The USA won the bronze medal in the 2017 U19 FIBA tournament after being eliminated by eventual champion Canada. One player that stuck out to me was Auburn center Austin Wiley. Wiley was the captain of the U19 team, and displayed physical dominance in the tournament.
Wiley was arguably the most dominant physical presence in the tournament, as he is 6’11 with a 7’5 wingspan and is 250 pounds. His low post presence on both ends of the court were excellent, and he was very hard to out-rebound.
Wiley entered college early, as he graduated in December and was put on Auburn’s roster for 23 games. In those 23 games, he played limited minutes (18 MPG), but put up quality production in rebounding, shot blocking, and low post scoring. You can check out his college stats here. He did have turnover issues, however, which could very well be improved upon with a full season in college.
As for FIBA, his physical profile was overwhelming for defenders, which made his defense excellent. Here are two examples of his dominance on defense. His FIBA U19 stats were: 10 PPG, 11 RPG, 0.4 BPG on 50% shooting and 56% from the line. Wiley has work to do on his shot, but it is not a part of his arsenal currently. Wiley was effective in this competition though, as he was a rim protector on defense and drew double teams on offense.
His coach at Auburn, Bruce Pearl, talks about what to expect from Wiley next season, including his leadership qualities and his familial history in athletics, as well as his physical dominance. Wiley will be an interesting watch at Auburn, as will teammate Mustapha Heron (who I’ll cover in detail in the near future). Auburn could be a surprise SEC team this upcoming season.