Anybody who said Uruguay would give USA basketball's U-18 squad a challenge would be lying. Even when the USA got off to an ugly start, you could sense the Red, White and Blue was too big, too long and two physical for the game to be anything but a blowout.
But 156-58? The final score from Colorado Springs in the FIBA Americas opener on Friday was absurd. Bench man Luke Kennard poured in 30 points in 22 minutes on 7-for-12 shooting from deep, and none of the starters played 15 minutes.
That meant we didn't get to see much of Arizona basketball signee Johnson, who didn't help his own cause with a rocky start.
Johnson got a steal on the first Uruguay possession but was called for a travel as he took off for a breakaway dunk. The Americans in general were out of sync for a few moments, perhaps a little nervous to start. Once they began running their offense, the obvious began to set in. The blowout was on.
Johnson finished with 11 points and seven rebounds, going 4-for-8 from the field. It's a wonder if we'll get to see his flaws down the road against more competitive squads. The Americans scored 86 points in the paint and 40 off turnovers, so whether they'll ever need to use Johnson's defense while getting some outside shooting from him will be a thing to watch. His role on offense wasn't quite defined on Friday, though there was little intricacy to anything Billy Donovan's club did. USA got what it wanted.
Arizona fans might also wonder how the day went for the Wildcats recruits on the roster.
Allonzo Trier, a 2015 guard ranked in the top-20 of his class, was the only member of his class to make the starting lineup. He played along 2014 Duke signee and team captain Tyus Jones. Johnson and incoming Duke freshman Justise Winslow started at forward, and Texas' Myles Turner got the nod at center.
Back to Trier: he showed just why he is so highly-regarded and perhaps a rising member of his 2015 class. The 6-foot-4 guard attacked the paint in transition, hustled and make the right plays out of his penetration. Trier scored 14 by getting to the foul line eight times, and he also had three dimes.
Fellow 2015 guard Isaiah Briscoe, another candidate who Arizona could scoop up to replace recent decommit Tyler Dorsey, added nine of the team's 40 assists off the bench. Forward Chase Jeter, a late addition to the USA team, added 14 points off the bench, and 2015 center Stephen Zimmerman scored 15.
The next game is Saturday at 4:30 p.m. PST against Mexico, and it marks the next opportunity for Team USA to find a bit of resistance.