Haliburton named as finalist for 2019 U19 FIBA World Cup team


Chris Jorgensen/Iowa State Daily

Then-freshman Tyrese Haliburton goes up for a dunk in the second round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship Tournament against Kansas State on March 15, 2019.

Jack Shover

Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton was announced as one of 18 finalists for the 2019 U19 FIBA World Cup team on Tuesday. There were originally 33 players invited to try out for the team in Colorado Springs, Colo. at the Olympic Training Center.

Haliburton is joined as a finalist by highly ranked high school players and college commits along with four other college players.

From the recruiting class of 2020, five star recruits Scottie Barnes, Joshua Christopher, Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Walker Kessler, Evan Mobley, Zaire Williams and Jalen Suggs. Suggs is also a four-star, dual-threat quarterback prospect with an offer from Iowa State

Entering their freshman year, are four-star recruits Virginia commit Casey Morsell, Arizona commit Zeke Nnaji, Gonzaga commit Anton Watson and five-star recruits Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Samuell Williamson.

Morsell will be attending Virginia, Nnaji committed to Arizona and Watson will be playing for Gonzaga. Robinson-Earl is inked to play at Villanova and Williamson will be playing at Louisville.

Kira Lewis Jr., Issac Likekele, Reggie Perry and Trevion Williams are the four other players with collegiate playing experience joining Haliburton as finalists.

Lewis averaged 13.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists at Alabama as a freshman last season, while Likekele averaged 8.7 points and 4.8 rebounds at Oklahoma State. Perry averaged 9.7 points and 7.2 rebounds at Mississippi State, and Trevion Williams averaged 5.3 points and 4.0 rebounds at Purdue.

Baylor’s Jared Butler also was a finalist but was not able to participate.

Despite not being the highest recruit coming out of high school, Haliburton has the versatility to make the 12-man roster which is exactly what the team is looking for.

“We feel like our group of finalists offers coach Weber and his staff outstanding athleticism and versatility, and the talent to become a very good defensive team,” said U.S.A. Basketball Junior National Team Committee chair and Purdue University head coach Matt Painter in a press release.

Haliburton averaged 6.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists while also shooting 51.5% from the floor and 43.4% from three.

Defensively, Haliburton averaged 1.5 steals and 0.9 blocks a game and has the athleticism and length with his six-foot-five-inch frame to switch seamlessly on offensive players.

From the 18 finalists, the roster will again be cut down to 12 players prior to the team leaving for the FIBA World Cup in Greece on June 24.