Final USA Basketball U18 roster announced, team set to compete in Brazil


On Saturday night, USA Basketball announced its final roster for the U18 National Team, a group that will compete in the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship from  June 16-20 in Sao Sebastiáo do Paraiso, Brazil.

The roster was cut from 23 players to 14 on Friday, and was trimmed once more Saturday, to get to the final 12 who will represent the United States.

“I think we’ve got some balance, we’ve got some versatility, we can move guys to some different positions. This has been a group that has picked up things pretty well so far so I’m excited about it,” U18 head coach Billy Donovan, also of the Florida Gators, said in a statement. “The thing I’ve been most impressed with since we started is just their attitudes. It seems like we’ve got really good chemistry, they get along real well, they seem to be a cohesive group.”

In order to compete, players must have been born on or after January 1, 1994.

Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes is the only player on the final roster with collegiate experience, having played in 17 games last season for the Volunteers and averaging 9.6 points and 7.4 rebounds.

He was named to the SEC All-Freshman team.

The complete roster is as follows:

Nate Britt, II (Gonzaga H.S., D.C./Upper Marlboro, Md./North Carolina signee)

Sam Dekker (Sheboygan Lutheran H.S./Sheboygan, Wis./Wisconsin signee)

Shaq Goodwin (Southwest DeKalb H.S./Decatur, Ga./Memphis signee)

Jerami Grant(DeMatha Catholic/Bowie, Md./Syracuse signee)

Montrezl Harrell(Hargrave Military Academy/Tarboro, N.C./Louisville signee)

Jake Layman(King Phillip Regional H.S./Wrentham, Mass./Maryland signee)

Rodney Purvis (Upper Room Christian/Raleigh, N.C./NC State signee)

Julius Randle (Prestonwood Christian Academy/ McKinney, Texas/Uncommitted)

James Robinson (DeMatha Catholic H.S./Mitchellville, Md./Pittsburgh signee)

Marcus Smart (Marcus H.S./Flower Mound, Texas/Oklahoma State signee)

Jarnell Stokes (Memphis, Tenn./Tennessee sophomore)

Rasheed Sulaimon (Strake Jesuit College Prep/Houston, Texas/Duke signee)

Uncommitted 2013 forward Austin Nichols and UNC-bound 2012 center Joel James were the last two players to be cut from the roster.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

VIDEO: Kris Dunn wills Providence to win over No. 11 Arizona

Kris Dunn, Elliott Pitts
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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Kris Dunn spent the first 35 minutes of Friday night’s game against No. 11 Arizona in foul trouble, splitting his time between sitting on the bench and trying to avoid finding himself, again, on the wrong side the whistle.

With 11 minutes left in the game, and with Dunn yet to find a rhythm, the all-american point guard was whistled for his fourth foul as he battled for a rebound with Arizona’s Mark Tollefsen. Head coach Ed Cooley say his superstar beside his for six game minutes, time enough for Arizona to turn a 49-47 deficit into a 58-54 lead.

There were just over five minutes left when Dunn reentered the second semifinal of the Wooden Legacy, and he proceeded to show everyone in the country why he was named the NBCSports.com Preseason Player of the Year. Providence had nine possessions after he reentered the game. Dunn scored 11 points and had a pair of assists on those eight possessions, and if Ben Bentil had stuck a wide-open three — that was setup by Dunn — the Friars would have scored on all nine.

In total, Dunn was responsible for all 15 Friar points in a game-changing, 15-7 run in the final 4:30. It was capped off by this Kobe-in-his-prime-esque game-winner:

The win for Providence is huge for a couple of reasons:

  • Dunn showed a killer instinct against a marquee opponent, something that we didn’t necessarily see out of him a season ago. He wasn’t going to let his team lose, and given that Providence doesn’t have anyone else that can consistently create good shots, they are going to need that from him a lot this year.
  • It makes a statement for the Friars. Arizona is overrated at No. 11 in the country, yes, but going out on national television against an elite program and getting this kind of performance from Dunn is a confidence-booster and a tone-setter. Providence hasn’t been accustomed to winning in recent years. This is a way to set a trend.
  • Ben Bentil continues to play like a star. Dunn had 19 points and eight assists on Friday, but Bentil followed up a 24-point performance in the win over Evansville with 21 critical points on Friday.

This win sets up a matchup between No. 3 Michigan State and Providence on Sunday night, which means that Denzel Valentine and Kris Dunn — the two best players in the country, sorry Ben Simmons — will be going head-to-head.

Oh. Hell. Yes.

No. 14 Cal goes 0-2 in Las Vegas Invitational

Jaylen Brown
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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After midnight on the east coast on Thanksgiving, No. 14 Cal blew a 15 point second half lead against San Diego State, allowing the Aztecs to use a 30-6 run to put away the game and advance to the final of the Las Vegas Invitational. That’s the same San Diego State team had scored 43 points in a loss to Arkansas-Little Rock last week.

Not 24 hours later, the Golden Bears were shredded defensively by the Richmond Spiders, losing 94-90 in the consolation game of a four-team tournament they were considered to be the heavy favorite in.

It’s a disappointing two-game stretch for Cal, who entered the season as a Pac-12 favorite and had looked the part for the first four games of the season.

And the issue appears to be on the defensive end of the floor.

Richmond is a good Atlantic 10 team. Terry Allen and Marshall Wood are high-major big men, Shawn’Dre Jones is a jitterbug at the point and Chris Mooney runs a Princeton-esque system that is very difficult to prepare for without a day in-between games. So it’s not really surprising that the Spiders gave Cal a fight.

But 94 points?

On the heels of giving up 44 points in the second half against the offensively-challenged Aztecs?

That’s a problem, one that I’m sure that Cuonzo Martin is going to address this week in practice. Martin has managed to put together a roster that is build for small-ball, with four talented perimeter players surrounding a first round pick in the post. But that’s not the style that he’s known for. Martin played his college ball at Purdue in the Gene Keady days. He cut his teeth as a head coach at Missouri State in the Missouri Valley. His team’s at Tennessee were known for being tough and physical defensively.

That’s how Martin coaches, which is part of the reason Cal had such hype entering the year.

The talents of Tyrone Wallace, Jaylen Brown, Ivan Rabb, Jabari Bird and Jordan Mathews on a team with a coach that gets teams to defend the way Martin does? It’s no surprise that pundits would be optimistic.

But as of now, they have some work to do defensively if they want to live up to that hype.