Thompson, Casto picked for U-19 national team

Updated at 4:10 p.m.

The official word is in -- Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto will be representing the United States at the FIBA U19 tournament in New Zealand from July 2-12.

It's clear from the roster that Pitt coach Jamie Dixon and the selection committee, led by Jim Boeheim, were looking for long, versatile players who can shoot the ball -- generally accepted as the way to win games in international competition. (Look what happened once the Redeem Teamers gave in to that idea.)

"We'll be able to score the ball well on the wing,'' Dixon said. "We can shoot. We will be able to put four guys on the floor who can shoot the ball."

People around the country will probably raise their eyebrows in surprise at Thompson and Casto making the team, but I won't be one of them. We know how good Thompson is, and while his offense gets most of the attention, he is an excellent defender and defensive rebounder -- two facts that likely weren't lost on Dixon, Boeheim and the rest of the selection committee. And Casto is an asset as a guy who is an exceptional rebounder and defender around the rim. Here's to hoping he can stay out of foul trouble.

It also shows that the selection committee is interested in putting together the best team, not necessarily the greatest collection of names (again, it worked pretty well for the Redeem Team).

This is nothing but fantastic news for WSU. Having Thompson make the team is great, but having Casto on the squad even better. Any experience he can get under the tutelege of excellent coaches such as Dixon and Purdue's Matt Painter -- both of whom have coached superlative post players -- will help for this upcoming season. If this team is going to be any good this year, Casto is a guy who's going to have to step up in a big way. And this helps.

EDIT, 4:10 P.M.: Here are some comments from Thompson and Casto courtesy of the WSU SID. (It also has a photo of each at the tryouts. Is it just me or does it look like Casto hit the weights?)

Thompson

"It feels great to make the team, it's an honor especially playing at a national level against high level competition. It was tough competition throughout the trials, and I'm thankful for this opportunity to represent my country."

Casto

"It means everything to make the team. It was kind of emotional for me, a little hard for me a little bit too. Having been through so much, I got to a spot where basketball has been my outlet. So it means the world to make the team and it's an honor to be able to put that jersey on with USA on your chest."

One other thing I forgot to mention earlier -- Brock Motum will play for Australia in the tournament.

Here's the full roster:

2009 USA Basketball Men's U19 World Championship Team Roster
NAME
POS
HGT
WGT
DOB
YOG
SCHOOL HOMETOWN
DeAngelo Casto
F
6-8
229
02/17/90
2012
Washington St. Spokane, WA
Seth Curry
G
6-3
180
08/23/90
2012
Duke Charlotte, NC
Ashton Gibbs
G
6-2
190
01/19/90
2012
Pittsburgh Scotch Plains, NJ
Gordon Hayward
F
6-8
200
03/23/88
2012
Butler Brownsburg, IN
Shelvin Mack
G
6-3
214
04/22/90
2012
Butler Lexington, KY
Darius Miller
F
6-7
223
03/21/90
2012
Kentucky Maysville, KY
Arnett Moultrie
C
6-11
225
11/18/90
2012
UTEP Memphis, TN
John Shurna
F
6-8
210
04/30/90
2012
Northwestern Glen Ellyn, IL
Tyshawn Taylor
G
6-3
180
04/12/90
2012
Kansas Jersery City, NJ
Howard Thompkins
F
6-9
247
05/29/90
2012
Georgia Lithonia, GA
Klay Thompson
G
6-6
187

02/08/90

2012
Washington St. Ladera Ranch, CA
Terrico White

G

6-5

211

03/07/90

2012

Mississippi

Memphis, TN

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