Miller Earns Spot on USA Men's U19 World Championship Team
June 18, 2009
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Following three days of trials featuring 17 of the nation's top 19-and-unders competing at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., 12 players were announced today by USA Basketball as members of the 2009 USA Men's U19 World Championship Team. The 12 players will remain in Colorado Springs through June 25 to continue training for the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship, which will be held July 2-12 in Auckland, New Zealand. The player selections were made by the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee, chaired by Syracuse University head coach Jim Boeheim.
Selected to represent the United States at the FIBA U19 World Championship were: DeAngelo Casto (Washington State/Spokane, Wash.), Seth Curry (Duke/Charlotte, N.C.), Ashton Gibbs (Pittsburgh/Scotch Plains, N.J.) , Gordon Hayward (Butler/Brownsburg, Ind.), Shelvin Mack (Butler/Lexington, Ky.), Darius Miller (Kentucky/Maysville, Ky.), Arnett Moultrie (UTEP/Memphis, Tenn.), John Shurna (Northwestern/Glen Ellyn, Ill.), Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas/Jersey City, N.J.), Howard Thompkins (Georgia/Lithonia, Ga.), Klay Thompson (Washington State/Ladera Ranch, Calif.) and Terrico White (Mississippi/Memphis, Tenn.).
“I think this is a well-balanced team. They'll have to get the job done as a team. They may not have a star-caliber player, but they have a lot of very good players. At this stage the U19 team looks like they will work very well together. All of the U19 trials participants played very hard throughout the trials. There has been no lack of effort, and that's a good sign,” said Boeheim.
“We're a pretty good shooting team from the perimeter and we have some big guys who can shoot the ball, so I think that's going to be a strength,” said USA U19 National Team and University of Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon. “I'm concerned that we don't really have experienced point guards, but I think we've got some wings that can make some plays.
"Now at this point we've got our team and we've got to just mold it. We didn't do a lot of team stuff during these three days (of trials), but what we're now going to do is focus on defending as a team and then running our offense, and just trying to play unselfish, playing hard and playing smart at the same time.”
Dixon is being assisted by collegiate head coaches Chris Lowery of Southern Illinois University and Matt Painter of Purdue University.
All 12 selected athletes recently completed their freshman year at a NCAA Division I school. Washington State University, with Casto and Thompson, and Butler University, with Hayward and Mack, are the only colleges with multiple players making the 12-man roster.
Nine athletes listed among their NCAA conference all-freshman squads following the 2008-09 season, including three who were named their conference's freshman of the year. Curry was named Big South Conference Freshman of the Year; Hayward was named Horizon League Conference Newcomer of the Year; and White was named Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year. Also named to their respective all-freshman teams were: Casto (Pacific-10); Mack (Horizon League); Moultrie (Conference USA); Taylor (Big 12); Thompkins (SEC); and Thompson (Pacific-10).
Additionally, Hayward was named to the CBSSportsline.com Freshman All-America second team and to the FoxSports.com National All-Freshmen team; and White was named to the CBSSportsline.com Freshman All-America second team.
The 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship features 16 national teams comprised of athletes 19-years-old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1990) that qualified through their FIBA zone tournaments.
Sixteen nations will battle for the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship for Men title July 2-12 in New Zealand. The United States has been placed in Group B, along with Egypt, France and Iran. The 12 remaining 19-and-under national teams were distributed as such: Group A includes Angola, Greece, Lithuania and Puerto Rico; Group C consists of Australia, Canada, Spain and Syria; and Group D is comprised of Argentina, Croatia, Kazakhstan and host New Zealand.
The U.S. squad's preliminary round slate opens with a July 2 contest against Iran, followed by France on July 3, and the USA squad will celebrate the Fourth of July by taking on Egypt. The top three teams from each preliminary group will qualify for the preliminary second round, while the fourth place teams will qualify for the classification round to determine 13th to 16th places.
The twelve teams qualified for the second round, which will be played July 6-8, will be divided into groups E and F, with six teams in each group. The top three preliminary round teams from groups A and B will advance to Group E, and the top three from C and D will advance to Group F. Each team will play the three new teams in its new group, with the final scores of all games played in the preliminary round carrying over to determine the second round standings.
Teams finishing in first through fourth places in the two second round groups will qualify for the quarterfinals, with the opportunity to advance to the semifinals and finals. Teams finishing in fifth and sixth places in Groups E and F will play for ninth through 12th places. The quarterfinals will be held on July 10, semifinals are slated for July 11 and the gold medal game will be contested on July 12.
In addition to Boeheim, the USA Basketball Junior National Team 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.
FIBA U19 World Championship
Led by Davidson College head coach Bob McKillop, the 2008 USA U18 National Team secured the USA's berth to the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship with a 4-1 record and a silver medal finish in its zone qualifier, the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, held July 14-18 in Mendoza, Argentina.
Originally known as the FIBA Junior World Championship, the tournament was held every four years from 1979 – 2007. FIBA recently changed its calendar and now holds age-based world championships every other year. USA men's teams are 53-11 in the U19/Junior World Championships, capturing silver with an 8-1 record at the most recent U19 Worlds, held in Serbia in 2007.
USA U19 World Championship for Men Players of note include: Stacey Augmon (1987), Vin Baker (1991), Michael Beasley (2007), Dee Brown (2003), Vince Carter (1995), Nick Collison (1999), Stephen Curry (2007), Paul Davis (2003), Eric Floyd (1979), Jonny Flynn (2007), Larry Johnson (1987), Stephon Marbury (1995), Gary Payton (1987), Sam Perkins (1979), Wesley Person (1991), Kevin Pittsnogle (2003), J.J. Redick (2003), Bobby Simmons (1999), Scott Skiles (1983), Deron Williams (2003) and James Worthy (1979).