Wildcats' Johnson follows Gordon's USA Basketball footsteps

2014-06-24T23:21:00Z 2014-06-25T08:55:55Z Wildcats' Johnson follows Gordon's USA Basketball footstepsBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

When Stanley Johnson said any of his teammates could have won the MVP award in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, he wasn't far off from the truth.

The Americans had five players average 12 points a game or more, and nobody was needed to play anything near a full game. Then there was center Myles Turner, who blocked 18 shots over the five games of the tournament.

But Johnson was a consistent force for USA Basketball's team, averaging a team-high 14.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.2 steals and shooting 47.4 percent from the field. He did have eight turnovers to five assists, and shot 28.6 percent from three-point range, however.

Johnson's selfless attitude and standout play mirrored that of Aaron Gordon a year ago, when he was the MVP of last year's U19 World Championships -- while coming off the bench.

By winning the tournament Tuesday, USA's U18 team qualified for the U19 World Championships next year (although Johnson won't likely be part of that team if he's involved with the 2015 NBA Draft).

While the USA cruised through its five-game run, they may have been sparked in the final Tuesday by the ill-advised decision by Canada's Chris Egi to scowl at the U.S. bench.

Here's USA Basketball's game story, the box score and the cumulative USA stats from the tournament.

Stephen Zimmerman's mom tweeted out a shot of her son posing with Sean Miller, along with a humorous disclaimer.

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