USA: David + Travis Wear Spotlight

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- David and Travis Wear are nearly indistinguishable. Both are a similar size, both sport a buzz cut, both have the same inside-outside game. So how does a coach go about putting the right name with the right body? Maybe he doesn't.

"One's [No.] 41, the other's 42," USA assistant coach John Thompson III said with a laugh.

Luckily for Thompson and the rest of the staff, the twins possess two of the of most versatile skill sets at the U18 trials. Both have reliable jump shots extending out to the 3-point line, and both can play down low and convert in the post.

"I think I'm versatile," Travis said. "I think I can do a couple different things. I can defend the perimeter, I'm one of the more versatile perimeter guys. I can get rebounds and shoot as well."

In the first three days the Wears stood out among the strong frontcourt group, and appear likely to make the final cut on July 7.

"Just to be selected along with the elite players that were selected is an honor in itself," David said. "And to have the opportunity just to come out here and play against the best players in the country and have the opportunity to represent your country is an honor."

During some of the scrimmages, playing against the best meant playing against a brother. The Wears were matched against each other several times in tryouts, and played to a near draw. Travis, who is the slightly taller of the two, had a bit more success early on, but David had the edge on Thursday.

The Wears also played about even with Ryan Kelly, Alabama commitment JaMychal Green and Duke commitment Mason Plumlee, all of whom have a good chance to be on the final roster.

"Those guys are a part of the group and I think they're terrific players as are the other 14 guys that are here right now," Thompson said. "They're very unselfish."

That trait, Travis said, came from playing alongside multiple Division I caliber players their freshman and sophomore years at Mater Dei in California. "I think I'm adept at being a team player so I think I fit in really well with this team," he said.

This past year as juniors, both took on the go-to role, as they averaged more than 18 points each in leading Mater Dei to a 35-1 record. At the U18 trials, both are working on expanding their games and learning some new tricks from the staff.

Travis said he's more comfortable on the outside, but he feels fine in the post. David is similar and is adept at both. Basically, they're almost identical players, which is sometimes confusing to their teammates as well as coaches.

During passing drills, each player is required to shout the name of their pass's recipient before throwing the ball. On more than one occasion, a player has confused the two and said the wrong name. Sometimes they won't say anything or simply yell "ball."

The misidentification doesn't bother David, though.

"You got to come out here and play team ball and not worry about your individual stats and if you do that then you'll be fine," he said. "Just play as a team because that's what we're looking for here."

U18 coach Bob McKillop has the names down for the most part. The tougher is figuring out how to find the right role for each. But for now, he's satisfied with both just being there.

"They have a very, very good basketball IQ so it's clear that they were very well-coached by their high school coach," McKillop said. "I think they're going to be very good success stories at North Carolina."

David Wear
Travis Wear


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