COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 26, 2013) -- Baylor’s Cory Jefferson has been selected as one of 16 finalists for the USA Basketball Men’s World University Games team roster. He’ll continue to train in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the final 12-player roster will be announced prior to the team’s departure for Russia on July 1.
Jefferson was one of 29 players invited to the training camp which began Monday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Thirteen players were eliminated from contention for roster spots when the finalists were announced by the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee on Wednesday.
A Killeen, Texas, native, Jefferson is the only Big 12 Conference player remaining at the training camp. He’s joined by Spencer Dinwiddie (Colorado), Yogi Ferrell (Indiana), Davante Gardner (Marquette), Treveon Graham (Virginia Commonwealth), Jerian Grant (Notre Dame), Luke Hancock (Louisville), Tyler Haws (BYU), Rodney Hood (Duke), Sean Kilpatrick (Cincinnati), Alex Kirk (New Mexico), Doug McDermott (Creighton), Adreian Payne (Michigan State), Chasson Randle (Stanford), Will Sheehey (Indiana), and Aaron White (Iowa).
“I think we have the nucleus of a really good team,” said Jim Boeheim, chair of the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee. “We’ve got good big guys, we’ve got good wing players, we’ve got scorers, we’ve got shooters, so I think it’s a balanced team. That’s what you hope for on these teams.”
The USA team is coached by Davidson’s Bob McKillop, and he’s assisted by Michigan’s John Beilein and South Carolina’s Frank Martin. Twelve players will be selected from the list of 16 finalists to compete in the 2013 World University Games, which will be played July 6-17 in Kazan, Russia.
After departing for Russia on July 1, the USA team will practice July 3-6, including scrimmages on July 4 against Russian basketball club UNICS and on July 5 against the Russia World University Games Team before beginning World University Games play on July 7. The USA will take on UAE at 6:30 p.m. (times listed are local; Kazan, Russia, is +7 hours from CDT) on July 7, followed by Czech Republic at 1 p.m. on July 8, Sweden at 9 p.m. on July 10, Australia at 6:30 p.m. on July 11 and Canada at 1 p.m. on July 12.
Jefferson had a breakout season as a fourth-year junior in 2012-13, after starting just one of the first 55 career games over his first three years in Waco. He averaged 13.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks while starting all 37 games and leading the Bears to the 2013 NIT Championship.
A 2013 honorable mention All-Big 12 selection, Jefferson earned a spot on the NIT All-Tournament Team after averaging a team-leading 21.2 points while shooting 71.9 percent from the floor during the Bears' 5-0 run through the NIT.
Jefferson has a chance to become the sixth player in program history to play for USA Basketball while at Baylor. Jack Robinson was on the 1948 Olympic Team, Terry Teagle played in the 1979 US Olympic Festival, Michael Williams participated in the 1988 US Olympic Trials, Willie Sublett played in the 1991 US Olympic Festival, Brian Skinner played for USA Basketball in 1995, 1996 and 1997, including the 1997 World University Games, and Lawrence Roberts played in the 2003 Pan Am Games. Additionally, Aaron Bruce represented his native Australia on its national team in 2005 and 2006.