Watson Cut From USA Team

Tennessee point guard C.J. Watson has been cut from the USA Basketball roster scheduled to compete in the upcoming World Championships for Young Men. It may be a blessing in disguise.

Watson seemed to wear out toward the end of the 2003-04 UT basketball season, and head coach Buzz Peterson surmised that his slender point guard may have run out of gas after playing basically year-round.

C.J. Watson was one of three players trimmed from the USA roster on Tuesday. The others were Rodney Carney (University of Memphis) and Demetris Nichols (Syracuse).

Sixteen players remain in the running for berths on the USA team, whose tryouts continue at the New Jersey Nets practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J. Only 12 will make the final roster.

''The Committee did a great job of getting us down to the right 16,'' said USA and University of Oklahoma head coach Kelvin Sampson. ''Our strengths are our point guard play, our athleticism and we're versatile.''

The 16 finalists include: Hassan Adams (Arizona / Los Angeles, Calif.); Aaron Brooks (Oregon / Seattle, Wash.); Shannon Brown (Michigan State / Maywood, Ill.); Justin Gray (Wake Forest / Charlotte, N.C.); Sean May (North Carolina / Bloomington, Ind.); Rashad McCants (North Carolina / Asheville, N.C.); Adam Morrison (Gonzaga / Spokane, Wash.); David Padgett (*Louisville / Reno, Nev.); Chris Paul (Wake Forest / Lewisville, N.C.); Mustafa Shakur (Arizona / Philadelphia, Pa.); Curtis Sumpter (Villanova / Brooklyn, N.Y.); P.J. Tucker (Texas / Raleigh, N.C.); Charlie Villanueva (Connecticut / Brooklyn, N.Y.); Eric Williams (Wake Forest / Wake Forest, N.C.); Curtis Withers (UNC Charlotte / Charlotte, N.C.) and Bracey Wright (Indiana / The Colony, Texas).

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