May 15, 2003
Colorado Springs, Colo. – Forward Torin Francis (Roslindale, Mass.) has been one of 52 collegians and high school players invited to participate in the 2003 USA Basketball Men’s National Team Trials. The Trials will be held May 30-June 1 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The USA Collegiate Committee, chaired by Terry Holland, former University of Virginia athletics director, will select finalists for two USA Basketball teams – 2003 USA Basketball Junior World Championship Team and the 2003 USA Pan American Games Team. Francis, because of his age, is only eligible for the Pan American Games Team.
The Pan American Games, which takes place every four years in the year prior to the Olympics, will be held Aug. 1-17 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The men’s basketball competition will run from Aug. 2-6. The United States squad will be coached by Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, while Lorenzo Romar of the University of Washington and Quin Snyder of the University of Missouri will serve as assistant coaches.
Francis was one of six BIG EAST players invited to the tryouts. The others included: Brandon Bowman (Georgetown), Ben Gordon (Connecticut), Gerry McNamara (Syracuse), Emeka Okafor (Connecticut) and Craig Smith (Boston College).
This will be Francis’ second stint with USA basketball having played for the East team at the 2001 Youth Development Festival.
The 6-10, 240-pound foward was a member of the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team in 2002-03 after averaging 11.1 points and a team-leading 8.4 rebounds. Francis started all 34 games for the Irish and registered a team-high 10 double doubles during the season. He averaged 9.5 points and 6.6 rebounds in16 conference games and earned BIG EAST rookie-of-the-week honors once. The Roslindale, Mass., native also was named to the BB&T Classic All-Tournament team after leading the Irish to the title in that prestigious event. Notre Dame defeated then defending national champion Maryland and ’03 Final Four participant Texas en route to the crown.
Francis averaged a double double in its three NCAA tournament games as Notre Dame advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1987. He averaged 17.7 points and a team-high 12.4 rebounds in the NCAAs. He finished with a career-high 25 points and 10 rebounds against Arizona in the Irish’s West regional semifinal contest.
In the third game of his Notre Dame career versus Bucknell on November 22, 2003, Francis became the first freshman in Notre Dame history to record 20 rebounds in a game.
Notre Dame finished the ’02-’03 campaign with a 24-10 overall record and 10-6 mark in league play.