United States roster for Nike Hoop Summit announced

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The Nike Hoop Summit isn’t simply another “all-star” game along the lines of the McDonald’s All America Game or the Jordan Brand Classic.

As opposed to those events, which match teams based on geography, the Hoop Summit matches the best players from the United States against some of the top young players from around the world.

On Sunday the United States roster for the April 20 event was announced, with players such as twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison, forward Jabari Parker and forward Julius Randle making the list.

The full roster (hometown and the college to which they’ve committed in parentheses):

G Aaron Harrison (Richmond, Texas/Kentucky)

G Andrew Harrison (Richmond, Texas/Kentucky)

G Kasey Hill (Eustis, Fla./Florida)

G Demetrius Jackson (Mishawaka, Ind./Notre Dame)

F Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Cal./Undecided)

F Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Philadelphia, Pa./Arizona)

F Jabari Parker (Chicago, Ill./Duke)

F Bobby Portis (Little Rock, Ark./Arkansas)

F Julius Randle (McKinney, Texas/Undecided)

F Noah Vonleh (Haverhill, Mass./Indiana)

Of the ten players on the roster only two have yet to commit to a school and both are power forwards: Gordon and Randle.

According to Scout.com Gordon is down to three schools: Arizona, Kentucky and Washington. Randle has a longer list, as Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, NC State, Oklahoma and Texas are still in the running for his services.

The United States team will be coached by Mike Jones, who is the head coach at DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Maryland, and he will be assisted by Cory Alexander of the Boo Williams AAU program.

The World team won last year’s game 84-75, with 2013 prospect Andrew Wiggins scoring a team-high 20 points to lead the way. UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad led all scorers with 35 points.

The World team will be announced in late February or early March according to event organizers, but it’s a safe bet that Wiggins will be one of the players on that roster.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.