Louisville goals help USA qualify for FIBA World Cup Quarter-Finals
All three University of Louisville targets on the USA Basketball U17 National Team were important on Wednesday.
Karter Knox led the team in scoring, while Cooper Flagg and DJ Wagner played key roles in Team USA’s 103-48 win over Egypt in the FIBA U17 World Cup Round of 16 in Malaga, Spain. U of L assistant coaches Nolan Smith and Danny Manning were on hand to watch the win.
Knox led Team USA with 18 points, nine rebounds, three steals and two assists in 19 minutes off the bench. Flagg finished with eight points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and two assists in 20 minutes, while Wagner had 12 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals in 18 minutes.
Team USA will now have a day off before facing Serbia in the quarter-finals on Friday.
Smith and Manning have been tracking all three prospects all week.
Wagner is Louisville’s top target in the Class of 2023 and is a native of Camden, NJ, high school. Wagner is the No. 2 prospect in Class 23 on the 247Sports Rankings and his grandfather, Milt Wagnerplayed at the U of L and has just been hired into Kenny Payne’s team as director of player personnel and alumni relations.
Wagner recently told Cardinal Authority in an interview that he was honored to play for Team USA.
“Oh man, it’s definitely a blessing and an honor,” Wagner told Cardinal Authority on Saturday afternoon. “It’s a blessing for me to be able to play on this team and be part of it with all these guys, playing for Team USA. . . . It’s definitely a huge accomplishment for me.
“Just being part of the team, coming to training camp and playing here and (in Spain) is so important to me.”
Wagner had previously attended U.S. National Junior Basketball Team minicamps, but this is the first time he has been on the teams for the competition. And according to USA Basketball, his father – Dajuan Wagner Sr. – who played in Memphis for John Calipari and then played in the NBA participated in the 1998 Youth Development Festival but never competed in a team competition. FIBA during his time.
“Honestly, it’s something that really helps prepare me for the next level,” Wagner said. “Competition and training, I hope, God willing if I go to the next level and where I want to get to, it will be something that will allow me to adapt more easily to that. It’s the best competition I could play against there.
“You just have to be around other players and see how they play and the international game.”
Knox is another Louisville target on the team and is a Tampa, Fla., Catholic. He is the brother of former Kentucky star Kevin Knox.
Louisville is also recruiting 2025 standouts Cooper Flagwho stood firm in the test.