No competition here, insist Low and Weaver

PULLMAN -- Kyle Weaver and Derrick Low, the Lewis and Clark of Washington State's fabled journey from the outhouse to the penthouse of college hoops, will soon find themselves in a strange place: Competing against each other. But true to their team-first approach to life, they don't view as mutually exclusive their respective chances for landing on the United States' Pan-American Games team.

While both are guards, they bring different, complimentary styles to the court, emphasizes Weaver.

"We don't look at it as competing against each other," he says. "We're just trying to make each other better."

"I think it'll be OK," Low assures. "I hope we play well enough for him (Team USA coach Jay Wright of Villanova) to keep us (both)."

The two seniors-to-be will be among 35 college players who have been invited to compete for the 12 roster spots Wright will be filling. Tryouts are set for July 12-14 in Philadelphia. The basketball portion of the Pan-Am Games will be held in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, from July 25-29.

Wright, who guided the U.S. to a gold medal at the 2005 World University Games, is largely an unknown commodity to Low and Weaver -- except for two notable facts: Wright has a proclivity for four-guard line ups, and he likes to full-court press.

And therein lies a boost to the notion of both Low and Weaver making the team.

"I like his style of play," Weaver says matter-of-factly.

"I know he's had really good guards in the past," adds Low.

Wright's 2006 Villanova team featured a four-guard lineup that earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tourney and advanced to the Elite Eight before bowing to eventual National Champion Florida.

Low and Weaver will offer Wright tremendous flexibility. Low is a combo guard with long-distance bona fides who can play the point or the two, while Weaver is the textbook swingman, able to play guard and small forward.

Three years in the defense-focused world of Dick and Tony Bennett won't hurt their chances either.

THIS IS A BUSY SUMMER for WSU's two All-Pac-10 performers. The Cougars this week begin a two-week barnstorm of New Zealand and Australia and will tip things off Down Under starting tomorrow.

They see that tour as great preparation for the Pan-Am tryouts. And the notion that a summer of intense, back-to-back competition might tucker them out is readily dismissed.

"I just look at it as an opportunity -- I'll be a step ahead of the game and I'll learn a lot," said Weaver.

"I think it'll help us because we're starting early," said Low.


Low, a Honolulu native, started every game for the Cougars last season, averaging 34.4 minutes and a team-leading 13.7 points per game. He had a career-high 37 points in an overtime loss to Oregon.

Weaver, from Beloit, Wisc., has been one of the most widely productive players in the Pac-10 the last two seasons. This past year he averaged 11.2 points per game and led the Cougars in rebounding, assists and steals. He was second on the team in blocked shots. And, against Stanford, notched the only triple-double in WSU history.

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