1 percent (46-of-85) from the field in the game, including 44.0 percent (11-of-25) from three-point range. The 11 three-point field goals match a USA Basketball U18 National Team record for three-pointers made in a game. The Americans also had a decisive edge on the glass, outrebounding the Virgin Islands, 65-26.
The USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team returns to action on Sunday, June 27 at 9 p.m. (EST). All the games in the tournament will be streamed live online and live game stats are also being streamed. You can get both from the following link: http://www.fibaamericas.com/torneos1_us.asp?t=SWMYGHIDOX
How was the feel of tonight's game, the refs were calling it really tight. What did you think?
One thing playing with teams like the U.S., you have to be able to go outside yourself and not have to play the position you normally play. All of us on our high school teams were big time scorers, and that is one thing I kind of had to adjust to. I'm used to coming down the floor and touching the ball at least every play, but I don't have to do that here. I'm just expected to play defense, rebound, you touch the ball score it. There are times when the game can get a little hectic and you can get down on yourself, and one thing you need to do is keep your head up with a team like this. You're playing with a USA jersey on. That's big time! I was sitting on the bench and thinking about it, and I looked down and saw everybody, and thought this is a big time thing. And looking at the score board, we just beat a team by 68 points...we are pretty good. You just gotta go outside yourself and know it's bigger than the last name on the back of the jersey. It's for all the people and this great country; that's what we are out there playing for.
On coach Jeff Capel's style:
Coach Capel is one of the biggest defensive coaches I have ever been around. He stresses defending the 3-point ball. We had a couple of let downs today but we will get back at it tomorrow. It's fun playing defense. When you play good defense you get out on offense and you're able and that's what everybody likes to do...that's one thing we try to do. Coach Capel comes out and tells us to set the tone on defense. When we set the tone on defense its easy points on offense.