McCrea Closer to National Team

June 19, 2011 Updated Jun 19, 2011 at 4:40 PM EDT

By WKBW Sports

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McCrea Closer to National Team

June 19, 2011 Updated Jun 19, 2011 at 4:40 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY - (UB) University at Buffalo forward Javon McCrea is one step closer to earning a spot on the USA Basketball Under 19 World Championship Team. The Bulls sophomore-to-be was one of 13 players named a finalist for the squad.

Training camp for the selected finalists continues Sunday afternoon through Thursday, June 23, with the official 12-member USA U19 roster being announced prior to the team’s departure for Europe on June 24.

The 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship for Men is being held June 30-July 10 in Valmiera, Liepaja and Riga, Latvia.

Named as a finalist for the USA U19 World Championship squad were: Keith Appling (Michigan State/Detroit, Mich.); James Bell (Villanova/Orlando, Fla.); Anthony Brown (Stanford/Huntington Beach, Calif.); .); Jahii Carson (Mesa High School/*Arizona State/Phoenix, Ariz.);Tim Hardaway, Jr. (Michigan/Miami, Fla.); Joe Jackson (Memphis/Memphis, Tenn.); Jeremy Lamb (Connecticut/Norcross, Ga.); Meyers Leonard (Illinois/Robinson, Ill.); Khyle Marshall (Butler/Davie, Fla.); Javon McCrea (Buffalo/Newark, N.Y.); Doug McDermott (Creighton/ Ames, Iowa); Tony Mitchell (North Texas/Dallas, Texas); and Patric Young (Florida/Jacksonville, Fla.).

George Mason University mentor Paul Hewitt is head coach of the USA U19 World Championship Team, and is being assisted by collegiate head coaches Randy Bennett of St. Mary's College and Cliff Warren of Jacksonville University.

"I think our inside players are tremendous. We have some good balance and some guys that can shoot the basketball. Obviously, it was a hard decision to come down to 13, and we still have to make one more decision before we go overseas," said Hewitt.

"The focus from here has got to be on defense. I don't think that we can be a team that's going to have the most continuity, so we have to be a really good defensive team and capitalize on our ability to get stops in transition."