COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- In four days of action at the United States Olympic Training Center, 34 players competed for the USA basketball U16 national team's 12 roster spots. Making this team meant playing with the best young talent in the country in preparation for the FIBA Americas Championships in August. In our two-part tip sheet we look at what each player brought to the court, whether they made the team or not.
Jacksonville's Kayla Brewer is listed at 6 feet 2, but she was not one of the taller interior players in the bunch. She, like many others, had a slow start while adjusting to the setting, but turned it up late. She has a great frame for the forward position, but with all the length on the floor it forced her to show off her mid-range game, which was pretty nice. She hit some jumpers from the trail and had a few face-up moves from the high post that were impressive, while bringing energy to the paint throughout.
• Brewer did not make the team.
Another Floridian making a late push for a roster spot was Gainesville-native Loliya Briggs. She was a victim of a slow start, but when she found the confidence to do what she does well it was obvious why she was invited. She has tremendous speed and is one of the best in her class at creating shots. When you talk about creating space this is a kid you should refer to. She is very shifty and has ankle-breaking potential, but didn't show touch on her pull-up shots. Making shots in a chaotic setting is important in making the team.
• Briggs did not make the team.
Megan Buckland of High Point, N.C., was one of the bigger shooting guards invited to the trials. She is nearing 6-0 and has a strong frame as well. She doesn't jump out as super quick or fast, but in stretches she showed an explosive first step and got by some of the better on-ball defenders. She is a strong defender, both on the ball and off, while rebounding her position very well. The biggest question mark to her game is her 3-point shooting consistency. She had a couple of hot streaks, but will probably have to prove that the 3 is a shot she can hit with ease in the future.
• Buckland did not make the team.
If you're looking for fire and personality on the floor you can look to Cierra Burdick from the Tar Heel state. Her physical gifts are as impressive as anyone in her class. She is 6-2 with guard skills. She has an awkward, but effective floater that she uses in traffic because she's not quite there with her jumper. She hit some open shots -- some from 3-point range -- but perimeter shooting is her main area for improvement. She's a crafty passer who isn't afraid to thread the needle to make a play, which only complements her break-down skills with the ball. With her length, she can make passing lanes disappear.
• Burdick made the team.
There are few players in the country that can match the speed of Jasmine Camp. The 5-7 point guard is a blur with the ball or filling a lane on the break. She is one of the quicker guards with and without the ball in her hands, which made for effective on-ball defensive harassment. The limiting factor in this setting was physical strength because the international-style officiating allowed a lot of hand checks, which led to a more physical game overall. As a result, Camp was pushed off her line to the basket at times.
• Camp did not make the team.
Physically, Trenton Catholic Academy (N.J.) guard Briyona Canty is one of the most impressive players you will find in the 2011 class. She has a pro-ready body and plays a physical brand of basketball. When she's on the court, you notice. If she gets even a half-step on her defender, she can get all the way to the basket. She is a truly explosive player that plays much bigger than 5-9. If she can cut down on the turnovers and hit the long-range jumper consistently, she could catapult to the top of the class in terms of guards and make a serious case for future USA teams.
• Canty did not make the team.
Long Beach Poly guard Ariya Crook-Williams has the body to take the punishment of the more physical international and college games. She is one of the best at getting into the defender's hips and opening them up. She had a really nice run on Saturday when paired up with Ariel Massengale. The point-guard duo led to a lot of open shots for everyone on the floor. Crook-Williams didn't shoot the ball as consistently as she has in the past. She could be factor in future national teams.
• Crook-Williams did not make the team.
Justine Hartman of Brea, Calif., joins the trio from Mater Dei to give the national team four players from Orange County. She was one of the strongest, physically, of the post crop at the trials. She could actually play stronger, if she posted with her hips lower forming a more solid base. What is great about her game offensively is she takes her time, reads the floor after she catches the ball on the block and makes the right play for the situation more often then not. She finished better than any of the posts here and mixed in some mid-range scoring as well. Defensively, she's going to have to push herself against more athletic players with better footwork fundamentals in the international game.
• Hartman made the team.
Iowa-native Taylor Greenfield stands 6-2 and has a lot of potential on the wing. She has the speed to fill the lane, quickness to penetrate off the dribble and the length to extend to the rim. However, in this setting the physical nature didn't allow her to show quite as well as she normally would. That's no knock on her ability because she did some nice things throughout the four-day trials. She hit more jumpers than expected and by the later sessions she adjusted to the style of play.
