Today in Colorado Springs, CO, 26 of the top teenage basketball players in the country will gather to try out for USA Basketball's U18 National Team, according to Syracuse.com's Donna Ditota.
The invitations for these players were issued by the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee, which is chaired by Jim Boeheim. That same committee will also select the team based on the tryouts.
Among the 26 hopefuls are several Syracuse Orange basketball recruiting targets in the all-important Class of 2017: Hamidou Diallo (Putnam Science Academy/Corona, NY), Quade Green (Newmann-Goretti H.S./Philadelphia, PA), Jordan Tucker (Archbishop Stepinac H.S./White Plains, NY), Lonnie Walker (Reading H.S./Reading, PA), Mohamed Bamba (Westtown School/New York, NY) and Michael Porter, Jr. (Father Totlon Catholic H.S./Columbia, MO).
Diallo, Green and Tucker are especially high on the Syracuse recruiting radar right now, since they all took an unofficial visit to Syracuse together back in late April. That same weekend, Class of 2016 big man Taurean Thompson and Colorado State graduate transfer John Gillon were also on campus.
The Orange do not currently have a commitment in the Class of 2017, for which there should be plenty of vacancies on the Syracuse roster. It will prove to be a critical group for Jim Boeheim and his staff.
The U18 National Team tryouts will take place at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs starting today (June 14) and going until Saturday (June 18). The finalists will resume training July 11-15 in Houston, TX, and the final 12-man roster will be announced ahead of the team leaving for the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Valdivia, Chile from July 19-23.
Although Boeheim, whose primary role with USA Basketball is as an assistant coach for the senior national team, is the chairman of the committee selecting the team, he will not actually be coaching the U18 team at the FIBA tournament. Texas coach Shaka Smart will be the head coach, and he will be assisted by Connecticut's Kevin Ollie and Maryland's Mark Turgeon.