Monday, May 27, 2024

Tommy Lloyd to coach some Arizona targets at USA Basketball’s U18 training camp

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Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd will get a chance to work with several UA recruiting targets and five-star incoming ASU center Jayden Quaintance during USA Basketball’s U18 training camp later this month.

USA Basketball announced a list of 30 players who will compete for one of 12 spots on the team that will compete in the FIBA U18 AmeriCup from June 3-9 in Argentina. Lloyd has been named the head coach of the U18 team and is also expected to coach a potentially similar U19 team in 2025.

Lloyd has extended a scholarship offer to one of the top class of 2025 camp invitees, wing forward Hudson Greer, while Arizona has expressed interest in other invitees that include 2025 Las Vegas center Xavion Staton and 2026 guards Kaden and Kalek House of Phoenix Shadow Mountain.

However, one of UA’s top 2025 targets, Gilbert Perry’s Koa Peat, is expected to play instead for USA Basketball’s U17 team. That team will compete in the U17 World Cup in July, and Peat said during USA Basketball’s Junior Team Minicamp in April that he was leaning toward playing U17 because of the higher level of competition.

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While also competing at USA’s April camp over Final Four weekend, Greer said Arizona was “pretty high on the list,” though he hadn’t yet cut down his potential college choices. Greer said he already has visited hometown Texas, as well as Creighton and Arizona for the Red-Blue Showcase last October.

A 6-6 wing from Austin, Texas, Greer said he liked the way Lloyd deployed former UA wing Pelle Larsson, noting it was “the way (Larsson) ran the floor and also coming off ball screens … really letting him fill in a role of just doing everything on the floor.”

Players can’t turn 18 before Jan. 1 in order to be eligible for U18 competition, but Quaintance and Duke-bound five-star center Patrick Ngongba were among five class of 2024 players who eligible and invited to the U18 camp. The other 2024 players invited were Purdue-bound center Daniel Jacobsen, Texas-bound guard Tre Johnson and Illinois-bound center Morez Johnson Jr.

USA Basketball also invited 22 players from the class of 2025 and three in the classs of 2026, including the House brothers and five-star Florida wing Alex Constanza.

Lloyd will have two assistant coaches during camp and in the AmeriCup — Texas Tech’s Grant McCasland and Notre Dame’s Michael Shrewsberry — while Duke’s Jon Scheyer is one of four “camp coaches” who will help while USA trims its roster from 30 to 12 players during training camp.

USA’s other camp coaches include Josh Schertz of Saint Louis, Ben McCollum of Drake and Justin Gray of Coastal Carolina.

After a week of training camp beginning on May 23, USA’s U18 team is scheduled to depart on May 31 for the FIBA tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The 2024 AmeriCup is a qualifier for the 2025 FIBA U19 World Cup in Switzerland. 

During an interview last week at an Arizona fan event at Union Public House, Lloyd said he had just had a Zoom call with coaches and administrators in preparation for the USA camp.

“You’re familiarizing yourself with some of the guys coming to tryouts because you want to be able to put a name with a face, and then it’s building a small foundation for how you want to play on each end of the court,” Lloyd said. “It was just getting together and opening the lines of communication.”






The quintet that was considered Arizona’s most productive five down the stretch during the 2024-25 season — (from left) Jaden Bradley (Alabama), Oumar Ballo (Gonzaga), Caleb Love (North Carolina), Keshad Johnson (San Diego State) and Pelle Larsson (Utah) — all arrived in Tucson as transfers over the past handful of seasons.




Transfer haven 

Arizona may have picked up a valuable tool for recruiting transfers in the NIL era, thanks to basketball analytics guru Evan Miyakawa.

The Wildcats ranked No. 1 among schools whose transfers most outperformed expectations over the past five seasons, ahead of second-ranked (and two-time national champion) UConn, according to an analysis posted on Evanmiya.com

Miyakawa wrote that he first considered overall transfer production, of which Arizona ranked seventh, then looked at performance relative to expectations to come up with the overall ranking.

Of Arizona’s 13 transfers over the past year, guard Jaden Bradley was rated the most productive relative to expectations. UA’s rating also included Sean Miller-era transfers such as Jemarl Baker but also Lloyd-era transfers such as Bradley, center Oumar Ballo, guard Caleb Love, guard Courtney Ramey and forward Cedric Henderson.

Mixed results at NBA Combine

Former Arizona players Keshad Johnson and Pelle Larsson both struggled at times in their second and final NBA Combine scrimmages Wednesday.

In Team Love’s 90-83 loss to Team St. Andrews, Johnson hit 2 of 3 3-pointers and dished three assists but didn’t have an assist and picked up five fouls in 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, Larsson shot just 1 for 7 (1 for 4 from 3) in his Team Herscu’s 91-80 loss to Team Forehan-Kelly, posting two turnovers to his two assists, though Larsson did make all four free throws he took.

The Star’s Michael Lev and Bruce Pascoe break down all the comings and goings – and the we-don’t-know-yets – for the Arizona men’s basketball team with the NBA Draft declaration deadline on the horizon.



Bruce Pascoe is a veteran Arizona Daily Star sports reporter covering University of Arizona basketball. He has traveled with the team all the way to Israel and has been reporting at the Star since the late 90’s. Bruce worked at the Las Vegas Review-Journal prior to the Star and he graduated from Northwestern University. David and Bruce talk about the highlights of covering basketball and sports in a college town, the difficulties of the beat, Bruce’s love for sports and where that came from and how his reporting impacts the community.


Pascal Albright



Bruce Pascoe is a veteran Arizona Daily Star sports reporter covering University of Arizona basketball. He has traveled with the team all the way to Israel and has been reporting at the Star since the late 90’s. Bruce worked at the Las Vegas Review-Journal prior to the Star and he graduated from Northwestern University. David and Bruce talk about the highlights of covering basketball and sports in a college town, the difficulties of the beat, Bruce’s love for sports and where that came from and how his reporting impacts the community.


Pascal Albright



Bruce Pascoe is a veteran Arizona Daily Star sports reporter covering University of Arizona basketball. He has traveled with the team all the way to Israel and has been reporting at the Star since the late 90’s. Bruce worked at the Las Vegas Review-Journal prior to the Star and he graduated from Northwestern University. David and Bruce talk about the highlights of covering basketball and sports in a college town, the difficulties of the beat, Bruce’s love for sports and where that came from and how his reporting impacts the community.


Pascal Albright



Contact sports reporter Bruce Pascoe at bpascoe@tucson.com. On X(Twitter): @brucepascoe

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