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More From Japan!

Daisuke is back with another report. It's amazing that a guy in Japan - Henry
aside, he's an alum - would get the bug. But there it is. If you
appreciate his articles, drop him a
line and tell him
so, and make him part of the Duke family!

I went to Saitama tonight to see the championship game. Croatia played
well early, excuting half court offense beautifully and hitting some
threes. Also they defended Carlos very effectively, Carlos had only 2
points in the first half. Croaia increased the lead to 10 in the 2nd
quarter, but thanks to hot shooting of Troy Bell USA managed to cut the
lead to 5 by the end of 2nd quarter. In the 3rd quarter, USA outscored
Croatia 27-12. Croatia tryed to come back, but Chris did not let USA to
lose.

Chris did not shoot well in the first half. But he came up big in the
second half. He hit back to back threes in the 3rd quarter. In the 4th
quarter, he dished to Carlos and Butler. In closing minutes he hit one
more big three which put USA up by 3. And made all of free throw to seal
the victory. USA's team offense was not as good as Croatia. But Chris
somehow breakdown Croatia defense with penetration and get the ball to
finishers. All of USA offense started from Chris. Even though Bell led
USA in scoring, Chris is my run away choice for the MVP of this
tournament. I expect big stride from Chris in coming 2001-2002 season.

Croatia's zone defense gave Carlos trouble. He could not get the ball
inside and even if he got the ball, Croatia's size seemed really
bothering him. But his rebounding effort was huge for USA. Other than
this game, Carlos was the most consistant scorer for USA. He played
against some bigger and skilled big men, and this experience should help
him to emerge as one of the best big men in the country.

It's too bad Dahntay could not play much. But he showed some high flying
action. I am looking forward to seeing his exciting play next season!

In my opinion, the best player in USA team was clearly Chris Duhon. And
the second best was Carlos Boozer. Other than these two, we have
National POY candidate Jason Williams, the hero of the Final Four Mike
Dunleavy, and emerging big men in Casey Sunders and Nick Horvath. And
Dahntay Jones would be hundred percent. I think Duke has great chance to
repeat.

That's all of my report!! It has been great to see Duke players live in
Japan!!

GO DUKE !!!