May 30, 1999
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – University of Notre Dame forward Troy Murphy, who will be a sophomore next season, and incoming freshman guard Matt Carroll are among the 16 finalists for the 1999 USA Basketball Men’s Junior World Championship Team, the USA Basketball Men’s Collegiate Committee announced following three days of trials at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The 12 -member USA team will be announced during training camp July 2-11 in Tempe, Ariz., and will compete July 15-25 in the 1999 FIBA Men’s Junior World Championship in Portugal.
Murphy was named the BIG EAST rookie of the year last season after he led the Irish in scoring and rebounding at 19.2 points per game and 9.9 rebounds per game.
“It’s a good accomplishment to come out here and be selected to compete with a group of guys like this,” said Murphy after the trials. “I really wanted to come out here and just play as hard as I could and see what happened. When I was in high school I always wanted to play well in college, but I never expected anything like this.”
Carroll will enter Notre Dame in the fall after being named the Associated Press player of the year in Pennsylvania in both his junior and senior year at Hatboro Horsham High School in Horsham, Pennsylvania. He is the first player in state history to accomplish that feat.
“I think it’s a great honor to be selected as a finalist because everyone here is a great player and you have the top players in America,” says Carroll. “I just feel overwhelmed and honored to be in an elite group like this. Playing for USA Basketball last year gave me experience because I knew what to expect and how to prepare. I think this experience will help me playing against the best players in the world and working with the players on this team to improve my game.”
The other finalist for the team besides Murphy and Carroll are Michael Bauer (Hastings HS/ Hastings, Minn.), Steve Blake (Oak Hill Academy/Miami, Fla.), Nick Collison (Iowa Falls HS/Iowa Falls, Iowa), Keyon Dooling (Missouri/Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Adam Hall (Virginia/Katy, Texas), Casey Jacobsen (Glendora HS/Glendora, Calif.), Steve Lepore (Northwestern/Lakewood, Ohio), Steve Logan (Cincinnati/Cleveland, Ohio), Quentin Richardson (DePaul/Chicago, Ill.), Bobby Simmons (DePaul/ Chicago, Ill.), Travis Watson (Oak Hill Academy/Brookneal, Va.), Chris Williams (Virginia/ Birmingham, Ala.), Lance Williams (DePaul /Chicago, Ill.) and Michael Wright (Arizona /Chicago, Ill.).
“I think the thing I’m excited about first and foremost is that we have got guys who have experience from the Junior World Championship Qualifying team last summer. There’s no substitute for experience. This team also brings a lot of toughness and I think we are pretty versatile. We’re not overly big, but our versatility will enhance our chances. I’m big on pressure defense and I think we have some athletes to help us accomplish that,” said USA head coach Rob Evans of Arizona State University, who served as an assistant coach on the gold medal winning 1998 USA Basketball Men’s Junior World Championship Qualifying Team.
Nine finalists – including Carroll – were members of the gold medal winning 1998 USA Basketball Men’s Junior World Championship Qualifying Team that competed in the COPABA Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament in Santiago, Dominican Republic and qualified for this year’s FIBA Junior World Championship with a 6-0 record. Those nine players accounted for 82.5 percent of the team’s scoring (513 of 622 points).