The USA Basketball women's national team lost to France earlier today, but life goes on as the final roster begins to take shape.
After the game, USA Basketball announced the 13 finalists for the women's national team's roster for the FIBA World Championships in Turkey. Here is the list:
|Seimone Augustus||Minnesota Lynx|
|Sue Bird||Seattle Storm|
|Tina Charles||New York Liberty|
|Candice Dupree||Phoenix Mercury|
|Brittney Griner||Phoenix Mercury|
|Jantel Lavender||Los Angeles Sparks|
|Angel McCoughtry||Atlanta Dream|
|Maya Moore||Minnesota Lynx|
|Nneka Ogwumike||Los Angeles Sparks|
|Odyssey Sims||Tulsa Shock|
|Breanna Stewart||UConn Huskies|
|Diana Taurasi||Phoenix Mercury|
|Lindsay Whalen||Minnesota Lynx|
Given the announcement, Tulsa Shock guard Skylar Diggins, San Antonio Stars guard Kayla McBride, and Washington Mystics center Stefanie Dolson were cut.
In a press release, Team USA Head Coach Geno Auriemma said:
We’ve been trying to put everything together while using 15 players and that’s not ideal. We haven’t been able to put enough time into one unit and get some kind of rotation down, and that’s all right. We’ve been trying to give everybody a fair chance to make the team and show what they can do.
Auriemma also gave some remarks on the players who were cut, most of whom were younger WNBA players:
The players that are not going to be with us in Prague are all young. ... Every one of those players that weren’t chosen will be a huge part of USA Basketball going forward. It’s just like so many before them, this is not the right time.
Women's national team director Carol Callan added:
This was a very difficult decision. Given the quality and depth of our USA National Team pool, the final decisions will always be tough. But, our future is bright knowing that these players have a hunger and desire to continue to get better and be a part of our pool."
With the roster now down to 13, there is only one more player to cut. On one hand, it's easy to point at a younger player like Breanna Stewart or Odyssey Sims. But at the same time, Jantel Lavender did not play Sunday against France and Griner will now be on the team. Fortunately, I'm not the one who has to make that tough call.