Thursday, June 16, 2011

FIBA Americas Cup 2011 -- USA U16 Team Announced

The U16 Men's Team is Set
USA Basketball announced the U16 Men's roster earlier this week (to muted ineffectual mumbles from disaffected regional writers and fans) after a week of workouts with 25 invited members of the U16 Training Team. The twelve who will represent the USA in the second U16 Americas Cup will include...

Larry AustinG6-116102/18/962014Lamphier H.S./Springfield, IL
Dom CollierG6-214312/08/952014Denver East H.S./Denver, CO
C FrankampG6-015207/16/952013Wichita North H.S./Wichita, KS
Aaron GordonC6-820809/16/952013Archbsp Mitty H.S./San Jose, CA
Justin JacksonG6-617103/28/952014Homeschool Christian YA/Spring, TX
S JohnsonF6-521705/29/962014Mater Dei H.S./Fullerton, CA
Tyus JonesG6-017105/10/962014Apple Valley H.S./Apple Valley, MN
Kendrick NunnG6-117508/03/952013Simeon H.S./Chicago, IL
Jahlil OkaforC6-826912/15/952014Whitney Young H.S./Chicago, IL
Jabari ParkerF6-622503/15/952013Simeon H.S./Chicago, IL
Theo PinsonF6-417611/05/952014Oakridge M. A./Greensboro, NC
J WilliamsF/C6-720805/22/952013Southwind H.S./Memphis, TN

6-2 guard Dom Collier was named as the replacement for Malik Price-Martin, who returned home because of a death in his family. Conceding a deep talent pool from which to staff the squad, USA U16 team's regional make-up (7 from the Midwest/Great Plains, 2 from the west coast and 3 from the Southeast/Southwest) reflects that of the staff (4 from the Midwest/Great Plains, 1 from the Southeast).

The team will continue to train in Colorado Springs through Friday (6/17), then travel to Cancun, Mexico on Saturday (6/18) and will continue practice from Saturday through Monday. The Americas Cup will be held June 21 (Tuesday next) through June 25 (Saturday).

U16 Americas Cup Details
The eight teams participating in the tournament (like many FIBA-sponsored invitational tournaments) will be divided into (two) pools of four teams each for round robin play in the preliminary phase. The top two teams from pool play will advance to a two game single game elimination second phase of medal play. The top three teams will earn a berth to the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship, to be held in Lithuania. The pools:

Pool APool B
MexicoUnited States

The last two spots in the tournament field (CONCENCABA #n) will be filled by the top two finishers from the six team field that will play in the Central America/Carabean zone tournament, June 16 through June 19. That field includes Belize, Costa Rico, El Salvadore, Guatemala, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Mexico, the Americas Cup host, has already qualified, so expect (barring disaster) Puerto Rico and one other from that field to qualify. Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United States have become fixtures in Americas Zone FIBA tournament fields. After a quick glance at the pools, I have to believe the USA Team will have a relatively harder road to the medal round as Argentina has fielded competitve teams in FIBA America Zone tournaments the past several summers, and beat the USA team in a 2008 tournament, and many Canadian players join traveling AAU teams and tour the United State during the summer months. From Pool A, expect Canada and (most likely from the Central America/Carabean Zone Tournament...) Puerto Rico to advance to the medal round versus the USA and Argentina (or perhaps Brazil?). USA games through pool play...

06/21/11 TuesBrazil
06/22/11 Wed.Argentina
06/23/11 ThurCONCENCABA #2

If past is prologue (at least for this summer), expect the U16 team to dominate the competition, as did the 2009 U16 team in the inaugural U16 Americas Cup. Next month the U19 men's team will compete in the World Championship (most likely will win, though there have been surprises), while the World University Team will compete internationally in late July and early August (tends to dominate) and the Pan American team (has tended to finish out of the gold lately) is slated to compete in October.

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