Mini-Camp, Huge Names
A look at the USA Basketball U17 team.
by Sean Ceglinsky
The buzz hasn’t subsided, not in the least bit. Most everyone is still taking about USA Basketball’s Developmental National Team.
Around this time last week, the country’s top underclassmen converged on Colorado Springs, CO, for a three-day mini-camp in preparation for July’s inaugural U17 World Championships, taking place in Hamburg, Germany.
And make no mistake, this group of youngsters is very familiar with one another, having suited up for the Red, White and Blue and winning the gold medal at the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championships in Mendoza, Argentina.
These guys, no doubt, are the future of USA Basketball.
That said, SLAMonline thought it would be a good idea to provide some insight on the individuals in attendance at the U.S. Olympic Training Center a mere seven days ago. Keeping tabs on the players that will be representing Uncle Sam for years to come is important.
Michael Gilchrist | 6-6 | SF | St. Patrick | 2011
Without question, he’s the nation’s premiere prospect among the juniors, perhaps the best of the best, regardless of class. He does so many things well, on a consistent basis, mind you. It’s imperative that Gilchrist is on top of his game, given the fact that he’s got a huge target on his back every time he steps out on the hardwood.
Marquis Teague | 6-2 | PG | Pike | 2011
Never fear when the top floor general is near. He’s great with the ball in his hands, always making sure his teammates are involved in the flow of a game. Teague is as unselfish as they come. When called upon, he’s fully capable of getting his own shot off, whether it’s from out on the perimeter or inside the paint, at the rim.
James McAdoo | 6-8 | PF | Norfolk Christian | 2011
Comes from good stock. His uncle is Bob McAdoo, a 14-year veteran of the NBA. And it appears as if the younger McAdoo is following in the footsteps of his famous relative. The North Carolina commit has a well-rounded game. He‘s good with his back to the basket, can get out in transition and his jumper continues to improve.
Bradley Beal | 6-3 | SG | Chaminade | 2011
Every team needs a scorer and no one does it better than Beal. He’s lights out from long range. Burying shots from well beyond the 3-point arc has become common place. Good thing is, he knows when to put the ball on the floor, blow by a cheating defender and get to the hoop for the finish. There’s plenty to like about him.
Johnny O’Bryant | 6-9 | PF | East Side | 2011
This big-bodied post is a bit raw, but there’s no denying the fact that he possesses tons of upside. Bryant gets after things on the boards, particularly on the offensive glass, where he uses his length to grab every rebound in his vicinity. He does the dirty work, puts forth the effort others typically shy away from. That’s his biggest asset.
Adonis Thomas | 6-6 | SF | Melrose | 2011
If not for Gilchrist, Thomas would be considered the country’s top small forward. His inside-out game is solid. Can score with the best of them down in the low block and once his feet are set, he’s automatic. With such an emphasis on offense these days, Thomas is unique in the respect that he’s not afraid to work hard on defense.
Quinn Cook | 6-1 | PG | DeMatha | 2011
He might be somewhat undersized, but what Cook lacks in stature, he makes up for with quickness. His first step is better than most. In fact, it’s not unusual for opponents to know the back of his jersey very well by the end of the game after chasing him around for 30-plus minutes. Staying in front of him is a task many have failed.
Angelo Chol | 6-8 | C | Hoover | 2011
The big man is a coach‘s dream, a leftie who provides an imposing presence underneath, seemingly at all times. His game is becoming more and more polished. Has a knack for being in the right place at the right time for rebounds and challenging shots comes naturally to him. Bottom line: Chol has a very high ceiling.
Tony Wroten Jr | 6-4 | PG | Garfield | 2011
The only major disappointment coming out of Colorado Springs was Wroten Jr, who didn’t participate because of a knee injury suffered on the football field back in early September. That’s the bad news. Good news is, he’s expected to make a full recovery, so it will be just a matter of time before he’s running the show for USA Basketball.
Justin Anderson | 6-5 | SF | Montrose Christian | 2012
Only a sophomore, he’s the baby of the bunch. But don’t be surprised if he ends up being considered as the nation’s best bye the time he’s a senior. Anderson has shown glimpses of his immense potential and playing alongside the country’s elite on a regular basis will only help him in the long run. Sky’s the limit. You heard it here first.