Arthur survives U19 cuts
Kansas sophomore to represent U.S.
Kansas University sophomore forward Darrell Arthur has survived cuts at USA Basketball’s Under 19 World Championship Team Trials in his hometown of Dallas.
The 6-foot-9, 225-pound Arthur and 11 other players – including Kansas State’s Michael Beasley and Texas A&M’s DeAndre Jordan – will wear the red, white and blue at the FIBA U19 Worlds July 12-22 in Novi Sad, Serbia.
“It’s going to be a great experience going overseas, something new and something fantastic,” said Arthur, who averaged 9.8 points and 4.7 rebounds his freshman year at KU. “It’s going to be cool to go to Serbia.
“Practice has been going pretty well. It’s been great playing at home in a good environment, an elite environment. Everybody’s been getting to know each other. Chemistry is getting better. We’re just trying to have fun out here while competing hard.”
Others named to the team: Beasley, 6-8, Kansas State; Jordan, 6-10, A&M; Patrick Beverley, 6-1, Arkansas; Matt Bouldin, 6-5, Gonzaga; Stephen Curry, 6-1, Davidson; Jonny Flynn, 6-1, Syracuse; Donte’ Green, 6-8, Syracuse; David Lighty, 6-5, Ohio State; Raymar Morgan, 6-7, Michigan State; Tajuan Porter, 5-6, Oregon; and Deon Thompson, 6-8, North Carolina.
Those cut Saturday: Lavoy Allen, Dwayne Collins, Tyreke Evans, Damian Hollis, Corey Stokes and Brad Wanamaker.
The U.S. team will compete in an exhibition game against China at 5 p.m. today at SMU’s Moody Coliseum. The Chinese team is expected to include 7-foot-6 Yao Ming and 6-11 Yi Jianlian, the No. 6 pick in the NBA Draft.
The Under 19 team also will participate in the 2007 Global Games and will meet Africa at 8 p.m. Thursday and Puerto Rico at 6 p.m. Friday, with the finals Saturday. All games will be in Dallas.
U.S. coach Jerry Wainwright of DePaul thinks his U.S. squad is capable of big things.
“I was excited about the attitude that all the kids brought to Dallas. I think in a very short period all of the kids understood the significance of what faced them, and because of that they all approached the trials as if they were a part of the team,” Wainwright said.
“It was intense, it was competitive, but it also showed a lot about their character and how they played together. There was very, very little selfish play. I think they all benefited from this experience and will be better players just for these couple of days.
“In terms of the team, I think the one thing you need to have in today’s basketball is versatility. We have perimeter players that can play with and without the ball. We have very mobile inside kids. I think we’re a strong, athletic, very quick team that will play the right way and one that has chance to represent the country at a very high level.”
¢Top class: Arthur is a member of the recruiting class of 2006 that saw Greg Oden, Kevin Durant and Mike Conley go 1, 2 and 4 in Thursday’s NBA Draft.
“It motivates me seeing all those guys get drafted into the NBA,” Arthur told the Dallas Morning News.
Of his sophomore season, which could be his last at KU, he said: “We’re just trying to get better and make that Final Four and a national championship. Those are our goals, and that’s why I’m out here working hard and getting my minutes every day.”
For more information on the Under 19 trials, check usabasketball.com