Morrison Selected For USA Trials
July 14, 2004
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Twenty of the nation's top 20-and-unders, including additions Adam Morrison of Gonzaga University and Rodney Carney of the University of Memphis, will descend upon the New Jersey Nets practice facility in East Rutherford this Friday through Sunday in hopes of securing one of 12 coveted roster spots on the 2004 USA Basketball World Championship For Young Men Qualifying Team.
Chaired by former University of Virginia Athletic Director Terry Holland, the USA Basketball Men's Collegiate Committee selected the invitees and will make the final roster determinations at the 2004 USA National Team Trials and training camp July 16-23 in East Rutherford. Athletes eligible for selection to this age-based team include any male who is a U.S. citizen and is 20-years-old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1984).
Five USA Basketball veterans, Maurice Ager (Michigan State University), Daniel "Dee" Brown (University of Illinois), Ryan Hollins (UCLA ), J.J. Redick (Duke University) and Deron Williams (Illinois), as well as Josh Boone (University of Connecticut were originally named to the USA Trials roster but are injured and unable to compete for a spot on the USA Young Men's National Team.
The 20 players in addition to Carney and Morrison who have accepted invitations to the 2004 USA Basketball Men's National Team Trials include: Hassan Adams (University of Arizona); Sean Banks (Memphis); Aaron Brooks (University of Oregon); Shannon Brown (Michigan State); Justin Gray (Wake Forest University); Sean May (University of North Carolina) ; Rashad McCants (North Carolina ); Demetris Nichols (Syracuse University); David Padgett (*Louisville University); Chris Paul (Wake Forest); Mustafa Shakur (Arizona); Curtis Sumpter (Villanova University; P.J. Tucker (University of Texas); Charlie Villaneuva (Connecticut); C.J. Watson (University of Tennessee); Eric Williams (Wake Forest); Curtis Withers (UNC Charlotte) and Bracey Wright (Indiana University).
Morrison averaged 11.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg and shot 53.1 percent from the field last season as a freshman for the Bulldogs. He played in all 31 games with one start and was named to the West Coast Conference All-Freshman team. The graduate of Spokane's Mead High helped lead the Bulldogs to a 28-3 record, a No. 3 ranking in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll and to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs also went 14-0 in WCC play for the first time in school history.
"This is a great opportunity for Adam," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. "He is one of the great young talents and this will give him a chance to showcase those talents among some of the best up-and-coming stars of the NCAA ranks."
Of the 20 Trials participants, 13 have previous USA Basketball experience.
Two return from the 2003 USA Men's Junior World Championship Team that journeyed to Thessaloniki, Greece, and finished fifth with a 71 record, a mark that tied gold medalist Australia for the best record in the tournament. The USA squad also went 5-0 to win gold at the 2003 Global Games in Dallas, Texas. Watson was credited with 6.0 ppg. and 2.0 apg., while Shakur posted averages of 5.0 ppg. and 2.8 apg.
Supplying additional USA Basketball experience is Brooks and Padgett who helped the U.S. qualify for the 2003 FIBA Junior World Championship after finishing with a 41 record and the bronze medal at the 2002 FIBA Americas Junior World Championship Qualifier in Venezuela.
McCants competed in a pair of USA Basketball Youth Development Festivals and heads a list of 10 who got their USA Basketball start at the Festival, including Adams, Banks, Shannon Brown, Gray, May, Nichols, Padgett, Paul, and Wright.
A total of four 2004 All-Americans further underscore the strength of the USA team candidates. May was an ESPN.com All-America third team selection and Associated Press (A.P.) All-America honorable mention; McCants listed as an All-America second team by Basketball Times and third team by the A.P.; and Paul was an A.P. All-America honorable mention following the 2003-04 season. The fourth All-American listed among the USA National Team Trials roster is Withers, a Basketball Times All-America third team selection, who will experience his first taste of USA Basketball in July.
