Oklahoma's Jeff Capel Named Head Coach Of 2010 USA Men's U18 National Team
- Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt, Buffalo's Reggie Witherspoon Tabbed As Assistants -
Colorado Springs, Colo. - May 6, 2010
University of Oklahoma head coach Jeff Capel has been selected to lead the 2010 USA Men's U18 National Team, while collegiate head coaches Paul Hewitt of Georgia Tech and Reggie Witherspoon of the University at Buffalo will serve as assistant coaches at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, USA Basketball today announced. The coaching staff was selected by the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
The FIBA Americas U18 Championship, from which the top four finishing teams advance to next summer's FIBA U19 World Championship, will take place June 26-30 at the Bill Greehey Arena on the campus of St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas.
Capel enters his first USA head coaching assignment having previously served as an assistant coach for the gold-medal winning 2005 USA World University Games Team.
-It's a tremendous honor, first and foremost," Capel said. -Anytime you can be associated with representing your country is an honor. I took so much pride in working with and for Jay Wright when we won the gold medal at the World University Games. Jay was our head coach and I was one of the assistants. That was an incredible experience for me. To now have an opportunity to be a head coach and have the opportunity to coach these talented young guys, just to be a part of the USA Basketball family is a big-time honor for me."
Capel's assistants also have prior USA Basketball experience as this marks Hewitt's second stint as an assistant coach for a USA U18 National Team. He previously aided the 2006 U18 squad to a 4-0 record and gold medal. Witherspoon's first assignment came as a court coach at the 2006 USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team Trials.
-Obviously coach Hewitt brings international experience. He's coached this team before, so he'll be a great asset to me as a coach. He's a really good coach. He's been a really good coach at Siena and has done a really good job at Georgia Tech, so his experience will really help this team. The same thing with Reggie, he's done a heck of a job up at the University at Buffalo and has a really good basketball mind. I look forward to not just working with them, but also learning from them. That's one of the great things about an opportunity like this. When I was with the World University Games Team it was Jay Wright, Bobby Gonzalez and me and we were bouncing different ideas off each other. The court coaches that year were Billy Gillispie and Karl Hobbs. It was just a tremendous opportunity to be around the game, to talk and pick each other's brain, and to learn and grow as a coach."
The 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship will feature eight national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean, and only athletes born on or after Jan. 1, 1992 are eligible.
Teams in addition to the United States that will participate in the 2010 U18 tournament include: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and U.S. Virgin Islands.
Preliminary round play will be held June 26-28, semifinals will be contested on June 29 and the gold and bronze medal games, as well as the 5th/6th place and 7th/8th place games, will be conducted on June 30.
The USA opens preliminary play against the U.S. Virgin Islands on June 26, followed by Mexico on June 27 and Argentina on June 28. All of the USA's preliminary round games are scheduled to tip-off at 7:00 p.m. (CDT).
USA Basketball plans call for selection of the 12-member USA U18 Team to be made during team training that will be held June 14-25 in San Antonio.
Announced on March 17, 2010, as accepting invitations to the 2010 USA Basketball U18 National Team training camp were: Tracy Abrams (Mount Carmel H.S. / Chicago, Ill.); Keith Appling (Pershing H.S. / Detroit, Mich.); Vander Blue (James Madison Memorial H.S. / Madison, Wis.); Michael Chandler (Lawrence North H.S. / Indianapolis, Ind.); Trevor Cooney (Sanford H.S. / Wilmington, Del.); Abdul Gaddy (Washington / Tacoma, Wash.); Joshua Hairston (Montrose Christian School (Md.) / Fredericksburg, Va.); P.J. Hairston (Dudley Senior H.S. / Greensboro, N.C.); Tobias Harris (Half Hollow Hills West H.S. / Brookville, N.Y.); Mikael Hopkins (DeMatha Catholic H.S. / Hyattsville, Md.); Joe Jackson (White Station H.S. / Memphis, Tenn.); Terrence Jones (Jefferson H.S. / Portland, Ore.); Meyers Leonard (Robinson H.S. / Robinson, Ill.); Sheldon McClellan (Bellaire H.S. / Pearland, Texas); Quincy Miller (Quality Education Academy / Winston-Salem, N.C.); Jereme Richmond (Waukegan H.S. / Waukegan, Ill.); Austin Rivers (Winter Park H.S. / Winter Park, Fla.); Joshua Smith (Kentwood H.S. / Kent, Wash.); T.J. Taylor (Denison H.S. / Denison, Texas); Amir Williams (Detroit Country Day / Detroit, Mich.); and Patric Young (Providence School / Jacksonville, Fla.).
The USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee, which is chaired by Syracuse University head coach Jim Boeheim, also consists of Lorenzo Romar (University of Washington head coach), Bruce Weber (University of Illinois head coach), Roy Williams (University of North Carolina head coach), and athlete representative Jay Williams (2002 USA World Championship, 2000 USA U20, 2000 USA Select and 1999 USA Hoop Summit team member).
FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Men
Originally known as the FIBA Americas Junior World Championship Qualifier, the tournament has been held since 1990. USA men's teams boast of a sensational 33-2 overall record in the U18 championships and have won gold in 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2006, while capturing a silver medal in 2008 and the bronze in 2002.
Some of the top players who have represented the United States in the past U18 tournaments include Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1994); Carmelo Anthony (2002); Michael Beasley (2006); Chris Bosh (2002); Dee Brown (2002); Nick Collison (1998); Jonny Flynn (2006); Spencer Hawes (2006); Grant Hill (1990); Allan Houston (1990); Andre Iguodala (2002); Stephon Marbury (1994); Mike Miller (1998); Quentin Richardson (1998); Kyle Singler (2006); Kemba Walker (2008); and Deron Williams (2002).
Notable members of foreign national teams who have competed in the U18 Championship include Leandro Barbosa (Brazil) 1994; Jose Barea (Puerto Rico) 2002; Gregory Echenique (Venezuela) 2008; Juan Fernandez (Argentina) 2008; Todd MacCulloch (Canada) 1994; Jamal Magloire (Canada) 1994; Peter Ramos (Puerto Rico) 2002; Luis Scola (Argentina) 1998; Tiago Splitter (Brazil) 2002; and Jesse Young (Canada) 1998.
A player on the 1993 U.S. Olympic Festival South Team and a 1995 USA National Team Trials participant, Capel returns to USA Basketball to tackle his first head coaching assignment. Previously he was an assistant coach for the 2005 USA World University Games Team that compiled a perfect 8-0 mark en route to the gold medal in Izmir, Turkey.
Capel recently completed his eighth year (2002-03 to present) as a collegiate head coach. After four years at the helm of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he compiled a 79-41 (.658) record, won the 2004 Colonial Athletic Association regular season and tournament title and advanced twice to postseason play, he was hired at Oklahoma prior to the 2006-07 season.
In his four years with the Sooners, Capel has accumulated an 82-51 record (.617) and advanced to a pair of NCAA Tournaments. After finishing with a 16-15 mark in his first year, his 2007-08 squad finished with a 23-12 mark and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
In his best showing at OU, the 2008-09 Sooners posted a 30-6 slate and marched to the 2009 NCAA Elite Eight. The 30 wins marked just the sixth time that an OU squad had collected that many victories in a single season, and the Sooners' No. 2 national ranking was the program's best in 19 years.
Capel has spent the last year rebuilding his program after losing a number of key players from his 2008-09 squad, including 2009 NBA Draft No. 1 pick Blake Griffin. He started just one senior in 2009-10 and listed a pair of freshmen and one sophomore among OU's top five scorers as the Sooners closed the year with a 13-18 slate.
The youngest NCAA Division I head coach during the 2004-05 season, Capel made his mark at VCU. Under Capel the Rams, who hadn't competed in the postseason since 1996, advanced to the 2004 NCAA Tournament and earned an invite to the 2005 NIT.
