The NBA Panel covered the 2017 USA U19 World Cup Team Training Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The Olympic experience is one of a kind and can’t be described in words, I once again want to say thank you to USA Basketball for granting media credentials to the NBA Panel allowing it to be a part of history.
The USA U19 training camp roster is led by head coach John Calipari/University of Kentucky, assistant coach Tad Boyle/University of Colorado, and assistant coach Danny Manning/Wake Forest University.
The U19 training camp was from June 18-25 and began with a roster of 27 participants that eventually got cut to a final 12.
Every possession at training camp was crucial, as it could of been the difference between making the team and being cut. All of the players laid it on the line from day one to try and make the final roster.
The 1st set of cuts came on day 3 of camp which took the roster from 27 players to 18, and these decisions were not easy for coach Calipari. The coaches had a short time and few practices to go through the talented players and pick who’d move on. John Calipari knew he’d have to disappoint some deserving players by letting them go.
The final cut came on day 5 of training camp, bringing the roster to its final 12 members. The final roster heading to Egypt is composed by Hamidou Diallo/University of Kentucky, Carson Edwards/Purdue University, Kevin Huerter/University of Maryland, Louis King/Hudson Catholic H.S, Romeo Langford/New Albany H.S, Brandon McCoy/Cathedral Catholic H.S, Josh Okogie/Georgia Tech, Payton Pritchard/University of Oregon, Immanuel Quickley/The John Carroll School, Cameron Reddish/Westtown School, PJ Washington/Findlay Prep, and Austin Wiley/Auburn University.
Being able to interview the coaches gave me an overall perception of what they wanted, and were aiming for. The coaching staff has put and emphasis on speed, rebounding, and defense. John Calipari is a great coach and teacher of the game, watching him up close is nothing compared to seeing it on TV. Tad Boyle is very vocal and animate while helping to get the players to understand and get fundamentals across to them. Danny Manning is an influential presence on the floor, his NBA experience, and knowledge of the game helps him fluidly guide and also instruct players.
The team will basically be position less due to the fact that the roster is full of versatile players that can play multiple positions. This will help with tremendously when deciding which lineups to put together against certain teams during the World Cup.
One perfect example of a versatile player is Louis King, the 6-8 Forward from Columbus New Jersey. Because of his height Louis has incredible floor vision, he can see over the defense to deliver the perfect pass to teammates. He’s capable of running the point if called upon, and can create his own shot if need be.
This team is long and athletic, which means it will be disruptive on defense and explosive on offense.
Now that the roster is set the true chemistry between players and coaches will begin to develop. The team will practice a couple more times before play begins in Egypt, which will give the coaches a chance to finalize the rotation and go over any last minute details.
It was an unbelievable honor to cover the USA U19 World Cup Training Camp. The NBA Panel wishes the team the best of luck as they pursue the gold!!