New Mexico's Alex Kirk (left) was chosen at center over Marquette's Davonte Gardner. (Isaac Brekken/AP)
After Wednesday's cutdown to 16 players and the subsequent injury to Duke's Rodney Hood, Bob McKillop and his staff needed to trim three more players to get to the final roster of 12. That roster was released on Saturday:
Spencer Dinwiddie (Colorado)
Yogi Ferrell (Indiana)
Treveon Graham, (VCU)
Luke Hancock, (Louisville)
Tyler Haws, (BYU)
Cory Jefferson, (Baylor)
Sean Kilpatrick, (Cincinnati)
Alex Kirk, (New Mexico)
Doug McDermott, (Creighton)
Adreian Payne, (Michigan State)
Will Sheehey, (Indiana)
Aaron White, (Iowa)
Based on what I saw when I was at the practices earlier in the week, the composition of the roster isn't much of a surprise. It includes eight of the initial nine guys (sans Hood) that I would have chosen.
Alex Kirk is more suited for the international game than Marquette's Davonte Gardner, so that decision at center makes sense. White and Sheehey played very well in the practices I saw. Both provide frontcourt energy. White will provide rebounding and quickness while Sheehey provides shooting and other glue-guy prodictivity.
Maybe taking Graham over keeping Stanford's Chasson Randle constitutes a modest upset, but McKillop and his staff must feel comfortable that Dinwiddie provides enough point guard cover for Ferrell and want Graham's defensive capabilities on the wing.
The team leaves for Russia on Monday and starts its tournament on July 7
against the United Arab Emirates.