Following six training camp sessions, USA Basketball announced today the official 12-member, 2017 USA Basketball Men’s AmeriCup Team. The USA team features six players with NBA experience, 11 with NBA G League experience and seven with playing experience overseas.
Players selected for the USA AmeriCup training camp include: Billy Baron (UCAM Murcia (Spain); Alec Brown (Windy City Bulls); Davis; Larry Drew II (Sioux Falls Skyforce); Reggie Hearn (Reno Bighorns); Darrun Hilliard (Detroit Pistons); Jonathan Holmes (Canton Charge); Kendall Marshall (Reno Bighorns); Xavier Munford (Greensboro Swarm); Marshall Plumlee (New York Knicks); Jameel Warney(Texas Legends); C.J. Williams (Texas Legends); and Reggie Williams (Oklahoma City Blue).
“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,” said Jeff Van Gundy, USA AmeriCup and former NBA head coach. “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.”
Van Gundy noted that he and his USA squad still has plenty to accomplish during its remaining practices.
“I think you want to make sure you really know your roster as well as you can. Know who you’re going to play, and with who. You don’t try to play too many guys, but you want to use the good depth that we have. It’s that and then narrowing down to get guys playing to their strengths and not playing to what their non-strengths may be. As long as we know ourselves and our team well, I think our guys will compete hard and I think that they will compete together.
“I think it’s that defensive mentality that we have to build without question. 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 tightened up our defense,” added Van Gundy.
Van Gundy is being assisted by current NBA G League Northern Arizona Suns head mentor Ty Ellis and veteran international coach Mo McHone.
The USA training camp continues through Aug. 24 at the University of Houston’s Guy V. Lewis Development Facility (3480 Cullen Boulevard, Houston, TX 77204). The USA will also train Aug. 25-27 in Montevideo, Uruguay, and will participate in the AmeriCup Group C preliminary round games Aug. 28-30 in Montevideo.
The United States will open its AmeriCup Group C preliminary play on Aug. 28 facing Panama (3 p.m. EDT), then meet host Uruguay on Aug. 29 (5:30 p.m. EDT) and conclude preliminary play on Aug. 30 against Dominican Republic (3 p.m. EDT).
Argentina, as host, and the top finishing teams from Group A, Group B and Group C will advance to Córdoba, Argentina, to play in the Sept. 2 semifinals and the bronze and gold medal games on Sept. 3 (the full FIBA AmeriCup 2017 schedule is available to view at (usab.com/mens/americup/schedule.aspx).
The FIBA AmeriCup 2017, considered the FIBA Americas zone championship, will feature 12 nations from North America, Central America, the Caribbean and South America.
In addition to the USA, Uruguay, Dominican Republic and Panama in Group C, Group A will play Aug. 25-27 in Medellín, Colombia, and includes the host country Colombia, as well as Brazil, Mexico and Puerto Rico; while Group B will compete Aug. 27-29 in Bahía Blanca, Argentina, and will consist of host country Argentina, as well as Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands and Venezuela.
A USA men’s national team last participated in the FIBA Americas Championship in 2007, when the U.S. rumbled over its opposition in Las Vegas and finished 10-0 to win gold and capture one of the FIBA Americas zone’s two qualifying berths for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Overall, USA Basketball officially has fielded teams in eight FIBA Americas Championships, winning six gold (2007, 2003, 1999, 1997, 1993 and 1992) and one silver medal (1989), while compiling a 60-10 win-loss record.