While the United States and Canada have teams at the FIBA U19 World Championships chock full of players who either will or already made an impact on the college game, those aren’t the only countries with a college presence on their rosters.
Another of those teams is Greece, whose roster includes Iowa State forward/center Georgios Tsalmpouris and incoming Oregon guard Tyler Dorsey. The Greeks, with the event being played in Crete, opened their tournament schedule with a comfortable 83-55 win over South Korea Saturday morning and both Tsalmpouris and Dorsey managed to score in double figures.
Dorsey, who will join a backcourt that includes graduate student Dylan Ennis, fellow freshman Kendall Small and sophomores Casey Benson and Ahmaad Rorie in Eugene later this summer, finished the game with 11 points (4-for-8 FG), four rebounds and three assists. The 7-foot-1 Tsalmpouris was Greece’s second-leading scorer, as he tallied 12 points, four rebounds and five assists.
Tsalmpouris will be an interesting player to keep tabs on as this tournament rolls on, as new Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm stated earlier this week that whether or not the rising sophomore will return to Ames is “up in the air.” Per the Des Moines Register, this is a situation that’s expected to be resolved within the next month.
Tsalmpouris played in just eight games last season as a true freshman. He admitted missing his family after returning from Greece following the Christmas break.
“I’m still homesick,” he said during a January interview. “I had a great time. Now I miss (home) even more.”
Tsalmpouris isn’t the only 7-footer on the Greece roster whose status could impact a college basketball team in 2015-16 either. Georgios Papagiannis, who last summer signed a contract (amateur deal, thus preserving NCAA eligibility for the time being) with Panathinaikos, is a five-star (Class of 2015) pivot whose versatility has garnered recruiting interest amongst some high-major programs (including Oregon).
The question that needs answering is whether or not he’ll play college basketball or remain in Greece and go the professional route. Papagiannis got his U19 World Championships off to a very good start Saturday, as he accounted for 16 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks, making all eight of his shots from the field.
Prior to signing with Panathinaikos, Papagiannis attended Westtown School in Pennsylvania and played for the Team Takeover grassroots program.