Thursday, July 28, 2011

Napier Trying out for World Games; Oriakhi Out

Shabazz Napier has been selected as one of 21 players to compete at the 2011 USA Basketball Men's World University Games training camp starting Friday and running through Aug. 7. He'll be competing for one of 12 spots on the team that will represent the USA at the World University Games Aug. 13-22 in Shenzhen, China.

UConn's Alex Oriakhi has withdrawn from camp, but it is not injury-related, according to a UConn spokesman.

Orange's Greg Mangano of Yale and Farmington's Tim Abromaitis will also be trying out for the team.

Here's the press release:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 28, 2011) – It was announced today by USA Basketball that UConn sophomore guard Shabazz Napier (Randolph, Mass.) has been selected as one of 21 athletes to compete at the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Team training camp.

The training camp, which will be held July 29-Aug. 7 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC), will be used to select the 12-member team that will represent the USA at the 2011 World University Games men’s basketball competition Aug. 13-22 in Shenzhen, China.

“I’m excited to get to Colorado Springs and get our training camp started,” said USA and Purdue University head mentor Matt Painter, who previously assisted the 2009 USA U19 World Championship Team to a gold medal. “I love to coach the game of basketball, and we’ve got a group of young men coming in whom I’m really looking forward to working with. This should be a fun and beneficial experience for everyone involved.

“As a coach, I’m always looking for guys who play hard, take care of the ball and make good decisions,” Painter continued. “When you do those three things, you’re usually pretty successful. Other than that, we’ll look to see how different guys fit together on and off the court, and how guys’ skill sets complement each other.”

The USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee, chaired by Jim Boeheim (head coach, Syracuse University), is expected on July 31 to announce finalists for the 2011 USA World University Games Team. Training camp will continue July 31-Aug. 7 at the USOTC, and the official roster will be announced prior to the team’s departure for China on Aug. 8.

Napier finished his rookie campaign averaging 7.8 points, 3.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game and was selected to the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.

USA Basketball also announced it has added guards Ray McCallum (Detroit Mercy/Beverly Hills, Mich.) and Shabazz Napier (Connecticut/Randolph, Mass.) to the training camp roster, while Tu Holloway (Xavier/Hempstead, N.Y.), Alex Oriakhi (Connecticut/Lowell, Mass.) and Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin/Bloomington, Minn.) have withdrawn from participating in training camp.

Along with McCallum and Napier, also participating in the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Team Training Camp are: Tim Abromaitis (Notre Dame/Unionville, Conn.); Bradford Burgess (VCU/Midlothian, Va.); Marcus Denmon (Missouri/Kansas City, Mo.); Kim English (Missouri/Baltimore, Md.); Yancy Gates (Cincinnati/ Cincinnati, Ohio); Ashton Gibbs (Pittsburgh/Scotch Plains, N.J.); Draymond Green (Michigan State/Saginaw, Mich.); JaMychal Green (Alabama/Montgomery, Ala.); Scoop Jardine (Syracuse/Philadelphia, Pa.); John Jenkins (Vanderbilt/Hendersonville, Tenn.); Orlando Johnson (UC Santa Barbara/Seaside, Calif.); Greg Mangano (Yale/Orange, Conn.); Trevor Mbakwe (Minnesota/St. Paul, Minn.); C.J. McCollum (Lehigh/ Canton, Ohio); Khris Middleton (Texas A&M/North Charleston, S.C.); Darius Miller (Kentucky/Maysville, Ky.); Tony Mitchell (Alabama/Swainsboro, Ga.); Aaric Murray (West Virginia/Philadelphia, Pa.); and John Shurna (Northwestern/Glen Ellyn, Ill.).

Collegiate head coaches Cuonzo Martin of the University of Tennessee and Brad Stevens of Butler University were named as assistant coaches for the 2011 USA Men’s World University games team, and Tony Bennett (University of Virginia), Sean Miller (University of Arizona) and Shaka Smart (Virginia Commonwealth University) are serving as court coaches during the team’s training camp.

