Lofton gets Pan Am invitation

Sharp-shooting Tennessee guard Chris Lofton is among 30 college basketball standouts invited to try out for the United States team that will compete in the Pan American Games later this summer.

The tryouts will be held July 12-14 at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. The Pan Am Games begin July 13 and continue through July 29 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Chris Lofton and the other 29 invitees were selected by the USA Basketball Collegiate Committee, headed by head coach Jim Boeheim of Syracuse.

Lofton, a 6-foot-2 rising senior from Maysville, Ky., led the Southeastern Conference in scoring (20.8 points per game) and 3-pointers (3.42 per game) in 2006-07. He ranked fourth in free-throw percentage (81.1), fifth in 3-point percentage (41.9), seventh in overall field-goal percentage (47.9) and ninth in steals (1.45 per game). He was tabbed SEC Player of the Year and second-team All-America by The Associated Press. He was voted a third-team All-American by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

Lofton holds UT's program records for 3-pointers attempted in a game (18), made in a game (9), attempted in a season (261) and made in a season (114). He also holds records for single-game 3-point percentage (100, on 5-for-5 shooting) and single-season 3-pointers per game (3.8 in 2005-06).

The U.S. team will be coached by Villanova's Jay Wright. His assistants will be Alabama's Mark Gottfried and Yale's James Jones.

Besides Lofton, other SEC players contending for berths on the team are Alonzo Gee and Richard Hendrix (Alabama), Shan Foster (Vanderbilt) and Tasmin Mitchell (LSU).

The candidates also include: Jon Brockman (Washington), Brian Butch (Wisconsin); Josh Carter (Texas A&M), Mario Chalmers (Kansas), Sherron Collins (Kansas), Brandan Costner (North Carolina State), Eric Devendorf (Syracuse), Joey Dorsey (Memphis), Wayne Ellington (North Carolina), Randal Falker (Southern Illinois), James Gist (Maryland), Roy Hibbert (Georgetown), Maarty Leunen (Oregon), Derrick Low (Washington State), Wesley Matthews (Marquette), Eric Maynor (Virginia Commonwealth), Jerel McNeal (Marquette), Drew Neitzel (Michigan State), DeMarcus Nelson (Duke), Ahmad Nivins (Saint Joseph's), Scottie Reynolds (Villanova), Jon Scheyer (Duke), Bryce Taylor (Oregon), Kyle Weaver (Washington State) and D.J. White (Indiana).

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