Team USA looks to regain edge

July 1, 2009 

  • U.S. Roster

    Name Ht. College

    DeAngelo Casto 6-8 Wash. St.

    Seth Curry 6-3 Duke

    Ashton Gibbs 6-2 Pittsburgh

    Gordon Hayward 6-8 Butler

    Shelvin Mack 6-3 Butler

    Darius Miller 6-7 Kentucky

    Arnett Moultrie 6-11 UTEP

    John Shurna 6-8Northwestern

    Tyshawn Taylor 6-3 Kansas

    Howard Thompkins 6-9 Georgia

    Klay Thompson 6-6 Wash. St.

    Terrico White 6-5 Mississippi

    Head coach: Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh Assistant coaches: Chris Lowery, Southern Illinois; Matt Painter, Purdue

    U.S. schedule

    Preliminary Round

    All times EDT

    Wednesday — Iran, 6 p.m.

    Thursday — France, 6 p.m.

    Friday — Egypt, 7 p.m.

    The top three teams in each of four four-team groups advance to the second round, which takes place July 5-8. Quarterfinals, semifinals and finals are July 9-12.

  • FIBA U-19 World Championship

    When: Wednesday through July 12

    Where: Auckland, New Zealand

    Time difference: Auckland is 16 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time.

    What is FIBA? It's the governing body for international basketball. The acronym stands for Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur, which is French.

    TV: Games may be viewed live at for $5 per day or $8 for the entire tournament.

Get out the globe for this one.

About a thousand miles southeast of Australia, out in the vastness of the South Pacific, Kentuckians Darius Miller and Shelvin Mack are not only getting a taste of life on the other side of the planet, they're also learning firsthand how truly international their sport has become.

Miller, from Mason County and the University of Kentucky, and Mack, from Bryan Station and Butler University, are representing the United States in the FIBA Under-19 World Championship for men's basketball in Auckland, New Zealand.

Team USA opens play against Iran on Thursday morning in New Zealand, which is Wednesday evening in Kentucky.

Just as on the Olympic stage, the challenge has become extreme for the United States at the junior level.

The Americans won the first two, and three of the first four, junior tournaments in 1979, 1983 and 1991 but have not won a championship since. Greece (1995), Spain (1999), Australia (2003), and Serbia (2007) have captured the past four titles. The event is now played every two years instead of every four years.

"We know we haven't won this tournament since 1991, and so we've made that a goal for us," U.S. Coach Jamie Dixon, of Pittsburgh, said in a USA Basketball news release. "We understand what we're up against. You've got the best teams in the world, the best players, this is important to other teams, they've been together longer than we have, and so we're just trying to get the point across that this is a tough tournament, and we're going to play against good people."

The 15 teams challenging Team USA this year are Angola, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Croatia, Egypt, France, Greece, Iran, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Spain and Syria.

Miller played in 36 games and started two for UK as a freshman forward in 2008-09. The Wildcats finished 22-14 and reached the NIT quarterfinals. Miller averaged 5.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.

Mack started all 32 games for Butler as a freshman point guard. Butler went 26-6 and reached the NCAA Tournament with Mack averaging 11.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists.

Other names familiar to Kentucky fans on the U.S. squad include Duke's Seth Curry, Kansas' Tyshawn Taylor, Georgia's Howard Thompkins and Mississippi's Terrico White.

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