Five of the players possess prior USA Basketball experience. Jardine and Shurna were members of the USA Select Team that trained against the 2010 USA Men’s National Team in Las Vegas.

Gibbs, Miller and Shurna helped the USA to a gold medal and 9-0 record at the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship, and JaMychal Green was a member of the 2008 U.S. team that captured a 4-1 record and silver medal at the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.

The training camp roster features two players – Abromaitis and Jardine – who graduated in 2011 with remaining eligibility, 12 athletes from the class of 2012, five athletes who will graduate in 2013 and two players – McCallum and Napier – who recently completed their freshman seasons and will graduate in 2014.

Nine NCAA conferences are represented on the training roster, including six schools from the Big East Conference, three schools from the Big Ten Conference and the Southeastern Conference (SEC), two schools from the Big 12 Conference and one program apiece from the Big West Conference, Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), Horizon League, Ivy League and Patriot League.

Sixteen players earned individual recognition from their respective conferences following the
2010-11 season, including the Big East Scholar Athlete of the Year, Abromaitis, and the Horizon League Newcomer of the Year, McCallum.

Listing on their conference first teams were: Denmon (Big 12), Gibbs (Big East), JaMychal Green (SEC), Jenkins (SEC), Johnson (Big West), Mangano (Ivy League) and McCollum (Patriot League).

Second team members included: Mbawke (Big Ten), McCallum (Horizon), Middleton (Big 12) and Mitchell (SEC).

Third team selections were: Abromaitis (Big East), Draymond Green (Big Ten) and Shurna (Big Ten).

Additionally, Jardine (Big East) was an honorable mention, and Napier listed on the Big East
All-Rookie team.

In addition to Boeheim, the 2009-12 USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Committee 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 World Championship Team.
World University Games

The 2011 World University Games men’s basketball competition will be held Aug. 13-22 in Shenzhen, China. In all, 24 countries will compete in the international competition.

The USA has been slotted into Pool D, along with Finland, Hungary, Israel, Mexico and South Korea. The red, white and blue will open play against Mexico at 6:00 p.m. on Aug. 13 (all times listed are China Standard Time, which is +12 hours from Eastern Time) and will then play Hungary at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 14; South Korea at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 15; Finland at 6:00 p.m. on Aug. 17; and Israel at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 18.

Following the preliminary round, the top two teams in the standings from each pool will advance to the medal quarterfinals, which will be contested on Aug. 20. The semifinals are on Aug. 21, and the finals will be played on Aug. 22.

The World University Games are held every other year and are organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The World University Games is a multi-sport competition open to men and women who are between the ages of 17 and 24 (born between January 1, 1987 and December 31, 1993), and is or has been within the past year, a student at a college or university.

The United States, which has claimed a medal in every World University Games since beginning play in 1965, has captured a record 13 golds, three silvers and three bronze medals in the 19 WUGs in which a USA Basketball squad has competed, and the U.S. owns a 131-8 record in the event. Most recently, the USA men earned the bronze medal after finishing 6-1 and suffering a one-point loss to Russia in the semifinals.

Eighteen players who have represented the USA in the World University Games have gone on to compete in the Olympic Games, including Ray Allen, Stacey Augmon, Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Bill Bradley, Quinn Buckner, Tom Burleson, Ken Davis, Tim Duncan, Phil Hubbard, Allen Iverson, Mitch Kupchak, Karl Malone, Michael Redd, Mitch Richmond, Michael Silliman, Steve Smith and Jo Jo White.

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Anonymous Kevin (Long Island) said...

Not sure why oriakhi would pull out and napier would go. unless there is an understanding that napier is just going to tryouts with no plans of going to china. doesn't make sense to me. why send one and not the other?

July 30, 2011 at 7:41 PM 
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