Weaver, Low closer to making U.S. team

KYLE WEAVER AND DERRICK LOW are within putback distance of earning a birth on the U.S. national basketball team that will compete in the Pan Am Games. The two Cougars are among 14 finalists for what will be a 12-man team. Thirty players were invited to the tryouts, which started Thursday in Philadelphia. Two more will be trimmed this week before the team takes off for the games in Brazil.

Low and Weaver, seniors-to-be at Washington State, earned the final 14 designation from the selection committee through floor leadership and plain old standing out, says ESPN senior basketball writer Andy Katz.

"Multiple sources said the wings -- Ellington, Foster, Weaver, Taylor and Carter -- stood out too much to be dismissed. This was considered the strongest group of the bunch... Low stood out with his floor leadership," wrote Katz.

"Washington State guard Derrick Low impressed," added Dana Pennett O'Neil of the Philadelphia Daily News.

The selection committee consisted of Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, Oregon's Ernie Kent, Michigan State's Tom Izzo, Kansas' Bill Self, junior college representative Scott Schumacher and athletic representative A.J. Wynder. Villanova coach Jay Wright said earlier in the week the selection committee, not he, was making the call.

In addition to Washington State, a second Pac-10 team, Oregon, also placed two players among the 14. Wazzu and UO were the only schools with multiple selections.

The other Pac-10 player among the initial 30 was Washington's Jon Brockman, and the Husky was said to have his best practice on Saturday. Ultimately, however, Brockman "didn't do enough in the decision process, according to multiple sources" to make the cut, reported Katz.

The 14 remaining players will conintue to practice through Wednesday. Sometime between then and Saturday, the last two players will be trimmed and the 12-man Pan-Am Games roster will be set.

The 14 players who made the cut:

Kyle Weaver (Washington State), Derrick Low (Washington State), Bryce Taylor (Oregon), Maarty Leunen (Oregon), Roy Hibbert (Georgetown), Wayne Ellington (North Carolina), Shan Foster (Vanderbilt), Eric Maynor (VCU), Josh Carter (Texas A&M), D.J. White (Indiana), Drew Neitzel (Michigan State), Scottie Reynolds (Villanova), James Gist (Maryland) and Joey Dorsey (Memphis).

The 16 others who tried out for the team:

Washington's Jon Brockman, Wisconsin's Brian Butch, N.C. State's Brandon Costner, Alabama's Richard Hendrix, LSU's Tasmin Mitchell, Saint Joseph's Ahmad Nivins, Duke's DeMarcus Nelson and Jon Scheyer, Kansas' Mario Chalmers and Sherron Collins, Tennessee's Chris Lofton, Syracuse's Eric Devendorf, Southern Illinois' Randal Falker, Alabama's Alonzo Gee and Marquette's Wes Matthews and Jerel McNeal.

DERRICK LOW: Shown here against Oral Roberts in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Low connected on 5-of-7 shots, including a pair of 3-pointers in the Cougs' opening round victory. Low led WSU in scoring in 2006-07.

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