Big East, B1G Ten News: Purdue, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Penn State, Wisconsin

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Tim Abromaitis (Unionville, Conn.) is one of 22 collegian who has accepted an invitation from the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee to attend the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games training camp.

The training camp, which will be held from July 29-Aug. 7 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo., will be used to select the 12-member team that will represent the USA at the 2011 World University Games men’s basketball competition Aug. 13-23 in Shenzhen, China.

The USA Basketball Men’s Basketball Committee, chaired by NCAA representative Jim Boeheim (head coach at Syracuse University), is expected to announce the finalists for the squad on July 31.  Training camp for the selected players will continue from July 31-Aug. 7 at the USOTC, with the official roster announcement coming prior to the team’s departure for China on Aug. 8.

Abromaitis is one of six current BIG EAST players on the list of the 24 who have accepted invitations to attend the camp.  In addition to Abromaitis, those attending the World Championship Team training camp will be: Bradford Burgess (VCU/Midlothian, Va.); Marcus Denmon (Missouri/Kansas City, Mo.); Kim English (Missouri/Baltimore, Md.); Yancy Gates (Cincinnati/Cincinnati, Ohio); Ashton Gibbs (Pittsburgh/Scotch Pines, N.J.); Draymond Green (Michigan State/Saginaw, Mich.); JaMychal Green (Alabama/Montgomery, Ala.); Tu Holloway (Xavier/Hempstead, N.Y.); Scoop Jardine (Syracuse/Philadelphia, Pa.); John Jenkins (Vanderbilt/Hendersonville, Tenn.); Orlando Johnson (UC Santa Barbara/Seaside, Calif.); Greg Mangano (Yale/Orange, Conn.); Trevor Mbakwe (Minnesota/St. Paul, Minn.); C.J. McCollum (Lehigh, Canton, Ohio); Kris Middleton (Texas A&M/North Charleston, S.C.); Darius Miller (Kentucky/Maysville, Ky.); Tony Mitchell (Alabama/Swainsboro, Ga.); Aaric Murray (West Virginia/Philadelphia, Pa.); Alex Oriakhi (Connecticut/Lowell, Mass.); John Shurna (Northwestern/Glen Ellyn, Ill.) and Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin/Bloomington, Minn.).

Abromaitis, BIG EAST Scholar Athlete of the Year in both 2010 and 2011 and a two-time Capital One Academic All-American honoree, averaged double figures for the second consecutive season as he finished as the team’s second-leading scorer with a 15.4 scoring average.  He also was the team’s second-leading rebounder, grabbing a career-best 6.1 boards per game.

-After a breakout season in 2010-11, the Wisconsin Badgers‘ starting point guard Jordan Taylor has been invited to try-out for the USA Basketball World University Games Team

-Junior Patrick Bade will transition from the Purdue college basketball program to the Boilermaker college football program effective immediately, head coaches Matt Painter and Danny Hope announced on Wednesday.

“We wish Patrick nothing but the best as he pursues a college football career at Purdue,” Painter said. “He is a valued member of the Purdue Athletics family, and we’re happy that he has chosen to remain at the University.”

Bade played in 58 games for the Boilermakers over the last two seasons, starting four times. The Indianapolis native averaged 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game, with career highs of 10 points and nine boards.

-Minnesota Golden Gophers senior forward Trevor Mbakwe is of 22 players to receive an invitation by USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee to attend the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Team training camp July 29 through Aug. 7. The last Gopher to play for Team USA at the World University Games was Vincent Grier following the 2004-05 season.

-New Penn State Nittany Lions basketball coach Patrick Chambers, who was introduced Monday as the 12th head coach in program history, has started to fill out his coaching staff by naming Philadelphian native Eugene Burroughs as an assistant coach.

Burroughs previously served as an assistant coach at Navy during Billy Lange’s entire seven-year tenure from 2004-11. Like Chambers, Burroughs has strong ties to Villanova coach Jay Wright, having served as an assistant to him at Hofstra for three seasons from 1997-2000, and to Philadelphia coaching legend Dan Dougherty, having played with Chambers at Episcopal Academy. Burroughs also previously served as an assistant coach at Marist College and American University.

-Northwestern’s John Shurna is one of four players from the Big Ten Conference invited to the USA tryouts, joining Michigan State’s Draymond Green, Minnesota’s Trevor Mbakwe and Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor.

This is the third straight year that Shurna has competed for USA Basketball. He is one of three players at this year’s camp (Pittsburgh’s Aston Gibbs, Kentucky’s Darius Miller) who helped the USA to a gold medal and a 9-0 record at the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship. Shurna and Syracuse’s Scoop Jardine are the two individuals invited who were members of the USA Select Team that trained against the USA Men’s National Team in 2010 in Las Vegas.
A second-team All-Big Ten selection in 2009-10, Shurna battled through injuries to earn third-team honors last season. He averaged a team-best 16.6 points per game during the 2010-11 campaign, led Northwestern to a school-record 20 wins for the second consecutive season and also a berth in the quarterfinal round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
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