James Bell, who missed out on National Team duty last summer, was given a second-chance to battle with some of the best under-19 players in the country for a shot at international competition. He has been working out with the USA Basketball program in Colorado Springs since training camp got underway on Friday.
Today, 13 finalists were named to the under-19 roster, with one final cut coming this week to get the roster down to 12 players. James Bell made that first cut, one of two Big East players selected; the other being Jeremy Lamb of Connecticut.
George Mason head coach Paul Hewitt, who was also a Villanova assistant under Steve Lappas, is leading the effort for the youth team. On the selection process, he said:
I think our inside players are tremendous. We have some good balance and some guys that can shoot the basketball. Obviously, it was a hard decision to come down to 13, and we still have to make one more decision before we go overseas.
The last decision, to cut one more player, will likely come down to a battle between James Bell and Michigan State's Keith Appling, according to Jeff Goodman of CBS.
Once finalized, the U19 team will prepare to head to Latvia from June 30 through July 10, for the FIBA U19 World Championship — a title that the American team won in 2009.
Other Villanova players who have represented America in international competition recently include Scottie Reynolds, Allan Ray, Randy Foye, and Curtis Sumpter.
The 13-man roster follows:
- Keith Appling (Michigan State/Detroit, Mich.)
- James Bell (Villanova/Orlando, Fla.)
- Anthony Brown (Stanford/Huntington Beach, Calif.)
- Jahii Carson (Mesa High School/*Arizona State/Phoenix, Ariz.)
- Tim Hardaway, Jr. (Michigan/Miami, Fla.)
- Joe Jackson (Memphis/Memphis, Tenn.)
- Jeremy Lamb (Connecticut/ Norcross, Ga.)
- Meyers Leonard (Illinois/Robinson, Ill.)
- Khyle Marshall (Butler/Davie, Fla.)
- Javon McCrea (Buffalo/Newark, N.Y.)
- Doug McDermott (Creighton/Ames, Iowa)
- Tony Mitchell (North Texas/Dallas, Texas)
- Patric Young (Florida/Jacksonville, Fla.)