SEOUL, South Korea -- Bruce Bowen was the final player cut from the U.S. basketball team, which begins play in the World Championships in Japan on Saturday.
"It's difficult especially when you get down to the end because you get so attached to the last members of the team. Gilbert and Bruce are every bit a part of this team as the 12 others guys. It's just we can only go forward with 12."
Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski
The final 12-man roster was announced Wednesday by USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski and included Carmelo Anthony, Shane Battier, Chris Bosh, Elton Brand, Kirk Hinrich, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Antawn Jamison, Joe Johnson, Brad Miller, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade.
When Bowen, who plays for San Antonio and is one of the top defensive players in the league, was selected to be part of the national team roster, Colangelo and Krzyzewski singled him out as the type of role player the U.S. squad had been lacking in recent poor international showings.
But Bowen scored just four points while playing four of the five tuneup games and had been outplayed by Battier, another defensive-minded small forward who made the cut.
After Gilbert Arenas dropped out with a strained groin earlier in the week, that all but assured a spot for Chicago's Hinrich because the team needed another point guard behind rookie of the year Paul.
Bowen and Arenas remain part of the national team program and are still in the pool of players who will compete for spot on the 2008 Olympic team.
"This has been a great process. It's difficult especially when you get down to the end because you get so attached to the last members of the team. Gilbert and Bruce are every bit a part of this team as the 12 others guys. It's just we can only go forward with 12," Krzyzewski said.
The average age of the 12 U.S. players is 24½ years old, with the 30-year-old Miller the oldest member of the team. Howard, at 20, is the youngest.