A couple weeks after moving to Lawrence to join the University of Kansas basketball program, Cal transfer Charlie Moore has to pack some of his belongings right back up, so he can try out for USA Basketball’s Men’s U19 World Cup Team.
Moore, a 5-foot-11 guard from Chicago, leaves Sunday for Colorado Springs, Colo., where he’ll be one of 28 players vying for 12 available roster spots.
“I definitely think I can make the team,” Moore, a KU sophomore who will sit out the upcoming season, said Monday afternoon. “I go in and just play my game, play hard and just bring my winning attitude toward the team, I think I should be able to make it.”
An honorable mention on the Pac-12’s All-Freshman team this past season, when he averaged 12.2 points and 3.5 assists for Cal in 34 games, Moore will have seven other point guards with which to contend at the three-day USA training camp: TCU’s Desmond Bane, Purdue’s Carsen Edwards, Washington State’s Malachi Flynn, Shamorie Ponds of St. John’s, Oregon’s Payton Pritchard, un-committed five-star prep point guard Immanuel Quickly (Bel Air, Md.) and one-time KU recruiting target Trae Young, a freshman at Oklahoma.
Moore, who received an invitation from USA Basketball in April, said he knows Young, incoming Kentucky freshman P.J. Washington and some others competing to represent their country in Cairo, Egypt, next month. Upon seeing the lengthy tryout roster, Moore was impressed and knew to expect a competitive atmosphere this coming Sunday through Tuesday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
“I wouldn’t think they’d invite just anybody to this type of thing,” Moore said. “I know there’s going to be a ton of talent there, and I’m looking at going in to just compete against the guys and have fun.”
It will be Moore’s first experience with USA Basketball, but not his initial trip to compete in the Rocky Mountains region. Although he went scoreless in 17 minutes while playing for Cal at Colorado in March, Moore said he wasn’t worried about playing at a high elevation.
“It wasn’t that bad,” he recalled. “I think I was in shape, so I’m just looking forward to it.”
Moore has spent the past week-plus at KU weight-lifting (which he said is more than he was used to), going through basketball workouts and getting acquainted with his new teammates.
“I’ve been connecting with everybody, actually,” Moore said, when asked about the chemistry for the newly assembled 2017-18 Jayhawks. “Everyone is cool on the team. Everyone is just humble and good to talk to, so I’m just happy to be here.”
However, he wouldn’t mind an extended trip away from his new home if it coincided with his first trip abroad, as a member of USA’s U19 squad.
“I’m excited for the opportunity, to be able to represent my country and all of that,” Moore said. “I’m just looking to have fun with it.”
USA’s final 12-man roster — to be determined by head coach John Calipari (Kentucky), assistants Tad Boyle (Colorado) and Danny Manning (Wake Forest) and the rest of the staff — is expected to be announced June 22. Group play for the FIBA U19 World Cup begins July 1, in Cairo.