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Marcus Smart headlines Team USA U19

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Marcus Smart headlines Team USA U19

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via CBS Sports

Despite being a lock for the lottery and even in the Top 5, Marcus Smart did not join this year’s draft. He wanted to make another run with Oklahoma State. It certainly wasn’t to improve his draft stock, as next year’s draft is much stronger.

His choice has opened up an opportunity to play for the Star Spangled Banner. He is perhaps the most talented player under 19. His role is also important as the stars of the 2014 class, the top college recruits like Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and the Harrison twins opted not to join the team. Smart will have his hands full, especially with Canada headlined by Andrew Wiggins, next year’s probable No.1 pick.

 

 

per CBS Sports:

 

 

USA Basketball announced late Monday the 12-player roster than will compete in the U19 World Championship in the Czech Republic. The roster is as follows:

 

 

  • Michael Frazier (Florida)

  • Aaron Gordon (Arizona)

  • Jerami Grant (Syracuse)

  • Montrezl Harrell (Louisville)

  • Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young High in Chicago)

  • Elfrid Payton (Louisiana-Lafayette)

  • Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State)

  • Jarnell Stokes (Tennessee)

  • Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke)

  • Mike Tobey (Virginia)

  • Nigel Williams-Goss (Washington)

  • Justise Winslow (St. John’s High in Houston)

“Getting down to 12 is the real hard part because in a lot of respects we … could have kept 14-15,” said USA coach Billy Donovan, who led the 2012 USA U18 Team to a 5-0 record and FIBA Americas U18 gold medal. “There were some tough decisions, difficult decisions, but I think we feel overall that we have selected an athletic and versatile team. Our style of play will be an aggressive, up-tempo, running, pressing style. From an execution standpoint we’ve got to get better there, a lot of the other teams over there have been together for quite some time and that’s probably a strength of their teams, so we felt that we have to rely on some athleticism.”

 

Training camp will continue for the next two days in Colorado Springs, Colo., before relocating to Washington D.C. for practices on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Team USA will leave for the Czech Republic on Saturday. The World Championship starts Monday.

36 year old Father of four, proud Laker fan since '85. Writer, English teacher who hopes to watch hoops incessantly for a living.