Kentucky's Vargas does not make Dominican roster

August 25, 2011 

Eloy Vargas, left, got tugged and pulled by DeMarcus Cousins on a free throw attempt as John Calipari's Dominican Republic National Team played against a team of former UK players who are now professionals at Rupp Arena on Monday, Aug. 15, 2011, in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff

MARK CORNELISON | STAFF

University of Kentucky senior Eloy Vargas did not make the roster for the Dominican Republic National Team that will attempt to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in a basketball tournament starting next week.

John Calipari, the coach for UK and the Dominican team, announced on his Web site, CoachCal.com, on Wednesday night that Vargas did not make the team.

The Dominican team is playing a series of three games this week in Brazil in preparation for the upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament.

The Marchand Cup in Foz de Iguazu, Brazil, brings together four countries who will be taking part in the FIBA Americas Championship on Aug. 30-Sept. 11 in Mar del Plata, Argentina — Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

"I’ve talked with Eloy and he fully understands the decision," Calipari's post said. "He will be coming home this weekend to prepare for his senior season with his teammates at Kentucky. Eloy has enjoyed a great experience with this Dominican team. He was a really a great teammate and gained valuable experience during his three weeks."

Vargas saw limited action during the Dominicans' two exhibition games against former University of Kentucky players last week.

"Eloy was going against veterans like Al Horford and Charlie Villanueva and Jack Michael Martinez," Calipari continued. "He held his own, but these guys have been playing in the pro leagues for years. When everybody is so close, you’ve got to look at it as we need three big men, we need three point guards and we need to fill out the roster from there. Eloy understands the decision, and what I think he’s done and what I told him is he’s probably cemented his spot on the national team for years to come."

Calipari said 15 players traveled to Brazil, 13 can be on the roster and only 12 can play.

Calipari's team was beaten 99-77 by Puerto Rico late Wednesday night. The Dominicans play Brazil at 9 p.m. EDT Thursday and Canada at 7 p.m. Friday.

Broadcasts of Thursday's and Friday's games are available on fibaamericastv.com.

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