Thursday, June 16, 2011

Buchan vs. Delle Donne at World University Games?

Now that Old Dominion's Mairi Buchan and Becca Allison have been named to the Great Britain team for the 2011 World University Games Aug. 13-22 in Shenzhen, perhaps those Lady Monarchs can help their team figure out some way to slow a loaded United States entry. Great Britain and the U.S. have both been assigned to Pool B of the 16-team tournament (along with Slovakia and Brazil), guaranteeing the two will meet somewhere within the teams' first three games.

Although the U.S. team hasn't been officially set, the 14 finalists for the squad include Stanford's Nnemkadi and Chiney Ogwumike, Notre Dame star/Twitter darling Skylar Diggins (100,295 followers?) and Delaware's Elena Delle Donne. The team will be trimmed to 12 during a final training session beginning July 31 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Not sure how Buchan, Allison and Co. can match up with those guys. But if the Brits need any help in dealing with Delle Donne, the Lady Monarchs have some fond memories of how that can successfully play out.

The tournament will also allow Buchan a crucial audition for a spot on Great Britain's 2012 Olympic team. Last summer, Buchan starred on Great Britain's gold medal-winning U-20 squad at the European Division B Championships and appeared poised to move up to the senior team. But she missed her entire college season with a foot injury and also had to withdraw from this summer's Eurobasket finals.

“I will continue to work hard,” Buchan said. “And have decided to treat the World University Games this August as my chance to prove myself to the senior coaching staff so that I can still have a chance at making the team next year for the Olympic Games in London.”

Buchan was at Old Dominion Wednesday for new Lady Monarchs coach Karen Barefoot's introductory press conference. Allison is in training with the Great Britian U-20 team which will play in the A Division European tournament July 7-17 in Novi Sad, Serbia.

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