The opening round group stage of the Albert Schweitzer Tournament has finished and the tournament is now down to the top eight teams from around the world. Along with a few surprises, many of the projected favorites have advanced into the qualification round. Turkey will start the qualification round at the top of Group E which will be rounded out by Serbia, Sweden and local favorite Germany. In Group F, the second of the qualification groups will be topped by Italy and the USA and rounded out by Spain and Ukraine who advanced with a big win over Chile.
The qualification round will commence Wednesday with some exciting games on hand. Group E action will begin with Turkey, coming off a win over home side Germany in the final game of the group play will face off against a talented Sweden side led Barcelona Club point guard Ludde Hakanson who has had an impressive first round showing. Local favorite Germany, led by young star Lars Kamp will look to bounce back after a tough loss against a very disciplined Serbia team.
Group F features a talented Italy squad led by multiple high level prospects. The heart and soul of the Italian side is point guard Federico Mussini has dominated the position over the opening round games and is clearly used to pressure of big games, directing his team to a blow out victory over Spain in the final game of the group stage. Also featured for Italy is Alberto Cacace, a strong shooting guard who shows an ability to shoot the three, defend multiple positions and find many ways to contribute. Along with those two high level players, Italy has Daniel Donzelli who can score in a variety of ways and is an exceptional passer.
Team USA Select must overcome Spain and or Italy to advance to the semifinals. Spain is led by Marc Garcia, a lengthy wing who is on NBA scouts radar. Garcia is a prolific scorer with great vision. Dual posts Yankuba Sima and Marc Bauza play big minutes and must over come the 4 post rotation of the USA side. The 6’10″ Sima has unlimited potential. He is a Gambia native who attends the Canarias Basketball Academy.
Depth has propelled the USA to their 3-0 start. Explosive east coast guards Austin White and Mike Williams in particular have been the difference. White, who is headed to High Point University has been a steady influence from both guard positions. Spark plug Williams, has scored in bunches and is averaging a point per minute over the past two games. The Rutgers commit scored 20 points in 18 minutes in the 83-75 victory over France on Monday night. The USA side will spend the day in Heidelberg sightseeing and spend the evening with film work in preparation for a challenging contest against Spain on Wednesday night.
USA scoring totals: Shavar Newkirk (15), Austin White (6), Connor O‘Hearn (DNP), Kahlil Garnes (DNP), Mike Williams (20), Tim Delaney (5), Kory Kuenstling (3), Brock Miller (3), Elijah Burns (7), Happ (11), Scott Lindsey (13), Ross Gerber (DNP)
Erik Olson is an Assistant Coach for the USA Select team at the Albert Schweitzer Tournament. Thanks to the AST for the photos. You can subscribe to our RSS feed from the upper right corner of our home page, follow us on Facebook, or on twitter.
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