Despite being one man down in a 3-on-3 tournament, future Tennessee point guard Larry Austin and Team USA went undefeated (7-0) and won gold in the inaugural FIBA Americas 3x3 U18 Championship in Fort Washington, Md., last weekend.
Austin, from Lanphier High School in Springfield, Ill., and teammates Cliff Alexander (Curie H.S./Chicago, Ill.) and DeMonte Flannigan (Villa Angela-St. Joseph H.S./Cleveland, Ohio), a Cleveland State signee, led the U.S. to gold. The fourth member of the team, Colorado commitment Dominique Collier (Denver East H.S./ Denver, Colo.), rolled his ankle during the weekend and missed much of the action.
“This really helped us get ready for the (FIBA U18 3x3) World Championship,” Austin said in a USA Basketball press release. “If we play like we did this weekend, I think we could win it all. I think we are going to be really good. We have a couple bigs in the post with Cliff and DeMonte. They’re versatile, they can shoot it, but they can also play defense. Then with me and Dom, I think our team is really good.
“It was tough playing with just three because the other teams were good,” added Austin. “Canada gave us a run and Puerto Rico played us tough. It was tough because we didn’t have any subs and we didn’t get a time out until the last game, but it was really great to win the gold medal.”
Austin won a silver medal at the 2012 FIBA U18 3x3 World Championship.
No individual player statistics are available for last weekend’s tournament.
Next up for Austin and the Americans is the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship scheduled for Sept. 26-29 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Austin committed to the Vols on Aug. 1, over scholarship offers from Memphis, Kansas State, Stanford, SMU, Creighton, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma State and DePaul. The 6-foot-1, 165-pound point guard is ranked as the No. 100 overall recruit in the 247Composite, which equally weighs prospect ratings from major recruiting media outlets.
Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee football and men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/QuinnKNS.