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August 10, 2008

Nike Global Games: semifinals

BEAVERTON, ORE.- A championship game between two USA teams is set for Sunday in the Nike Global Challenge, and John Wall commented on his highly scrutinized recruitment.

Breaking down the Wall

Rivals.com's No. 1 ranked prospect John Wall acknowledged that Baylor's hiring of his travel team coach Dwon Clifton "gives Baylor an edge because Coach Clifton has helped me a lot," but that it is by no means a done deal for the Bears.

Wall plans to at least begin the process of taking official visits before making a decision on where he will attend college.

"I don't have a time table for making a decision," Wall said. "I'm going to take my official visits, and if I find the right fit on a visit, then I'll commit."

As to what schools he would like to visit, Wall listed Memphis, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Kansas and Kentucky.

He also mentioned another school.

"Jordan Hamilton is probably going to Texas, and he wants me to put them back in the mix," he said.

Other recruiting

Daniel Orton is down to six schools- Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Kansas, Ohio State and Kentucky, which is his favorite.

"I'm really interested in Kentucky and their program," said Orton. "I've known the coaches for a long time. Coach Gillispie recruited my brother, and (Assistant) Coach Cyprien coached him at Oklahoma State."

Sensational rising sophomore Mike Gilchrist has Memphis at the top of his school list along with Oregon, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Baylor and New Mexico (all have offered).

"Memphis' style of play fits my game," said Gilchrist.

Semifinals: USA Two 81, Serbia 75

In a highly anticipated match up, the USA and Serbia engaged in a high intensity battle that which went back and fourth until late in the fourth quarter when the USA gained some separation. The man of the night was Avery Bradley, who erupted for the majority of his 24 points in the second half against the stingy Serbian zone. Bradley hit 10-18 shots from the field including 2-4 from three. Just as important as his scoring was Bradley's suffocating defense on Serbian floor general Filip Covic.

Through the first half and early in the second half Jordan Hamilton was the top performer for the USA. But his scuffle for a loose ball with Covic at half court midway through the third quarter ignited a bench clearing skirmish which resulted in the ejection of Hamilton and Serbia's Uros Lukovic. Hamilton ended his night with 12 points, five rebounds and four assists.

It was in the absence of Hamilton that Bradley, who finished with 24 points, stepped up big along with his high school and travel team teammate Abdul Gaddy, who several critical jumpers late in the game. Gaddy finished with 13 points with nine of those points coming off three-pointers.

John Henson also had a good game as the most effective big man for the USA against the large Serbian frontline. Henson scored nine points and grabbed nine rebounds.

Semifinals: USA One 96, Canada 80

Only up by five at the end of the third quarter, he USA team earned a berth into the finals with an impressive fourth quarter effort. Elite 2010 prospect Harrison Barnes was the star of the game with his 22 point, eight rebound effort. Barnes went 9-14 from the field, making one shot from behind the arc with most of his buckets coming off midrange pull ups off the dribble.

Alex Oriakhi came up big during USA's strong fourth quarter, finishing with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Fellow big man Demarcus Cousins also had a strong second half, scoring the majority of his 12 points coming in that period. He also registered three blocks and three steals.

Royce White was the go-to guy at the start of the game for the USA. The physical small forward went to work inside scoring the majority of his 14 points early in the game. White also grabbed seven rebounds.

Tommy Mason-Griffin contributed 13 points.

Leading the way for Canada with a 16 points was Ashton Khan. The most impressive prospect on the Canadian team, however, is Gonzaga commitment Mangisto Arop. The active and slashing wing player went for nine points on 4-15 shooting, grabbed a team high nine rebounds and had two steals and four assists to three turnovers.

Loser's bracket: USA Three 86, Puerto Rico 72

The USA team rebounded after a tough one point loss to Serbia in the quarterfinals against Puerto Rico behind a balanced scoring attack. John Wall, Milton Jennings and Mike Moser each had 11 points for the USA while Gary Franklin, Daniel Orton and DeShaun Thomas all scored nine points.

The rebounds were spread out as well with Thomas and Orton grabbing five each. Wall led in the assist and steal department with five assists and six steals.

For Puerto Rico Raymond Cintron Cortes had another big game with 21 points.

Box scores and information on the event can be found at www.NikeGlobalChallenge.com


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