Team USA announce the roster for AmeriCup 2017
USA Basketball have finalized the national team roster for the country's FIBA AmeriCup campaign.
The Americans, who will play in Group C in Montevideo, Uruguay, and will have their first game on August 28 against Panama, have selected 12 players from a training camp that is being staged in Houston.
USA 12-player roster for FIBA AmeriCup 2017: Billy Baron, Alec Brown, Larry Drew II, Reggie Hearn, Darrun Hilliard, Jonathan Holmes, Kendall Marshall, Xavier Munford, Marshall Plumlee, Jameel Warney, CJ Williams, Reggie Williams
Six of those headed to the tournament in South America have NBA experience, 11 have NBA G League experience and seven have experience of playing overseas.
In addition to Panama, the USA will square off against Uruguay on August 29 and the Dominican Republic on August 30.
The USA initially announced a 16-man squad but later added Will Davis II of G League side Reno Bighorns.
"All 17 guys that came to camp in Houston had a strong case that they could have made that they should have been selected, but unfortunately, we could only take 12," USA coach Jeff Van Gundy said.
"It was very, very difficult getting down to that number, but we feel very happy with the guys that we have selected. We feel we have positional versatility, we have a good balance between size and quickness, so it will be interesting for us to go to Uruguay and see what we can do."
Greensboro Swarm's Xavier Munford has made the USA AmeriCup team
One of those selected, center Marshall Plumleee, says Van Gundy has the team focused and working hard.
"I think he set the tone from Day 1 what he expects from us and what kind of team he wants us to be," Plumlee said. "He's setting the mindset for our team to play aggressive with flow, rhythm and force."
The USA are in a race against time to be ready for the start of the event. The training camp continues through Thursday at the Guy V. Lewis Development Facility at the University of Houston.
"One of the hardest things to build is to take a bunch of guys who haven't played together, put them together, and have them playing on a string defensively."Van Gundy
The USA will also have workouts August 25-27 in Montevideo before launching their campaign.
Van Gundy is stressing that he wants his players to be a tough unit on defense. Van Gundy's successful teams in the NBA, New York (1996-2001) and Houston (2003-07), were strong defensively.
"I think it's that defensive mentality that we have to build without question," he said. "One of the hardest things to build is to take a bunch of guys who haven't played together, put them together, and have them playing on a string defensively.
"The teams in USA Basketball history that weren't as successful as they hoped to be, it started with a problem on the defensive end of the floor. So, we have to make sure over the next five days that we really tighten up our defense."
The best team from each group will advance to the Final Phase, along with Argentina, who will automatically qualify because of their status as the main organizers of the competition. The Final Phase will be played in Cordoba, Argentina.