Watson survives another cut

With just one cut remaining to be made, Tennessee basketball standout C.J. Watson is still a member of the USA Junior World Championship team.

The team has been cut to 15 players, with 12 slated to make the final roster. The 15 finalists are: Maurice Ager (Michigan State / Detroit, Mich.); De'Angelo Alexander (Oklahoma / Midwest City, Okla.); Brandon Bowman (Georgetown / Santa Monica, Calif.); Daniel Brown (Illinois / Maywood, Ill.); Graham Brown (Michigan / Mio, Mich.); David Burgess (Woodbridge High School / Irvine, Calif.); Paul Davis (Michigan State / Rochester, Mich.); Ryan Hollins (UCLA / Pasadena, Calif.); Daniel Horton (Michigan / Cedar Hill, Texas); Jonathan Modica (Arkansas / Smackover, Ark.); Kevin Pittsnogle (West Virginia / Martinsburg, W.Va.); J.J. Redick (Duke / Roanoke, Va.); Mustafa Shakur (Philadelphia Friends Central / Wynnewood, Pa.); C.J. Watson (Tennessee / Las Vegas, Nev.) and Deron Williams (Illinois / The Colony, Texas).

Cut over the weekend were 6-9 Mohamed Abukar (Rancho Bernardo / Escondido, Calif.), and 6-10 University of Oregon signee Mitch Platt (Green Valley High School / Henderson, Nev.). Additionally, 6-9 Brian Johnson (Bishop O'Connell High School, Va. / Glenarden, Md.) was unable to participate in the finalist training camp because of a sprained Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) in his left knee that was suffered early in the first USA Basketball Men's National Team Trials session on Friday, May 30.

"The things I like are we're a very quick, very athletic team that gets up and down the floor. My concerns are that we don't have a lot of time to put this team together," USA head coach Ernie Kent said recently. "But I certainly like their energy, their enthusiasm and they seem like a group that is really, really willing to work hard and listen and that's always a good thing from a coaching perspective."

The official 12-member USA junior team will be finalized during the team's training camp in Dallas, which concludes on July 6. Also as part of its training for the FIBA Junior World Championship, the U.S. is taking part in the 2003 Global Games that are being conducted in Dallas. Featuring 10 teams, the USA will play five games between June 30-July 5.


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