Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
USA Basketball cut the U18 roster to 15 players on Thursday and will cut again to 12 before the FIBA U18 Americas Championship begins next week at the US Olympic Training Center.
The current roster includes incoming Duke freshmen Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow and 2015 Duke commit Luke Kennard, along with incoming Arizona frosh Stanley Johnson:
“I thought the group all-together was really, really great. Now that we’ve narrowed it down to 15 guys, we’ll get a chance to practice with those guys. As I’ve said, it’s not necessarily about having the 12 best players but having the 12 best guys that will make up the best team. I think with these 15 players there are a lot of options to choose from. This group is very talented and really good,” said Billy Donovan, USA U18 National Team and University of Florida head coach, who led the 2012 U18 and 2013 U19 USA National Teams to gold and a combined 14-0 record.
“The first thing is the attitude and unselfishness because I think there are so many outstanding players there’s going to have to be a level of sacrifice by everybody; everybody is going to have to sacrifice something for the betterment of the team,” continued Donovan about what he was looking for during the early training sessions. “Then the next thing I look at is style of play. Because we have a limited amount of practice time and some of these teams have been practicing much longer, you’ve got to be able to play a style of play of being able to press and be disruptive defensively, and you try and find guys that are going to fit into that kind of system. That’s why sometimes it’s not necessarily the best players but the best players that fit into a system that can be unselfish and want to sacrifice.”
Here’s the roster:
Antonio Blakeney (Uncommitted)
Isaiah Briscoe (Uncommitted)
Jaylen Brown (Uncommitted)
Jalen Brunson (Uncommitted)
Chase Jeter (Uncommitted)
Stanley Johnson (Arizona freshman)
Tyus Jones (Duke freshman)
Luke Kennard (Duke)
Tyler Lydon (Syracuse)
Dwayne Morgan (UNLV freshman)
Allonzo Trier (Uncommited)
Myles Turner (Texas freshman)
Thomas Welsh (UCLA freshman)
Justise Winslow (Duke freshman)
Stephen Zimmerman (Uncommitted)
The following players were cut:
Leron Black (Illinois freshman)
Kameron Chatman (Michigan freshman)
Marquese Chriss (Washington)
Tyler Dorsey (Arizona)
JaKeenan Gant (Missouri freshman)
Austin Grandstaff (Ohio State)
Malachi Richardson (Syracuse)
Justin Simon (Arizona)
Glynn Watson (Uncommitted)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.