Archive for Monday, July 16, 2007

Collins, Chalmers won’t wear red, white and blue

July 16, 2007


Kansas University guards Mario Chalmers and Sherron Collins will not be playing for the United States men's basketball team at the Pan American Games.

The Jayhawks were not among the 14 finalists announced Sunday by U.S. Collegiate Committee chair Jim Boeheim.

Collins and Chalmers were two of 16 players cut after five tryout sessions, which included several scrimmages. Two more players will be cut by Thursday, the roster to be set at 12 for the Games, which take place July 25-29 in Brazil.

"It was great competition," said KU coach Bill Self, part of the Selection Committee, with Syracuse's Boeheim, Oregon's Ernie Kent, Michigan State's Tom Izzo, Kilgore Community College's Scott Schumacher and Nassau CC's A.J. Wynder.

"Our guys played well, but neither one made shots. That was the difference in making it or not. It was a bad time to not make shots."

The committee went with guards Eric Maynor (VCU), Drew Neitzel (Michigan State), Derrick Low (Washington State) and Scottie Reynolds, who plays for Pan Am head coach Jay Wright at Villanova.

Other finalists: Josh Carter (Texas A&M;), Joey Dorsey (Memphis), Wayne Ellington (North Carolina), Shan Foster (Vanderbilt), James Gist (Maryland), Roy Hibbert (Georgetown), Maarty Leunen (Oregon), Bryce Taylor (Oregon), Kyle Weaver (Washington State) and D.J. White (Indiana).

"In all honesty, the guys just didn't make shots," Self said, indicating the selections were not based so much on past performance in college, but work at the tryouts. "I mean, I think from Jay's standpoint the last thing he wants to do is take a team there that he doesn't have the confidence can make shots. There are a lot of good players, who are good shooters, for whatever reason, didn't shoot well for four days."

Self spoke to both KU players after the picks were announced.

"They were disappointed. Neither has ever been cut from a team, but they also realize it's a great learning experience," said Self, who watched the tryouts. "You come in here and have four days to convince them (coaches and selection committee members) they want to spend three weeks with you. One bad practice, two good ones, two bad ones ... that's enough right there to get you eliminated if somebody else has three good days.

KU's Chalmers, Collins cut from U.S. team

Now to the hardwood where last week, Jayhawk fans found out earlier today that both Mario Chalmers and Sherron Collins were cut from the USA Pan-American games team. Enlarge video

"I'm disappointed for them because they trained and wanted to make it bad. On the flip side, they saw where they are against the country's elite. Even though I think those two can play with anybody, they didn't shoot it, and it can be good motivation for them. It's not a bad learning experience. When you go to NBA predraft camp, you've got four to five workouts to show what you can do. It'll help prepare them for that as well as other (USA) tryouts as well."

Self believes the U.S. Pan Am team has a chance to fare well against much older competition.

"It'll come down to shooting the ball, teams playing zone against us," Self said. "If our team makes shots, it has a chance."

Of the 14 finalists, Boeheim said: "I don't know that we have a superstar type player, but we've got really good balance. The players worked very hard, and they look like they'll be good teammates, guys who will play well together, which is tremendously important."

Coach Wright said: "This was definitely the most difficult choice we've ever had to make, but I just love this group. I think we have great options. We've got shooters. We've got penetrators. We've got size. We've got post people. It's just a really diverse group that has great personality and I think the committee did a great job of putting together a really strong team. Our staff is excited about working with this team and getting them to come together and think like a team."

¢Summer league wrapup: Former KU forward Julian Wright scored six points off 2-of-7 shooting (two of six free throws) with five rebounds in New Orleans' 98-93 loss to Houston on Sunday - the final day of Las Vegas summer-league play.

No. 1 draft pick Wright averaged 8.6 points and 6.2 boards for the 0-5 Hornets. He made 18 of 46 shots (39.1 percent), including one of four threes and six of 11 free throws. He had six assists against nine turnovers.

Former KU point guard Aaron Miles scored 12 points off 5-of-5 shooting with three assists and no turnovers in Washington's 79-67 victory over Milwaukee.

Miles hit 14 of 25 shots in five games, averaging 7.0 points and 4.6 assists. Overall, he had 23 assists against five turnovers for the Wizards, who finished league play at 2-3.

Former KU shooting guard Billy Thomas of the Bucks missed three shots and had no points, two rebounds and one assist in 19 minutes.

Overall, Thomas hit eight of 21 shots (38.1 percent), including three of eight threes for the 2-3 Bucks.

Former KU center Jeff Graves averaged 4.8 rebounds and 3.6 points for the 2-3 Los Angeles Lakers. He made five of 13 shots overall and had 14 turnovers against three assists.

Former KU guard Keith Langford scored seven points total while playing in just three games for the 2-3 San Antonio Spurs. He hit three of six shots, including one of two threes.


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