Weeks ago, Mike Tobey spoke about his excitement over an invitation to try out for the U-19 USA basketball team. Days later, he was humbled and honored to end up with a spot on the squad. And today, he'll return to Charlottesville with a gold medal. Tobey and Coach Tony Bennett were part of the world champion USA team that romped its way to a title, culminating with an 82-68 victory in the gold medal game against Serbia.
In the title game, the United States stretched a 40-38 halftime lead (and 48-47 third quarter score) with the help of 17 points from Montrezl Harrel, the Louisville forward (and onetime Virginia Tech decommit). Mike Tobey saw four minutes of playing time, adding two points on an emphatic dunk and three rebounds.
Though Mike Tobey was one of the talented team's least utilized players, he still earned a sizable amount of playing time, getting into 8 of the 9 USA games (all wins), averaging 10 minutes each. He shot 16 of 30 overall, finishing with an average of 5 points and 5 rebounds per game. Tobey did total 9 turnovers and 15 fouls committed in that span, high numbers in 80 total minutes played relative to the rest of the USA roster.
Overall, the US outscored opponents by an average of 39.6 points, with two matchups against Serbia being the only games settled by under 25. Despite the United States's relatively easy run to the gold, the national team hasn't been able to take these titles for granted. The U-19 World Championships are held every 2 years (every 4 before 2007); the USA won in 2009, but before that its last gold medal was in 1991. Lithuania was this year's defending champion.
Aaron Gordon, who will be a freshman at Arizona this fall, was named the tournament's MVP.
You can listen to full postgame reaction from both Tobey and Bennett at USA Basketball's website.