Taking over VCU's program in 2002-03, Capel steered the Rams to an 18-10 record, including a 12-6 finish in the CAA. His second season produced no sophomore slump as Capel's squad went 23-8, 14-4 in the CAA to win the regular season crown, and ran through the CAA Tournament to sweep the 2004 conference titles. VCU was given a No. 13 seed in the tournament, drew No. 4 Wake Forest and the Rams nearly pulled off an upset in the first round before ending the season with a 79-78 loss to the Demon Deacons. As a nod to his successful season, Capel was named the 2004 Virginia Coach of the Year by the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Virginia Sports Information Directors.
In 2004-05 Capel's squad finished 19-13 and rolled along through the CAA Tournament, but had their NCAA Tournament hopes dashed in overtime of the championship game. However, VCU collected its second straight postseason bid and played in the 2005 NIT.
Capel took the reins at VCU after one year (2001-02) on the sidelines as an assistant coach for the Rams and got his coaching career started in 2000-01 as an assistant at Old Dominion University (Va.) under his father, Jeff Capel, Sr.
A four-year (1994-97) letterwinner and team co-captain as a junior and senior at Duke University, Capel amassed 1,601 points (12.4 ppg.) and 433 assists (3.4 apg.), while aiding Duke to a 83-46 record, a pair of regular season Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) titles, three NCAA Tournaments and the 1994 NCAA championship game. As a sophomore he led Duke in assists (126) and steals (32) and as a junior led the team in scoring (514 points).
-I had a great experience the last time I did this, back in 2006," said Hewitt, who tackles his third USA Basketball coaching selection this summer. -Working with Lorenzo Romar, Jerry Wainwright and all the kids who won the gold medal was a really positive and memorable experience. I'm looking forward to seeing if we can duplicate that.
-I hope to bring some enthusiasm and support Jeff in how he wants the team to play, whatever he's teaching the team. Hopefully I can do something to help support him and bring in some ideas that he might find useful."
Previously Hewitt served as an assistant coach to the 2006 USA U18 National Team that posted a perfect 4-0 mark and won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship. Prior to that Hewitt was a court coach at the 1999 USA Basketball Men's National Team Trials.
In a decade at Georgia Tech (2000-01 to present), Hewitt has accumulated a record of 177-144 (.551), averaging nearly 18 wins per season. He has directed the Yellow Jackets to five NCAA Tournaments (2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010), including the 2004 NCAA Championship game, and advanced to the 2003 NIT quarterfinals.
Hewitt's work with young athletes recently was honored by his peers. Awarded the 2010 National Association of Basketball Coaches Guardian of the Game Award for Education, Hewitt embodies the spirit of the award, which is presented annually to a coach who strives to impart lessons of the game, while mentoring young athletes.
In his most recently completed season, Hewitt guided the Yellow Jackets to a 23-13 record, the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament finals and the NCAA Tournament second round.
Following a 12-0 start and a preseason NIT Championship, the 2003-04 Yellow Jackets finished 28-10, reaching the national championship game and tying the school record for wins in a season. Georgia Tech was sixth in the nation in field goal defense. Hewitt was rewarded by the Black College Coaches Association as the Fritz Pollard Coach of the Year and by Sports Illustrated as No. 71 on its list of the 101 top minorities in sports.
Guiding a team with no seniors and just three juniors in 2002-03, Hewitt helped his squad place fifth in the ACC and advance to the NIT quarterfinals. Following a 0-7 start in conference play in 2001-02, his team staged the biggest turnaround in conference history to finish 7-9 for sixth place in the ACC.
In his first season at Georgia Tech (2000-01), Hewitt led his 17-13 squad to its first winning season since 1998 as the team collected the program's first victory in an ACC Tournament since 1996. Georgia Tech also advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996. For his efforts, Hewitt was named the ACC Coach of the Year, the National Association of Basketball Coaches District 5 Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the Naismith College Coach of the Year.
Hewitt, who spent three seasons (1997-98 to 1999-2000) as head coach at Siena College prior to Tech, owns an overall coaching slate of 243-171 (.587).
