RJ Barrett, World Team Beat USA in Nike Hoop Summit with Zion Williamson Injured

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistApril 14, 2018

Montverde Academy's R.J. Barrett #5 is seen against Mater Dei during a high school basketball game at the Hoophall Classic, Monday, January 15, 2018, in Springfield, MA. Montverde won the game. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

The World Select Team defeated the USA Junior National Select Team, 89-76, in the 2018 Nike Hoop Summit at Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, on Friday night behind a big outing from R.J. Barrett.  

Barrett, a Duke commit and the No. 1 player in the country, finished with a game-high 20 points, nine rebounds, six assists and five steals. 

Jonathan Givony @DraftExpress

R.J. Barrett once again showed he's the cream of the crop of the 2018 high school class when the lights came on. Just wants to rip your heart out every time he steps on the floor. Thought he showed some impressive passing ability today as well.

The Canadian phenom was especially lethal in transition, where he consistently knifed through Team USA's defense and finished at the rim with authority, as the Salt Lake Tribune's Tony Jones and the Oregonian's Andrew Nemic observed: 

Tony Jones @tribjazz

The thing I love about RJ Barrett is his motor. That's the biggest difference between him and Cam Reddish right now. Barrett plays hard on every possession

Barrett was joined at the showcase by fellow Duke commits Cameron Reddish and Tre JonesZion Williamson was ruled out with a thumb injury, otherwise he would have been wreaking havoc on rims left and right—but those two proved rather quiet in the final game of the spring exhibition circuit. 

Reddish, the No. 2 player in the class of 2018, couldn't find his stroke and managed seven points on 2-of-8 shooting. Likewise, Jones—the top-ranked point guard in the nation—struggled to score with four points. However, he salvaged an otherwise shaky effort by tying a team high with five dimes. 

With those two off their games, future Vanderbilt floor general Darius Garland seized a big opportunity. 

Following a quiet first half, Garland erupted for three triples in the third quarter and put Team USA ahead, 64-61, entering the final frame. All told, Garland finished with a team-high 16 points and five assists off the bench. 

Cole Zwicker @colezwicker

Garland is the best shooter on the US team and has some real creation juice off the bounce. Scoring/aggression dynamic changes going from Tre to Darius.

The Americans also boasted the No. 1 center in the class of 2018 in Bol Bol. 

An Oregon commit, Bol piled up 12 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks as he demonstrated his tremendous rim-protecting prowess and tantalizing overall potential, according to Bleacher Report's David Gardner: 

David Gardner @byDavidGardner

Bol Bol is maybe the most interesting prospect at the Hoop Summit. His offensive game beyond the rim is lacking but, to put it bluntly, he blocks the hell out of everything in front of him

"I've never played with a guy like Bol," Garland said, per the Oregonian's Hayes Gardner "He's really versatile, really skilled. Got like a 7-(foot)-8 wingspan. It's crazy."

Bol will now head to the Pacific Northwest full-time and link up with forward Kenny Wooten, who averaged 2.6 blocks per game as a freshman, to form a frontcourt tandem that will give Pac-12 coaches nightmares for months to come. 

Recruit information courtesy of 247sports.com


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