Covering High School Sports in America
Photo: Steven Maikoski/USA Basketball

Julius Randle

Five-star power forward Julius Randle headlined a trio of rising seniors selected as finalists for the USA Basketball U18 National Team on Thursday night.

Randle, a 6-foot-8, 235-pound product of Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas), is ranked No. 4 overall in the MaxPreps Class of 2013 Top 100. He joins point guard Nate Britt of Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) and forward Austin Nichols of Briarcrest Christian (Eads, Tenn.) as the only finalists with high school eligibility remaining.

Before the team competes in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship later this month in Brazil, the roster will be cut from 14 to 12. Billy Donovan of Florida is serving as head coach and assisted by Mark Few of Gonzaga and Shaka Smart of Virginia Commonwealth.

"I think it was very, very difficult for the committee to get this group narrowed down just because there were so many good players. I thought for the past three days their effort was great," Donovan said of training.

College-bound finalists include;

Sam Dekker, Sheboygan Area Lutheran (Wis.) – Wisconsin
Shaq Goodwin, Southwest DeKalb (Decatur, Ga.) – Memphis
Jerami Grant, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) – Syracuse
Montrezl Harrell, Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.) – Louisville
Joel James, Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) – North Carolina
Jake Layman, King Philip Regional (Wrentham, Mass.) – Maryland
Rodney Purvis, Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) – North Carolina State
James Robinson, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) – Pittsburgh
Marcus Smart, Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas) – Oklahoma State
Rasheed Sulaimon, Strake Jesuit (Houston, Texas) – Duke

Jarnell Stokes, who has already played a season of college basketball and is entering his sophomore year at Tennessee, is also a finalist.

Donovan and staff cut the list down to 14 from 23 camp invitees. Among the notables not making the list of finalists were Houston-area twin guard sensations Aaron and Andrew Harrison. Widely regarded as two of the top five talents in the 2013 class, the 6-5 backcourt stars suffered one of the few disappointments in their young careers in Colorado Springs.