In his three years as a head coach at Siena, Hewitt was 66-27 (.710), inheriting a team that had recorded just 22 wins in the three previous seasons. Under Hewitt's guidance, Siena ranked third nationally in scoring in 1999 and 2000. The Saints captured their first regular season Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) title in 2000, while reaching their third straight MAAC Tournament championship game, as Hewitt was honored as the 2000 MAAC Coach of the Year.
In 1998-99, Siena was 25-6, capturing the MAAC title and the school's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1989. In his first season, Hewitt led Siena to the school's first appearance in the MAAC championship game, finishing 17-12.
During five seasons (1992-93 through 1996-97) as an assistant at Villanova University, Hewitt aided the Wildcats to a record of 103-56 (.648 winning percentage). He was promoted to associate head coach for the 1996-97 season. Hewitt helped the Wildcats reach four consecutive 20-win seasons (1994-1997), three NCAA Tournament appearances (1995-97) and an NIT championship (1994). He also helped secure four recruiting classes ranked in the top 20 (1993-94 to 1996-97).
Tallying a record of 45-18 (.714 winning percentage) in two seasons (1990-91 and 1991-92) as an assistant at Fordham University, Hewitt helped the Rams secure two Patriot League regular season championships and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1992.
Hewitt spent one season as an assistant at the University of Southern California (1989-90). His first collegiate job was in 1988-89 as an assistant coach at Long Island University's CW Post Campus. The Pioneers were 19-11, capturing the East Coast Athletic Conference New York State Division Championship.
-It's an unbelievable honor to be selected to represent our country and to work alongside Jeff Capel and Paul Hewitt," said Witherspoon, who returns to USA Basketball after aiding the USA as a court coach at the 2006 USA U18 National Team Trials. -It's a terrific honor."
Witherspoon has spent the better part of 11 seasons (1999-00 to present) as the head coach at the University at Buffalo. Five games into the 1990-00 season Witherspoon was named interim head coach, and his assignment was made permanent in March 10, 2000.
Owning a 144-183 record during his time on the Bulls sideline, Witherspoon recently directed his 2009-10 team to an 18-12 mark.
In 2008-09 his Bulls posted a 21-12 record, advanced to the MAC Tournament finals and earned a bid to the 2009 College Basketball Invitational, the program's second postseason berth in school history.
The 2004-05 season was record-breaking for Buffalo as the 23-10 Bulls set school records for wins (23), field goals made (876), three-pointers made (220) and steals (290). Buffalo also reached the school's first Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament championship game and, with an NIT appearance, secured their first postseason berth since becoming a Division I program.
For his efforts, Witherspoon was named the 2005 National Association of Basketball Coaches District I co-Coach of the Year and the Man of the Year by the Buffalo Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Club, Inc.
In 2003-04, Buffalo boasted of the second-best turnaround in the nation, improving from 5-23 in 2002-03 to 17-12. The Bulls enjoyed their first home playoff game in program history in the opening round of the MAC Tournament, reaching the quarterfinals for the first time in history. After helping his squad to their best conference record (11-7) since joining the MAC in 1998, Witherspoon was named the 2004 MAC Coach of the Year, collegeinsider.com Mid-Major Coach of the Year and the Division I co-Coach of the Year by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York. Buffalo's 12-18 record in 2001-02, an eight-game improvement from the year prior, was good for the sixth-best turnaround in Division I.
Before joining Buffalo, Witherspoon coached two seasons, 1997-98 and 1998-99, and the first nine games of the 1999-00 season at Erie Community College. His record at ECC was 44-23 (.657 winning percentage). In 1998-99, after guiding his team to a 24-5 mark and a Region III title, Witherspoon was named the Region III Division I Coach of the Year and the Western New York Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for the second time (1998 and 1999).
Before making the leap to college basketball, Witherspoon coached 13 years at Sweet Home High School in Amherst, N.Y., including eight (1984-85 through 1991-92) seasons as an assistant and five (1992-93 through 1996-97) as a head coach. His team set a school record with four straight division championships (1994 through 1997).
As an athlete, Witherspoon played at Erie Community College and Wheeling Jesuit University.