Welcome to “Good Morning, Illini Nation,” your daily dose of college basketball news from Scott Richey, Illini’s beaten writer and AP Top 25 voter. He will offer information each morning on Brad Underwood’s team:
USA Basketball on Saturday named 17 finalists for the U18 national team roster. Illinois freshman Ty Rodgers was one of 17, down from the 27 players who arrived in Houston earlier this week for training camp ahead of the FIBA U18 Americas Championship scheduled for June 6-12 in Tijuana, Mexico.
Five other players will be eliminated before the list is finalized. Rodgers has as good a chance as any of the remaining 17 players to make the final roster given his versatility in position and skill. It’s not a star team where the top 12 scorers are gathered. This is a team… playing for a gold medal. There’s a place for a guy who can do it all, and Rodgers can be that guy.
- Mark Armstrong, 6-3, G, Villanova
- Anthony Black, 6-7, G, Arkansas
- Xavier Booker, 6-10, F, Cathedral (Ind.)
- Kanaan Carlyle, 6-2, G, Milton (Ga.)
- Stephon’s Castle, 6-6, G, Newton, Ga.
- Eric Dailey Jr., 6-6, F, IMG Academy (Florida)
- Caleb Foster, 6-4, G, Oak Hill Academy (Virginia)
- Brandon Garrison, 6-9, C, Del City, Okla.
- GG Jackson, 6-8, F, Ridge View (SC)
- Jared McCain, 6-2, G, Centennial (California)
- Derik Queen, 6-9, F, Montverde Academy (Florida)
- Ty Rodgers, 6-6, G/F, Illinois
- Seth Trimble, 6-2, G, North Carolina
- Jordan Walsh, 6-7, W, Arkansas
- Kel’el Ware, 7-0, C, Oregon
- Bryson Warren, 6-2, G, Elite Overtime
- Cam Whitmore, 6-6, F, Villanova
If I was the team, these would be my picks:
Guards – Armstrong, Black, Foster, McCain, Trimble, Warren
Wings – Rodgers, Walsh, Whitmore
Large—Booker, Jackson, Ware