If you're looking for "surprises" in the Elite Eight . . . you'll have to turn to a player because…
USA Men's U19 World Championship Team Named
Selected for the USA U19 World Championship squad were: Darrell Arthur (Kansas / Dallas, Texas); Michael Beasley (Notre Dame Prep, Mass./ Frederick, Md.); Patrick Beverley (Arkansas / Chicago, Ill.): Matt Bouldin (Gonzaga/ Highlands Ranch, Colo.); Stephen Curry (Davidson / Charlotte, N.C.); Jonny Flynn (Niagara Falls H.S. / Niagara Falls, N.Y.); Donte' Greene (Towson Catholic H.S. / Baltimore, Md.); DeAndre Jordan (Bellaire Episcopal H.S. /Humble, Texas); David Lighty (Ohio State / Cleveland, Ohio); Raymar Morgan (Michigan State / Canton, Ohio);Tajuan Porter (Oregon / Detroit, Mich.); and Deon Thompson (North Carolina / Torrance, Calif.).
The 5-6 Porter made 110 three-pointers as a freshman in 2006-07, setting school and Pac-10 freshman records. It was also the second-most threes made by a freshman in NCAA history. The 5-6 Porter averaged 14.6 points per game as the Ducks advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight with a 29-8 record. He was also named Most Outstanding Player of the Pac-10 tournament after leading Oregon to its second tournament title in five years.
"I was excited about the attitude that all the kids brought to Dallas. I think in a very short period all of the kids attending the trials understood the significance of what faced them and because of that they all approached the trials as if they were a part of the team. It was intense, it was competitive, but it also showed a lot about their character and how they played together. There was very, very little selfish play. I think they all benefitted from this experience and will be better players just for these couple of days," said USA and DePaul University head coach Jerry Wainwright. "In terms of the team, I think the one thing you need to have in today's basketball is versatility. We have perimeter players that can play with and without the ball. We have very mobile inside kids. I think we really benefit from the fact that the majority of the team has one year of college basketball under their belt and all of them come from programs where they've been coached and they already understand the physicality of what they will be facing. I think we're a strong, athletic, very quick team that will play the right way and one that has chance to represent the country at a very high level.
"What everybody has to understand now is how important each possession is in practice. Because we have such limited practice time, in order to build a team and to deal with what we will face we really need to focus on each and every possession in practice so that we can be organized when we play in these games. We'll certainly try to impress upon the kids that the teams we are going to play have practiced a lot together and we're going to have to overcome that with team play and we're really going to have to be intense and we're going to have to be focused on each and every possession," Wainwright added.
Wainwright, who served as an assistant for the 2006 USA U18 National Team, will lead the 2007 USA U19 World Championship Team, and collegiate head coaches Bruiser Flint of Drexel University (Pa.) and George Washington University's (D.C.) Karl Hobbs will serve as assistant coaches. Five of the selected 12 players boast of prior USA Basketball experience, including three members of the 2006 USA U18 National Team that finished 4-0, captured gold, and qualified the United States for the 2007 U19 World Championship. Beasley (2007 Nike Hoop Summit and 2006 U18 World Championship Qualifying Team); Flynn (2007 Nike Hoop Summit and 2006 U18 World Championship Qualifying Team); and Greene (2007 Nike Hoop Summit and 2006 U18 World Championship Qualifying Team) were all members of the U18 National team and were most recently members of the victorious 2007 USA Junior National Select Team that defeated a World Select Team 100-80 in the 2007 Nike Hoop Summit.
Additionally, Porter participated in the 2006 USA U18 National Team Trials and was named a finalist for the team, while Arthur (2005 Youth Development Festival White Team) is an alumnus of USA Basketball's Youth Development Festival.Eight of the USA's team members completed their collegiate freshman season in 2006-07, four wrapped up their high school senior campaign on 2007.The USA U19 World Championship Team will continue training Saturday (2-4 p.m. CDT) and Sunday (10a.m.-12p.m. CDT), and is scheduled to meet China in a 5 p.m. (CDT) game on Sunday, July 1, at Moody Coliseum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. The U.S. is certain to have its hands fulls when it faces the China Senior National Team which is expected to include 7-6 Houston Rockets star and NBA All-Star Yao Ming, and 6-11 Yi Jianlian who was the No. 6 overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft.
China, the defending FIBA Asia zone champions, most recently finished ninth in the 2006 FIBA World Championship and placed eighth in the 2004 Olympics.The USA squad will also participate in the 2007 Global Games and will meet team Africa on July 5 (8 p.m.),Puerto Rico's U19 National Team on July 6 (6 p.m.), and the Global Games finals will be conducted on July 7. Also competing in the Global Games are Argentina, the Global Games AA team, and a team to be determined. All of the Global Games action will be held at Moody Coliseum on the campus of SMU.
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