David Lighty and his USA teammates moved to 6-0 after beating France 87-82 last night in the U19 FIBA World Championship in the tourist hotbed of Serbia. The victory clinched a #1 seed in the medal quarterfinals and a match up against #4 Argentina (3-3) on Friday. A member of the starting five, Lighty played 31 minutes producing 6 points and 5 boards and continued to impress head coach Jerry Wainwright who called Lighty the best defensive player in the tournament.
Of course, Buckeye fans already know D-Light can be a defensive stopper. From my standpoint, the greater benefit of Lighty's participation in this tournament is the extra gametime needed for him to develop offensively. Next year's Buckeye squad will need 10+ ppg from Lighty to challenge for the conference title considering the top two returning point producers are Jamar Butler (8.5 ppg) and Othello Hunter (5.7). The good news is that Lighty is capable of producing on offense as evidenced by his 19 point performance in Monday's 90-81 win over Lithuania. D-Light was on fire hitting all 8 of his shots including two from downtown. Hopefully, we'll see more of this agressiveness as medal play begins so he returns to Columbus with the confidence to look for his shot with greater frequency in the absence of Oden, Conley and Cook.