Lobos standout Alex Kirk, left, of Los Alamos is among 16 finalists named for the World University Games Team. Courtesy photo
Following three days of training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., that kicked off on June 24 with 26 of the nation’s top collegiate athletes, the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee today announced 16 finalists for the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Team.
Training camp will continue in Colorado Springs through June 30, and the 12-member roster will be announced prior to the team’s departure for Russia on July 1. The 2013 World University Games (WUGs) men’s basketball competition will be played July 7-16 in Kazan, Russia.
Named as finalists were: Alex Kirk (New Mexico/Los Alamos, N.M.); Spencer Dinwiddie (Colorado/Woodland Hills, Calif.); Yogi Ferrell (Indiana/Indianapolis, Ind.); Davante Gardner (Marquette/Suffolk, Va.); Treveon Graham (Virginia Commonwealth/Temple Hills, Md.); Jerian Grant (Notre Dame/Bowie, Md.); Luke Hancock (Louisville/ Roanoke, Va.); Tyler Haws (BYU/Alpine, Utah); Rodney Hood (Duke/Meridian, Miss.); Cory Jefferson (Baylor/ Killeen, Texas); Sean Kilpatrick (Cincinnati/Yonkers, N.Y.); Doug McDermott (Creighton/Ames, Iowa); Adreian Payne (Michigan State/Dayton, Ohio); Chasson Randle (Stanford/Rock Island, Ill.); Will Sheehey (Indiana/Stuart, Fla.) and Aaron White (Iowa/Strongsville, Ohio).
Additionally, P.J. Hairston (North Carolina/Greensboro, N.C.) suffered an injury to his back during the evening session on June 25 and was not able to continue his participation.
“The effort of this group was unbelievable, and it was very tough to get down,” said Jim Boeheim (Syracuse University), chair of the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee. “Usually, it’s pretty easy to get down to 16. It was not easy with this group. It was very difficult. Guys were very, very close in a two-day tryout. Another day, and it might have been a couple of different guys in there, but you have to take the guys that played the best, and those 16 played the best.
“I think we have the nucleus of a really good team. We’ve got good big guys, we’ve got good wing players, we’ve got scorers, we’ve got shooters, so I think it’s a balanced team. That’s what you hope for on these teams.”
Davidson College’s Bob McKillop will lead the USA, with assistant coaches John Beilein of the University of Michigan and Frank Martin of the University of South Carolina.
Randle is a two-time USA Basketball gold medalist, having helped the USA to a 5-0 record at the inaugural 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Mendoza, Argentina, and an 8-0 record in the first FIBA U17 World Championship in 2010 in Hamburg, Germany.
McDermott was a member of the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Championship Team that finished in fifth place with a 7-2 record in the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship in Latvia.
Twelve players took home end of the year conference honors, including McDermott, the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year and an all-conference first-team selection. Gardner earned Big East Conference Sixth Man of the Year, Kirk listed on the Mountain West Conference All-Defensive team and Ferrell was named to the Big Ten Conference All-Freshman Team.
Also taking home first-team recognition were Dinwiddie (Pac-12) and Haws (West Coast Conference).
Named to all-conference second teams were: Graham (Big 12 Conference), Grant (Big East), Kilpatrick (Big East), Kirk (Mountain West) and Payne (Big Ten).
Aaron White (Big Ten) earned third team, while honorable mentions included Gardner (Big East), Jefferson (Big 12) and Ferrell (Big Ten).
After departing for Russia on July 1, the USA will practice on July 3-6 in Kazan, Russia, including scrimmages on July 4 against Russian basketball club UNICS and on July 5 against the Russia World University Games Team before beginning World University Games play on July 7.
The USA has drawn preliminary round Group C for the 2013 World University Games men’s basketball competition, along with Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Sweden and United Arab Emirates. Playing in Group A are Estonia, Germany, Oman, Russia, Ukraine and South Korea. Playing in Group B are Japan, Mexico, Mongolia, Philippines, Romania and Serbia. Group D includes Brazil, Chile, China, Finland, Lithuania and Norway.
The USA will take on UAE at 6:30 p.m. (times listed are local; Kazan, Russia, is +8 hours from EDT) on July 7; followed by Czech Republic at 1 p.m. on July 8; and Sweden at 9 p.m. on July 10; Australia at 6:30 p.m. on July 11; and Canada at 1 p.m. on July 12.
Following the preliminary round, the first- and second-placed teams in each of the four pools advance to the medal quarterfinals on July 14 to compete for first through eighth places; while the remaining teams will play out for ninth to 24th places. The semifinals will be played on July 15, and the finals will be contested on July 16.
World University Games
The United States has claimed 19 medals in the World University Games since beginning play in 1965, and has captured a record 13 golds, three silvers and three bronze medals in the 20 WUGs in which a USA Basketball men’s squad has competed. The USA men own a stellar 138-9 record in WUGs play, and the U.S. captured six of the first seven gold medals awarded in the WUGs basketball competition, including six consecutive gold medals from 1989 through 1999. In 2001 the USA fell to host China, which featured half of its 2000 Olympic team, including Yao Ming, Menk Bateer and Wang ZhiZhi, by a single point in the semifinal and finished with the bronze. The USA again captured the gold medal in 2005 and most recently, finished in fifth place with a 7-1 record after falling to Lithuania 76-74 in the 2011 quarterfinals.
Eighteen players who have represented the USA in the WUGs have gone on to compete in the Olympic Games, including Ray Allen (1995), Stacey Augmon (1989), Charles Barkley (1983), Larry Bird (1977), Bill Bradley (1965), Quinn Buckner (1973), Tom Burleson (1973), Ken Davis (1970), Tim Duncan (1995), Phil Hubbard (1977), Allen Iverson (1995), Mitch Kupchak (1973), Karl Malone (1983), Michael Redd (1999), Mitch Richmond (1987), Michael Silliman (1967), Steve Smith (1989) and Jo Jo White (1967).
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men’s and women’s basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international competitions, as well as for some national competitions.
During the 2009-12 quadrennium, 1273 men and women players and 235 coaches participated in USA Basketball, including the USA Basketball 3×3 FIBA championships, USA Basketball trials and USA teams.
Between 2009-12, USA Basketball men’s and women’s teams compiled an impressive 264-35 win-loss record in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions, the Pan American Games, the World University Games, the Nike Hoop Summit and in exhibition games. USA teams are the current men’s and women’s champions in the Olympics; men’s and women’s FIBA World Championships; women’s FIBA U19 World Champions; men’s and women’s FIBA U17 World Champions; and the men’s and women’s U18 and U16 FIBA Americas Championships.
USA Basketball also currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA’s world ranking categories, including combined, men’s, women’s, boys and girls.
For further information about USA Basketball, go to the official Web site of USA Basketball at usabasketball.com and connect with us on facebook.com/usabasketball, twitter.com/usabasketball and www.youtube.com/therealusabasketball.