So Jonas Valanciunas dominated the U19 FIBA Championships, winning gold and the MVP award with 23-14-3 averages and people are surprised? He similarly dominated the U18 tournament last year, won the MVP then, too, and looked just unchallenged as Lithuania waltzed to the gold medal after a week of play. As satisfying as it must have been for Valanciunas' supporters (and as eye-opening as it must have been for Valanciunas' detractors) to see him obliterate his overmatched foes, there wasn't really a lot to learn about Valanciunas that those who have seen him play didn't already know.
What this tournament, and his exceptional play during it, might allow for, however, is a noteworthy role with the senior team this August when the Eurobasket tournament kicks off against the best in the continent. Being just 19-years-old, Valanciunas may not merit considerable minutes with the big boys in his first go with the team, so any edge he can get to earn court time (like dominating the U19 ranks), he'll take.
Valanciunas dominates at U19 tournament
TSN.ca | Jul 13