Jun 20, 2012, 10:57 AM EDT
The last time USA Basketball sent a U17 team to the FIBA World Championship, it worked out pretty well. That squad unsurprisingly won a gold medal behind soon-to-be millionaires Brad Beal, Michael Gilchrist, Andre Drummond and several collegians that have next, James McAdoo, Adonis Thomas and Quinn Cook. Needless to say, the bar has been set for the newly minted U17 team, which was announced on Tuesday afternoon.
After watching three days of try-outs, it’s obvious that this year’s edition is a defensive-oriented, physical squad. While there may not be many prolific scoring threats, the coaching staff which is headed by high school coach Don Showalter of Iowa, have to be pleased with the team work and hardnosed play that was prevalent as 30 players did battle in Colorado Springs to make the squad. There is some familiarity, though, as seven members of the team captured the gold in the FIBA Americas U16 tournament in Cancun last summer.
Even the most casual fan has heard about the headliner of this team, 6-8 forward Jabari Parker of Simeon (Ill.), who recently graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. Parker, and incoming high school senior, will have two prominent sidekicks in juniors-to-be Tyus Jones, a point guard, and center Jahlil Okafor. Both are top-5 ranked prospects in the 2014 recruiting class, nationally. The super skilled Parker will be the subject of defensive pressure, but he has safety valves with a supreme distributor in Jones and a strong and technical post presence in Okafor. It’s safe to say that the performance of the three-headed monster of Parker, Jones and Okafor will be a key in this team’s success.
Other significant contributors figure to be Kansas pledge Conner Frankamp, who was an undersized gunner at 6-1 during trials. Frankamp absolutely scorched nets with his distance shooting. The same can be said for recent Georgetown pledge Stephen Domingo, who as a 6-8 small forward has the ability to stretch defenses by shooting over them. Both were extremely capable during tryouts and figure to open up the inside for Okafor and Parker.
There are two good options at small forward behind Domingo in two 2014 players, Stanley Johnson and Justise Winslow. Johnson played significant minutes in the FIBA Americas tournament last year, while Winslow displayed tremendous bounce at trials, and is the son of former Houston standout Rickie Winslow. Johnson is a strong lockdown defender at 230 pounds, and Winslow has a grown man’s frame that is ripe with explosiveness. Near the hoop, Winslow is almost automatic to crush the rim.
With Jones coming to trials with a minor thumb injury, there are two reserve point guards that were wisely selected to the roster, which could be important should Jones re-aggravate his injury. Joel Berry is a physical, all-around guard, while defensive-minded Kendrick Nunn has the skills to be a reserve at both guard slots.
Up front, skilled big man Johnathan Williams possesses an inside-outside game at 6-9, and is this team’s Lamar Odom. He has some good post moves, but has shooting range that extends to 3-point land. Beyond Williams, there isn’t much mystery about the other two frontcourt players, as 2013 center Beejay Anya and 2014 post Dakari Johnson made the team on their interior defense and rebounding. It’s not likely that Anya or Johnson will be heavy scorers, but expect them to defend the rim and grab caroms.
The roster consists of half 2013 prospects, and half the roster from the 2014 class. The incoming seniors include Anya, Domingo, Frankamp, Nunn, Parker and Williams, while the juniors are Berry, both Johnsons, Jones, Okafor and Winslow. Only Domingo and Frankamp have announced their college intentions.
The squad is set for some exhibition games in the Canary Islands, before making it to Lithuania for the World Championship next week.
