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19 July 2008

Wayns and Team USA earn silver medal

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
7/19/2008 02:23:00 AM
The United States 18-and-under men's basketball team earned a silver medal and a 4-1 record overall in the FIBA Americas U18 Tournament after Team USA fell to host Argentina Saturday.

The loss to Argentina was the only the second defeat for the U.S. U18 team in its 35-game history at the FIBA Americas tournament. In six tournaments, Team USA has won four gold, one silver, and one bronze medals.

(Greycat at Villanova by the Numbers has been following this tournament closely, so head there for his customary statistical analysis.)

Maalik Wayns, a Villanova commitment for 2009-2010, is a backup point guard on the American team.

Wayns and his teammates will qualify for the FIBA World Championship next year in New Zealand after placing in the top four of the eight-nation tournament in Formosa, Argentina.

Wayns was shut out in the gold-medal game, going 0-1 with 0 points, 1 assist, and 2 turnovers in 13 minutes (box score, PDF).

Wayns performed better against Canada in the semifinal, notching 7 points in 16 minutes on 3-9 shooting.

In group play, Wayns scored 8 points in 21 minutes in Team USA's win over Puerto Rico.

Wayns played perhaps his best game of the tournament in game 2 versus the Bahamas, where he scored 10 points in 17 minutes on 3-5 shooting from the field. Wayns added 3 assists and 2 steals, but committed 6 turnovers, a team high.

Wayns opened the tournament with 5 points in 12 minutes against Venezuela last Monday.

Overall, it was a decent performance for Wayns, whose play nonetheless demonstrated that he may not yet be at the same developmental level as his older USA teammate and Connecticut signee Kemba Walker, considered by many the top one-guard in the country for the 2008-2009 class.

Walker won the tournament-wide MVP award after scoring 21 in the loss to Argentina.

With one more year of high school before matriculation at "Guard U," however, Wayns may well prove to be as bright a star.

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