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Canada and USA meet Saturday in FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup semifinals; rematch of historic 2017 battle

U19 Men


Jul 9, 2021

Canada (5-0) vs. United States (5-0)

When: Saturday, July 10, 11 a.m. ET

Where: Arena Riga, Riga, Latvia

Where things stand:

Enter the semifinals: Canada's U19 Men’s National Team will open the semifinals with a matchup against the United States. Both teams enter Saturday’s game undefeated with identical 5-0 records in the tournament. Canada comes into the game having claimed victories over Lithuania, Senegal, Japan, Puerto Rico and Spain this past week, while the United States have earned wins against Australia, Turkey, Mali, Korea and Senegal.

Head-to-head: Saturday’s game will be a rematch of the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2017 semifinals where Canada notched a 99-87 victory en route to the final where they defeated Italy 79-60 for the country's first gold medal in an international FIBA competition. This was Canada’s first victory against the U.S. at the U19 level with the Americans owning a 5-1 record in head-to-head match-ups.

Things to know heading into Saturday’s semifinal game:

One-two punch: Caleb Houstan and Zach Edey have been leading the way for Canada in the tournament, averaging 15.8 and 15.6 points, respectively. In Canada’s 81-77 victory against Spain on Friday -- Canada’s first-ever U19 win against Spain -- Edey finished with 24 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots, while Houstan scored a game-high 25 points to go with six rebounds, three assists and five steals.

“Going to Zach (Edey) early in the second half really spaced it out for the guards and wings,” Houstan said after the victory. “He was killing it all game. That kind of opened it up and then our whole offence was flowing more.” Beyond individual stat lines, the chemistry between Edey and Houstan has paid dividends for Canada in the tournament.

In addition to Edey’s 15.6 points per game, the 7'3" big man is leading the tournament in rebounding with 14.2 boards per game, field-goal percentage (60.4 percent shooting) and double-doubles, recording four double-doubles in Latvia so far. Houstan is leading the tournament with 2.8 steals per game to go along with his 15.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per contest.

Canada has four players averaging double figures in the tournament, with Ryan Nembhard (13.4) and Bennedict Mathurin (12.6) joining Houstan and Edey.

Dealing with depth: One of the things that makes the United States so difficult is the depth of their roster. The U.S. team is leading the tournament with a 98.0 point-per-game average. The team is averaging 52.8 points scored off the bench while shooting 48.4 percent from the floor and 34.3 percent from beyond the three-point line. In comparison, Canada is ranked third in points per game, averaging 86.4 points, while shooting 42 percent from the floor and 26.3 percent from deep.

Familiar faces: Saturday’s game against the U.S. will be Canada’s biggest test yet. It will also feature some familiar faces with Zach Edey facing off against two of his Purdue teammates, Jaden Ivey and Caleb Furst. Ryan Nembhard, a freshman at Creighton University, will also face off against future teammate Ryan Kalkbrenner who is suiting up for the U.S. squad.

“It’s going to be fun,” Edey said. “It’s going to be great. I know those guys, I’ve watched them. I know they are both very good players and having a great tournament, so it should be very fun.”

Where to watch: Fans in Canada can catch all of the action live on DAZN.