• Greenfield did not make the team.
Ka'lia Johnson of Chester, Va., was a great combination of athleticism and toughness. She showed the quickness to keep up with just about anyone. Her defense is ahead of her offense at this point in her career. The Duke-commit showed some dribble penetration ability in spots. She shot the ball from 3-point range but, like many who come to the Training Center, couldn't find her consistency. Defensively when she does get beat or if she slides over to help and has to foul, she gets her money's worth, not in a cheap shot way but she certainly knows not to let the player get a clean look after the foul for the and-one. Johnson did not make the team.
Part of being a point guard is being a leader and a big part of leadership is having a positive attitude. Andraya Carter of Buford, Ga., has the mental part down. She gets on the floor for any and all loose balls. She gets knocked around a bit, which leads to her being on the deck more than she'd probably like, but she hops up with a smile each and every time. She is a fluid athlete and changes directions well, but against aggressive defenders she gets in trouble going east-to-west. As she gets older and stronger this will probably change. She shot the ball well in spots and this kid is one to watch over the next three years.
• Carter did not make the team.
One of three Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, Calif.) players selected to the national team, Jordan Adams, played at a high level in each and every session. While usually at the point, she showed the versatility to be an impact player anywhere on the perimeter. She shot the ball as well from the perimeter, but what makes her so valuable is her ability to create a good shot off the dribble when the 24-second shot clock is running down. She was easily one of the most consistent players at the trials.
• Adams made the team.
Bashaara Graves of Clarksville, Tenn., is much stronger than most other high school freshmen. The physical 6-2 forward isn't afraid to mix it up in the paint. She has all the athleticism to be a top player in the class. She has good timing coupled with very good leaping ability, which makes for a solid shot blocker. She caught some of the taller posts off guard quite a few times in that regard. She could improve her footwork on the interior and finish in traffic more consistently, both of which should occur over the next three years. Her performance was impressive enough that USA basketball asked her to stay and practice with the team in place of injured forward Morgan Tuck.
• Graves made the team.
The sole representative from the state of Mississippi was Rachel Hollivay of Columbus. The upside, potential and future of this kid is so promising that it's hard to sit back and wait for her to develop with her three remaining high school seasons. She's 6-4, long and can run the floor with the wings. She is in her element in transition where she can beat her defender to the other end and find easy buckets. Defensively, she is a big-time shot blocker. She struggled in the half court with her back to the basket, but look out when that part of her game evolves.
• Hollivay did not make the team.
At 6-4 and with a solid frame, Malina Howard already has a college-ready body. She uses that size well in spots, but hasn't really embraced the advantages she has and the mismatches she poses. Simply playing lower before the catch would take her game to the next level because nobody at this level will be able to push her out of position. She showed the ability to hit the trail jumper but with the tall, quick, high-risers in the paint she wasn't as dominant as we've come to expect in the paint.
• Howard did not make the team.
In the running for quickest and fastest in the trials was Moriah Jefferson. That alone is impressive, but the fact she was playing on, basically, one leg was even more so. She played through a soft tissue injury in her left calf, which caused her pain when she put her weight on her toes. She still was able to muster the quickness and burst to beat some of the nation's best on-ball defenders off the dribble and got to the rim as well as anyone with two legs vying for time at the point. Where the injury really limited her was on defense as her lateral quickness was severely reduced and having a slight build she couldn't overcome the injury on the defensive side of the court.
• Jefferson did not make the team.
Jefferson's DFW Elite 2012 teammate Alexis Jones was all over the court throughout the trials. The Texan is a 5-9 combo guard and was as close to a lock-down defender as you will find at this age. She had some fantastic battles playing the hyper-quick Jewell Loyd in a couple of scrimmages. The Irving MacArthur High School star creates a lot of offense with her dominant play on the defensive end. She can rip the ball away from the ballhandler and is great in jumping passing lanes as well. She hit some shots late in the trials, but her inconsistent ability to finish early on kept her from getting over the hump for a guard spot on the roster.
• Jones did not make the team.
Discuss this on our Message Board
Chris Hansen is the National Director of Prospects for ESPN HoopGurlz and covers girls' basketball and women's college-basketball prospects nationally for ESPN.com. A graduate of the University of Washington with a Communications degree, he has been involved in the women's basketball community since 1998 as a high-school and club coach, trainer, evaluator and reporter. Hansen can be reached at email@example.com.