DURHAM, N.C. — Duke incoming freshmen Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow were among the 15 finalists for the 2014 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team roster as announced Thursday morning following four training sessions covering three days. Jones and Winslow along were Stanley Johnson are the most experienced players to make the list having each won two gold medals playing internationally for USA Basketball.
Also named as finalists were: Antonio Blakeney; Isaiah Briscoe; Jaylen Brown; Jalen Brunson; Chase Jeter; Luke Kennard (Duke commit); Tyler Lydon; Dwayne Morgan; Allonzo Trier; Myles Turner; Thomas Welsh; and Stephen Zimmerman.
A total of 24 of the country’s top 18-and-unders participated in the 2014 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team training camp that was held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“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.”
Assisting Donovan along the USA sideline are collegiate head coaches Ed Cooley of Providence College and Sean Miller of the University of Arizona.
The finalists will continue training June 12-19 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and selection of the official USA 12-member team will occur during that training period. USA Basketball will host the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship at the USOTC from June 20-24.
Additional information on the USA Basketball U18 Team and the 2014 FIBA Americas Championship is available at www.usabasketball.com.