Riley LaChance Earns Team USA Tryout

Vanderbilt fans know just how important Riley LaChance was to the ‘Dores last season. They also know how impactful he can be in Nashville over the next three years if he continues to improve on his game after a stellar freshman campaign. It appears that it was not just the locals taking notice of the play of LaChance, however, as he has been invited to try out for the USA Basketball U19 squad.

LaChance was named to the SEC All-Freshman team after a year where he made his mark on the Vanderbilt freshman record book. He averaged 12.3 points per game, making him the league’s highest scoring freshmen, and his 429 points ranked third on Vanderbilt’s all-time list. LaChance also ranked third on that all-time freshman list with 102 assists, while he shot free-throws at an 87.3 percent clip, which is 10th best in program history regardless of class.

If LaChance can earn his way onto the USA U19 team roster then he will have a chance to travel internationally this summer. After tryouts in early June, team USA will host a training camp in Colorado Springs June 13-20, before travelling to Athens, Greece for the FIBA U19 World Championships beginning on June 27.

Strangely enough LaChance will be trying to impress an SEC coach in his bid to earn a place on that flight to Europe. Florida coach Billy Donovan is the coach of the USA U19 team and it is worth wondering if LaChance’s exploits against the Gators last fall had something to do with him being given this opportunity. LaChance led Vanderbilt in scoring in both games against Florida, scoring 15 and 17 points respectively while shooting 50 percent from three during the two games, going 7-of-14 from behind the arc. The fact that Donovan has this familiarity with LaChance and his game can only be a good thing.

The last Commodore to play for Team USA was John Jenkins in 2011, but LaChance has a real opportunity to be the next. Even if he just participates in the tryout, and potentially the training camp, the experience will allow LaChance to refine his game against the best players of his age in the country. That, plus the high level coaching he will receive even if his stay with the squad is brief, can only help LaChance, and Vanderbilt, down the road.

Discuss this story with other Vandy fans in the VandyMania forums: