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Red, White and Blue (and Orange)

Jerami Grant looks to become Syracuse's next conquering hero.


All hail the Otto-Man Empire!

Any TNIAAM reader is well aware that the Syracuse Orange never actually play an away game. That's because whenever Jim Boheim and his squad travels to a new place, that locale immediately is annexed into the Otto-Man Empire and any games played there are considered home games. Kansas City? Annexed. Tampa? Annexed. San Diego Harbor? Annexed.

The Orange hope to add another conquering hero to the fold as standout reserve freshman Jerami Grant was selected to attend the Team USA U19 basketball training camp. Here Grant and 23 other promising college players will vie for 12 spots to compete in the FIBA U19 World Championships. The tournament will be held June 27-July 7 in Prague, Czech Republic.

Other notable training camp attendees include Ryan Arcidiacono, Rasheed Sulaimon, Marcus Smart and Montrezl Harrell. The team will be led by Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan. He will be assisted by Virginia coach Tony Bennett and VCU's Shaka Smart.

Here's what Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim had to say about the collection of talent:

We have a really impressive group of talented players and a large number of the players have USA Basketball and college experience. Selecting our 12-man U19 team will be extremely difficult, but the committee is excited and confident that we will be able to field another strong USA team. The FIBA U19 World Championship might be from top to bottom the most competitive competition FIBA conducts. Any of the teams that are competing have a real chance to win the U19 gold medal as has been shown by six different countries winning the title over the last six U19 World Championships.

Canned comments? You bet. But it's great to see Syracuse players and coaches continuing to be involved with Team USA. It can only help to attract top tier talent to the Salt City. And any chance to paint another part of the map Orange is always welcome.

All Hail the Otto-Man Empire!