June 18, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Virginia sophomore forward/center Mike Tobey (Monroe, N.Y.) made the final 12-man USA Basketball U19 World Championship Team roster, announced early Tuesday morning by USA Basketball.
The roster features eight players with prior USA Basketball experience, including five players from last summer's USA U18 Championship Team that captured gold. The 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship will be held June 24-July 6 in Prague, Czech Republic.
The 6-11, 245-pound Tobey tallied 6.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game during his freshman season at Virginia in 2012-13. He scored a season-high 19 points against Wofford and an ACC-high 14 points at Wake Forest.
Joining Tobey on the final U19 roster are Michael Frazier (Florida), Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty H.S.), Jerami Grant (Syracuse), Montrezl Harrell (Louisville), Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young H.S.), Elfrid Payton (Louisiana at Lafayette), Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), Jarnell Stokes (Tennessee), Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke), Nigel Williams-Goss (Findlay Prep) and Justise Winslow (St. Johns H.S.).
"Getting down to 12 is the real hard part because in a lot of respects we easy could have kept 14-15," said USA head coach Billy Donovan, who led the 2012 USA U18 Team to a 5-0 record, a FIBA Americas U18 gold medal finish and a qualifying berth for the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship.
"There were some tough decisions, difficult decisions, but I think we feel overall that we have selected an athletic and versatile team. Our style of play will be an aggressive, up-tempo, running, pressing style. From an execution standpoint we've got to get better there, a lot of the other teams over there have been together for quite some time and that's probably a strength of their teams, so we felt that we have to rely on some athleticism," Donovan continued.
"These kids being here since Friday, obviously there's been a physical toll on them, but I don't think you can underestimate the mental toll of these kids trying so hard to make the team. Here it is today and they have gone through Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, four pretty difficult days against really difficult competition, and the uncertainty of 'am I playing well enough'; 'am I going to make the team or not make the team'; that stress, that pressure, I think that adds to their fatigue. So I think getting that behind us now and going forward we can get our guys focused on being the best team. I think the focus up to this point of time by them has been 'make the team', 'make the team', 'make the team', and we've got to now move it towards trying to win."
Virginia head coach Tony Bennett is serving as an assistant coach under Donovan. Bennett has guided the Cavaliers to a 76-53 record (.589 winning percentage) in four seasons. The Cavaliers have reached postseason play in each of the past two seasons, including the 2012 NCAA Tournament second round.
For further information about USA Basketball, go to the official Web site of USA Basketball at usabasketball.com.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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