Battle, a rising junior who was a first-team All-Big Ten, USBWA and NABC All-District selection last season, will look to become part of the 12-member USA Team that will compete at the World University Games July 2-12 in Belgrade, Serbia. Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan has been selected by USA Basketball to serve as head coach of the 2009 USA Men's World University Games Team. Ryan's two assistant coaches are to be announced.
Finalists for the USA team will be announced prior to the team's departure to Serbia on June 25. Twenty-four men's teams are expected to compete for gold at the World University Games. Eligible athletes for the USA team must be currently enrolled in a college or university and have remaining NCAA athletic eligibility.
Battle, one of five Big Ten players to accept an invitation, posted one of the most outstanding seasons in Penn State basketball history in his sophomore campaign as he helped lead the Nittany Lions to a school record 27 wins and a first-ever national tournament title in claiming the 2009 NIT Championship. He led the Big Ten in scoring (16.7 ppg), ranked second in assists (5.0) and stood in the top 15 in eight conference statistical categories.
Named an honorable mention All-American by FOXSports.com and Collegehoopsnet.com and to the NIT All-Tournament team, Battle posted a Penn State single season record 189 assists. His 635 points rank as the fifth-best total in program history and his 92 three-pointers are the third-best mark in PSU history. Battle was named team co-MVP for the second straight year after leading the Big Ten with 14 20-point games and leading the nation playing 1,422 minutes in 38 games, an average of 37.4 mpg.
Also accepting invitations to participate in the 2009 USA Men's World University Games Team Trials were: James Anderson (Oklahoma State / Junction City, Ark.); Trevor Booker (Clemson / Whitmore, S.C.); Craig Brackins (Iowa State / Palmdale, Calif.); Da'Sean Butler (West Virginia / Newark, N.J.); Sherron Collins (Kansas / Chicago, Ill.); Mike Davis (Illinois / Alexandria, Va.); Corey Fisher (Villanova / Bronx, N.Y.); Lazar Hayward (Marquette / Buffalo, N.Y.); Robbie Hummel (Purdue / Valparaiso, Ind.); JaJuan Johnson (Purdue / Indianapolis, Ind.); Quincy Pondexter (Washington / Fresno, Calif.); Deon Thompson (North Carolina / Torrance, Calif.); Evan Turner (Ohio State / Chicago, Ill.); and Jarvis Varnado (Mississippi State / Brownsville, Tenn.).
"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 Jim Boeheim, chair of the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee and head coach at Syracuse University. "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."
In addition to Boeheim, the 2009-2012 Men's Junior National Team Committee, formerly known as the Men's Collegiate Committee, includes NCAA appointees Lorenzo Romar (head coach, University of Washington); Bruce Weber (head coach, University of Illinois) and Roy Williams (head coach, University of North Carolina); and athlete representative Jay Williams, a member of the 2002 USA Basketball World Championship Team.