Guards Kris Dunn (Providence) and Ryan Arcidiacono (Villanova) went to Colorado Springs last Friday hoping to make USA Basketball’s Under 19 team, along with 24 other participants. On Sunday, Dunn was one of 10 athletes cut; this morning, Arcidiacono, who got past the initial cut, was informed he did not make the final 12 and would not be playing in Prague this summer. With those two cuts, the U19 squad is devoid of Big East athletes for the first time since 2007.
As we mentioned in this post last week, Arcidiacono and Dunn both had memorable moments/games last year. U19 and Florida head coach Billy Donovan said, “Getting down to 12 is the real hard part because in a lot of respects we easy (sic) could have kept 14-15.” Donovan was also quoted as saying he wants to play, “an aggressive, up-tempo, running, pressing style.” Apparently what both players displayed this past week just wasn’t enough to fit the criteria. Both players also missed the cut last year after trying out for the 2012 U18 squad, coached by Donovan.
The Big East will not be represented on the coaching staff during the World Championship, either. Ed Cooley and Buzz Williams served as court coaches during the tryouts but will not coach the team during the championship. At least in 2007 a Big East coach (Jerry Wainwright, DePaul) was the head coach of the U19 team. Since the original conference was founded in 1979, never before has the Big East not been represented on both the roster and coaching staff. Until today, anyway.
The players who did make the cut can be found here. Note that eight players on the roster have previously played and won a championship with either the U17 or U18 teams. Also, four high school/soon-to-be collegiate freshmen made the cut. That’s the highest number of high school players since 2007.