USA Basketball announces the final cuts to their U17 team

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MORE: Read through all our Class of 2015 recruiting class coverage

The final cuts have been made to USA Basketball’s U17 team that will be heading to Dubai for the World Championships in August.

Here is who made it:

  • Tyus Battle (Gill St. Bernard’s School/ Edison, N.J./2016)
  • Henry Ellenson (Rice Lake H.S./Rice Lake, Wis./2015)
  • Terrence Ferguson (Prime Prep Academy/Flower Mound, Texas/2016)
  • Harry Giles (Wesleyan Christian Academy/Winston-Salem, N.C./2016)
  • Josh Jackson (Consortium College Prep H.S./ Southfield, Mich./2016)
  • V.J. King (St. Vincent-St. Mary H.S./Akron, Ohio/2016)
  • Malik Newman (Callaway H.S./Jackson, Miss./2015)
  • Ivan Rabb (Bishop O’Dowd H.S./ Oakland, Calif./2015)
  • Devearl Ramsey (Sierra Canyon H.S./Los Angeles, Calif./2016)
  • Diamond Stone (Dominican H.S./Milwaukee, Wis./2015)
  • Caleb Swanigan (Homestead H.S./Fort Wayne, Ind./2015)
  • Jayson Tatum (Chaminade College Prep/St. Louis, Mo./2016)

The five players that got cut were Thomas Bryant (2015), Mustapha Heron (2016), De’Aaron Fox (2016), T.J. Leaf (2016) and Derryck Thornton (2016).

Part of the reason that Thornton, who was one of the most impressive point guards in the Class of 2016 this summer, was cut was that he broke his hand. Earlier, Dennis Smith Jr. — another star point guard in the Class of 2016 — was cut, as was Malik Monk, one of the most potent scorers in the class.

All told, 33 players were invited to the U17 trials.

USA Basketball U17 team beats Spain, advances to gold medal game at FIBA World Championship

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The United States U17 basketball team continued its overseas dominance Saturday afternoon, beating Spain, 95-66, to advance to the gold medal game of the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship.

“I thought Spain was very, very prepared for us. They did a lot of very interesting things to us defensively and kind of threw us off a little bit,” said USA coach Don Showalter in a release. “I thought our kids played through some adversity tonight. We really showed what kind of team we are, especially in the second half.”

Justise Winslow, a Top 10 player in the Class of 2014, led the way for the Americans with 17 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks. Kansas commit Conner Frankamp continued a strong overseas showing with 13 points.

The United States led by just six points at halftime, but was able to crack a 2-3 zone to pull away in the second half.

“[The zone] disrupted our offense,” said Winslow of Spain’s defense. “They’re pretty long and their guards up top are active. It just gave us trouble. We were turning the ball over a lot. I think we were focused, I just don’t think we were concentrating on attacking the zone in certain spots. They played really well the first half.”

Showalter and the Americans now move on to play sharpshooting Australia in the gold medal game, looking to defend their U17 title. Australia hit 15 three-pointers in a win over previously undefeated Croatia to advance.

The gold medal game will take place Sunday at 1:30 PM EDT.

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

USA Basketball U17 team cruises to 69-point victory over China on Independence Day

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Now might be the perfect time to use one of those clichéd “fireworks” puns that I’ve had stored away since last Independence Day, but I’ll resist the temptation.

The United States’ U17 basketball team put on a dominating performance Wednesday night, taking care of China, 116-47, to end the preliminary round of the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship in Lithuania.

The United States improves to 5-0 in the tournament, standing with Croatia as one of only two teams that remain undefeated.

“We looked at the tapes and we were impressed with China,” said USA head coach Don Showalter in a statement. “I take nothing away from China, because I think they’re a nice team…Had we dropped this game, we would have dropped down. We might not have won our pool. We wanted to be able to finish first in our pool. So, our kids were ready. They had intense defense right off the bat.”

Seven players scored in double figures for the Americans, led by Kansas commit Conner Frankamp with 17 points and double-double efforts from both Justise Winslow and BeeJay Anya.

“It’s really nice to have our depth,” said Frankamp. “You can work as hard as you can out there and then somebody will come in for you and do the same thing that you did. There’s no let up.”

Winslow is a Top 15 forward from the Class of 2014, and he tallied 12 points and 12 rebounds in 24 minutes.

“I don’t think anybody expected to play this well,” he said. “We knew China was a good team. I think in the first quarter we really intimidated them. From there we just got a jump on them and kept pounding them. Their confidence went down and our defense was relentless today.”

The United States advances to the medal quarterfinals as the No. 1 seed in Group A, set to be matched up with Canada (2-3), the No. 4 seed from Group B on Friday at 8:45 AM EDT.

All games are available to be streamed online at FIBATV.com.

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