Mississippi State All-SEC standout forward Jarvis Varnado has accepted an invitation to attend the 2009 USA Basketball Men's World University Games trials, set for June 16-24 in Colorado Springs , Colo.
The 6-foot-9, 210-pound Brownsville, Tenn., native is one of 15 players invited and the only one from the Southeastern Conference. At the end of the trials, the 12-member roster will be announced.
"This is a great opportunity for Jarvis, and this will give him a chance to play with some of the best college players in the country," MSU coach Rick Stansbury said. "It's a tremendous honor just to be invited, not to mention he'll be training and working out with the best players."
The World University Games, under the direction of the International University Sports Federation, is held every other year and will take place in Belgrade , Serbia , July 2-12. A total of 24 teams are expected to compete.
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan has been selected by USA Basketball to serve as head coach. His two assistants will be named at a later date.
USA Basketball did not field a team in 2007, however, the 2005 USA squad rolled to an 8-0 record and captured the gold medal in Izmir , Turkey .
"These guys are some of the best college players in the country, and I think they're guys who would be future Olympic candidates," said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, chair of the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team. "This is a great opportunity for them to play for their country and get an understanding of the international game. I think this is a great group of college players. This should be a great experience for them, and they should represent USA Basketball very well."
This past season as a junior, started a school-record 36 games and averaged a team-high 12.9 points and 8.8 boards in leading the Bulldogs to a 23-13 ledger and a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row.
He also set an SEC single-season record with 170 blocked shots and needs just 19 more to surpass former LSU great Shaquille O'Neal's SEC career mark of 412. With 141 more, he'll tie the NCAA record of 535 set by Louisiana-Monroe's Wojciech Mydra from 1998-2002.
He was also instrumental in MSU winning the SEC Tournament in Tampa, Fla., with his MVP performance of 13.8 points, 8.8 boards and 22 blocked shots in the Bulldogs' magical four-game run to the crown.
Varnado, a two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year, enters his senior season 93 points shy of becoming the 31st MSU player to score 1,000 for a career, while his 727 rebounds rank ninth all-time. If he were to match the 317 boards he had this year, he would finish third with 1,044, behind Bailey Howell (1,277) and Rickey Brown (1,092).
2009 USA Basketball Men's World University Games Trials Roster
NAME POS HGT WGT SCHOOL HOMETOWN
James Anderson G/F 6-6 195 Oklahoma State Junction City , AR
Talor Battle G 5-11 165 Penn State Albany , NY
Trevor Booker F/C 6-7 240 Clemson Whitmire, SC
Craig Brackins F 6-10 230 Iowa State Palmdale , CA
Da'Sean Butler F 6-7 225 West Virginia Newark , NJ
Sherron Collins G 5-11 200 Kansas Chicago, IL
Mike Davis F 6-9 210 Illinois Alexandria , VA
Corey Fisher G 6-1 200 Villanova Bronx , NY
Lazar Hayward F 6-6 225 Marquette Buffalo , NY
Robbie Hummel F 6-8 208 Purdue Valparaiso , IN
JaJuan Johnson F/C 6-10 215 Purdue Indianapolis , IN
Quincy Pondexter F 6-6 215 Washington Fresno , CA
Deon Thompson F 6-8 245 North Carolina Torrance , CA
Evan Turner G/F 6-7 205 Ohio State Chicago , IL
Jarvis Varnado C/F 6-9 210 Mississippi State Brownsville , TN