Bishop Miege senior forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds while Kansas freshman guard Quentin Grimes contributed eight points, three assists and two steals as USA Basketball’s under-18 national team defeated the Dominican Republic 105-73 in a first round FIBA Americas U18 Championship game contested in St. Catherines, Canada.
Robinson-Earl, who is considering KU, Missouri, Kansas State, North Carolina and many others in recruiting, hit 4 of 7 shots. He was 2 of 2 from the line. A starter, he played 17 minutes.
Grimes hit 4 of 9 shots. He was 0 for 3 from three and committed two turnovers while starting and playing 23 minutes for the U.S. team, coached by KU's Bill Self.
Guard Cole Anthony, who is considering KU and many others, scored 18 points and had three assists. Alec White and Tyrese Maxey had 15 points apiece, while KU recruiting target Matthew Hurt, a power forward from Minnesota, scored 12 points and grabbed nine boards. Alanzo Frink scored 16 points for the Dominican Republic.
“I thought we tried hard. I thought we executed poorly the first half. But in the second half, we looked a little better,” said Self, whose squad led 43-34 at halftime.
“Our athleticism and depth really wore them down and they got tired. All-in-all, considering the number of missed layups and the number of missed free throws, it’s pretty amazing that we scored over 100 points.”
A 19-0 fourth-quarter run proved pivotal for the U.S.
“It was the best stretch of ball. We had a 20-point lead and I subbed the last three minutes of the third and they cut it to 13,” Self said. “And then we put the starters back in and the next thing you know, we go on a 19-0 run. That’s the way it is a lot of times with aggressive, athletic teams. You can putter around and putter around and then a three- or four-minute segment could be the segment that puts enough separation between you, where the other team can’t come back, and that’s what happened.”
All 12 U.S. players scored in the team’s tourney opener. The USA shot 53.5 percent from the field, converted 10 of 25 threes, and owned a 51-44 rebounding advantage.
The U.S. will next meet Panama at 7:15 p.m. Central time on Monday.