May 27, 2009
WSU is the only school to get multiple student-athletes invited to the trials. The 17 invitees, who had to have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1990, will compete for 12 roster spots on the 2009 USA U19 World Championship Team. The trial invitations were extended by the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee, chaired by NCAA representative and Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim.
"This opportunity is really special and I want to make the most of it, I'm really thankful," Thompson said. "It would be a great honor and the opportunity of a lifetime to represent my country, especially playing against some of the best competition around the world in our age group. It would be something really special."
"I'm super excited. It's an honor to go and try to make the team," Casto said. "I'm going to give it my all...this is something I really, really want and I just really hope that I make the cut and I'm able to travel to New Zealand and compete for the USA. Coach Bennett and all the coaches used to tell me, `you can't teach experience,' so getting that experience and seeing those types of players and going up against them will be good for me."
Following the trials, the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee is expected to announce finalists for the 12-member USA U19 World Championship Team roster. Training camp for the selected finalists will begin June 19, with the 12-member USA roster being announced prior to the teams' departure for New Zealand on June 25. The team will be coached by Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon along with assistants Chris Lowery, head coach at Southern Illinois, and Matt Painter, head coach at Purdue.
Casto (Spokane, Wash.) and Thompson (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) will be joined at the trials by USA Basketball veterans Al-Farouq Aminu (Wake Forest/Norcross, Ga.), Donminic Cheek (Villanova/Jersey City, N.J.), Drew Gordon (UCLA/San Jose, Calif.) and Kemba Walker (Connecticut/New York, N.Y.). Fellow newcomers to USA Basketball include; Kenny Boynton (Florida/Pompano Beach, Fla.), Darryl Bryant (West Virginia/Brooklyn, N.Y.), Seth Curry (Duke/Charlotte, N.C.), Gordon Hayward (Butler/Brownsburg, Ind.), Darius Miller (Kentucky/Maysville, Ky.), Arnett Moultrie (UTEP/Memphis, Tenn.), Ralph Sampson III (Minnesota/Duluth, Ga.), John Shurna (Northwestern/Glen Ellyn, Ill.), Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas/Jersey City, N.J.), Howard Thompkins (Georgia/Lithonia, Ga.) and Terrico White (Mississippi/Memphis, Tenn.).
Both Casto and Thompson earned Pacific-10 Conference All-Freshman Team honors this past season, while Thompson was also named to the All-Freshman Honorable Mention Team by CollegeHoops.net. A 6-6 guard, Thompson ranked fifth in the Pac-10 and led all conference freshmen in 3-point field goals made (68), 10th overall and second among freshmen in 3-point field goal percentage (.412) and 10th overall and third among freshmen in blocked shots (0.6 bpg). Thompson holds the WSU freshman single-game record for 3-pointers made after knocking down 8-of-10 from beyond the 3-point arc at Arizona State Jan. 29.
The WSU record holder for starts and minutes played by a freshman, Thompson started all 33 games for the Cougars in 2008-09, averaging 12.5 points per game. He holds the Cougar freshman record for 3-point field goals made with 68. He also ranks in the WSU freshman top-10 in field goal attempts (first - 165), games played (t-second - 33), points (second - 414), field goals made (second - 159), scoring average (third - 12.5), field goal attempts (first - 378), 3-point field goal percentage (third - .412), rebounds (fourth - 138), rebound average (fifth - 4.2), blocked shots (sixth - 20), blocks average (seventh - 0.61), assists (seventh - 62) and assist average (t-ninth - 1.9 apg).
A 6-8 forward, Casto led all Pac-10 freshmen and ranked fourth overall with 1.2 blocks per game. He is tied with Thompson for second-most games played by a freshman after playing all 33 games as a rookie. Casto holds the WSU freshman blocks record after swatting 39 shots in 2008-09. He also ranks second in blocks average (1.2 bpg), fifth in rebounds (131) and seventh for rebound average (4.0 rpg). Casto is also tied for the third-best single game performance by a WSU freshman after blocking four shots against Mississippi Valley State (Nov. 15, 2008).
If selected, Casto and Thompson would be the second WSU duo in three years to represent the U.S. in International competition, as both Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver were members of the 2007 USA Pan American Team.
Following trials, the USA squad will battle with 15 other nations for the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship title. The United States has been placed in Group B, along with Egypt, France and Iran. The 12 remaining 19-and-under national teams were distributed as such: Group A includes Angola, Greece, Lithuania and Puerto Rico; Group C consists of Australia, Canada, Spain and Syria; and Group D is comprised of Argentina, Croatia, Kazakhstan and host New Zealand.
2009 USA Men's U19 World Championship Team Trials Schedule
Tuesday, June 16
4:30 - 7:30 p.m., Session I
Wednesday, June 17
9 a.m. - Noon, Session II
4:30 - 7 p.m.Session III
Thursday, June 18
8:30 - 10:30 a.m., Session IV, U19 Finalists Announced
2009 USA Men's U19 World Championship Team Trials Roster
NAME POS HGT WGT DOB YOG SCHOOOL/HOMETOWN Al-Farouq Aminu F 6-9 215 09/21/90 2012 Wake Forest/Norcross, Ga. Kenny Boynton G 6-2 187 05/12/91 2013 Florida/Pompano Beach, Fla. Darryl Bryant G 6-2 200 04/25/90 2012 West Virginia/Brooklyn, N.Y. DeAngelo Casto F 6-8 229 02/17/90 2012 Washington State/Spokane, Wash. Dominic Cheek G 6-5 170 01/02/90 2013 Villanova/Jersey City, N.J. Seth Curry G 6-3 180 08/23/90 2012 Duke/Charlotte, N.C. Drew Gordon F 6-8 235 06/12/90 2012 UCLA/San Jose, Calif. Gordon Hayward F 6-8 200 03/23/90 2012 Butler/Brownsburg, Ind. Darius Miller F 6-7 223 03/21/90 2012 Kentucky/Maysville, KY Arnett Moultrie C 6-11 225 11/18/90 2012 UTEP/Memphis, Tenn. Ralph Sampson III C 6-11 220 01/05/90 2012 Minnesota/Duluth, Ga. John Shurna F 6-8 210 04/30/90 2012 Northwestern/Glen Ellyn, Ill. Tyshawn Taylor G 6-3 180 04/12/90 2012 Kansas/Jersey City, N.J. Howard Thompkins F 6-9 247 05/29/90 2012 Georgia/Lithonia, Ga. Klay Thompson G 6-6 187 02/08/90 2012 Washington State/Ladera Ranch, Calif. Kemba Walker G 6-1 172 05/08/90 2012 Connecticut/New York, N.Y. Terrico White G 6-5 211 03/07/90 2012 Mississippi/Memphis, Tenn.
Head Coach: Jamie Dixon, University of Pittsburgh
Assistant Coach: Chris Lowery, Southern Illinois University
Assistant Coach: Matt Painter, Purdue University