Guiding the U.S. squad will be University of Oklahoma head coach Kelvin Sampson, who will be assisted by collegiate head coaches Tom Crean of Marquette University (Wis.) and Dan Monson of the University of Minnesota and former Gonzaga head coach.
Finalists for the USA Team will be selected following trials July 16-18 at the New Jersey Nets practice facility in East Rutherford. The USA Trials schedule will see the candidates competing twice a day, at 10 a.m. (all times EST) and 5 p.m. Finalists will remain in New Jersey for the team's training camp, which will again feature two-a-days at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., and the eventual 12-member squad will be finalized sometime prior to the USA's final New Jersey practice at 10 a.m. on July 23.
Following a 2 p.m. practice session in Saint John, Canada, on July 24, the U.S. will take on Canada's Young Men's National Team on July 25 in a 2 p.m. exhibition game at Harbour Station in Saint John. Tickets for the exhibition game can be purchased at the Harbour Station box office or by calling 800-267-2800 or 506-657-1234 in Canada.
The young American squad will get in a final pair of practices in Halifax, Canada, on July 26 and 27 before tipping off play at the 2004 FIBA Americas World Championship For Young Men Qualifying Tournament on July 28. The U.S. will compete against seven other teams from the Americas for one of the three Americas Zone qualifying berths for the 2005 FIBA World Championships For Young Men, which will be hosted next summer by Argentina. Featuring eight nations divided into two groups of four, the competition schedule, which will be released at a later date, includes a preliminary round with round-robin play between teams in each group July 28-30. The top two finishing teams in each group will advance to the July 31 semifinals and the gold medal will be contested Aug. 1.
The World Championship For Young Men and its zone qualifying tournaments are held every four years. Originally held in 1993 and known as the FIBA 22 And Under World Championship, it was designed for men 22-years-old or younger. FIBA lowered the age eligibility to 21-years-old or younger in December 1998 and changed the competition name to the World Championship For Young Men. The USA has qualified for all three previous World Championship For Young Men tournaments and has compiled a 22-2 overall record while winning gold medals in 1993 and 2001. United States squads have also compiled a 15-2 win-loss record in the three Young Men Qualifiers, winning gold in 1996 and silver in 2000 and 1993.
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. College/Hometown Hassan Adams G 6-4 201 Arizona / Los Angeles, California Sean Banks F 6-8 206 Memphis / Englewood, New Jersey Aaron Brooks G 6-0 160 Oregon / Seattle, Washington Shannon Brown G 6-3 200 Michigan State / Maywood, Illinois Rodney Carney F 6-7 205 Memphis / Indianapolis, Indiana Justin Gray G 6-2 185 Wake Forest / Charlotte, North Carolina Sean May F/C 6-9 260 North Carolina / Bloomington, Indiana Rashad McCants F/G 6-4 207 North Carolina / Asheville, North Carolina Adam Morrison F 6-8 205 Gonzaga / Spokane, Washington Demetris Nichols F 6-8 205 Syracuse / Barrington, Rhode Island David Padgett C 6-11 230 *Louisville / Reno, Nevada Chris Paul G 6-0 168 Wake Forest / Lewisville, North Carolina Mustafa Shakur G 6-3 178 Arizona / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Curtis Sumpter F 6-7 220 Villanova / Brooklyn, New York P.J. Tucker F 6-5 220 Texas / Raleigh, North Carolina Charlie Villaneuva F 6-11 230 Connecticut / Brooklyn, New York C.J. Watson G 6-2 175 Tennessee / Las Vegas, Nevada Eric Williams C 6-9 275 Wake Forest / Wake Forest, North Carolina Curtis Withers F/C 6-8 230 UNC Charlotte / Charlotte, North Carolina Bracey Wright G 6-3 200 Indiana / The Colony, Texas* David Padgett competed for the University of Kansas as a freshman during the 2003-04 season, but announced in April he would transfer from Kansas. It was announced on June 15 that Padgett would transfer to the University of Louisville.
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