Team USA’s U19 squad is set to face off against France in the semifinals of the 2023 FIBA World Cup, thanks in large part to a dominant performance from top CU Buffs commit Cody Williams.

Williams connected on seven of his eight shots from the field, including his lone three-point attempt, as he tallied 15 points, three rebounds, one assist, and one steal in just 19 minutes of time on the court.

Today’s showing against Japan represented a nice bounceback for Williams, who struggled in Team USA’s Round of 16 matchup against China — registering just two points and three rebounds on six shots over his 15 minutes of basketball. Now, Williams is averaging 8.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 1.0 steal and 0.6 blocks per game for Team USA, through his five international contests.

One promising sign for CU Buffs fans has been Williams’ ability to constantly impact the game on the defensive end of the floor. Even in his poor performance against China, he still managed to snag a pair of steals and swat away a pair of blocks.

His guard-like movement in his strong and lengthy frame gives him the ability to switch onto almost anyone the court defensively, which should translate brilliantly to Boulder, where head coach Tad Boyle (who also serves as the head coach of Team USA’s U19 squad) is expected to use Cody Williams as his two-guard, as opposed to being a stretch-four, as he has been for the diminutive U19 team.

If the CU Buffs tandem of Coach Boyle and Williams can guide Team USA past France on Saturday, they’ll look to play either Spain or Turkey on Sunday for the World Cup. Also, USA’s U19 team hasn’t lost in the knockout stage since 2017’s tournament, when RJ Barrett led Team Canada to an unprecedented upset.

Williams and Boyle will look to avoid that embarrassing fate this weekend.