Team USA cruises over Ivory Coast in FIBA U19 opener

The FIBA U-19 World Championship tipped today in Prague, and Team USA's first round opponent was a badly overmatched team from the Ivory Coast. As expected, the Americans cruised to an easy victory, 88-29. Team USA got it done on the defensive end, forcing 16 turnovers, and only allowing Ivory Coast to shoot 16% on 2s. Ivory Coast also only managed 6 offensive boards off of 45 missed shots.

USA was led by Justise Winslow (No. 15 player in 2014 class) who had a team high 14 points and 7 rebounds. Also in double figures were Aaron Gordon (Arizona) and Jarnell Stokes (Tennessee) with 12, and the No. 1 player in the 2014 class, Jahlil Okafor, with 10.

The format has four four-team pods, which the top three teams moving on after the opening round. In the opening round, each team plays the other three teams in its pod. Earlier action in USA's pod saw China upset Russia behind 28 points and 17 boards from 7-0 center Qi Zhou.

Team USA last won the event in 2009, and have won four titles since 1979.