Tony Bennett, Sean Miller And Shaka Smart Named Court Coaches For 2011 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Team Training Camp
-- USA Training Camp To Take Place July 29-August 7 At The U.S. Olympic Training Center --
July 21, 2011 • Colorado Springs, Colo.
Tony Bennett (University of Virginia), Sean Miller (University of Arizona) and Shaka Smart (Virginia Commonwealth University), three young, successful, collegiate head coaches with proven resumes, have been selected by USA Basketball as court coaches for the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games National Team Training Camp, which will take place July 29-Aug. 7 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“I love what USA Basketball stands for and how it does things,” Bennett said. “It was a privilege to play for USA Basketball as a member of the Pan American Games Team in 1991 and in the Olympic Basketball Festival in 1989. Players I’ve coached have also had the opportunity to play on various USA Basketball teams. Now to be a part of the organization as a court coach is a tremendous honor.”
“I am honored to be a court coach for this year’s World University Games team as a part of USA Basketball,” Miller said. “I look forward to contributing in any way I can to the 2011 World University Games team in helping Matt Painter and his staff in their quest to win gold.”
Added Smart: “I'm excited about being a part of this process and getting the opportunity to be around some high-level coaches and a roster of terrific players. Most importantly, it's great to have the chance to accompany VCU's own Bradford Burgess along on his quest to represent our country."
Twenty-two top collegians were previously confirmed to participate in the training camp and contend for a spot on the 12-man roster that will represent the USA at the 2011 World University Games men’s basketball competition Aug. 13-22 in Shenzhen, China.
Attending the USA World University Games team training camp are: Tim Abromaitis (Notre Dame/ Unionville, Conn.); Bradford Burgess (VCU/Midlothian, Va.); Marcus Denmon (Missouri/Kansas City, Mo.); Kim English (Missouri/Baltimore, Md.); Yancy Gates (Cincinnati/ Cincinnati, Ohio); Ashton Gibbs (Pittsburgh/Scotch Plains, N.J.); Draymond Green (Michigan State/Saginaw, Mich.); JaMychal Green (Alabama/Montgomery, Ala.); Tu Holloway (Xavier/Hempstead, N.Y.); Scoop Jardine (Syracuse/ Philadelphia, Pa.); John Jenkins (Vanderbilt/Hendersonville, Tenn.); Orlando Johnson (UC Santa Barbara/ Seaside, Calif.); Greg Mangano (Yale/Orange, Conn.); Trevor Mbakwe (Minnesota/St. Paul, Minn.); C.J. McCollum (Lehigh/Canton, Ohio); Khris Middleton (Texas A&M/North Charleston, S.C.); Darius Miller (Kentucky/Maysville, Ky.); Tony Mitchell (Alabama/Swainsboro, Ga.); Aaric Murray (West Virginia/ Philadelphia, Pa.); Alex Oriakhi (Connecticut/Lowell, Mass.); John Shurna (Northwestern/ Glen Ellyn, Ill.); and Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin/ Bloomington, Minn.).
Matt Painter, leader of the Purdue Boilermakers, will take on the role of head coach of the U.S. team, and Cuonzo Martin (Tennessee) and Brad Stevens (Butler) will assist Painter.
The court coach selections were made by the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee. The committee also will be on hand in Colorado Springs through July 31, when the team’s finalists are selected. Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim is chair of the selection committee, and is joined by NCAA representatives Lorenzo Romar (head coach, Washington), Bruce Weber (head coach, Illinois) and Roy Williams (head coach, North Carolina); and by athlete representative Jay Williams, a member of the 2002 USA World Championship Team.
Bennett, the current head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers, is a gold-medal winner with USA Basketball, was the 2007 Associated Press National Coach of the Year and has posted 100 career wins in five seasons and is currently turning around the Cavaliers’ program, leading them to their first winning season since 2007-08 this past spring.
This will mark Bennett’s third appearance with USA Basketball, but first as a coach. In seven games as a member of the 1991 USA Pan American Team, Bennett led the USA in assists (23) and was second in steals (15). He averaged 6.1 ppg., for the USA, which went 6-1 en route to a bronze medal. He also won a gold medal in 1989 at the U.S. Olympic Festival.
“USA Basketball is about working with the best of the best in terms of players and being around some of the finest coaches and greatest basketball minds in the game,” Bennett said. “I know I’ll enjoy the camaraderie and being a part of selecting a talented team with the ability to win a gold medal.”
