Dylan Harper’s experience at the FIBA U19 World Cup in Hungary ended on Sunday as Team USA lost to Turkey 84-70 in the third place game. The No. 1 recruit in the 2024 class led the Americans with 15 points in the loss. It was a disappointing result for Team USA to not medal, but Harper represented himself and his country well.
In seven games, Harper averaged 9.3 points on 40.0% shooting in 18.8 minutes per game. It wasn’t his most efficient scoring performance this past week. However, he led Team USA with 3.0 assists per game and finished with a stunning 7 to 1 assisst-to-turnover ratio. He had just 3 turnovers in 132 minutes played over 7 games. Harper also grabbed 4.6 rebounds per game.
On Friday, Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell and top assistant Brandin Knight attended Team USA’s win over Japan in the Quarterfinals. It was a power move by the coach who has known him the longest and was the first coach to offer Dylan in regard to who is in his top five schools of Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Auburn and Rutgers. Being the lone head coach in the stands on Friday in Hungary was certainly a statement.
Bleacher Report’s Max Escarpio was at the game and interviewed Harper afterwards. In asking him specifically about the Rutgers coaches being in the stands on Friday, Harper responded, “They’re a great staff, they always show me love and support. Anytime I need them, I can always hit them up.”
Pikiell’s due diligence in traveling overseas to watch Harper play is certainly a positive message.
Harper was also asked about becoming the top recruit in the 2024 class. He said, “Obviously, I notice it, it’s a great honor but I don’t play the game for the ranking. I play because I love the game. Obviously, I’m very happy about it but it’s not even the reason I’m playing. I’m going to keep on playing because I love it.”
Harper has indicated previously his desire to play point guard in college and said it again in this interview. As for why he thinks he is rated No. 1, Harper’s answer helps give insight on to why he wants to be a floor general at the next level.
“I think because of my versatility, I think I can guard 1 through 3, 1 through 4. I think I’m a willing passer (and) make all of my teammates better.”
You can watch Dylan Harper’s interview with Max Escarpio below.
— MAX (@maxescarpio) June 30, 2023
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