After Whirlwind Trip from Italy to Colorado, Jaylen Brown Excelling at USA Basketball Tryouts

StanleyJaylen Brown has traveled so much this week he may be ready to co-star with William Shatner in a ad.

The 6-foot-6, 200-pound Marietta (GA) High School junior wing left the Adidas Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy at 1 p.m. Monday so that he could play in the USA Basketball U18 tryouts beginning the next day in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“I [flew] from Italy to New York and that was 10 hours,” Brown told by phone Thursday evening. “And then New York to Denver and that was five hours, and then a one-hour car drive to Colorado Springs.”

After a long sleep in Colorado Springs, Brown was in the gym by 8:30 Tuesday morning so he could get up some shots “and get used to the elevation.” Jet lag is still a factor, but he’s battling through it.
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Briscoe Makes First USA Cut, Will Trim List This Month

Roselle (N.J.) Catholic guard Isaiah Briscoe made the first cut for the USA U18 team, and hopes to make the final roster of 12 which will compete in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship later this month.

“It feels good just knowing that all the hard work I put in is showing,” the 6-foot-3 Briscoe told by text after cuts were made. “It’s still one more cut to be made of three but I’m just still trying to play my game and hope to represent my country.”

As reported here earlier this month, Briscoe plans to cut his list to eight colleges sometime later this month, either after the FIBA Americas championship or after the Kyrie Irving Point Guard Academy that runs June 23-25 at Kean University. To read more of this story, click here

USA Basketball Cuts U18 Roster to 15

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. To read more of this story, click here

Blakeney, Jeter, Trier Added to USA U18 Tryout Roster

WinslowTwenty-four of the country’s top 18-and-unders who accepted invitations to participate in the 2014 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team training camp, will arrive on Tuesday to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in hopes of making the 12-member USA U18 National Team roster.

Headlining the group of invitees set to participate in training camp is a trio of high school seniors who each have two gold medals playing internationally for USA Basketball: Arizona-bound Stanley Johnson (Mater Dei H.S./Fullerton, Calif.) and Duke commits Tyus Jones (Apple Valley H.S./Apple Valley Minn.) and Justise Winslow (St. John’s School/Houston, Texas). In addition, eight others have at least attended a USA Basketball camp. To read more of this story, click here

Donovan, Miller, Cooley to Coach USA U18s

Florida head coach Billy Donovan, who led USA Basketball teams to gold medals in 2012 and 2013, will return to lead the 2014 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, and joining him on the sideline as USA assistant coaches will be Ed Cooley of Providence College and Sean Miller of the University of Arizona.

“Coach Donovan is not only one of the great college basketball coaches but he has proven to be successful with USA Basketball as well,” said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, chair of the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee, which is responsible for selecting the USA men’s U18 coaching staff. “Coach Cooley and coach Miller give us a staff of great teachers and great coaches. The U18 team will be well prepared for international competition.” To read more of this story, click here

USA-Turkey Rematch Headlines Group C as FIBA World Cup Draw Announced

Kevin Durant Team USABy JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG

Team USA is going to be a heavy favorite to win the FIBA World Cup, which runs Aug. 30-Sept. 14 in Spain, but that doesn’t mean the Americans won’t necessarily get tested, even in group play.

The draw for the 24-team event, formerly known as the FIBA World Championships, was released on Monday afternoon and with the United States headlining Group C, the one other team that sticks out there the six is Turkey. The Turks, ranked seventh in the latest FIBA World Ranking, had their greatest showing ever in international play when, as the host nation in 2010, they made a surprising run to the gold medal game of the World Championships before falling to the United States, 81-69.

Kevin Durant led all scorers that day with 28 points on 10-for-17 shooting. The NBA scoring-leader has already committed to playing this summer in Spain, as has Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love.

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Justise Winslow Still Mulling Joining Okafor, Jones

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.After winning a gold medal with Jahlil Okafor in Prague, Justise Winslow is still considering joining the Chicago big man and point guard Tyus Jones in a three-man package deal.

If that were to happen, the 6-foot-6 Winslow out of Houston St. John’s believes some school would be getting a special situation.

“I think one, none of us are selfish and two, we’re just high-level guys that want to win and we’re not at the same position,” Winslow said after going for 12 points and four rebounds in the Houston Hoops’ 56-51 loss to Team Scan Thursday night at the Peach Jam. To read more of this story, click here

One Coach and Six Players Who Impressed at U19 Worlds

The USA returns from the U19 World Championship in Prague with just their second gold medal since 1991.

Along the way the Americans faced some tough foreign competition as well, including an 82-68 victory over Serbia in the final.

Here are one coach and six players who helped themselves at the event:

USA Coach Billy Donovan: The Florida head man has now won two NCAA championships (2006 and ’07) and gold medals at the U18 and U19 levels. As Andy Katz pointed out, Donovan should now be in line to coach in the FIBA World Basketball Cup in 2018 and with the 2020 Olympic team. When Coach K steps down after the 2016 Olympics, Donovan has done more than enough to prove he can handle the big job. “I feel very, very honored my country asked me to coach this team. I think USA Basketball could have picked a lot of coaches who would have done a wonderful job,” Donovan said. To read more of this story, click here

USA Wins U19 Gold For Just Second Time Since 1991; Arizona’s Gordon Named MVP of World Championship


The United States won gold in the FIBA U19 World Championship for just the second time since 1991.

Coached by Florida’s Billy Donovan, the Americans beat Serbia, 82-68 in the final in Prague behind 17 points, four rebounds and four blocks from Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell. Washington’s Nigel Williams-Goss added 15 points, Duke’s Rasheed Sulaimon had 12 and team captain Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State chipped in with 11.

Incoming Arizona forward Aaron Gordon was named MVP of the tournament and Chicago Whitney Young senior forward Jahlil Okafor joined him on the all-tournament team.

Gordon led all USA players with averages of 12.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He ranked second on the team in blocks (1.0), third in steals (2.0) and fifth in assists (1.9).

The 6-10 Okafor has now won gold in the U16, U17 and U19 events.

“This team right here is looking to change that and making a trend of going over there and dominating the 19-and-under,” Smart told before the event in reference to the USA’s struggles in the age category.

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Smart, Winslow, Gordon Lead USA to U19 Final

Marcus Smart and his USA U19 teammates know that the Americans haven’t dominated the FIBA World Championship in that age category.

The U.S. has only won the U19s once since 1995 — in 2009 — and Smart is out to alter history.

“This team right here is looking to change that and making a trend of going over there and dominating the 19-and-under,” the Oklahoma State sophomore point guard told recently. To read more of this story, click here