UTEP's Moultrie Earns Spot on USA U19 National Team
June 18, 2009
Three days of hard work at the USA Team Trials paid off for UTEP's Arnett Moultrie on Thursday, as he was one of 12 players selected to the U19 World Championship Team.
"It's an exciting opportunity for Arnett," UTEP coach Tony Barbee said. "He deserves it. He has worked hard, and he has improved in every way as a player. Not only did he make the roster, but he has a chance to make a huge impact at the FIBA World Championship. He'll have a chance to earn major minutes and compete on a national level, which should be a tremendous boost to his confidence."
The squad - consisting of athletes born on or after Jan. 1, 1990 - will compete at the FIBA U19 World Championship July 2-12 in Auckland, New Zealand. Training camp will begin tomorrow in Colorado Springs, with the team departing for New Zealand on Thursday, June 25.
Moultrie is only the second player to represent UTEP on the U19 team, joining Terry White, who was a member of the squad in 1979. Moultrie is the eight Miner to represent the United States in international competition. The others are Jim Barnes (1964 Olympic Team), Jim Forbes (Pan American games in 1971 and 1972 Olympic Team), Gus Bailey (World University Games in 1973), Fred Reynolds (Pan American games in 1983), Tim Hardaway (2000 Olympic Team), Antonio Davis (FIBA World Championships in 2002) and White.
The U19 team will be coached by Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon, with Southern Illinois' Chris Lowery and Purdue's Matt Painter serving as his assistants.
Joining Moultrie on the roster are DeAngelo Casto (Washington State), Seth Curry (Duke), Ashton Gibbs (Pittsburgh), Gordon Hayward (Butler), Shelvin Mack (Butler), Darius Miller (Kentucky), John Shurna (Northwestern), Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas), Howard Thompkins (Georgia), Klay Thompson (Washington State) and Terrico White (Mississippi).
"Arnett is one of the biggest guys on the team, so they need his presence," Barbee said. "I talked to a couple of the assistant coaches, and they said he will definitely be in the mix because of his size and athleticism."
"We're a pretty good shooting team from the perimeter and we have some big guys who can shoot the ball, so I think that's going to be a strength," said Dixon. "We didn't do a lot of team stuff during these three days (of trials), but what we're now going to do is focus on defending as a team and then running our offense, and just trying to play unselfish, playing hard and playing smart at the same time."
The 6-11, 225-pound Moultrie was one of the nation's top freshmen in 2008-09, averaging 8.8 points and 8.2 rebounds while starting 34 games for the Miners. He was first among all Conference USA freshmen in rebounding, and fifth nationally. Moultrie ended the year with 302 rebounds, making him only the third player in school history - and the first since the 1960's - to secure 300 boards in a season. The Memphis native had six double-doubles, the second-top freshman total in UTEP annals. He was the first freshman to lead UTEP in rebounding since Anthony Burns in 1977-78. Moultrie established season-highs for points (19) and rebounds (18) at Houston, and duplicated the 19-point effort against Oregon State in the deciding game three of the CBI Championship Series.