I feel like we just wrote this same article last week. But when it’s so good, you have to keep writing it. Rui Hachimura poured in 25 points on 10-18 shooting Monday morning to lead Japan to a 70-56 victory over Iran in FIBA World Cup Asian qualifying.
Hachimura added seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks to his stat sheet in what was his final international game before practice begins at Gonzaga. Ira Brown had six points and eight rebounds off the bench for Japan.
Rui led Japan to a 4-game winning streak, including an enormous win over Australia earlier in the summer. In those four games, Rui averaged 21.5 points and six rebounds. He shot 57.6% from the field (2-for-7 from deep) and was 16-for-21 from the free throw line. He also added seven steals and only turned it over four times in four games.
Japan is currently one point behind in the standings in terms of qualifying and will go ahead to the next round of games this winter without their star player. Hachimura will head back to the States and join the Bulldogs when practice begins next week.
We will have more on Hachimura when his player profile preview drops at the end of the month, but the excitement and hype surrounding Rui this season is off the charts. When Tommy Lloyd recruited him, the plan was for him to take over and become a star his third season in the program. He certainly looks like he’s on his way.