Nick Faust Struggles, Jabari Brown Impresses, Both Lose at Nike Global Challenge

Jabari Brown had the best performance, but his team suffered the same fate. Image via theshiver.com

I'm a little late on this, but I've been busy today, so I'm rolling with it. The Nike Global Challenge, sort of like a mini-World Championship of high school basketball, kicked off last night, and quite a few Maryland targets participated. Chief among them was Nick Faust, who was receiving his first real recognition as an elite prospect.

Unfortunately, Faust didn't have the greatest of games in the opener last night. His USA East team fell to a Kyle Wiltjer-led (remember him?) Canada team in double overtime in their opening game, and Faust was nowhere to be seen (check the box score here). His statline? He started, but only played 14 minutes and went 1-6 from the field and 1-6 from the line for four points. He sat out the majority of the second half after an obviously rough first half.

Dorian Finney-Smith was also on the USA East team, and though he didn't start he did play 42 minutes and scored 19 points - second-most on the team - with a crazy 16 rebounds.

(Incidentally, Michael Gbinije's 16 minutes were almost as bad as Faust's. Trevor Cooney was also there; he scored 14, but went an awful 3-14 from three. Wiltjer was the game's best player: 31 points, 18 rebounds.)

Jabari Brown was the other Maryland target there, and his team USA West team also lost their opener to France (box score). Brown started and, on paper, was the best player: his 25 points led the team, and he got to the line 12 times (made 9). One scout, Carl Berman, agreed that he was a standout player. His three point shooting, though, left much to be desired: he was 2-10 from deep.

Brown's team will play the unimposing All-Asia squad tonight; Faust and DFS will play the slightly more talented Brazil squad, which gave the USA South a scare. I'd ultimately be surprised if we didn't see a dream matchup between Brown and Faust in the finale. We can all dream.

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