Stefanie Dolson might have been cut from Team USA this weekend but UConn junior Breanna Stewart is among the 13 finalists.
She is competing for one of 12 roster spots -- which will determined by Sept. 26 -- with Sue Bird, Tina Charles, Candice Dupree, Brittney Griner, Jantel Lavender, Angel McCoughtry, Maya Moore, Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Odyssey Sims, Diana Taurasi and Lindsay Whalen.
“We’ve been trying to put everything together while using 15 players and that’s not ideal,” said Team USA coach Geno Auriemma (via the Connecticut News of the preparations for the FIBA World Championship in Sept. 27-Oct. 5 in Turkey. “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. But we are down to 12 for the game in Prague, and that will tell us a lot more about what this team is. Then obviously we’ll have a couple of practices when we get to Istanbul that will be big as well. Slowly but surely we’re getting to where the team is, but it’s not been easy.
“The entire group was really, really good to be around," he continued. "They really did everything we asked them to do. This is not an easy selection process. It’s not easy on the committee, I’m sure. It’s not easy on the coaches to work with that. The players that are not going to be with us in Prague are all young. They’re young pros with not a lot of international experience and they’re all playing positions that are difficult to crack into the lineup," he told the Connecticut News. "There was no case of not being good enough or not being able to be on the team. It’s just a matter of the experience factor for a lot of them, what fits best on this particular team with this particular group of players. I can’t find anything to complain about from the time we got together in Annapolis to today. It’s all been exactly what we wanted them to do and how we wanted them to do it. 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.’’