Ashton Gibbs On Under-19 National Team

It looks like sophomore Ashton Gibbs will get some additional mentoring from Pitt coach Jamie Dixon over the next few weeks.

Dixon will coach the USA Basketball Men's Under-19 National Team, and Ashton Gibbs was among the 12 players named to the final squad Thursday in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Gibbs will remain there with Dixon through June 25 to continue training for the 2009 FIBA Under-19 World Championship, which will be held July 2-12 in Auckland, New Zealand. Freshman Dante Taylor, who also was invited to the Trials, did not make it. So, the McDonalds All-American Dante Taylor will arrive in Pittsburgh this weekend for summer classes.

The player selections were made by the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee, chaired by Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim.

All 12 selected athletes recently completed their freshman year at a NCAA Division I school. Also selected to represent the United States at the FIBA Under-19 World Championship were: DeAngelo Casto (Washington State / Spokane, Wash.), Seth Curry (Duke / Charlotte, N.C.), Gordon Hayward (Butler / Brownsburg, Ind.), Shelvin Mack (Butler / Lexington, Ky.), Darius Miller (Kentucky / Maysville, Ky.), Arnett Moultrie (UTEP / Memphis, Tenn.), John Shurna (Northwestern / Glen Ellyn, Ill.), Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas / Jersey City, N.J.), Howard Thompkins (Georgia / Lithonia, Ga.), Klay Thompson (Washington State / Ladera Ranch, Calif.) and Terrico White (Mississippi / Memphis, Tenn.).

"I think this is a well-balanced team,'' Boeheim said. "They'll have to get the job done as a team. They may not have a star-caliber player, but they have a lot of very good players. At this stage the Under-19 team looks like they will work very well together. All of the Under-19 trials participants played very hard throughout the trials. There has been no lack of effort, and that's a good sign.''

"We're a pretty good shooting team from the perimeter, and we have some big guys who can shoot the ball, so I think that's going to be a strength,'' USA Under-19 National Team and Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon said. "I'm concerned that we don't really have experienced point guards, but I think we've got some wings that can make some plays.

"Now, at this point, we've got our team. And we've got to just mold it. We didn't do a lot of team stuff during these three days (of trials), but what we're now going to do is focus on defending as a team and then running our offense and just trying to play unselfish, playing hard and playing smart at the same time.''

Gibbs, a West Orange, N.J. native, led the Big East Conference in 3-point field goal percentage (.439) and averaged 4.3 points in 35 games played as a freshman in 2008-09. The sophomore guard reached double figure scoring in six games, hit at least one 3-pointer in 19 contests and converted three or more 3-pointers in six games on the year.

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