John Shurna kinda gets to hold the U19 World Championship trophy
With an 88-80 victory over Greece, the US U19 team won the World Championships, going 9=0, winning each game by an average margin of victory of 22.5 points.
Shurna played arguably his worst game of the tournament - only seven minutes, 0/2 shooting, 1/2 from the line - but it didn't matter. Even if he played a terrible tournament, NU fans could feel happy for him and know that winning a tournament like this might help bring a winning spirit to NU basketball.
Luckily for us, we don't have to worry about that - Shurna played a pretty good tournament. Despite playing the least minutes of anybody on the squad who didn't get a knee injury halfway through the tournament, Shurna averaged 6 points and 4 rebounds, good for a point every two minutes and a rebound every three. He finished with over 50% shooting for the tournament, and just generally played above-average basketball against the world's best. Nothing you can do but be happy that he'll be back in Evanston next year.
So some of you are probably thinking: if Shurna played such a great tournament, what's this nonsense about him playing the least minutes on the team?
First off, everybody on the team played well. They won every game by 22.5 POINTS PER GAME. This team was stacked, 1-12. Shurna got the bum end of the stick in terms of minutes, but don't consider that a knock on him from Jamie Dixon and the coaching staff - a) he definitely wasn't the worst player on the squad, outperforming other players statistically with less minutes, and b) he played crunch time minutes, such as down the stretch of the semi-finals game with Croatia.
Of course, I wish Shurna had played more minutes as a selfish NU fan, but you can't argue with results, and 9-0 is a pretty good result, and in the minutes he did play, Shurna was as good as I could've asked for.
I'll analyze the summer nationalism performances of all our Wildcats tomorrow, specifically how they might pertain to next season in Evanston. From then on out, it's football time, all the time, unless someone else on our team randomly decides to represent their country of origin in some sort of tournament out of the blue and I get to focus on that for a few weeks, but, yeah, from here on out, football.