USA advanced past Israel in overtime in the quarter finals, blew out Serbia in the semis and eventually lost to Lithuania, who were without leaders Kacinas & Miniotas, in the final.
Top players Serbia: Marko Tejic, Ilja Djokovic. Lithuania: Donatas Tarolis, Martynas Geben, Martynas Sajus, Evaldas Saulys, Ignas Vaitkus, Tomas Dimsa. For context, were the Lithuanian selection an LKL team, they would likely finish bottom two or three there.
Vince Edwards (3.5, 21.5 years, 203cm, Senior)
Young senior; only turning 22 in April. Considered a possible NBA draft pick for his versatility and ability to knock down jumpers. Combo forward. Played four in Taiwan.
One of just 33 players in 2016-17 D1 basketball to average at least one three pointer made and generate (through own score or assist) at least one pick and roll & post up point per game, according to Synergy Sports.
3rd in the tournament in scoring at 19.2 PPG. Averaged 6.9 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.9 SPG & 0.6 BPG in just 26.7 MPG too. Shot 53.6% from three point range on 28 attempts (3.5 3FGA per game). Shot 84.4% from the foul line. 64.8 eFG% & 68.7 TS%. 34.7 PER. Outstanding numbers.
- Perimeter touches. Frequently brought the ball upcourt. Transition threat. Creates offense out of the own defensive rebound. Very good ballhandler. Can play small forward when asked to.
- Unselfish. Moved the ball early on the clock, often got it back later. Court vision. Sees the court in transition. In one-on-one offense, recognizes the double team and kicks out with good speed of execution.
- Can be screener or ballhandler in pick and roll offense. Highly skilled (footwork, mid range game) one-on-one player who goes to work in iso offense when the defense choses to switch — which they do frequently thanks to Edwards’ versatility.
- Flawless jumpshot. Knocked down 53.6% of his triples in Taiwan. Shot 48-112 (42.9%) from long range as a junior. Knocked down plenty of contested one-on-one jumpers. Very good elbow pull up. Had gone just 10-30 on mid range jumpers last college season. Mixed success on fadeaways in the post. Smooth. Doesn’t have elite burst. Can he create shots against better defense?
- Fairly slender for a combo forward. Occasionally had issues finishing through contact.
- Not challenged a great deal as a one-on-one defender.
- Mixed effort level.
- Gave up offensive rebounds. Generally not overly physical/aggressive as a defender.
Isaac Haas (5.0, 22.1 years, 218cm, Senior)
Post center with a huge body. Averaged 9.9 PPG, 6.1 RPG & 1.5 BPG in 19:44 MPG in Taiwan. Doesn’t play extended minutes. Possible late 2nd round pick.
- Dominant post scorer. Went to work against big bodies Sajus/Geben in the final. Difficult to stop once he’s established deep position. Seals/absorbs defenders. High-low target. Could be more aggressive posting up before receiving the ball, but doesn’t want to take himself out of games with offensive fouls.
- Scored 315 points on 327 post finishes last season (53.9% FG). Simple/effective game. Not a big arsenal of moves. Left hand is coming along.
- Showed good patience in reading help defense and moving the ball back out at the Universiade.
- Doesn’t play angry enough.
- Drops deep in pick and roll defense. Cannot be expected to repeatedly show & recover.
- At a disadvantage whenever he has to move to get into shot blocking position. Is not going to defend the pick and roll on a high level. Lacks footspeed and doesn’t have extra length either to contest shots.
- Still an intimidating, towering presence when sitting deep and positioning himself in front of dribble drivers.
Dakota Mathias (2.3, 22.4 years, 193cm, Senior)
Senior marksman who averaged 9.7 PPG in 31.7 MPG in the D1 last season.
- Shooter. 87.3% of his half court FGA in 2016-17 were jumpshots. Had just 14 FGM at the rim in half court in the entire season. Knock down three point shooter in spot up situations.
- Automatic when curling towards the elbow and pulling up. 43.1 FG% (48.3 eFG%) shooting off the dribble in 2016-17. 62.5 eFG% on all jumpshots combined. Highly efficient.
- Plays offense until the free throw line.
- Handles the ball some as second/third ballhandler. Pull up threat in pick and roll. No advanced pick and roll skill set.
- Good passer in half court. Good high-low execution in Taiwan. Had a team-leading 2.8 APG.
- Below average physicality & athleticism.
- High effort level. Moves towards the ball for defensive rebounds & other loose balls. Boxes out bigger players. Helps. Very active.
- Got blown past repeatedly on dribble drives. Poor point of attack defense.
Carsen Edwards (1.0, 19.6 years, 183cm, Sophomore)
Little microwave scorer who won gold with the U.S. U19 team in July before burning nets at the Universiade in August. 10.2 PPG in 23.3 MPG in D1 last season as a freshman. As a position/role, the tiny scoring guard who can pull up or attack the paint is a spread pick and roll success story.
- Attacks, attacks, attacks. Puts serious pressure on the defense in the first seven seconds of the shot clock. Regularly drilled off dribble threes from NBA range. Made 39.2% of his three point shots on 6.4 attempts per game. Many of them on high difficulty level. Noone in Taiwan was able to keep him from getting his shot off.
- Explodes to the basket off the dribble. Had powerful early-clock drives. Absorbs contact. Athlete. Has serious bounce. Enthusiastic, aggressive playmaker.
- Mixed success as a passer once he’s entered the paint. Had successful drive & dish plays, but also turned the ball over occasionally. Had 21 assists on 15 turnovers through 8 games.
- Pesky. Active/aggressive on the ball. Gets his hands in. Gets deflections.
- Cannot defeat the laws of nature. Opponents simply shoot over him.