Xavier Silas Makes Team USA’s World Cup Qualifying Team

By Jacob Withee | February 20, 2018

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – USA Basketball announced Tuesday that Northern Arizona Suns guard Xavier Silas is one of 12 players who made its roster to participate in the FIBA World Cup Qualifying first round, second-window games.

In the two-game set, Team USA will face off against Cuba on Feb. 23 and Puerto Rico on Feb. 26 in Santa Cruz, California. Both games will tip at 9 p.m. MT.

Silas was one of 14 players to attend USA Basketball’s World Cup Qualifying Team training camp from Feb. 15-20 in Los Angeles. As part of the training camp, 12 NBA G League USA players faced off against the Mexico National Team in the inaugural NBA G League International Challenge on Feb. 18. The NAZ Suns guard tied the team-lead in scoring with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, to go with three rebounds in 13 minutes of action in Team USA’s 88-67 win.

The 2017 USA Basketball World Cup Qualifying Team went 2-0 during the November first round, first-window games. The FIBA World Cup Qualifying games are used to qualify 31 of the 32 nations that will compete in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. China is already qualified as the host nation. There are three windows of first round games to qualify, with the third window beginning in June. There are three rounds of qualifiers to get to the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Silas will look to help Team USA build on its 2-0 record in the first round. He is averaging a career-high 19.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game, while shooting 39.9 percent from beyond the arc. He leads the entire NBA G League in three-point makes on the year (129) and averages the second most three-pointers made per game (3.9). In his NBA G League career, he sits in seventh all-time on the three-point makes list (384) and 24th on the all-time scoring list (2,536 points).

On Team USA, Silas will be joined by Taylor Braun (Salt Lake City Stars), Larry Drew II (Sioux Falls Skyforce), Alonzo Gee (Sioux Falls Skyforce), Aaron Harrison (Reno Bighorns), Rodney Purvis (Lakeland Magic), David Stockton (Reno Bighorns), Rashawn Thomas (Oklahoma City Blue), Marcus Thornton (Canton Charge), Travis Wear (South Bay Lakers), Devin Williams (Maine Red Claws) and Derek Willis (Grand Rapids Drive).

Jeff Van Gundy, who led the USA to a 5-0 record and the gold medal at the 2017 FIBA AmeriCup and to a pair of wins in the FIBA World Cup Qualifying November window, returns as head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team. Veteran international coach Mo McHone and former Georgetown University coach John Thompson III will again serve as USA assistant coaches.

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