LOUISVILLE, Ky. (News Release) – University of Louisville men’s basketball’s Luke Hancock is one of 16 finalists for the USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Team, the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee announced Wednesday.
Training camp, which started three days, continues through June 30, and the 12-man roster will be announced before the team’s July 1 departure for Russia. The men’s basketball portion of the 2013 World University Games runs from July 7-16 in Kazan, Russia.
The Roanoke, Va., native played in all 40 games in 2012-13 and was instrumental down the stretch in Louisville's third NCAA national title. For the season, Hancock knocked down a team-best 63 3-pointers and totaled 40 steals. In the national championship victory over Michigan, Hancock totaled 22 points and two steals, going 5-of-5 from beyond the arc.
“The effort of this group was unbelievable, and it was very tough to get down,” chair of the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee and Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “Usually, it’s pretty easy to get down to 16. It was not easy with this group. It was very difficult. Guys were very, very close in a two-day tryout. Another day, and it might have been a couple of different guys in there, but you have to take the guys that played the best, and those 16 played the best.
“I think we have the nucleus of a really good team. We’ve got good big guys, we’ve got good wing players, we’ve got scorers, we’ve got shooters, so I think it’s a balanced team. That’s what you hope for on these teams.”
Davidson’s Bob McKillop will lead team, with John Beilein (Michigan) and Frank Martin (South Carolina) serving as assistant coaches.
After reaching Russia, the U.S. will practice from July 3-6 in Kazan, including scrimmages on July 4 against Russian basketball club UNICS and on July 5 against the Russia World University Games Team, before beginning World University Games play on July 7.
The U.S. team has drawn preliminary round Group C, along with Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Sweden, and United Arab Emirates. Playing in Group A are Estonia, Germany, Oman, Russia, Ukraine, and South Korea. Playing in Group B are Japan, Mexico, Mongolia, Philippines, Romania, and Serbia. Group D consists of Brazil, Chile, China, Finland, Lithuania, and Norway.
McKillop’s squad will take on UAE at 10:30 a.m. ET (all times listed are Eastern) on July 7. The next day, the U.S. faces Czech Republic at 5 a.m. on July 8; and Sweden at 1 p.m. on July 10; Australia at 10:30 a.m. on July 11; and Canada at 5 a.m. on July 12.
Following the preliminary round, the top two teams in each of the four pools will advance to the medal quarterfinals on July 14 to compete for places 1-8. The remaining teams will play out for places ninth to 24th. The semifinals are scheduled for July 15, and the finals will be contested on July 16.