Posted: Jun 11, 2013 11:25 PM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE, La. - Ragin' Cajuns junior guard Elfrid Payton is one of 26 players invited to attend the USA Basketball U19 tryouts later this week in Colorado Springs, Colo. He will compete for a spot on the team that will represent the United States in the FIBA World Championships, which will be played from June 27-July 7 in Prague, Czech Republic. The announcement was made by USA Basketball on Tuesday.
Payton is one of two players added to the tryout roster on the eve of the tryouts. The original 24-player list was released on May 21.
"I consider this a great opportunity and honor to be invited to tryout for a USA Basketball team," Payton said. "I am looking forward to the challenge of competing against some of the best basketball players in the country for a chance to represent the United States in the world championship."
"It seems like just yesterday that Elfrid came to campus as a 17-year old freshman," Louisiana head coach Bob Marlin said. "In the past two years, I have watched him grow and develop in all phases of the game. I am proud of everything that he has accomplished. He is truly deserving of this honor."
Payton departs for the U.S. Olympics Training Center in Colorado Springs on June 14 to take part in six days of practices. The squad will be trimmed down following the morning practice on Sunday, June 16 and the final 12-player team will be announced two days later.
The team is being coached by Florida's Billy Donovan with Tony Bennett (Virginia) and Shaka Smart (VCU) serving as assistant coaches.
Once the team is selected, it will travel to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, June 19, where it will practice until leaving for the Czech Republic on Saturday, June 22.
In Prague, the USA Basketball team will play exhibition games against Croatia (June 24) and the Czech Republic (June 25) before opening tournament play against the Ivory Coast on June 27.
USA Basketball will play as many as nine games in the tournament, leading up to the championship game on Sunday, July 7.
Payton is coming off of a record-setting sophomore campaign that saw him become the only player in the nation to average 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals per game. He averaged a team-high 15.9 points and 5.5 assists and 2.4 steals per game, ranking second with 5.6 rebounds en route to earning first team All-Sun Belt, first team NABC All-District 24 and second team All-Louisiana honors.
Payton finished the year leading the Sun Belt Conference in both steals and assists, ranking 12th nationally in steals and 38th in assists. He was also fourth in the league in scoring and 18th in rebounds.
A starter in all 33 games, Payton ranks third in school history with 80 steals this year while his 181 assists were fourth-best. With two full seasons left to play, he already ranks 18th all-time with 117 steals and 278 assists.
Last month, Payton averaged 21.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 3.0 steals during a seven-game cultural exchange of the Far East and China with Reach USA, scoring 20 points or more and leading the team in scoring five times.