Sunday, May 22, 2011

Signs of the Off season 2011 -- International Tournaments

The International Tournaments of 2011
USA Basketball, the organization charged with coordinating with the US Olympic Committee to select, train and field men's and women's teams for international competition has released their schedule of events for the summer of 2011, and the organization will select, train and field four men's teams between June (U16) and October (Pan American Games). A single pre-collegiate team, the U16 men, will the FIBA Americas Cup in Cancun, Mexico in June. Collegiate-aged teams, the U19 men's team and the World University Games men's team will train and play through June, July and into early August, with the Pan American men's team. The calendar for each of the men's team...

U16 Men -- Don Showalter Coach
6/10-6/17Training CampColorado Springs, CO
6/21-6/26FIBA Americas ChampionshipCancun, Mexico
U19 Men -- Paul Hewitt Coach
6/16-6/24Training CampColorado Springs, CO
6/30-7/10FIBA World ChampionshipValmiera & Riga, Latvia
World University Men's Team -- Matt Painter Coach
7/31-8/06Training CampColorado Springs, CO
8/12-8/23World University GamesShenzhen, China
Pan American Men's Team
10/13-10/30Pan American GamesGuadalajara, Mexico

The U16 Team
18 high schoolers who were named to the 2011-12 USA Developmental National Team and who participated in the 2010 USA mini-camp last summer will be joined by six more athletes who had outstanding seasons in 2011. Those 24 will train/tryout in Colorado Springs June 10 through 18, when 12 of the 24 will be named to the team to represent the USA in the FIBA U16 Americas Championship June 21 through June 25 in Mexico. The official USA Basketball press release of March 24 identifies all 24 invitees; Villanovans however, might be more interested in the progress of Beejay Anya a (class of 2013) forward/center out of Hyattsville, Md who attends DeMatha HS, Dakari Johnson, a (class of 2014) forward/center out of Brooklyn, NY who attends St. Patricks in Elizabeth, NJ (alma mater for Corey Fisher and Mike Nardi) and Isaiah Whitehead, a (class of 2014) off guard who also lives in Brooklyn, NY and plays for Lincoln HS.

The FIBA U16 Americas Championship is an eight team, two pool tournament that will send the three highest finishing teams onto the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship to be held June 29 – July 12 in Lithuania. The eight team field...

TBDTBD this point has to favor the USA team (dominated the last U16 competition), Argentina (a historic strong competitor), Canada and Venezula as the cohort from which the three teams will advance.

The U19 Team
According to a May 11 USA Basketball press release, 19 players will tryout for 12 spots on the team that will represent the USA in the U19 FIBA World Championship in Latvia June 30-July 10. Of particlar interest to Villanovans is rising sophomore James Bell, who participated in the U18 tryouts last summer and was invited to tryout/train again this summer. Also from the Big East, Jeremy Lamb, a rising sophomore from the National Champion Connecticut Huskies and Trevor Cooney, a wing out of Sanford HS in Delaware will be an entering freshman at Syracuse this fall. The 16 team field will be divided into four pools of four teams each...

Pool APool BPool CPool D
TunisiaTaiwanSouth KoreaUSA

After round robin pool play, the top three teams from each pool will advance to a second preliminary round, where they will be placed in two pools of six teams each. Each team will play the three teams in their pool which they did not play in the first round robin. The eight teams who earn the top point value (wins versus losses, combined scores become the tie breaker) will be reseeded for a three round, single elimination tournament to determine places #1 through #8. The four (total) teams not qualifying for places #1 through #8 will play a similar, two round single elimination tournament for places #9 through #12. A quick glance at the first round pools suggest that the USA should advance easily to the second round. Serbia, a team that beat the USA World University Games team in 2009(?) should be the most competitive game through the first round robin session. Of the Pool C teams (the top three will be grouped with the top three Pool D finishers), Canada, Croatia and Lithuania should advance. All three (with Lituania and Canada most likely) should offer competitve games to the USA team. Of the teams in Pools A & B, expect the USA team, should they advance to the medal rounds, to face some combination of Argentina, Poland or Russia, though it is common for a team in the medal round to face a previous opponent a second time. Do not be surprised if Team USA faces Serbia or Lithuania a second time somewhere in the third round of play.

The World University Games (WUG) Team
The staff includes Matt Painter, head coach at Purdue as the head coach, with Cuonzo Martin, head coach of Tennessee and Brad Stevens, head coach of Butler serving as assistants. Like the U16 and U19 squads, a 12 man squad will be named at the conclusion of a tryout period (July 31 through August 6), with the games to follow (August 12 through August 23). Normally there is a warm up basketball tournament prior to the games. USA Basketball has yet to announce the 20 or so individuals who will be invited to tryout/train in late July. Often those not chosen for the U19 squad are invited to participate in the WUG tryouts. Given the Selection Committee is headed by Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim and the squad's coaching staff is drawn from the Big Ten, the SEC and Horizon League, expect the pool of candidates to be dominated by players from those four conferences.

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