May 20, 2013, 12:47 PM EDT
Dominic Woodson no longer plans to attend Baylor in the fall, according to multiple reports. Woodson was rated as the No. 80 recruit in the country, and the No. 9 center in the Class of 2013, by Rivals. But with Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson both opting to return to school, and with Rico Gathers…
May 20, 2013, 12:25 PM EDT
Frank Haith has added yet another transfer to his program, as former Baylor wing Deuce Bello will finish up his playing career at Missouri. The news was first reported by Gabe DeArmond of PowerMizzou.com. “I have decided to play for Mizzou,” Bello told DeArmond. “We played them three times while I was at Baylor. I…
May 20, 2013, 12:16 PM EDT
We’ve known that Long Beach State was heading towards some roster upheaval for a few weeks now, but the news will soon become official: five players from last year’s team will not be on the roster next season. The three biggest names: Keala King, Tony Freeland and Deng Deng. They’re 49er careers are caput. A…
May 20, 2013, 11:44 AM EDT
When Steve Alford was hired at UCLA almost two months ago, my initial reaction was one of optimism. Alford had turned New Mexico into the dominant program in a very good Mountain West. Regardless of the post season flameouts that he’s had — he hasn’t made it out of the first weekend of the NCAA…
May 20, 2013, 10:23 AM EDT
Last Tuesday, Andrew Wiggins ended one of the most intriguing recruitments that college hoops has ever seen. Let’s get past the fact that Wiggins is the kind of talent that can change the course of a team’s season. We’re talking about a guy that’s talented enough to do what Kevin Durant did for Texas in…
May 20, 2013, 9:17 AM EDT
It’s official now: Zay Jackson will be returning to the Murray State basketball team next season. That’s according to Andy Katz, who reported on Monday morning that Jackson had practiced with the Racers and earned a 2.75 GPA after spending 49 days in jail. If you’ve forgotten, Jackson was locked up for an incident in…
May 19, 2013, 10:06 PM EDT
Next October head coach Geno Auriemma and the UConn Huskies will begin their quest for a second consecutive (and ninth overall) national title. On Saturday the program continued a streak of sorts, as signee Saniya Chong was named Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year by Parade Magazine. Chong, who hails from Ossining, N.Y., is the…
May 19, 2013, 8:47 PM EDT
On May 8 it was reported by Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com that Marshall’s leading scorer, guard DeAndre Kane, would transfer to Pittsburgh for his senior season after graduating from Marshall. With an average of just over 15 points and seven assists per game last season, Kane would give the Panthers a needed perimeter scorer for…
May 19, 2013, 7:26 PM EDT
One byproduct of conference realignment has been the rebranding of some leagues, mainly to display the charting of a new path. That’s the case for the Sun Belt Conference, which will welcome multiple new members on July 1. The Sun Belt unveiled new primary and secondary logos on Sunday, as well as its new mantra…
May 19, 2013, 6:21 PM EDT
Following the departure of four seniors (not counting guard Jio Fontan) and the decision of center Dewayne Dedmon to enter the 2013 NBA Draft, it’s safe to say that first-year USC head coach Andy Enfield is in need of some front court depth. USC’s most experienced returnee next season will be 7-2 center Omar Oraby,…
May 19, 2013, 5:06 PM EDT
For all the accolades heaped upon Kansas signee Andrew Wiggins (and deservedly so), Parade Magazine went with another player for its 2012-13 Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year. Semi Ojeleye, a Duke signee from Ottawa, Kansas, averaged more than 38 points per game this season while also getting the job done in the classroom to…
Fellow student and fraternity brother charged with disorderly conduct in assault of Brown guard Joseph Sharkey
May 19, 2013, 3:04 PM EDT
The story continues to unfold on the assault of Joseph Sharkey, a sophomore guard on the Brown University baskstball team, who was found in critical condition in the early hours of Sunday morning (May 12th) with an injury to the head. According to the Providence Journal: Dillon J. Ingham, 22 of New York, was charged…
May 19, 2013, 1:47 PM EDT
Steve Donahue and the Boston College Eagles nearly have their non-conference schedule for the upcoming season set in stone. It was recently reported by BC Interruption that Toledo, Sacred Heart, and Philadelphia University were added to the home slate. Not exactly three teams to get overly excited about, especially with Philadelphia U being a sub-Division…
May 19, 2013, 12:29 PM EDT
As teams begin to solidify their non-conference schedules for the 2013-14 season, it has been reported that UCLA will host Alabama next season with the Bruins traveling to Alabama the following year. Anthony Grant may have his best team in next season his fifth in Tuscaloosa even with Trevor Lacey transferring out of the program.…
May 19, 2013, 11:21 AM EDT
When Lipscomb completed their search for a head men’s basketball coach this past Friday evening, it was supposed to represent the end of the coaching carousel for 2013. However, the Bisons poached Casey Alexander from fellow Atlantic Sun school Stetson, so now that leaves the Hatters as the final Division 1 school remaining without a…
May 19, 2013, 10:09 AM EDT
Yesterday, news broke that Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski was in discussions to return as the USA Olympic men’s basketball coach through the Rio 2016 Olympics. On a smaller scale, earlier last week the Providence Journal reported that Providence head coach Ed Cooley will join Marquette head coach Buzz Williams and Tim Ryan, head coach from the College of Central…
May 18, 2013, 7:28 PM EDT
There has been a lot of change at Arizona over the past few months, with several players and even a coach leaving the program. Replacing assistant James Whitford, who became head coach at Ball State, was easy: Wildcat legend Damon Stoudamire came back home to round out the staff. But the personnel situation on the…
May 18, 2013, 5:20 PM EDT
Former Baylor player and current WNBA top draft pick Britney Griner made it quite clear recently that she has no problem talking about her sexuality. She spoke with Sports Illustrated shortly after her college career ended, and was candid about something that is, frankly, not really anybody’s business. We now know why she never mentioned…
May 18, 2013, 4:46 PM EDT
The Atlantic Sun tournament was played in front of a near-capacity crowd at Mercer’s Hawkins Arena last March. Hawkins was chosen as the tourney site ahead of time, and the whole event played out there. The reported crowd of 4,394 was packed with Mercer fans who simply had to roll out of bed and find…
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