It'll be their final dose of alternative summer school.
Coming off events with the 20-man team that played amongst the NBA big boys in Las Vegas last month, USA Basketball announced today the 10 members who accepted invitations (read: some of the better guys, like Jacob Pullen, couldn't commit) to continue to be a part of the USA Basketball Select Team that will train against the national team beginning Aug. 9.
They'll only be glorified scrimmages, but the experience and exposure to professional ball always seems to bring about the best in the players who participate. These guys, like Chris Singleton (right), are impressionable and hungry to see just how high they measure up to all-stars at the highest level.
Two Dookies and three Big Ten men make up half of the 10-man squad that will go against the likes of Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Lamar Odom and Rudy Gay.
Villanova coach Jay Wright and Washington coach Lorenzo Romar oversaw the Las Vegas sessions, and Wright will again be in charge of the guys when they head to Manhattan to train next week. (Wright continually planting the seeds of moving on to coach at the NBA level?)
The lucky ones are listed after the jump.
Jerry Colangelo, the chairman for USA Basketball, said the following about the decision to continue the learning process.
“One of the great developments of our Las Vegas camp was the USA Select Team which consisted of juniors and seniors out of the college ranks that we brought in to scrimmage against the USA National Team. Lorenzo Romar and Jay Wright did a terrific job of coaching the select players in Las Vegas. It worked so well we’ve decided to bring to New York a smaller group of players from that Select Team to do the same thing. They were very valuable to us and it’s a great experience for them.”
The selectees, per USA Basketball's official site:
Purdue University / Indianapolis, IN
University of Wisconsin / Orono, MN
Butler University / Lexington, KY
Duke University / Medford, OR
Florida State University / Canton, GA
Duke University / Upper Marlboro, MD
University of Georgia / Lithonia, GA
University of Illinois / Riverton, IL
University of Connecticut / Bronx, NY
University of Dayton / Trotwood, OH
Interesting group, and if you follow college hoops intently you'll certainly notice that all the guys who were selected are high on morale and low on selfishness. Also a bunch of players who aren't afraid of busting their beak or yours. No coincidence there. The Singleton and Thompkins picks are terrific, and I think both guys deserve the boost in reputation/credibility. Would also love to hear how Walker handles himself against Rose and if Tisdale's expanded his repetoire around the rim.
You know what's really good about this? Only to-be juniors and seniors need apply. There's a maturity and a dues-paid attitude that accompanies this process. It'll help the aforementioned players' teams, most likely, and it sends the right message. And two Blue Devils making the team will likely only bolster Duke's preseason reputation as the team to beat.