ESPN writer says USA Basketball snubs incomprehensible

For once, Glenn Nelson and I agree on something: cutting Moriah Jefferson and Ariya Crook-Williams from the USA rosters is some bull:

USA Basketball selection committees almost are legendary for sending messages to player pools. In this case, the dispatch is confounding: If you nearly made the team one year on one leg, pick yourself off the floor, and come back the next and reveal yourself to be one of the nation’s truly luminary, young basketball products, that still isn’t enough.

If there is a puzzle into which a player such as Jefferson, the hyper-kenetic, ultra-creative point guard from Glenn Heights, Texas, does not fit, then USA Basketball should reveal that puzzle, not make everyone assume its composition by revealing only the other pieces. Does USA Basketball have a blueprint for what constitutes the “American style” of hoops? If so, why keep it such a secret?

It makes no sense.


  1. There was a lot more going on than just Ariya and Moriah, some believe that the college coaches involved with the committee shouldn't have been and others were cut as revenge so any way you look at it it cuts both ways for some of those picked as well as some of those cut. One recurring theme was noone stood out consistently, all were playing tired – should the way the try outs are run be reviewed, well we'll see how the U17s do in France! The U18s won't involve any challenging competition so won't matter so much.

  2. Playing devils advocate…the process is not only, and should not only be about who is the best right now. Juxtapose that with what Glenn Nelson is doing…choosing who is the best, pound for pound, right now. USA basketball and Glenn Nelson clearly have two very different things they are looking for.

    Anytime you are building a "pipeline" you have to take gambles, and unfortunately that sometimes means that you show a preference for who you think will be the best in five years, even if the best right now, is someone different.

    The fact of the matter is, at the U17/U18 level, there are girls who are the best simply becausee they've been doing it the longest, and the fact of the matter is, they will likely get passed up by other kids who just simply have not had the time to develop. The "pipeline" is just that, a chance to foster the development of the kids you think will be the best when their age grroup is looked at for senior national team participation.

    USA womens basketball has been pretty successful at all levels for some time. We probably have little place quetioning their decisions until that is no longer the case…

  3. Good comments, I think that if you look at the Olympic teams of the past you will see that maybe 1 player at the most from an earlier youth team makes it through, so it is more than likely that none of these players will make it eventually but players Like Stafford and Stewart have the height and therefore could have the better chance, there are many small guards out there and probably only one small will be the PG of the future and that won't be seen until we have watched them in college. I also think that the number of forwards picked could hurt the U17 team in Europe where they are taller and more skilled on the perimeter and they will definitely zone us. In Europe the posts are 6'5" up so we will have a tough time on the inside so it will come down to who can score from the perimeter over long players.

  4. I've enjoyed reading everyone's comments. I think a big part of the problem, and also a conflict for HoopGurlz, is that it is very difficult to know who is best. The player rankings are kind of a joke,just as they are for boys, because who says the ranking that HoopGurlz or any other scouting group gives is accurate? After all, they are just someone's opinion and who knows if they know what they are talking about? The conflict is that by issuing rankings, HoopGurlz reputation is on the line and when they look bad their reputation takes a hit. I rather see coaches make the choices.