Team USA will return home without a Pan Am medal in hand, but it won't be because of Indiana's D.J. White.
The Hoosier junior turned in a 23-point, 12-rebound effort Saturday night to lead the U.S. to a 84-58 win over the Virgin Islands. It marked the second straight game White had led the U.S. in scoring, coming on the heels of a 22-point, seven-rebound performance in the USA's 74-71 upset of Argentina Friday.
"D.J.'s probably played the most minutes of anybody and he's been our go-to guy," said Team USA Coach Jay Wright. "When it's tough and we need a basket, we go to D.J. and he's made the right play every time. He's doing a good jbo on the defensive end, too. I'm really impressed with him."
During his four-game tour with Team USA, White has averaged team bests of 17.7 points and 9.3 rebounds while shooting 59.1 percent from the field. He's the only U.S. player who has scored in double figures in all four games, and he's one of only two who is averaging double figures (Georgetown's Roy Hibbert – 10.5/game). White has also shot 75 percent from the free-throw line, and his 24 free-throw attempts is more than twice as many as anyone else on Team USA.
The U.S. will conclude the Pan Am Games competition when it faces Panama at 12:30 p.m. EST Sunday in the fifth/sixth-place game. Panama topped the U.S. 75-67 earlier in the week, a setback that officially eliminated the U.S. from medal consideration.
That's something that weighs on White's mind.
"They beat us and knocked us out of medal contention and that's still on our minds," White said. " Now, we're playing for fifth place. The last time the U.S. [men's basketball team] went to the Pan Am Games they were 2-3. We can't do anything about that now, we just want to finish 3-2. It's a great opportunity to do better than the last U.S. team did. Even though we didn't get the gold, silver or bronze, we still can leave with our heads high going 3-2 and coming back and winning three straight."
White Has Double-Double in U.S. Win
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