For the second straight year, the best and brightest prospects of the Pac-12 Conference will head for China for an exhibition schedule during the summer. Current Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak will guide a roster of players representing 10 of the Conference’s 12 members.
USC sophomore standout Nikola Jovanovic, who led all Pac-12 freshmen during the regular season in shooting percentage and was in the top 10 in rebounds and scoring, stands among the highly honored class.
The roster includes Andrew Andrews (Washington), Bo Barnes (Arizona), Malcolm Duvivier (Oregon State), Jacob Hazzard (Arizona), DaVonte’ Lacy (WSU), Jordan Loveridge (Utah), Cheikh N’diaye (OSU), Schuyler Rimmer (Stanford), Xavier Johnson (Colorado), Roger Moute Bidias (Cal), Brandon Taylor (Utah) and Jeremy Olsen (Utah).
“I’m really excited to be selected to the Pac-12 team for this trip to China. I am really honored to represent USC and the Pac-12 in the tournament and I will give my best to help the team win every game." -via USC Athletics
In addition to the competition, the team will participate in various youth clinics along with some fun sight seeing to various landmarks and historical sites in Shanghai, Nantong and Shenzhen. In part of the Pac-12 Conference community outreach initiative, these players will be doing much more than just playing basketball.
Jovanovic averaged 8.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 0.5 assists per game and scored in double figures during 11 games last season in his first season. He scored a season-high 23 in the Trojans rare and somewhat unexpected upset victory over Cal Berkeley, and cashed in 21 points in the final game of the regular season against Washington.
The Pac-12 all-star team will get the chance to play Guangdong Southern Tigers, the 2013-14 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) regular season champion. The Tigers' leading Chinese scorer is Yi Jianlian, who played for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks under coach Larry Krystkowiak during the 2007-08 season.
The 10-day tournament will commence August 10 and will be the first men’s basketball all-star tournament for the Pac-12 since 1996. But don't worry, USC will be represented quite well by the humble, well-spoken Nikola Jovanovic.