Cincinnati’s Kilpatrick Makes World Games Roster

Sean Kilpatrick is just a kid from Yonkers, N.Y., who has never been outside the United States.

After making the 12-man final roster for the USA World University Games Team, he will finally head overseas on Monday.

To Kazan, Russia for the big event.

“This is my first time [overseas],” the 6-foot-4 senior guard from Cincinnati told SNY.tv after making the roster.

“I’d be able to say that I made my mom and my dad proud by representing my country by doing something that I enjoy doing. I’m just happy to be here.” To read more of this story, click here

World University Games Roster Announced

By JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Headlined by Creighton senior forward and probable Big East Preseason Player of the Year Doug McDermott, USA Basketball announced the 12-man roster for the World University Games on Saturday afternoon.

The event runs July 7-16 in Kazan, Russia. The Americans will continue training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs through June 30 before departing for Russia on July 1. They will practice in Russia from July 3-6 before opening play in Pool C against United Arab Emerates on July 7

McDermott is the only USA Basketball veteran on the roster, while Yonkers native and University of Cincinnati senior swingman Sean Kilpatrick made the cut. Louisville senior small forward Luke Hancock, who was named Most Outstanding Player at last season’s Final Four, is also Russia-bound. Hancock made the team after forging ahead following the death of his father on Monday morning. 

“Clearly versatility, we have guys that can play more than one position, that’s one of the great strengths we have,” said USA and Davidson College head coach Bob McKillop said in a statement. “I think we shoot the ball particularly well from a number of positions and we’ve got guys who want to be teammates. Those two things, to me, are the biggest advantages that we have, or the biggest strengths for our team.”

To read more of this story, click here

Indiana’s Ferrell Hoping to Make First Trip Outside of U.S. With USA Basketball

Indiana point guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell just recently got his passport for the first time because he’s never been outside the United States.

He hopes he needs it next week when the USA World University Games team leaves for the competition in Kazan, Russia. The roster will be cut later today.

“I’ve never been out the country so why not Russia, you know?” the 6-foot Ferrell told SNY.tv by phone from training in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“It would be a big dream to go over to Russia and represent the USA team.” To read more of this story, click here

Duke’s Hood Chomping at the Bit to Play After Year Off

UPDATED 6/28: Rodney Hood had to withdraw from the USA World University Games team due to an injury to his right Achilles tendon.

“I feel so sorry for Rodney,” said USA head coach  Bob McKillop of Davidson. “He committed himself fully to be a part of this team, and we will miss him. He would have been a valuable team member for USA Basketball.”

***

Rodney Hood hasn’t played an organized basketball game since the end of the 2011-12 season, and now he’s chomping at the bit to play again.

The 6-foot-8 Duke sophomore will be eligible this coming season after sitting out last year following his transfer from Mississippi State. He averaged 10.0 points and 4.8 rebounds during his freshman season there.

“Man, I’m very excited,” the 6-foot-8 Hood told SNY.tv from Colorado Springs, Colo., where he is training with the USA World University Games team. To read more of this story, click here

In Wake of Father’s Death, Hancock Forging Ahead With USA Basketball

Luke Hancock only wanted to talk about basketball on Tuesday.

And understandably so.

It had been little more than 24 hours since his father, William Hancock, died in his bed of cancer in the family’s Roanoke (Va.) County home at about 7:30 a.m. Monday. Luke, a 6-foot-6 forward who was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four in April, was on his way to Colorado to attend USA Basketball’s tryouts for the World University Games when his father passed.

William Hancock was 70 and his three-year battle with cancer was well-documented during Louisville’s run to the NCAA championship in Atlanta. To read more of this story, click here

Providence’s Cotton Hoping to Make USA Roster

While the U.S. U19 World Championship Team prepares to play this week in Prague, Czech Republic, Providence’s Bryce Cotton and 25 other top college players arrived at the U.S. Olympic Training Center for the start of the USA World University Games Team training camp.

“So far, so good, today was the first day,” the 6-foot-1 Cotton told SNY.tv by phone Monday night. “It was good for everybody to get their feet wet and just get integrated to all these different players.”

A rising senior who was an All-Big East selection last year and was named to the SNY All-Big East Preseason Team, Cotton led the Big East in scoring last season at 18.3 points per game. This training camp gives him a chance to match up against other elite college guards like New Mexico’s Kendall Williams, Notre Dame’s Eric Atkins and Nevada’s Deonte Burton. To read more of this story, click here

Okafor Looking for Third Straight Gold With USA Basketball

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jahlil Okafor has already won gold medals with USA Basketball at the U16 and U17 levels.

This week he will jump up two age groups when he debuts with the U19 team at the FIBA World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic.

The 6-foot-10 Okafor and his teammates will debut Thursday against the Ivory Coast.

“We’ve only won the gold medal twice for the 19U [since 1991],” Okafor, who turned 17 in December, said Thursday after a practice at the Verizon Center.

“I won the gold medal for 16s and 17s so I’m undefeated and I plan on doing the same thing.” To read more of this story, click here

Virginia’s Mike Tobey Looking to Add Big Help For U19s

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Of all the players on the U.S. U19 roster, Mike Tobey may be the least well known.

He’s not a big-name high school star like Jahlil Okafor. He didn’t forego the NBA Draft to return to campus like Marcus Smart and Jarnell Stokes. And he doesn’t compete for a team coming off a Final Four like Jerami Grant or Montrezl Harrell.

The 6-foot-11 Tobey is a rising sophomore at Virginia who hopes to contribute in the frontcourt at the U19 World Championship June 27-July 7 in Prague.

A native of Monroe, N.Y., and a graduate of Blair (N.J.) Academy, Tobey has been battling in practices against guys like Okafor and Stokes and that will help him at the tournament and next season, too. To read more of this story, click here

Tennessee’s Stokes on a Mission to Win Gold

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marcus Smart isn’t the only member of the USA U19 team who spurned the NBA Draft to remain in college.

Jarnell Stokes, the 6-foot-8, 250-pounder from Tennessee, also opted to return to campus for his junior season.

Now Stokes wants to team up with Smart and win a gold medal for the U.S. at the FIBA U19 World Championship in Prague from June 27-July 7.

“[Smart] deserves a lot of credit for not being one of those prima donna guys that feel like they can’t play for their country,” Stokes told SNY.tv after U19 practice Thursday at the Verizon Center. “So I definitely applaud him and I want to make him feel better about his decision by bringing him a gold medal.” To read more of this story, click here

Justise Winslow Looking to Cut List By July Live Period

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Justise Winslow has a fairly busy schedule over the next few weeks, what with the FIBA U19 World Championship running from June 27-July 7 in Prague.

Yet even as he practices and prepares for the big event, Winslow is eyeing his future college plans.

“At this point I really don’t have any leaders, everyone’s pretty equal,” the 6-foot-6 forward from Houston St. John’s told SNY.tv Thursday following U19 practice at the Verizon Center.

“I might just cut my list before the July period to help some of those coaches, so they know I’m interested and those that I’m not interested in.” To read more of this story, click here