Sophomore wing Dalen Terry has been invited to try out for USA Basketball’s U19 team next month, giving him a chance to potentially face several Arizona teammates at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup in July.
USA Basketball has not yet announced its full list of invitees, but Terry retweeted a Stockrisers report that he was invited. Players are eligible only if they turn 19 on or after Jan. 1 this year, and Terry’s birthday is in July.
If Terry makes the USA team, he could be playing against UA forward Azuolas Tubelis (Lithuania), guard Bennedict Mathurin (Canada) and Oumar Ballo (Mali) in the U19 FIBA U19 World Cup in Latvia.
Tubelis has already returned home to Lithuania to join his national team program, having proven himself one of the nation’s top prospects in 2019 when he averaged 14.9 points and 12.6 rebounds in the FIBA U18 European Championships.
Mathurin hasn’t played for any national teams yet, but was named MVP of the 2019 Canadian national U17 championships while playing for Team Quebec. Ballo, meanwhile, was a U19 World Cup all-star in 2019 who says he will play for Mali again after transferring from Gonzaga to Arizona later this spring.
“I’m trying to talk to Benn to go with Canada so I can play (against) him,” said Ballo, who developed a close friendship with Mathurin while they were teammates at the NBA Academy Latin America in 2018-19.
Ballo was just 17 when he led Mali all the way to the U19 World Cup championship game, collecting 15 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in a loss to USA Basketball.
In a draw held last month for the 2021 event, Mali was placed in Group D with the United States, Turkey, Australia, while Lithuania, Canada, Japan and Senegal were placed in Group A. The countries of UA players Kerr Kriisa (Estonia) and Christian Koloko (Cameroon) did not qualify for the 16-team World Cup.
Strength coach Rounds retained
After working with Sean Miller for the past 17 seasons, Arizona strength and conditioning coach Chris Rounds will stick around under new coach Tommy Lloyd next season.
Lloyd confirmed Thursday afternoon that Rounds will be retained to continue working with both men’s basketball and beach volleyball, as he has under the formal title of associate director of performance enhancement.
Rounds was Xavier’s strength and conditioning coach for all five years that Miller was the head coach of the Musketeers. He followed Miller to the UA in 2009, and has spent the last 12 seasons with the Wildcats. A 1997 graduate of Buffalo, Rounds began his career as an assistant strength coach at Kentucky from 1997-2000 and went on to become LMU’s strength and conditioning coach from 2000-04.
Lloyd has retained two assistant coaches from last season, Jack Murphy and Jason Terry, while adding three support staffers with Gonzaga ties: TJ Benson, Ken Nakagawa and Rem Bakamus. Rounds is technically under the C.A.T.S. Strength and Conditioning umbrella, but is closely aligned with the basketball staff and attends all games.
Lloyd still has one vacant assistant coach spot to fill.
Analysts predict Washington to Kentucky
Six predictions on 247Sports.com’s “Crystal Ball” flooded in Thursday, saying AZ Compass Prep guard TyTy Washington would head to Kentucky after the school hired Ron “Chin” Coleman as an assistant coach.
Coleman was the lead recruiter for Washington while at Illinois. Washington listed Kentucky among his top six choices on April 17, along with Arizona, Baylor, Kansas, LSU and Oregon.
Washington has said he will announce his choice on May 15.
Robbins operated on Lloyd’s star recruit
According to a CBS Sports story, UA president Robert Robbins and Lloyd crossed paths 16 years ago — sort of.
Ronny Turiaf, the first Lloyd-recruited international standout to play at Gonzaga, was found to have an enlarged aortic root in his heart when he took a physical with the Lakers after being drafted in 2005.
According to a 2006 Sports Illustrated story, he was operated on by Craig Miller at Stanford Medical Center but returned later for follow up-work done by the on-call surgeon … who was Robbins, then the center’s chairman of cardiothoracic surgery.
“If he played, it would have been Hank Gathers,” Robbins told Sports Illustrated in 2006, referring to the Loyola Marymount star who died during a 1990 game. “Could’ve been months or years, but eventually his aorta would’ve ruptured or dissected.”
Lloyd told CBS that after Turiaf’s initial surgery, there was “some leakage” and that “Bobby had to go in and to reopen him up and fix it.”
Nearly 16 years later, Robbins helped the hiring process that put Lloyd in charge of the Wildcats.
“He is involved, which I don’t think is a bad thing,” Lloyd said. “He’s a heart surgeon, so he’s smart. He’s got a vision of what he wants this place to be. I appreciate him and Dave (Heeke, the athletic director) giving me a chance. They had to think outside the box on that one. They didn’t take the easy, traditional sitting head coach.
“I remember telling them, ‘If (I get the job), you’ll probably have to justify this.’ Dr. Robbins said, ‘Why? You’re one of the best coaches in the country. I don’t care if you’re an assistant or not.’ “