DURHAM, N.C. – Duke rising redshirt sophomore Rodney Hood was selected as one of 16 finalists for the USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Team, USA Basketball announced Wednesday.
Hood, a 6-8, 210-pound forward, was selected from a group that included 26 of the nation’s top collegiate basketball players at the start of training camp on June 24. Hood will now attempt to earn a spot on the final 12-member roster, which will be announced prior to the team’s July 1 departure for the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia. The World University Games will take place from July 7-16.
Hood sat out the 2012-13 season at Duke due to NCAA transfer rules after joining the Blue Devils following his freshman season at Mississippi State. At Mississippi State in 2011-12, he averaged 10.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while starting 29 contests. He was named to the SEC All-Freshman team while playing the second-most minutes (1,050) and hitting the fourth-most three-pointers (47) by a Mississippi State freshman in school history.
Joining Hood as finalists for the WUG Team were Spencer Dinwiddie (Colorado/Woodland Hills, Calif.); Yogi Ferrell (Indiana/Indianapolis, Ind.); Davante Gardner (Marquette/Suffolk, Va.); Treveon Graham (Virginia Commonwealth/Temple Hills, Md.); Jerian Grant (Notre Dame/Bowie, Md.); Luke Hancock (Louisville/ Roanoke, Va.); Tyler Haws (BYU/Alpine, Utah); Cory Jefferson (Baylor/ Killeen, Texas); Sean Kilpatrick (Cincinnati/Yonkers, N.Y.); Alex Kirk (New Mexico/Los Alamos, N.M.); Doug McDermott (Creighton/Ames, Iowa); Adreian Payne (Michigan State/Dayton, Ohio); Chasson Randle (Stanford/Rock Island, Ill.); Will Sheehey (Indiana/Stuart, Fla.); and Aaron White (Iowa/Strongsville, Ohio).
"The effort of this group was unbelievable, and it was very tough to get down," said Jim Boeheim (Syracuse University), chair of the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee. "Usually, it's pretty easy to get down to 16. It was not easy with this group. It was very difficult. Guys were very, very close in a two-day tryout. Another day, and it might have been a couple of different guys in there, but you have to take the guys that played the best, and those 16 played the best.
"I think we have the nucleus of a really good team. 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."
Davidson College's Bob McKillop will lead the USA, with assistant coaches John Beilein of the University of Michigan and Frank Martin of the University of South Carolina.