Incoming Arizona Wildcats forward Aaron Gordon was named one of 16 finalists for USA Basketball’s U19 World Championship team Sunday, though future teammates Brandon Ashley and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson were not.
USA Basketball also kept Houston wing Justise Winslow, one of UA’s top 2014 recruiting targets, though it will cut down to a final 12-man roster before the team departs Wednesday for Washington, D.C.
The U19 team will spend three days in Washington before leaving for the World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic beginning on June 17.
Other Pac-12 players making the cut included Oregon guard Damyean Dotson and incoming Washington guard Nigel Williams-Goss.
The rest of the roster included: Ryan Arcidiacono (Villanova), Michael Frazier (Florida), Marcus Georges-Hunt (Georgia Tech), Jerami Grant (Syracuse), Montrezel Harrell (Louisville), Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young HS, Chicago), Elfrid Payton (Louisiana-Lafayette), James Robinson (Pittsburgh), Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), Jarnell Stokes (Tennessee), Rasheed Suliamon (Duke) and Mike Tobey (Virginia).
We still have to get down to 12 players and the challenge right now is to see how these 16 guys fit into what we’re trying to do. We’ll learn a lot more in the next three practices; we’ll see how well guys pick up certain things; how the chemistry is; the way they bond, the way they connect.
“I think the biggest thing is just our unity, us being connected, understanding what the goal is and them playing together, playing unselfishly," Florida's Billy Donovan, the U19 coach, said in a USA Basketball release. "We have a lot of versatile players; guys that can move to different positions; I think we have a lot of size and strength on this team; I think we have guards that can defend and have good quickness and speed."
Ashley had felt confident about his chances.
Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy noted that Memphis' Shaq Goodwin was also among the big names cut, while Louisiana-Lafayette's Payton has been an eye-opener so far.