Dream Teaming U19

By Jeff Lippman - May 08, 2007

USA basketball has announced its Under-19 women's junior national team tryout list. This group of 37 athletes--none of which have escaped their teens--will attempt to make a roster of 12.

The list is comprised of 17 top collegiate players and 20 prep sensations, most of whom will be coming to a major college program near you next season.

Top college players like Stanford's center Jayne Appel, Michigan State's 6-foot-9 Allyssa DeHaan and LSU's Allison Hightower will try out against the likes of prep stars such as incoming Lady Vols Vicky Baugh, Angie Bjorklund, Kelley Cain and Sydney Smallbone.

That's right, the defending national champs could almost field a starting five out of the attending prep stars who will be eventually hooping it up for Pat Summitt.

Other top prep recruits include: UConn's Maya Moore and Lorin Dixon, UNC's Italee Lucas, Maryland's Drey Mingo and Marah Strickland and Duke's Krystal and Jasmine Thomas (no relation), among others.

Most of the players invited either play for, or will be playing for one of the elite programs in women's college basketball, but a few come from teams not associated with the pinnacle of women's basketball. Virginia Commonwealth's 6-foot-5 center Quanitra Hollingsworth and Florida State's 6-foot-4 center Jacinta Monroe are probably the members of the list from the smallest women's basketball programs. Although, Florida State is growing.

There are two players on the list, however, who aren't playing--or are going to be playing next season--Division I basketball at all. They aren't even playing in the NCAA at all.

Elena Delle Donne and Demauria Liles have two things in common--aside from hard-to-spell names. Neither will be playing NCAA basketball next season, but both would be instant successes at the NCAA level.

Delle Donne won't be playing in the NCAA because she'll be donning the jersey of her high school team, Nimitz High School in Houston. She's still trying to decide what top college program gets her silky-smooth 6-foot-5 services.

Liles does play collegiate basketball already, she just didn't get the grades to do it at the highest level. The 6-foot-1 forward from Suitland, Md. was supposed to suit up for Brenda Frese and Maryland last season, but poor grades instead forced her to lead Gulf Coast Community College.

DePaul coach, and coach of the U19 USA team, Doug Bruno, will have his hands full trying to pick the best 12 players from this list of superstars and superstars-to-be.

One thing is certain, you can assume that however the final roster shakes out, the US will be favorites going into the FIBA World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia on July 26-Aug. 5.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 11:53 AM on May 08, 2007

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