In advance of next month's FIBA U17 World Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, USA Basketball is narrowing down the list of hopefuls for the event.
Training camp began in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Wednesday and head coach Don Showalter cut the roster in half Saturday, naming 17 finalists for 12 roster spots.
"It was really a difficult decision that the committee arrived at," said Showalter, who is also the head coach at Iowa City. "I think it boiled down to a few things, like what do we feel is going to make the best team, who can play defense and who can hit shots. I think the 17 guys that we have right now can all fit that category."
Here is a look at the 17 finalists:Tyus Battle
, 6-6, G, 2016, Gill St. Bernard's (Gladstone, N.J.)Thomas Bryant
, 6-10, F/C, 2015, Huntington St. Joseph Prep (Huntington, W.Va.)Henry Ellenson
, 6-9, F/C, 2015, Rice Lake (Wis.)Terrance Ferguson
, 6-6, G, 2016, Prime Prep (Dallas)De'Aaron Fox
, 6-3, G, 2016, Cypress Lakes (Katy, Texas)Harry Giles
, 6-9, F, 2016, Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.)Mustapha Heron
, 6-5, G/F, 2016, Sacred Heart (Waterbury, Conn.)Joshua Jackson
, 6-6, G, 2016, Prolific Prep (Napa Valley, Calif.)V.J. King
, 6-7, G/F, 2016, Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)T.J. Leaf
, 6-8, F, 2016, Foothills Christian (El Cajon, Calif.)Malik Newman
, 6-3, G, 2015, Callaway (Jackson, Miss.)Ivan Rabb
, 6-9, F, 2015, Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.)Devearl Ramsey
, 5-10, G, 2016, Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)Diamond Stone
, 6-10, C, 2015, Dominican (Whitefish Bay, Wis.)Caleb Swanigan
, 6-8, F/C, 2015, Homestead (Fort Wayne, Ind.)Jayson Tatum
, 6-8, G, 2016, Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.)Derryck Thornton Jr.
, 6-1, G, 2016, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)
"It's going to be difficult to cut this group down to 12, but having a few more practices allows us to look at the players in different positions and how we're going to use the kids as a team, see what happens when we put in a system," Showalter said.
The most surprising omission Saturday was Bentonville (Ark.)
guard Malik Monk
, who was also clipped last summer from the U16 team team that dominated the FIBA Americas Championship in Uruguay. Monk is regarded as the No. 5 overall prospect in the 2016 class by the 247Sports Composite and was one of the leading scorers on Nike's highly-competitive EYBL circuit this summer.
Ten of the finalists were on the aforementioned U16 squad last summer, including FIBA Americas MVP Newman.
The FIBA U17 World Championship will be played Aug. 8-16 and feature teams representing 16 countries. The United States has been placed in Group A, which also includes Angola, Greece and Philippines.
The USA has dominated the last two U17 World Championships, going a combined 16-0 in 2010 and 2012. Current Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal was the MVP in 2010 while Duke-bound center Jahlil Okafor took home top individual honors in 2012.