His head coaching career took off in 2006-07 with Washington State when the first-year head coach took a Cougar program that was projected to finished last in the Pac-10 to second in the conference, a berth in the NCAA tournament and a school-record 26 wins. For his success, Bennett was named National Coach of the Year by nine organizations, including the A.P., The Sporting News and the United State Basketball Writers Association. Additionally, the rookie coach was named the Pac-10 Conference Coach of the Year.
Bennett followed up his first season with an even more successful sophomore campaign. Beginning the 2007-08 season ranked No. 10 in the country, the first time Washington State had ever been ranked in the pre-season poll, the Cougars peaked at No. 4 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. In his three seasons at Washington State, Bennett reached two NCAA tournaments and posted a 69-33 record (.676 winning percentage), marking the most wins in a three-year span in school history.
Moving from the West Coast to the East Coast, Bennett took on his current role as head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers. In Charlottesville, Bennett has posted a 31-31 record in two seasons, posting 15 wins in 2009-10, a five-win improvement from the year prior. Three of the wins were over nationally ranked opponents.
This past season, Bennett led Virginia to its first winning season since 2007-08 with a 16-15 record.
Prior to his time as a head coach, Bennett spent three seasons as an assistant under his father, Dick Bennett, at Washington State, and four at Wisconsin. In Madison, the Badgers advanced to the NCAA tournament all four seasons Bennett was on staff, and he was a major factor in the signing of Devin Harris, who went on to become the fifth overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft.
At Wisconsin-Green Bay, Bennett played for his father from 1989-92, setting Mid-Continent Conference (MCC) records in points (2,285) and assists (601). His 49.7 career 3-point percentage still stands as an NCAA record. In his four seasons, the Phoenix was 87-34, advancing to the NCAA tournament once and the NIT twice. Bennett twice was named MCC Player of the Year, was the 1992 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award winner (best senior player under six-feet tall) and was recognized as the1992 GTE Academic All-American of the Year.
Bennett was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 35th overall pick of the 1992 NBA Draft. He played with the Hornets for three seasons.
Miller, who participated in the 1991 World University Games as a player, brought home gold after averaging 5.3 ppg. for the USA.
“I had the good fortune to be a part of the 1991 gold-medal winning USA World University Games Team as a player,” Miller said, “and that experience remains one of the highlights of my lifetime.”
In just seven seasons in the head coaching business, Miller already has compiled 166 career wins (166-70) and owns an impressive 70.3 winning percentage.
In 2010-11, the Beaver Falls, Pa., native completed his second season with the Arizona Wildcats. His squad had a breakout season, winning 30 games, a 14-win improvement from the year prior, and its first outright Pac-10 regular-season title since 2004-05. The Wildcats advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight, and finished the season ranked No. 9 in the ESPN/USA Today poll. Arizona went 17-0 on its home court, and Miller was named the 2011 Pac-10 Coach of the Year.
The success looks even more impressive considering Miller arrived in Tucson with just six players on his roster. He added eight players in the first six months on the job, compiling the 12th-best recruiting class in the nation, according to scout.com, including landing 2010 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Derrick Williams.
Prior to Arizona, Miller spent five seasons at Xavier, leading the Musketeers to an 120-47 (.719 winning percentage) record, which included four consecutive 20-win seasons and trips to the NCAA tournament.
Xavier reached the NCAA Elite Eight in 2008, when Miller was named the Atlantic-10 Coach of the Year, and the Sweet Sixteen in 2009. That year, Miller’s last with the Musketeers, he won his third consecutive Atlantic-10 championship (he also won a conference tournament championship during his tenure) with an overall record of 27-8, and ranked as high as No. 7 before finishing the 2008-09 year No. 20 in the A.P. Poll.
As an assistant coach, Miller served at Wisconsin (1992-93), Miami of Ohio (1993-94 to 1994-95), Pittsburgh (1995-96) and North Carolina State (1996-97 to 2000-01). He was also an associate head coach for Xavier from 2001-02 to 2003-04 before taking over the reins.
Prior to his one-year stint as an assistant at Pitt, Miller spent four seasons there as a player, competing in three NCAA tournaments (1988, 1989 and 1991). He was a member of the Pitt All-Centennial Team and was an All-Big East honoree. Known for his 3-point and free throw shooting, he still ranks 10th among Division I free throw shooters at 88.5 percent, and third in Big East history in assists and seventh in 3-point shooting.
