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June 27, 2011Michigan sophomore to be wing Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half, but it wasn't enough for the U19 USA world championship team. A U20 Lithuanian squad raced to a 59-27 halftime lead and withstood a second half rally for a 101-72 exhibition victory.
The U.S. trailed by 17 entering the third quarter after Hardaway picked up his game to lead a comeback. They trailed by 15 points twice early in the final quarter, but could get no closer, USABasketball.com reported.
"I thought Hardaway set a good tone in the third quarter defensively, then he proceeded to make a couple of shots that got us back into the game, but then we gave it back up in the fourth quarter," coach Paul Hewitt said.
"Everyone came out more hungry, more aggressive and with a sense of urgency," Hardaway added of the second half. "Everyone was getting up into their man, fighting over ball screens. We all just went out and played basketball.
"We want to run and get as many easy points as we can. We're a very athletic team so we rely on getting good defensive stops, turnovers and deflections and hoping we can get in transition and get wide open layups and dunks."
USABasketball.com reports the U19 team will conclude its exhibition schedule facing Lithuania's U19 national team on June 28. The 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship for Men will be held June 30-July 10 in Valmiera, Liepaja and Riga, Latvia, with 16 nations involved. The United States has been placed in Group D, along with China, Egypt and Serbia, with the preliminary round slate starting June 30 against Egypt, followed by Serbia on
July 1 and China July 2.
For a few highlights, click here: USA Basketball. Scrimmage and practice highlights are also available.
Michigan assistant Bacari Alexander continues to tweet, and this time it's good news on the players' work ethics over the summer. We reported earlier this summer that sophomore to be Evan Smotrycz had been putting in the work - Alexander confirmed it on his Twitter account.
"Smotrycz is diesel!" he said, adding he thought junior guard Matt Vogrich looked bigger and taller and incoming freshman Max Bielfeldt "is a lean, mean machine, it seems."
Redshirt sophomore Jordan Morgan put in the work last summer and came back ripped, leading to a big redshirt freshman season. He's even more cut this year, Alexander reported.
Sophomore Jon Horford, meanwhile, reported back at over 250 pounds, and it's all good weight. MGoBlue.com caught up with him for an interview recently.
"What I've been doing is basically what everyone else on the team has been doing. I might just do a little bit extra," he said, adding he'd been working with his NBA brother Al Horford. "Most of the stuff that we're working on gives you strength for basketball. We do stuff that makes your legs stronger, makes your core stronger, stuff that you really need when you're playing ball. It is stuff that will help you be more explosive. It will help you sit down when you're posting up, not be moved. So we've done stuff that will help out with the different parts of your game.
"I've been playing a lot of basketball. I got some great workouts from the coaches right at the end of the season and I've been working on those. I've been doing some workouts that my brother has shared with me, and I'm going to be working out with him for the rest of the summer starting on June 24."