Despite a team-high 17 points from BYU's Jonathan Tavernari, Brazil's senior national "B" team ended the Jogos da Lusofonia with a 95-71 defeat at the hands of host Portugal in the tournament's Bronze Medal Game early Sunday.
Brazil trailed 53-39 at the break, and a knee injury suffered by BYU-Hawaii's Lucas Cipolini Alves only added to the Brazilians' troubles.
JT was the best player on the floor for Brazil on Sunday, going 6 for 10 from the field, including 5/7 from three-point range. He added two rebounds and three steals, in a team high 30:04.
Despite the disappointment for the team, the seven international games played over the last ten days have boosted Tavernari's stock with the national squad and its coach Moncho Monsalve, who will welcome Tavernari when he convenes his 22-man "A" team training camp next Sunday in Sao Paulo.
For the seven international games played, here are JT's stats:
31/50 fg (62%)
9/14 2pfg (64%)
22/36 3pfg (61%)
13/17 ft (76%)
7 games played
7 games started
Clearly, JT's shooting performance will give him every chance to make the "big club," both in terms of his productivity and his judgment. Tavernari averaged a little more seven shots taken per game, and his percentages were off the charts--especially considering the number of three-pointers attempted.
His rebound and assist numbers are down from his BYU averages, but remember that JT is a power forward with the Cougars, while he is a shooting guard with Brazil.
The next four weeks of training and tournaments will determine whether Tavernari makes the final 12-man team Brazil will take to the Tournament of the Americas, starting August 26th. Regardless of the outcome, I hope BYU fans appreciate what it takes to be one of the 20 best basketball players in your country, as JT is for Brazil. As one of only two non-professionals on the 22-man provisional Brazil roster (BYU-Hawaii's Alves is the other), Tavernari's inclusion in the final "A" team would be an even more notable achievement.
Whether or not JT makes the final cut, his international career is off to a promising start, and the BYU senior-to-be is sure to be a fixture in the green and yellow for years to come. As for his final season in Cougar blue, Tavernari could very well make history, as the first and only player to play on a conference championship basketball team in all four of his seasons at BYU.
Former BYU Cougar Ben Cahoon's Montreal Alouettes are now 3-0 after a 43-10 spanking of the Saskatchewan Roughriders over the weekend. Cahoon led the Als with 7 catches for 86 yards, and is second in the CFL with 17 receptions on the season; his 211 receiving yards are 7th in the league receiving stats.