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Offseason basketball notes


Two summers ago, Draymond Green was part of Team USA in the World University Games. He would go on to become Big Ten Player of the Year that season.

Now, it's Adreian Payne's turn to play for Team USA.

Payne is one of a few Big Ten players on the team, joining Iowa's Aaron White, Indiana's Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey (full roster here). John Beilein is one of the assistant coaches.

The team had been training in Colorado Springs. That will continue until Sunday, and the team will leave for Russia on Monday.

Here's info on the tournament, from USA Basketball:

After departing on July 1, the USA will practice on July 3-6 in Kazan, Russia, including scrimmages on July 4 against Russian basketball club UNICS and on July 5 against the Russia World University Games Team before beginning World University Games play on July 7.

The USA has drawn preliminary round Group C for the 2013 World University Games men's basketball competition, along with Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Sweden and United Arab Emirates. Playing in Group A are Estonia, Germany, Oman, Russia, Ukraine and South Korea. Playing in Group B are Japan, Mexico, Mongolia, Philippines, Romania and Serbia. Group D includes Brazil, Chile, China, Finland, Lithuania and Norway.

The USA will take on UAE at 6:30 p.m. (times listed are local; Kazan, Russia, is +8 hours from EDT) on July 7; followed by Czech Republic at 1 p.m. on July 8; and Sweden at 9 p.m. on July 10; Australia at 6:30 p.m. on July 11; and Canada at 1 p.m. on July 12.

Following the preliminary round, the first and second-placed teams in each of the four pools advance to the medal quarterfinals on July 14 to compete for first through eighth places; while the remaining teams will play out for ninth to 24th places. The semifinals will be played on July 15, and the finals will be contested on July 16.

Payne talked with Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press about making the team, as well as the Spartans.

"B.J. has been working on his shot a lot, it definitely looks better," Payne said of junior forward Branden Dawson. "His shot and his handle. Gary (Harris) is working hard on his handle as well, really shooting the ball really good.

"Same with Travis (Trice) and Kenny (Kaminski). Everybody's getting better and working hard."

As for Harris, he's been at the Kevin Durant Skills Academy this weekend, one of 19 wings to be invited. He's apparently looking quite good.

Chad Ford released his top 100 for the 2014 NBA Draft. Harris is No. 10, Payne is No. 30 and Dawson is No. 31.

No word yet on Derrick Nix's pro future, but there is news on a former Spartan.