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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Giles gained from Trials

KU sophomore learns he 'can compete' with top players in country

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C.J. Giles left the Under-21 team tryout camp Saturday in Dallas with a bruised hip -- not a bruised ego.

"At least I went out there and know I can compete with 'em," Giles, Kansas University's sophomore forward/center, said of holding his own against the 19 other elite college players who congregated for six practice sessions.

"I was nervous walking in, seeing all the good players, but once I got through warmups, I knew I could play with all of them."

Unfortunately for the 6-foot-11 Giles, he didn't last much longer than warmups.

He was injured early in the first practice Thursday and gutted it out until the end, but because of the hip injury was unable to go Thursday night or Friday.

He returned to Lawrence for treatment Saturday. He didn't make the Under-21 team, but did receive an invitation to the World University Games tryouts starting Thursday in Colorado Springs.

"I woke up (Friday), and it was killing me," Giles said of his hip. "I was real mad at myself. I wanted to do anything I could to make the team, but I couldn't go."

Giles first hurt the hip coming down hard and awkwardly after a dunk.

After that ...

"People were elbowing me in my hip," Giles said. "Every big guy, when we post up, we do hip-to-hip to knock each other off the block. I got elbowed coming off a screen, kept constantly getting hit, and it turned into a deep bruise, a hip pointer."

He has been resting and receiving treatment in hopes of being healthy for the World Games tryouts.

"That team has a lot older, more-experienced guys trying out," Giles said of players like Duke's Shelden Williams and Boston College's Craig Smith.

He is enthused about the chances of the Under-21 team, which will compete at the world championships in August in Argentina.

The players who survived cuts last weekend and still have a chance to make the Under-21 team, with four more cuts to come, are: Ronnie Brewer, Arkansas; Aaron Brooks, Oregon; Mardy Collins, Temple; Glen Davis, LSU; Jared Dudley, Boston College; Nick Fazekas, Nevada; Rudy Gay, UConn; Justin Gray, Wake Forest; Taj Gray, Oklahoma; Allan Ray, Villanova; J.J. Redick, Duke; Terrence Roberts, Syracuse; Rajon Rondo, Kentucky; Darius Washington, Memphis; Marcus Williams, UConn; and Curtis Withers, Charlotte.

"I was impressed with everybody, especially Taj and Terrence Roberts," said Giles, who has been in Lawrence all summer and says he's bulked up to 240 pounds.

"My goal is to at least get to 250," he said, adding, "I'd like to be more defensive-minded next year. I had a lot of stupid fouls last year. I need to wall up and have people shoot over me. I feel if I play hard defense, I can score some easy baskets. I can block a shot, get back before my man and score easy ones. If I focus on defense, my offense will come."

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