The US kicked their exhibition schedule off with a bang, well, sort of. Just the opposite in fact- losing two games to Lithuania by a combined 62 points this week. Team USA's U-19 team may not be comprised of the country's top players, but the roster is highlighted by two potential lottery picks in Patric Young (Florida) and Jeremy Lamb (UConn), along with several more talented college prospects. We highlight the ups-and-downs of the two-game series:
Jeremy Lamb - G, UConn
The dynamic swingman had a tremendous post-season, hitting double-figures in the final 11 games of the year (Big East Tournament + NCAA Tournament)- averaging 15.3 points on 55 percent shooting from the floor with nearly 5 boards per game. But in the two exhibitions in U-19 play, Lamb has 19 total points on 7-for-20 shooting (35 percent shooting overall), including 2-for-9 from 3 (22.2 percent). He has just 3 total rebounds, zero assists and five turnovers. Granted, it's just two games against the tournament favorite, but perhaps it's a preview that Lamb is not ready to be the go-to scorer for the Huskies as they try to repeat.
Patric Young - C, Florida
Billy Donovan and Gators fans have high hopes for a 2010 top-15 recruit, especially as he takes over for the newly-departed Vernon Macklin and Alex Tyus as starters in the frontcourt. But Young's play thus far has shown that his offensive development has not come along as most would have expected- he has scored 11 points in the two game combined on just 4-of-14 shooting, 28.6 percent and 3-of-6 from the foul line. Of his 12 rebounds, six are on the offensive glass, where Young could not put the ball back in the hole and convert.
Tim Hardaway Jr. - SG, Michigan
The long, lanky wing showed potential as a first-year college player at Michigan, ranking second on the Wolverines with 14 points per game, doing most of his damage from the perimeter. That has not been the case in these exhibition games where Hardaway's shot-selection has landed him a 2-for-12 shooting clip from behind the arc and 7-for-26 overall (26.9 percent). After his team-high 18 points in the first game, Hardaway had just five points in game two. The bright spot in his game has been his perimeter defense where he has racked up six steals.
It would not be fair not to mention the performance of Jonas Valanciunas, the Lithuanian power forward/center who was recently selected No. 5 overall by Toronto last week. Valanciunas did not play in game one, but started in the second game, scoring 23 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the floor and 11-for-15 from the foul line in just 25 minutes. He also collected 11 rebounds in his limited action. Even though he won't be playing in the NBA next season per his buyout agreement, Valanciunas could make the Cavs sorry for passing on him at No. 4