USA Basketball Trials Underway

West Virginia's Truck Bryant and Da'Sean Butler are vying for spots on USA basketball squads, but it isn't a foregone conclusion that they will make the squads.

Bryant, who is currently competing for a spot on the Men's 19 and Under team that will play in the FIBA U19 World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand in July, is competing with six other guards for positions on the final roster. Overall, 17 players are fighting for 12 roster spots, with the decision to come after a final day of workouts on Thursday, June 18.

The makeup of the final roster isn't set in terms of numbers, but with just a pair of true centers on the list, it figures that both will make the final cut barring any injuries or a move to a smaller squad. That would likely leave places for five forwards and five guards on the final 12-man team.

In addition to Bryant, Kenny Boynton (Florida), Seth Curry (Duke), Ashton Gibbs (Pitt), Shelvin Mack (Butler), Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas), Klay Thompson (Washington State) and Terrico White (Mississippi) are listed at guards on the tryout team. Thompson and White are bigger guards, while the remaining players could handle point duties.

Truck Bryant
While politics or favorites shouldn't come into play, it's also tough to rule such factors out. Will it be difficult for head coach Jamie Dixon, who heads the Pitt program, to cut either of the two Panthers that are on the trials list? And how difficult might it be to cut Curry, whose head coach, Mike Krzyzewski, is the face of USA basketball? That's not to say that there are any shenanigans going on – just that those factors can't be overlooked.

Da'Sean Butler, meanwhile, faces a different challenge in his quest to make the US World University Games squad. Sixteen players are currently in the trials, but no fewer than 11 are listed at the forward spot, either solely or in combination with another position. Butler's versatility will certainly help him as he tries to make the cut, but, like Bryant, he will have to play well over the remaining trial sessions in order to make the final squad.

The World University games trials continue with two sessions on Wednesday and one on Thursday morning. After the morning session, the final team will be selected, with practice for that squad commencing Thursday afternoon. The U19 team has one additional session, with a pair of trials practices on Wednesday and Thursday. Following those sessions, the team will be picked, with practices commencing on Friday.

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