Brewer Cut From USA Team

FAYETTEVILLE -- It wasn't an easy decision, but USA Basketball coach Phil Martelli determined late Wednesday night that Arkansas junior Ronnie Brewer would not make the 12-man Under-21 World Championship Team.

Martelli indicated that there were just too many talented wing players among the 16 finalists to retain Brewer, a versatile 6-foot-7 guard. reported that Brewer and Jared Dudley of Boston College, two of the last four players cut from the American team, would talk with their college coaches about possibly trying out with the World University Games team in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Arkansas assistant sports information director Robbie Edwards said, however, that UA coach Stan Heath had not mentioned any interest by Brewer in the World University Games possibility on Thursday.

"Ronnie represented the university and our program very well," Heath said. "He's disappointed. At the same time, I attended two of his practices along with his father, and we were very impressed with the way he played."

So, apparently, was Martelli.

"The players who were let go gave us everything they had," Martelli said. "There's nobody being let go who wasn't a good player or didn't handle himself properly. They've been well schooled by their college coaches."

Besides Brewer and Dudley, others cut were guards Aaron Brooks of Oregon and Darius Washington Jr. of Memphis.

"When you get down to 16 players," Heath said, "you're talking about the elite players in the country. Unfortunately, coaches have to make tough decisions and it didn't fall Ronnie's way."

In the USA Team's Global Games opener, a 119-64 win over Ukraine, Brewer had 8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist in 12 minutes of action.

Brewer had participated on the team since July 21 and made the first cut from 20 players to 16.

"As a college coach, you don't normally have to deal with this," Martelli said. "You don't expect to have sleepless nights in July, but I've had two on this trip. Both times we were approaching the cut-down.

"I never want to be in a position to take away somebody's dream or aspirations. It was not easy; these were not easy cuts we had to make."

The final U.S. roster has Justin Gray of Wake Forest, Curtis Withers of Charlotte, J.J. Redick of Duke, Mardy Collins of Temple, Glen Davis of LSU, Nick Fazekas of Nevada, Rudy Gay and Marcus Williams of Connecticut, Taj Gray of Oklahoma, Allan Ray of Villanova, Terence Roberts of Syracuse and Rajon Rondo of Kentucky.

Heath said Brewer, the only returning first team All-Southeastern Conference player this season, might participate in one more basketball camps this summer.

"He will learn from this," Heath said. "I thought he played well enough to be on the team. It just didn't turn out that way."

The USA Team will leave Aug. 1 for games in Argentina beginning Aug. 5.

Martelli said about his original group of 20 players: "I think they've all been raised properly, because they all talk about being very appreciative of the opportunity to represent their country, their schools, their programs and their families. I think those are good values, and it's a good core to start with on any team."

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