As was first reported exclusively by TigerSportsReport.com late last night, University of Memphis men's basketball signee Shaq Goodwin has been named one of 14 finalists for the USA Basketball U18 Team, the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee announced late Thursday night. The 14 finalists will continue to train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center through June 11 when the final 12-man roster will be selected.
The official, 12-member U18 National Team will leave for the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship June 12. The 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championships will be played in Sao Sebastiáo do Paraiso, Brazil, June 16-20.
Florida's Billy Donovan is Team USA's U18 head coach, and he will be assisted by Gonzaga's Mark Few and VCU's Shaka Smart.
Joining Goodwin among the 14 finalists were Nathan Britt II, Sam Dekker, Jerami Grant, Montrezl Harrell, Joel James, Jake Layman, Austin Nichols, Rodney Purvis, Julius Randle, James Robinson, Marcus Smart, Jarnell Stokes and Rasheed Sulaimon.
Goodwin, who signed with the Tigers in November of 2011, completed his senior campaign at Southwest DeKalb High School in Decatur, Ga. The 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward helped lead the Panthers to their first Georgia Class AAAA state title game this past March, finishing as state runner-up with a 22-10 overall record. He had 12 points, seven boards and three blocks in the state championship contest.
For the 2011-12 season, he averaged 21.2 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.3 blocks. Goodwin, who shot 74 percent from the field, posted 26 double-doubles in 32 games.
Goodwin, who was the Atlanta Journal Constitution slam dunk champion, played in the McDonald's All-American Game in Chicago, Ill., in late March. Goodwin's appearance in the game was the third-straight year the Tigers had a signee in the prestigious event. He was named to the Georgia Class AAAA All-State and 6AAAA All-Region first teams in addition to the Atlanta Journal Constitution All-Metro first team (DeKalb).
Prior to his senior campaign, Goodwin was rated among the top-50 players in the country. In the Rivals.com rankings, Goodwin was rated the No. 10 power forward and No. 44 player overall in the country.ESPN.com ranked Goodwin the No. 26 player in the nation, No. 6 power forward in the country and No. 2 player in the state of Georgia.