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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Delle Donne won't play and Griner iffy to be part of U.S. World Championship team

USA Basketball announced that Elena Delle Donne won'y  be playing for the U.S. during the upcoming FIBA World Championships due to injury while Brittney Griner's status is up in the air.

The U.S. team currently has 15 players in contention for the 12 spots including UConn junior Breanna Stewart and former Huskies Sue Bird, Tina Charles, Stefanie Dolson, Maya Moore and Diana Taurasi. The team will need to cut three players before the start of the tournament (four if Griner gets added)..

With Sylvia Fowles both opting to skip the tournament to get healthy and if Griner's eye injury keeps her out, it will be interesting to see how the USA Basketball selection committee opts to fill the center spot behind Charles. Dolson and Jantel Lavender could be kept if the U.S. wants to have more of a true center presence although the duo played sparingly in the final tune-up on American soil.

With the addition of Candice Dupree, impressive play of Nneka Ogwumike during training camp and potential of Stewart, it remains to be seen if the U.S. thinks they add enough in the post to make up for the lack of a true center to bring off the bench,

I only saw the team live on Sunday and Monday in a practice and then a scrimmage against Canada and neither Dolson nor Lavender were especially productive. However, Lavender does have the added bonus of having been the leading scorer and second-leading rebounder during the EuroLeague season meaning she does have a track record against many of the players the U.S. will meet up with in the World Championships.

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