Denmon and English Accept Invites For World University Games
COLUMBIA - Missouri seniors Marcus Denmon and Kim English were among 22 of the nation's top college basketball players to accept invitations from the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee to attend the 2011 USA Basketball Men's World University Games Team training camp.
The training camp, which will be held July 29-Aug. 7 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado will be used to select the 12-member team that will represent the USA at the 2011 World University Games men's basketball competition Aug. 13-23 in Shenzhen, China.
The USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee, chaired by NCAA representative Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim, is expected to announce finalists for the 2011 USA World University Games Team on July 31. Training camp will continue July 31-Aug. 7 at the USOTC, with the official roster being announced prior to the teams' departure for China on Aug. 8.
"After a lot of thought and consideration of potential players, the committee has put together a very strong roster for the USA Men's World University Games Team training camp," said Boeheim. "As always, the committee will be looking for not only the most talented players, but also players that will work well as a team."
In addition to Boeheim, the 2009-12 USA Basketball Men's Junior National Committee includes NCAA appointees Washing Coach Lorenzo Romar, Illinois Coach Bruce Weber and North Carolina Coach Roy Williams; and athlete representative Jay Williams, a member of the 2002 USA World Championship Team.
Denmon and English are just one of two sets of teammates to try out for this year's squad. They join the Alabama duo of JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell. The other Big 12 representative is Texas A&M's Khris Middleton.
"It's an honor to have a chance to represent your country," Denmon said. "Obviously there are a lot of talented guys trying out and we all have the same goal, earn our way onto the team and bring home the gold for USA Basketball."
Purdue's Matt Painter will be the head coach of this year's squad and he will be assisted by Tennessee Head Coach Cuonzo Martin and Butler's Brad Stevens.
Denmon is coming off a career year in which he earned first team All-Big 12 recognition. The Kansas City native averaged 16.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He led the Tigers in scoring, 3-point field goals (82) and three-point field goal percentage (.448), while ranking among the top 10 of the Big 12 in scoring (7th), field goal percentage (5th), steals (3rd), 3-point percentage (2nd) and 3-point makes per game (5th). Overall Denmon started 33 of 34 games and reached double figures in 30 contests, topping 20 points 12 times. He also shot 50 percent from the floor for the year, the highest for a Missouri guard since Rickey Paulding in 2001-02.
English saw action in all 34 games during his junior season, making 30 starts. The Baltimore native averaged 10.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game in his third year at Mizzou and is currently 38th on Missouri's all-time scoring list with 1,036 career points. He set a career-high with 10 dimes on Dec. 18 in the Tigers' win over Central Arkansas and used that double-figure effort to hand out a career-high 67 assists on the season.
The World University Games are held every other year and are organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The World University Games is a multi-sport competition open to men and women who are between the ages of 17 and 24 (born between Jan. 1, 1987 and Dec. 31, 1993), who are or have been within the past year, a student at a college or university.
The United States, which has claimed a medal in every World University Games since beginning play in 1965, has captured a record 13 golds, three silvers and three bronze medals in the 19 WUGs in which a USA Basketball men's squad has competed. Overall, the USA owns a 131-8 won-loss record in World University Games play.
The United States captured six of the first seven gold medals awarded in World University Games competition and strung together six consecutive gold medals from 1989 through 1999. Most recently, the 2009 USA team earned the bronze medal after finishing 6-1 and suffering a one-point loss to Russia in the semifinals.
Eighteen players who have represented the USA in the World University Games have gone on to compete in the Olympic Games, including Ray Allen, Stacey Augmon, Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Bill Bradley, Quinn Buckner, Tom Burleson, Ken Davis, Tim Duncan, Phil Hubbard, Allen Iverson, Mitch Kupchak, Karl Malone, Michael Redd, Mitch Richmond, Michael Silliman, Steve Smith and Jo Jo White.