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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

USA Basketball Opts for Power Over Style Points in U16 Women’s National Team Selections

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By Clay Kallam
Correspondent

In the end, power proved to be more important than style.

The 12-girl USA Basketball roster that will play in Merida, Mexico, June 13-18 in the FIBA Americas U16 Championship is heavy on muscle – though of course there’s plenty of skill as well. Still, the three-person selection committee clearly opted for size as it tried to sort through 115 candidates who came to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, May 26-30.

The tallest player, and a no-doubt selection, is 6-5 Mercedes Russell from Oregon, who not only is a force inside, but who can also step back and hit jump shots. Russell, like almost all the players here, still has some growing and filling out to do, and should only improve in the coming years.

Backing her up in the post will be 6-3 left-hander Jetarie White from North Carolina, who’s reminiscent of Crystal Langhorne, a WNBA All-Star for the Washington Mystics.

Both 6-3 Stephanie Mavunga (Indiana) and 6-1 Sydney Umeri (Georgia) are prototypical power forwards who will bang inside and control the paint. Though Mavunga showed some ability to hit the 15-footer, it’s clear the committee was impressed with both Mavunga and Umeri’s strength and power.

Taya Reimer (6-3, Indiana) is also tough inside, but she also showed smooth ballhandling, solid passing and can step out to play the three if necessary. Erica McCall (6-3, California) was more of a role player during the trials, but her speed and all-around game – plus of course her 6-3 height – earned her a spot on the team.

Rebecca Greenwell (6-1, Kentucky) has already scored more than 3,000 points for her high school team, and she’s going into her junior year (she did play as a seventh grader for her small school). She’s an outstanding three-point shooter, but can score inside as well, thanks to her height and strength.

And speaking of strength, Linnae Harper (5-7, Illinois) might well have been the leading rebounder in the scrimmages due to her leaping ability, knack for positioning and raw strength. Harper isn’t that comfortable on the perimeter on offense, but her athleticism and explosiveness earned her a spot on the roster.

Jannah Tucker is a bit of a mystery girl, at least in terms of the trials, as she missed the last two days with a foot injury. But she’s a strong, skilled 6-0 guard who fits the profile the selection committee preferred.

There were two spots, though, that went to small guards, as Jordin Canada (5-6, California) and Recee Caldwell (5-8, Texas) will be the primary ballhandlers. Canada is more a traditional point guard, while Caldwell is the better shooter.

The final roster:

  • Recee Caldwell, 5-8 G, C.T. Johnson HS (TX), 2014
  • Jordin Canada, 5-6 PG, Windward (CA), 2014
  • Kaela Davis, 6-2 W, Buford HS (GA), 2013
  • Rebecca Greenwell, 6-1 W, Owensburg Catholic HS (KY), 2013
  • Linnae Harper, 5-7 G, Whitney Young HS (IL), 2013
  • Stephanie Mavunga, 6-3 PF, Brownsburg HS (IN), 2013
  • Erica McCall, 6-3 F, Bakersfield HS (CA), 2013
  • Taya Reimer, 6-3 F, Hamilton Southeastern HS (IN), 2013
  • Mercedes Russell, 6-5 C, Springfield HS (OR), 2013
  • Jannah Tucker, 6-0 G, New Town HS (MD), 2013
  • Sydney Umeri, 6-1 PF, The Lovett School (GA), 2013
  • Jatarie White, 6-3 P, Providence Day (NC), 2014

The team will be coached by Jill Rankin Schneider of Monterey High School in Texas.

Originally published Wed, June 01, 2011


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NCAA DIVISION I TOP 25 COACHES' POLL
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Week: February 7, 2012
RANK SCHOOL RECORD LAST WEEK'S RANK PRESEASON RANK AP RANK POINTS
1 Baylor (31) 24-0 1 1 1 775
2 Notre Dame 23-1 2 2 2 743
3 Connecticut 21-2 3 4 3 710
4 Stanford 20-1 4 5 4 685
5 Duke 19-3 6 8 5 650
6 Miami (FL) 20-3 7 7 6 604
7 Kentucky 21-3 5 15 7 584
8 Maryland 20-3 10 10 8 534
9 Wisconsin-Green Bay 20-0 9 24 9 530
10 Ohio State 21-2 11 NR-RV
(61)
10 483
11 Tennessee 17-6 8 3 11 476
12 Delaware 20-1 13 NR 12 434
13 Georgetown 18-5 15 11 14 379
14 Texas A&M 16-5 16 6 15 378
15 Nebraska 19-3 18 NR 13 309
16 Rutgers 17-4 14 12 17 372
17 Louisville 17-6 12 9 20 276
18 Gonzaga 21-3 19 NR-RV
(70)
19 234
19 Purdue 19-5 17 21 16 222
20 Georgia 18-6 20 12 21 202
21 Penn State 18-5 21 14 18 176
22 DePaul 17-7 23 18 NR-RV
(38)
92
23 Georgia Tech 16-6 22 NR-RV
(18)
22 104
24 South Carolina 18-5 NR-RV
(13)
NR 24 46
25 Vanderbilt 18-5 NR-RV
(23)
NR-RV
(19)
NR 45
Dropped Out: No. 24 North Carolina, No. 25 Kansas.
First-place votes: Total first-place votes received (if any) are indicated in parentheses following school name.
Others receiving votes: St. Bonaventure (22-2) 34; North Carolina (17-6) 19; California (17-6) 18; Florida Gulf Coast (21-2) 16; Middle Tennessee (19-5) 15; Texas-El Paso (20-2) 8; Texas Tech (16-6) 5; Brigham Young (21-4) 4; Fresno State (19-4) 4; St. John's (15-8) 4; Princeton (15-4) 3; Oklahoma (15-7) 2; West Virginia (17-6) 2; Kansas State (15-7) 1.
Rank remains unchanged since last week
Ranking has risen since last week.
Ranking has dropped since last week.
Credit: Courtesy Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The weekly Division I Top 25 Coaches' Poll, sponsored by USA Today and ESPN, is based on voting by a Board of Coaches made up of 31 head coaches at Division I institutions all of whom are WBCA members.