Kentucky coach John Calipari and Wildcats freshmen Hamidou Diallo and P.J. Washington earned a No. 1 seed with a 3-0 record in pool play at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup in Egypt and their Team USA will face Mali (0-3) in the Round of 16 on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Wildcats sophomore Tai Wynyard and his native New Zealand (1-2) will face Germany (2-1) at 2 p.m. ET. If both the U.S. and New Zealand win, they would meet in Friday’s quarterfinals, pitting Wynyard against Calipari, Diallo and Washington.
All three UK players have been impressive so far in Cairo. Through three games apiece, Washington is averaging 14.7 points, 5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 steals; Diallo is averaging 12.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 steals; and Wynyard is averaging 12.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks.
The 6-foot-8 Washington, a McDonald’s All-American, scored 20 points (on 8-of-9 shooting) against Italy — the best team USA has faced so far — on Tuesday. He sank a 3-pointer, drove and scored and threatened to rip down the rim on multiple dunks.
“P.J.’s a beast and I don’t know how you guard him,” Calipari said. “If he gets an angle by you, he’s tough to stop. And he made his free throws today (3 of 4). He’s playing the way we need him to play.”
Salivating yet, Big Blue Nation?
Diallo, Washington and Wynyard continue offering a sneak peek at the 2017-18 Wildcats today — while 5-star Kentucky recruits Cameron Reddish, Immanuel Quickley and Romeo Langford provide a possible glimpse even further into the program’s future. When the USA and New Zealand games go live, you can watch them right here in the embedded videos below, and here’s everything else you need to know to follow along:
How can I watch the 2017 FIBA World Cup?
What time are USA games in the 2017 FIBA World Cup?
USA (3-0) faces Mali (0-3) on Wednesday, July 5, at 9:30 a.m. ET. With a victory, Team USA would then face the New Zealand-Germany winner in the quarterfinals on Friday, July 7.
What time are New Zealand games in the 2017 FIBA World Cup?
New Zealand (1-2) faces Germany (2-1) on Wednesday, July 5, at 2 p.m. ET. With a victory, New Zealand would then face the USA-Mali winner in the quarterfinals on Friday, July 7.
What are some of the jersey numbers?
Hamidou Diallo is wearing number 8, P.J. Washington number 14, Immanuel Quickley number 5, Cameron Reddish number 7 and Romeo Langford number 13 for Team USA. Tai Wynyard is wearing number 14 for New Zealand.
How does the 2017 FIBA World Cup work?
After three pool-play games for each team, all 16 countries were seeded according to those results. USA was the No. 1 seed out of Group D and thus matched up with Mali, the No. 4 seed out of Group C, for the Round of 16. What follows are quarterfinals on July 7, semifinals on July 8, gold and bronze medal games on July 9. The United States, ranked No. 1 in the world, is gunning for its third consecutive U19 gold medal after winning in 2013 and 2015.
Do the Wildcats have previous international experience?
Yes. Diallo and Washington both won gold with Team USA at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, while Wynyard played for New Zealand in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 FIBA Oceania Championships and won gold in the FIBA 3×3 World Cup in 2015. Calipari coached the Dominican Republic men’s national team in 2011 and 2012, leading that country to within a single victory of its first Olympic berth in history.
P.J. Washington stats through 3 games
Hamidou Diallo stats through 3 games
Tai Wynyard stats through 3 games