USA U-21 Wins Gold

Box Score here Fine outing by Curtis.

The U-21 USA national team won the gold medal by defeating Puerto Rico by the final of 97-86 in the final game of the U-21 Tournament of the Americas from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

The first quarter ended 34-21 in favor of the USA but Puerto Rico could come back in the game thanks to center Peter John Ramos and Jose Juan Barea who combined for 35 points but the first half score was 51-47 in favor of the USA.

Puerto Rico did a great defensive job from the perimeter as the USA only shot 15% from three point range (13-2).

Puerto Rico was still close in the game until the final minutes but Jose Juan Barea and Peter John Ramos were the only main offensive weapons for Puerto Rico. The USA had a more balanced attack on offense.

At the end of the game Sean May had 18 points and Curtis Withers had 17.

For Puerto Rico, Peter John Ramos ended with 34 points and 9 rebounds. Jose Juan Barea had 27 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists proving that he is one of the best prospects at the point guard position in the World.

The USA wins the gold medal after winnig the bronze in the past U-21 Tournament of the Americas in Isla Margarita, Venezuela. In that same tournament, Puerto Rico won the gold medal but in this tournament they won the silver medal. In the qualifying for this tournament Puerto Rico won the gold medal in the U-21 Centrobasket tournament.

holy crap, look at Mustafa Shakur’s full name in that box score!!

congrats to Curtis and the rest of the team!
:thumbsup:

Mustafadeen Ibn-Jamal Shakur Abdush…Alex, I’d like to buy a vowel please… :wacko:

[i]Originally posted by moss2k[/i]@Aug 1 2004, 10:00 PM [b] Mustafadeen Ibn-Jamal Shakur Abdush....Alex, I'd like to buy a vowel please..... :wacko: [/b]
Did you mean "Pat"? Alex is on Jeopardy. :rolleyes:

17 points in just 21 minutes is sick.

Withers is a stud.

Curtis really came on strong after those first two one point games. Great to see him scoring on a team with so many good players. Amazing how much better he’s gotten. From lazy, uninspired yet talented to USA Under 20 national team stand-out. :thumbsup:

[i]Originally posted by 49er1[/i]@Aug 2 2004, 07:23 AM [b] Did you mean "Pat"? Alex is on Jeopardy. :rolleyes: [/b]
It was late :silly:

From USABasketball.com:

USA Young Men Perfectly Golden After Hard-Fought 97-86 Win Over Puerto Rico

And more from Andy Katz…

ESPN.com: Gray, Paul key as U.S. tops Puerto Rico

[USA coach Kelvin Sampson] said Withers was a “man,” who wouldn’t be in the top seven or eight talent-wise on the team yet was one of the most important players (averaging nine points a game).

Ah here’s a fun one for those playing at home. What do you get if you remove an “i” from Iti? “It.” What I think Curtis Withers now has.

Bring it back with you and load the team on your shoulders. “It” should lighten the burden.

You’re as nasty as you want to be.

[i]Originally posted by run49er[/i]@Aug 2 2004, 08:33 AM [b] From USABasketball.com:

USA Young Men Perfectly Golden After Hard-Fought 97-86 Win Over Puerto Rico

[/b]


From the story Run linked, good detail on Withers’ play:

-Sampson said they put Curtis on Ramos (7’2" Wizards draft pick) at halftime and it made a difference.
-Curtis got a 3 point play the old fashioned way
-He cut backdoor for a crucial basket.
-He stole the ball from Ramos and went coast to coast for a dunk.

And quotes from Curtis:

Curtis Withers (Charlotte / Charlotte, N.C.)
On going up against Puerto Rico’s 7’2" Peter Ramos:
In the first half, he had 20 points and coach wasn’t really happy with our defensive play. I never got the chance to check him and I wanted to take that challenge on. So at halftime in the locker room I asked coach if I could check number four and he said, ‘you got him.’ The thing is, the whole tournament all we did was be physical. I thought I could be physical with him, keep him out of the paint and contain him. All I wanted to do was contain him and help my team out.

How does it feel to earn the gold medal, especially after all the hard work you all put in?
It was all worth it. It was my first championship ever. This feels really good.