When Team USA leaves for the World University Games next week, it will be sporting red, white and a little Wildcat blue.
That's because Villanova guard Corey Fisher was named to the 12-man squad that will represent the United States in the basketball competition, held July 2 to 11 in Belgrade, Serbia.
The final roster will continue to practice together in Colorado Springs, Colo., before departing on Thursday.
"When I got my name called, it was a dream come true," said Fisher, "and all I was thinking about was going out there and playing for USA, representing my country."
Fisher, entering his junior year, was the top sixth man in the Big East last year. He averaged 10.8 points and helped Villanova get to the Final Four for the first time since 1985.
The last Wildcat to represent Team USA at the World University Games was Randy Foye in 2005, when the Americans went 8-0 to win the gold.
Penn State point guard Talor Battle also made this year's team and pointed out its versatility.
"I don't really think there are going to be any go-to guys," he said. "A lot of guys here can score. The majority of the guys are the leading scorers on their teams. Everyone has to buy into really playing as a team and sacrifice, maybe taking less shots and doing other things."
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, from Chester, is the team's head coach. JaJuan Johnson (Purdue), Dominique Jones (South Florida), Mike Tisdale (Illinois) and Nic Wise (Arizona) did not make the cut.
"The toughest part was getting down to the 12 players," Ryan said. "I don't want to take anything away from the guys who didn't make it, but the 12 who are on the final list are the ones that if you look at the overall picture - offense, defense, rebounding, things like that - this was the 12 that stood out." *
- Ed Barkowitz