The low-post dominance continued for Rakeem Christmas on Saturday during a 73-69 squeaker by USA East over Brazil (Fab Melo’s rooting interests were torn, I’m sure). Christmas swatted four shots in 12 minutes and added four points, but as was the case Friday, his playing time was abbreviated by foul trouble. You can see one of his blocks at the 0:36 mark of the video here.
Trevor Cooney had a nice game, making a living from beyond the arc. He sank three of eight three-pointers while going 4-10 from the floor. Showing ability on the defensive end as well, Cooney chipped in four thefts.
The Nike Global Challenge may be filled with international teams, but at least for the Americans, make no mistake – this is about showcasing individual talents, while team play is disjointed. With that in mind, as much as can be taken from these kinds of events, Cooney has been steady, while Christmas seems to be embracing contact on defense. Then again, these guys have a whole year ahead of them before they get to SU, so it will be exciting to see what kind of progress they make.