Who would make your World University Games roster?

Leave a comment

USA Basketball has 22 players lined up to attend the 2011 World University Games training camp, and the names are about what you’d expect.

Question is, who’ll end up on the roster?

When the players arrive in Colorado Springs, Colo., on July 29, they’ll spend the first few days vying for spots. The final roster is expected to be announced on July 31. Coaches Matt Painter, Cuonzo Martin and Brad Stevens aren’t looking for the most talented players, either. They want a group who can win gold.

“After a lot of thought and consideration of potential players, the committee has put together a very strong roster for the USA Men’s World University Games Team training camp,” Jim Boeheim, head of the junior national team committee, said in a release. “As always, the committee will be looking for not only the most talented players, but also players that will work well as a team.”

Here’s the list:

Tim Abromaitis, Notre Dame
Bradford Burgess, VCU
Marcus Denmon, Missouri
Kim English, Missouri
Yancy Gates, Cincinnati
Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh
Draymond Green, Michigan State
JaMychal Green, Alabama
Tu Holloway, Xavier
Scoop Jardine, Syracuse
John Jenkins, Vanderbilt
Orlando Johnson, UC-Santa Barbara
Greg Mangano, Yale
Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota
C.J. McCollum, Lehigh
Khris Middleton, Texas A&M
Darius Miller, Kentucky
Tony Mitchell, Alabama
Aaric Murray, West Virginia
Alex Oriakhi, Connecticut
John Shurna, Northwestern
Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin

I’d consider Taylor, Jenkins, Gibbs, Miller and Shurna to be locks. Taylor’s the best player among the group and the others are either great shooters or solid all-around players who have international experience (Miller).

After that, it’ll be finding the right fits. I’d think English, Oriakhi, Middleton, Holloway and Draymond Green should get strong consideration, along with Jardine, JaMychal Green and Denmon.

Hmm. Guess I just picked a team. Might be a bit on the small side, but I’d take it.

The World University Games are Aug. 13-23 in Shenzhen, China.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

Stanford loses key veteran guard to stress fracture

Marcus Allen
AP Photo
Leave a comment

Stanford guard Marcus Allen will be out indefinitely after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot, the school announced on Monday evening.

“We want to make sure Marcus is fully healthy before returning to the court,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said in a statement. “Marcus played at a high level during our summer exhibition competition in Italy, where he was one of our leading scorers. We will certainly miss him as we continue to prepare for the season, but we are fortunate that this happened now and he will be back before he knows it.”

The loss of Allen is a potentially brutal blow in an already-thin back court. The 6-foot-3 Allen started 23 games as a sophomore last season, averaging 6.4 points and 3.5 boards. But he averaged 11.4 points and 5.4 boards as the Cardinal made a run to the NIT championship and looked poised to be able to replace the departed Chasson Randle’s production this year.

What’s worse is that without Allen, Stanford does not return a single player in their back court that averaged more than 11.5 minutes. Sophomore Robert Cartwright looks poised to step into the starting point guard role, but neither Dorian Pickens nor Christian Sanders looked like they were ready for that kind of role in the Pac-12 last season. Dawkins does return Malcolm Allen, Marcus’ twin brother, who sat out last season with a broken wrist.

The good news is that Stanford’s front court is strong enough to carry the Cardinal until Marcus is healthy. Rosco Allen, Reid Travis and Michael Humphrey will be able to hold their own against any front line in the Pac-12, while Grant Verhoeven and freshman Josh Sharma will provide adequate depth.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
Leave a comment

Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.