New Mexico Lobos center Alex Kirk achieved a big accomplishment by being named to Team USA's 12-man roster for the World University Games. Kirk survived the first cut a few days ago, and on Friday night was named to the team.
The WUG tournament takes place in Kazan, Russia, and the team leaves on July 1 before taking part in practices from July 3 - 6, the tournament begins on July 7.
Kirk was in battle between Marquette's Davonte Gardner, but he made the team due to his style of play fighting the international game. Kirk can shoot from the outside and is not just a low post threat. The coaching staff led by Davidison's Bob McKillop wanted versatile players on the team, the other coaches are Michigan's John Beilein and South Carolina's Frank Martin.
McKillp talked about what he wanted in a make up for this team:
"Clearly versatility, we have guys that can play more than one position, that's one of the great strengths we have," said USA head coach McKillop. "I think we shoot the ball particularly well from a number of positions, and we've got guys who want to be teammates. Those two things, to me, are the biggest advantages that we have, or the biggest strengths for our team."
This is a boon for Kirk who gets to practice, train and compete with and against some top notch competiton, and it will help him be a player for his final season at New Mexico.
Look for Team USA to perform very well in this tournament as they have won gold in 13 of their 20 appearances in this tournament.
Here is Team USA's schedule for pool play (all times Eastern):
July 7 - United Arab Emirates, 10:30 a.m.
July 8 - Czech Republic, 5 a.m.
July 10 - Sweden, 1 p.m.
July 11 - Australia, 10:30 p.m.
July 12 - Canada, 5 a.m.
The top two teams after pool play will make up the quarter finals where the final eight will compete for a medal. The medal rounds which begin on July 14.
Here is Team USA's complete roster:
Spencer Dinwiddie (Colorado)
Yogi Ferrell (Indiana)
Treveon Graham (Virginia Commonwealth)
Luke Hancock (Louisville)
Tyler Haws (BYU)
Cory Jefferson (Baylor)
Sean Kilpatrick (Cincinnati)
Alex Kirk (New Mexico)
Doug McDermott (Creighton)
Adreian Payne (Michigan State)
Will Sheehey (Indiana)
Aaron White (Iowa)