Being 34 years old and having just two seasons of head coaching under his belt, Smart is one of college basketball’s 10 youngest Division I coaches. No one would know that based off of results, though. In two seasons at VCU, Smart is a stellar 55-21 (.724 winning percentage), capturing the College Basketball Invitational title in 2009-10 and advancing the NCAA Final Four in 2010-11. In two seasons, Smart is 10-1 in postseason games.
In his first year as a head coach at VCU, Smart turned heads, winning 27 of 36 games. But no amount of first-year success would compare to his sophomore campaign, in which Smart’s squad tied a program record with 28 wins and advanced all the way to the NCAA Final Four. Prior to that season, no VCU team had ever won more than one game in the NCAA Tournament. This team won five, captivating the nation as it became just the third No. 11 seed to ever advance to the national semifinals. The Rams finished the season ranked No. 6 in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, the highest national ranking ever by a Colonial Athletic Association member.
Smart credits his success to those he learned under as an assistant, which includes stints with Billy Donovan’s staff at Florida and Oliver Purnell at Clemson.
In Gainesville, Smart spent the 2004-05 season with the Gators, helping lead the program to a 25-11 record, the fifth-most wins in school history and a berth in the NIT quarterfinals. In a pair of seasons at Clemson, Smart helped coach the Tigers to 49 wins and back-to-back postseason appearances, including an NIT championship game appearance in 2007 and an NCAA tournament berth in 2008.
Additionally, Smart is known for his recruiting, landing a very talented class in 2010-11 at VCU, and helping sign Catalin Baciu, Terrence Oglesby and Milton Jennings, three top 100 recruits, to Clemson.
Smart also spent three seasons (2003-04 to 2005-06) as an assistant at Akron, two years (2001-02 to 2002-03) as director of basketball operations at Dayton and two seasons right out of college at California University of Pennsylvania.
The successful coach played basketball at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and graduated magna cum laude in 1999 with a degree in history. A four-year starter and three-year captain, he holds Kenyon single-season (184) and career (542) assist marks. As a senior in 1998-99, he was an All-North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) selection and was the NCAC Scholar Athlete of the Year. He was one of 20 students selected for the 1999 USA Today All-USA Academic team and received a NCAA postgraduate scholarship.
World University Games
The 2011 World University Games will be held Aug. 13-22 in Shenzhen, China. In all, 24 countries will compete in the international competition. The USA has been slotted into Pool D, along with Finland, Hungary, Israel, Mexico and South Korea. The red, white and blue will open play on Aug. 13 at 4 a.m. MT against Mexico. The USA will then play Hungary on Aug. 14 at 1:30 a.m. MT; South Korea on Aug. 15 at 1:30 a.m. MDT; Finland at 4 a.m. MDT on Aug. 17; and Israel at 1:30 a.m. MDT on Aug. 18. The top two teams from each pool will advance to the medal quarterfinals, which begins on Aug. 20, and lasts through the gold-medal game at 6:30 a.m. MT on Aug. 22.
The World University Games are held every other year and are organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The World University Games is a multi-sport competition open to men and women who are between the ages of 17 and 24 (born between January 1, 1987 and December 31, 1993), and is or has been within the past year, a student at a college or university.
The United States, which has claimed a medal in every World University Games since beginning play in 1965, has captured a record 13 golds, three silvers and three bronze medals in the 19 WUGs in which a USA Basketball squad has competed and owns a 131-8 won-loss record in World University Games play. Most recently, the USA men earned the bronze medal after finishing 6-1 and suffering a one-point loss to Russia in the semifinals.
Eighteen players who have represented the USA in the World University Games have gone on to compete in the Olympic Games, including Ray Allen, Stacey Augmon, Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Bill Bradley, Quinn Buckner, Tom Burleson, Ken Davis, Tim Duncan, Phil Hubbard, Allen Iverson, Mitch Kupchak, Karl Malone, Michael Redd, Mitch Richmond, Michael Silliman, Steve Smith and Jo Jo White.
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the United States by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international basketball competitions, as well as for some national competitions.
Since 2008, USA Basketball men’s and women’s teams have compiled a sterling 113-4 win-loss record in FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions. USA teams are the current men’s and women’s champions in the Olympics, FIBA World Championships; women’s U19 title holders, men’s and women’s U17 FIBA World Champions; and men’s and women’s FIBA Americas U16 and U18 champs. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.