USA Basketball might take longer than expected to name a final roster for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 as four members of the USA Select Team were announced among the 17 finalists who will fight for a ticket to China.
USA coach Gregg Popovich and his staff named the group of players after four days of training camp and a USA Blue v USA White intrasquad exhibition game in Las Vegas. And the performances by some of the young players from the Select Team opened the eyes of the USA basketball leaders.
“We’re bringing a couple of young players from the Select Team so we’re going to be patient with the rest of the squad because we have plenty of time, we have two weeks to decide who will be the final 12,” said Jerry Colangelo, USA Men’s National Team managing director. The four Select Team players who still can dream of a trip to Asia are Marvin Bagley, De’Aaron Fox, Joe Harris and Derrick White. The 20-year-old Bagley and the 21-year-old Fox are Sacramento Kings teammates and make up one of the most exciting young one-two punches in the NBA. The Brooklyn Nets sharpshooter Harris for his part won the 2019 NBA Three-Point Contest winner while the San Antonio Spurs guard White is the only one of the 17 finalists who participated in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers, collecting 9.5 points, 5.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in two games.
Colangelo expects Popovich and his staff to take plenty of time to evaluate the finalists and determine the final 12 players who will make the trip to China.
“Forty-eight hours before Game 1 in China is when we have to submit a roster so we want to make sure everyone gets a real shot,” Colangelo said.