Ole Miss' Carter Makes USA Men's Goodwill Games Team
July 16, 1998
CHICAGO - For the second straight year an Ole Miss basketball player will represent Team USA as senior guard Keith Carter was named to the 12-man USA Men's Goodwill Games Team, announced today by the USA Men's Basketball Collegiate Committee.
University of Minnesota head coach Clem Haskins will coach the USA squad that will open preliminary round action of the 1998 Goodwill Games on Sunday against defending gold medalist Puerto Rico. The game will be televised nationally by CBS starting at 1:05 p.m. CDT from Madison Square Garden in New York.
"I know we can represent our country with a real sense of pride," Carter said. "Hopefully we can go to New York and play well, have fun and bring back the gold medal."
Last summer, All-America Ansu Sesay was a member of the USA Basketball World University Games Team that played in Italy. Sesay averaged 7.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in helping lead the USA squad to the gold medal.
"First of all, it's a really great honor for Keith," said first-year Ole Miss head basketball coach Rod Barnes. "He's really deserving of this honor. This is a result of his hard work and him setting goals for himself this spring. He'll represent not only our program, but our university in a real class manner. This is one of many honors we expect Keith to receive this year.
"It's great have another player from our program go and compete on one of our national teams," Barnes added. "This shows how far our program has come with Ansu making the team last year and Keith this year."
Carter survived two rounds of cuts and was one of 34 players across the country that were initially invited to tryout for the Goodwill Games squad. That number was trimmed to 17 following the first round of trials May 29-31, and the roster was then pared down to 14 following workouts July 6-12 in Minneapolis, Minn.
The final two cuts were made following a third-round of tryouts conducted at The Moody Bible Institute in Chicago earlier this week.
"The (Team USA) coaches say he is a really good shooter, but the thing that stood out most to them was his work ethic and that he was very coachable," Barnes said. "They said everytime they hit floor he was ready to play. That's a good reflection of our program and we are going to continue to have players come through here that will play hard, have a good work ethic and are class people."
The Perryville, Ark., native was named to the Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference second team following his junior campaign in 1997-98. He was second on the squad in scoring with a 14.8 average and was third in rebounding with a 6.2 average. Carter scored the 1,000th point of his career in the Rebels' win over Vanderbilt on Feb. 11, and finished the season with 1,140 points which places him in the No. 17 spot on the Rebel career scoring chart. The 6-foot-4 guard finished the 1997-98 season ranked among the SEC leaders in four statistical categories. Carter was seventh in scoring (14.8 ppg), 13th in rebounding (6.2 rpg), eighth in three-point field goal percentage (37.2 percent) and seventh in free throw percentage (76.6 percent). Carter's 6.2 rebounding average was tops among guards in the conference.
"This young man opened up the eyes of everyone at the trials with his athletic ability," said Haskins back on June 1 after making the first round of cuts. "He's a tough guy, and he can rebound the ball. He's one of those 6-4 guys who, when they step on the court, become about 6-8 or 6-9. He is a tremendous shooter and an excellent rebounder. Keith is a fine basketball player."
Joining Carter on the USA Goodwill Games Team are: Penn State's Calvin Booth, Duke's Elton Brand, Purdue's Brian Cardinal, Connecticut's Khalid El-Amin, Georgia Tech's Dion Glover, Indiana's A.J. Guyton, Georgia's Jumaine Jones, Minnesota's Quincy Lewis, Utah's Andre Miller, Xavier's James Posey and Miami, Ohio's Wally Szczerbiak.
The USA Goodwill Games Team will be USA Basketball's top men's collegiate squad this year. The eight-country, two-group tournament will begin Sunday and conclude Friday with the Bronze and Gold Medal games.
Brazil and China are the other two teams in Team USA's group. Team USA will play China on Monday and Brazil on Tuesday with both games slated for 8 p.m. starts. The top two teams in each group will meet in the semi-finals on Thursday to determine who will play in Friday's Gold and Bronze Medal contests.
The four countries opposite Team USA's group are Australia, Argentina, Lithuania and Russia.
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