Canada 1 Win Away From Facing USA In FIBA U16 Americas Finals


Before the preliminary rounds of FIBA U16 Americas, there was high expectations for Team Canada; in part because of the boom of the game in this country and partly because of the depth of producers on this team. Featured names like Rowan Barrett Jr., Simi Shittu and Danilo Djuricic are recognized worldwide now, and they have a strong supporting cast with players that can fill up the stat sheet on any given night.

They have lived up to the expectation, beating Argentina for the first time at any level on Argentinian soil. This Cadet team has clinched a spot for 2016 U17 World Championships by finishing 3-0 in pool play, beating Venezuela, Mexico and Argentina.

Danilo Djuricic

Danilo Djuricic Top 10 in multiple categories of FIBA U16 Americas

On to the next…

Argentina has been the toughest opponent for Canada up to this point, yet one more country stands in the way before making it to the finals against the winner of USA vs Argentina. The semifinals is being played today against the Dominican Republic at 5:15pm (EST).

Considering there is no surprises and USA  moves past Argentina, Canad will have its hands full going up against top American prospects Jarred Vanderbilt, Gary Trent and Wendell Carter. They bring a combination of skill, size and athleticism that matches Canada and some would even argue surpasses Canada’s.

There is some tightening up to do offensively for this game against the Dominican and the tuning up must happen here before facing USA.

In the win over Argentina, Canada started off playing very unselfish basketball; doing a good job moving off the ball and using off ball screens to free each other up. In the second half there was more one on one isolation which led to a more stagnant offense and a deterioration in shot selection.

Danilo Djuricic, started hot from three point land and did virtually everything on the floor from blocked shot to rebounding. His first half performance gave Canada momentum to give them a 14 point lead.

Djuricic is in the top 10 in multiple statistical categories for this tournament; he averages 14.7 ppg (10th),  10.7 rpg (2nd), he is 3rd in made three pointers with 3 per game and is second in blocked shots with 2.3 per game.

The Dominican will be keying in on Djuricic in this game, so it is vital that he still creates attention by getting the ball in his sweet spots and attracting the defense, which in turn will create offense for teammates.

The starting lineup of Andrew Nembhard, Noah Kirkwood, Danilo Djuricic and Simi Shittu has been solid but they must stay out of foul trouble in order to build more of a cushion in leads.

On the defensive end, the Red and White did a solid job closing out on Argentinian shooters, but when switching into man defense, Lautaro Lopez gave us the business.

Lopez finished the game with 23 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.

Simi Shitti answered 3 balls from Lopez with shots of his own from the perimeter and also silenced a loud Argentinian crowd with a put back dunk.

In close games Canada will need its best defensive point guard manning the ball and putting pressure on the Dominican’s primary ball handler.

Keys to the game

  • Limit isolation, one on one offense unless obvious mismatch
  • Keep Forwards and Center positions out of foul trouble
  • Work the offense through Danilo in half court set
  • Don’t allow Dominican Forward Erick Franklin to get hot early





Elias Sbiet

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