For The Greater Gold

By Jeff Lippman - August 05, 2007

The NCAA should be salivating over the performance of the USA Under-19 FIBA World Championship team these past few weeks in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Team USA just put the finishing touches on a dominating gold medal, defeating Sweden Sunday, 99-57.

The Americans swept the tournament field, going 9-0 and averaging a margin of victory of 35 points per game. They were easily the class of the field with only Spain managing to test them in the slightest in a game the Americans won, 74-66.

And with many of the stars of this United States team not having played their first collegiate games as of yet, the NCAA should be excited for this new crop of talented youngsters to begin their careers.

Leading the way for the U.S. was a player whose name will undoubtedly be mentioned frequently next season when she'll be attempting to become the second consecutive Connecticut freshman to win Big East Freshman of the Year.

Yes, Maya Moore played up to her hype in Slovakia. Moore led the U.S. in scoring for the tournament, including a game-high tying 19 points - with Virginia's Monica Wright - 13 rebounds and six assists in the gold medal game.

Ohio State's incoming freshman center Jantel Lavender also had a big final game and scored 15 points and grabbed 10 boards, coming in just under her average of approximately 16 points per game and above her rebounding average about nine per.

Another incoming freshman who had a solid final game was Duke's Jasmine Thomas. A point guard, Thomas can really stroke the long range shot and finished the final with 13 points on two late threes. Tennessee's Angie Bjorklund also scored in double figures with 11.

Team USA was absolutely dominant during this World Championship run. With four out of five double figure scorers in the championship game having not yet played a single game in college, the young talent next season should prove to be extensive.

USA Women's Basketball looks pretty healthy after winning three gold medals out of three gold medal opportunities this summer. The U21, U19 and Pan American Games teams all returned home from their overseas voyages victorious.

All three teams were impressive for different reasons, but the most impressive was what the youngest members accomplished. They might have been the most dominate with the least amount of experience, making looking into the future very bright.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 03:51 PM on August 05, 2007

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