Tuesday June 18, 2013Red, White (Orange) and Blue -- Part 2
Updated: 4:36pm, June 18
Updated: 4:36pm, June 18
(Second of occasional dispatches from Team USA U19)
Who: Gators representing their country include Billy Donovan (head coach), Michael Frazier II (guard) Mark Daigneault (assistant to the head coach), David “Duke” Werner (trainer) and Billy Donovan (transfer guard from Catholic University last year and working as USA team manager).
Where: Colorado Springs, Colo.
What: FIBA U19 World Championship camp
>>> The roster was finalized Monday night, trimming from 16 to 12. There was much discussion over the final two spots and all four players were considered. One of the more difficult parts of the process was comparing two or three players who can play different positions. Comparing like-sized players is usually an easier process, but comparing, say, a point guard to a wing to a center is an inexact science.
>>> The staff is really pleased with the roster. Five players return from last year's U18 team -- led by Coach Donovan -- that won the FIBA Tournament of the Americas in Brazil (Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell, pictured left in NCAA title game vs. Michigan, Tennessee’s forward Jarnell Stokes, Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon, Syracuse forward Jeremi Grant and Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart). Another four have prior international experience (Louisiana guard Elfrid Payton, incoming Arizona freshman Aaron Gordon, plus the two high school kids who made the team). There’s also a comfort level with 6-foot-11 center/forward Mike Tobey, who plays for assistant coach Tony Bennett at Virginia, and Mike Frazier, with his ties to UF. Nigel Williams-Goss, a guard/forward headed to Washington, rounds out the roster after a very impressive showing over the weekend tryout.
>>> One of the biggest considerations (and one some may overlook) in selecting the team was factoring in how each individual player will handle being in a different country for an extended stretch of time. Another consideration was that our nine games will be played over a stretch of 11 days, so having depth at every position and a healthy amount of multi-position players is a necessity.
>>> Leadership has yet to really emerge. Coach Donovan tends to allow that to happen in a natural way rather than appointing guys. The team has a diversity of experiences that could spawn valuable leadership traits. The most valuable type of leadership on a team with this kind of talent is one's ability to sacrifice for the good of the team -- and the country. We have a lot of guys that will be asked to play more limited roles than they are used to in order for the whole to be greater than the sum of the parts.
>>> We have three more practices here in Colorado Springs (two Tuesday, one Wednesday morning), then it’s off to Washington for three days of workouts there at the NBA’s Wizards complex downtown.