Washington's Pondexter Named To USA Basketball World University Games Team, WSU's Casto And Thompson Make U19 World Championship Roster

June 18, 2009

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Following three days of trials at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball today announced the team that will represent the USA in the 2009 World University Games, July 2-11 in Belgrade, Serbia. Washington senior forward Quincy Pondexter was selected to the 12-man roster Thursday. 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 - offense, defense, rebounding, things like that - 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.

Washington State sophomores DeAngelo Casto and Klay Thompson will also be competing for USA Basketball this summer. The pair have been named to the 2009 USA Men's U19 World Championship Team. The team 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.

elected 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 Loweryof Southern Illinois University and Matt Painterof 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).

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