USA Basketball Names 2009 Men's World University Games Team
Wisconsin's Bo Ryan will lead the USA in
the 2009 World University Games,
July 2-11 in Belgrade, Serbia.
Following three days of trials at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball today announced the 12-member team that will represent the USA in the 2009 World University Games, July 2-11 in Belgrade, Serbia. The player selections were made by the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee, chaired by Syracuse University's Jim Boeheim.
'It was one of the most difficult decisions we as a committee have had because the team is so balanced,' Boeheim said. 'It's probably one of the better groups of wing players we have had and all the guys are great players. It looks to be one of our most competitive teams for the World University Games. We have good shooters and athletic wing guys, which gives this team a good chance to compete.'
Named to the 2009 USA Men's World University Games Team were: James Anderson (Oklahoma State / Junction City, Ark.); Talor Battle (Penn State / Albany, N.Y.); Trevor Booker (Clemson / Whitmire, S.C.); Craig Brackins (Iowa State / Palmdale, Calif.); Da'Sean Butler (West Virginia / Newark, N.J.); Corey Fisher (Villanova / Bronx, N.Y.); Lazar Hayward (Marquette / Buffalo, N.Y.); Robbie Hummel (Purdue / Valparaiso, Ind.); Quincy Pondexter (Washington / Fresno, Calif.); Deon Thompson (North Carolina / Torrance, Calif.); Evan Turner (Ohio State / Chicago, Ill.); and Jarvis Varnado (Mississippi State / Brownsville, Tenn.).
University of Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan was selected head coach of the 2009 USA Men's World University Games Team, with Frank Haith of the University of Miami and Rob Jeter of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee serving as assistant coaches.
'First of all, all 16 players at trials are very good players,' Ryan said. 'Everybody that competed worked very hard against one another at a very high level. The toughest part was getting down to the 12 players. I don't want to take anything away from the guys who didn't make it, but the 12 who are on the final list are the ones that if you look at the overall picture â€” offense, defense, rebounding, things like that â€” this was the 12 that stood out. I thought the selection committee did a very good job of evaluating.
'The next step is to make sure we are all on the same page in everything that we do. We can't have three guys handling screens one way, for example, and two guys doing something different. What we are going to try to defensively is make sure that we understand our rotations and coverage, and from there, understand offensively what our looks are going to be. We need to learn to play to our strengths and not shy away from weaknesses, and those are all nuances that will play out over the next week before we head to Serbia.'
The 2009 USA squad will remain in Colorado Springs for two-a-day practices through Wednesday, June 24. The team departs for Serbia on Thursday.
The World University Games is organized by the International University Sports Federation and held every other year. The 2009 competition includes 24 men's basketball teams competing for a gold medal. Eligible athletes for the USA team must be currently enrolled in a college or university and have remaining NCAA athletic eligibility.
Just one of the 12 team members boasts of prior USA Basketball experience. Deon Thompson was named to the 2007 USA U19 World Championship Team that finished 8-1 and claimed the silver medal in Novi Sad, Serbia. Thompson started five of the USA's nine games and averaged a team third best 10.0 ppg., while adding team bests of 6.3 rpg. and 13 blocked shots.
The roster features six athletes who completed their junior season of college basketball this past year and six who finished their sophomore campaigns.
Several team members garnered national honors in 2008-09, including Brackins, Turner and Varnado, who earned 2009 All-America honorable mention from the Associated Press.
Six players collected National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District honors: Anderson (District 8 second team); Battle (District 7 first team); Booker (District 2 second team); Brackins (District 8 first team); Butler (District 5 second team); Turner (District 7 first team); and Varnado (District 21 second team)
Eight players received U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-District honors: Anderson (District VI); Battle (District II); Booker (District III); Brackins (District VI); Butler (District II); Hummel (District V); Turner (District V); and Varnado (District IV).
Listed on their respective all-conference first teams were: Battle (Big Ten); Brackins (Big 12); Turner (Big Ten); and Varnado (Southeastern Conference). Named to all-conference second teams were Anderson (Big 12); Booker (ACC); and Butler (Big East); while Robbie Hummel (Big Ten) was a third team selection.
Additionally, Varnado was tagged as the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, while Corey Fisher was named the Big East's Sixth Man. Selected to their all-conference defensive teams were Booker (ACC) and Varnado (SEC).
In conference tournaments Hummel (Big 10) and Varnado (SEC) earned MVP honors, while Turner listed on the Big Ten All-Tournament Team.
The 2009-2012 Men's Junior National Team Committee is chaired by Jim Boeheim, head coach at Syracuse University, and includes NCAA appointees Lorenzo Romar (head coach, University of Washington); Bruce Weber (head coach, University of Illinois) and Roy Williams (head coach, University of North Carolina); and athlete representative Jay Williams, a member of the 2002 USA Basketball World Championship Team.