Beasley Again Propels USA to Win

DALLAS, Texas (courtesy USA Basketball) - Incoming freshman Michael Beasley once again paced the USA Men's U19 World Championship team's attack at the Global Games, as he led seven players in double figures with his second consecutive double-double on Friday night with 16 points and 10 rebounds in a 117-79 victory over Puerto Rico.

In Friday’s contest, the two teams traded scoring punches early Friday and Puerto Rico moved ahead 14-13 following a 3-point from Angel Luis Garcia.

The U.S. took off on a 10-0 run that was fueled by 3-pointers from Patrick Beverley (Arkansas / Chicago, Ill.) and Jonny Flynn (Niagara Falls H.S. / Niagara Falls, N.Y.) and surged ahead 23-14. Puerto Rico kept it tight and thanks to a 3-pointer from Gilberto Clavel at the horn, the U.S. lead was cut to 27-24 after the first quarter.

Ripping off seven straight points to start the second quarter and outscoring Puerto Rico 12-2 to take a 39-26 lead, the USA then assembled a 12-5 run that saw the American’s lead expand to 51-31 with 2:07 left before halftime.

Leading 58-37 at halftime, 16 was as close as Puerto Rico would get in the second half as the U.S. outscored Puerto Rico 26-24 in the third and 33-18 in the final quarter."I thought we were a little bit better, especially in terms of our initial approach to the game, we were much more ready to play right off the jump ball," said Wainwright about his team’s win. "The thing that stands out the most is that we had 27 assists. I thought the kids made the extra pass and we still have a long, long way to go to be a good team but we made an important stride tonight.

Sinking 55.1 percent of its shots, including 10-of-21 from 3-point, the U.S. had 27 assists on 43 made field goals and dominated the glass, outrebounding Puerto Rico 54-28.

All 11 available USA players scored at least six points. Raymar Morgan (Michigan State / Canton, Ohio) tossed in 15 points; DeAndre Jordan (Bellaire Episcopal H.S. / Humble, Texas) posted a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds; Stephen Curry (Davidson / Charlotte, N.C.) added 13 points; Donte’ Greene (Towson Catholic H.S. / Baltimore, Md.) added 11 points; Tajuan Porter (Oregon / Detroit, Mich.) recorded 10 points, while Beverly finished with 10 points and a game high seven assists.

But it wasn’t all good news Friday.

In a related development, it was announced that University of Kansas 6-9 forward Darrell Arthur (Kansas / Dallas, Texas) would be unable to play in the FIBA U19 World Championship because of a stress fracture in his left leg. The injury was confirmed Friday following a MRI. Arthur had played in the USA’s first two games in Dallas and was averaging 8.5 ppg., 4.5 rpg., 2.0 bpg. and 16.0 minutes a game.

Arthur said he began to feel pain in his lower left leg following workouts on Tuesday, July 3.

"I thought it was just tendonitis or something and I would be able to play through it," Arthur said. "The trainer told me to see the doctor and after some tests he confirmed it was a stress fracture and I would be out a month or two. When I heard it was a stress fracture, I was surprised.

"I was pretty upset when I first heard," Arthur added. "I really wanted to travel with this team. I have never been overseas, and I put in some good work to be a part of this team. I’m glad it wasn’t a more serious injury and I should be fine with treatment. I wish this team all the best in bringing home the gold in Serbia."

"I tried to go hard tonight because I knew we were missing Darrell Arthur. Shady is a big aspect to our team and the other post men now have to step it up big time to try and make up what we lost when we loss him," stated Jordan. "I tried to focus on rebounding and not so much scoring because I know the scoring is going to come so I wanted to do the other things. I tried to go out and jut play hard and help out my team however I could."

USA Basketball also announced that 6-8 forward Damian Hollis (George Washington / Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), who participated in the June 28-30 USA U19 National Team Trials, would replace Arthur and travel with the team Sunday to Serbia.

"I’ve been doing this a long, long time and I have to say that in all honesty I was really looking forward to coaching Darrell," said USA and DePaul University head coach Jerry Wainwright. "When I had a chance to work with him in our early practices he was everything I thought. We (DePaul) faced him early in the year when we played Kansas and I though he was a wonderful player. I loved how he carried himself. I was really excited about him and thought he’d be the hub of the wheel.

"He’s an experienced player and can play more than one position and his loss is not only a great loss for our team but I think personally all the coaches and all his teammates would have really enjoyed being around him for two weeks.

"I hope he heals up quickly, certainly our prayers are with him for a quick recovery. Hopefully we’ll think of him when the going gets tough because he’s a guy who would have loved to have been with us."

The USA U19 squad, which was selected June 30 after team trials were conducted with 18 hopefuls, will represent the United States in the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship (players must be born on or after Jan. 1, 1988) that will be held July 12-22 in Novi Sad, Serbia.

The Global Games conclude Saturday with finals competition. The USA U19 Team will face in the 8 p.m. (CDT) gold medal game the Global Games AA that is comprised of division I collegians. All of the Global Games action is taking place at Moody Coliseum on the campus of Southern Methodist University.