Tad Boyle will bring an impressive piece of shiny new hardware back to Boulder.
Tabbed to lead the USA Basketball U18 team at the FIBA Americas Championship, Boyle and the younger generation of basketball stars completed its dominant run through the tournament on Sunday night by routing Brazil 102-60 in the gold medal game in Tijuana, Mexico.
The victory left the Americans with a perfect 6-0 mark in the tournament, as the squad rolled through three pool-play victories before topping Mexico in the quarterfinals and Argentina in the semifinals to set up Sunday’s championship matchup.
The U.S. has won the past six FIBA U18 Americas Championships and 10 of 12 since the event’s inception in 1990. With the 6-0 run over the past week, USA Basketball improved to 65-2 all-time at the U18 Americas Championship.
For Boyle, it was his third medal in international play while representing USA Basketball, though his first gold. CU’s head coach also won a bronze medal as an assistant for the 2015 Pan American Games and collected another bronze as an assistant for the John Calipari-led U.S. team at the U19 World Cup.
The Americans hardly were challenged during the tournament, averaging 105.2 points per game while posting an average margin of victory of 47.2 points. If there was a concerning moment at all for the Americans it was early during Saturday’s 98-60 semifinal win against Argentina, as the US fell behind 12-4 in the opening minutes. However, the US promptly ran away with a 40-4 run, and at halftime of Sunday’s gold medal match, the U.S. led 57-22.
Cam Whitmore, set to begin his collegiate career this fall at Villanova, finished his run as the U18 team’s leading scorer by posting 30 points and 12 rebounds against Brazil. Overall, Whitmore paced the U.S. with 18.7 points per game during the tournament and also averaged 6.3 rebounds.
Boyle received an up-front look at one of the Buffs’ new rivals in 7-footer Kel’el Ware, who is set to join Oregon. Ware posted 21 points and six rebounds in the gold medal win against Brazil, averaging 15.7 points and 6.8 rebounds for the tournament.
Boyle’s coaching staff was rounded out with Boise State coach Leon Rice and Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton. It has been a memorable few days for Boyle, who is set to begin his 13th season as the head man at CU. Last week, Boyle was named to the NABC Board of Directors and also was named to the 2022 induction class for the University of Northern Colorado athletics Hall of Fame.