HoopsHype Team USA rumors

September 2, 2014 Updates

Marc Stein: Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski tells ESPN after New Zealand win that current plan is to play Derrick Rose next 2 nights as well with no rest. Many wondered if DRose would be rested for one of Team USA's three games-in-three nights but to this point staff feels he's progressing well Twitter @ESPNSteinLine

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, meanwhile, remains adamant that the Team USA staff is quite comfortable having included Rose as part of its final 12-man World Cup roster, even if he's available to them only as a role player as he works his way back to full speed. "I think basically we're waiting for Derrick to have kind of a bust-out game," Colangelo said. "And if that were to happen, I think he'd take off from that point." ESPN.com

September 1, 2014 Updates

”We won and we won because we deserved to win,” said USA coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). “Our guys played their hearts out, and that was a big win for us against a really good team.” Sportando

August 31, 2014 Updates

Anthony Davis spoke to the media after the USA’s win over Turkey on day 2 of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Davis said he was frustrated by his first half performance and that drove him to be more aggressive after the interval. He also spoke of how USA didn’t come out “ready to play” and that they can’t afford to do that if they want to win the gold medal. Ball In Europe

Plumlee played four years under Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, and he's a Nike guy. These two facts were bound to be mentioned when discussing his surprising selection. After a 114-55 -- not a typo -- win over Finland on Saturday, he addressed the matter. "I'm very proud that I went to Duke and I'm very proud that I wear Nike, and that has nothing to do with it," Plumlee said, via Ball in Europe. "If you were at our practices and our training camp, anybody that was there, they would see why I made the team." CBSSports.com

That attitude is why he says people do and should look up to him. “I am a role model, absolutely. There are different types of people out there, and I come from a different type of place. So, I absolutely think I am a role model. “I come from a place where there are not a lot of opportunities,” Cousins explained. “People there, they don’t ever really dream big because they don’t think it ever really exists. Like the things you see on TV, they think it’s just a false world. And them seeing me make it, they believe it is possible. Those people grew up with me; they have seen the struggles; they have seen me fight and work my way to where I am now, so I absolutely believe I am a role model.” USA Basketball

Irrespective of the quality of the foe that got smoked 114-55 and forced into 31 turnovers while mustering just five assists. Finland looked every bit the lowest-ranked invite via wild card in the history of this event -- 39th worldwide in FIBA's latest rankings -- but the way Team USA lasered right in and immediately embraced the challenge to defend with a greater ferocity than past Team USAs could only impress the bosses. "The ball pressure was great," Thibodeau said. "Challenging shots, finishing our defense, guys being tied together ... it was terrific." ESPN.com

Point guard Petteri Koponen took the floor hoping for a showing that would convince the critics Finland deserved its FIBA wild card for something other than the raucous band of traveling fans it could bring to the World Cup or its ties to the big money of Rovio and their Angry Birds franchise. Koponen and his pals wound up running straight into a pack of Angry Yanks and their buzzsaw D. "Maybe they're missing some great players, but for sure these players want to show how great they are, too," Koponen told ESPN.com just before making the much longer walk to his team bus. "They want to show the whole world they are the next generation, and they're going to be the next superstars." ESPN.com

August 30, 2014 Updates

The U.S. held Finland without a basket in the second quarter, opening defense of its title with a 114-55 romp Saturday in the Basketball World Cup. Silencing the Finns in the second quarter on the scoreboard and in the stands, where their rabid fans filled an entire side of the arena, the Americans allowed just a pair of free throws in the period, outscoring their overmatched opponents 29-2 to open a 60-18 advantage. USA Today Sports

August 29, 2014 Updates

“I love playing for USA Basketball,” Davis said in a conference call from Spain with reporters. “I think some guys look at it is as you don’t get paid, so you don’t have to play, or whatever. But that’s their own opinions. I love playing here, I love playing the game of basketball. Any time I get a chance to represent my country, especially for our servicemen and women who do so much for us, it’s a great opportunity to kind of show your appreciation. I love doing things like this. I look forward to future years when I get a chance to play with USA Basketball.” NBA.com

With the FIBA World Cup approaching this weekend, Davis said playing for his country does more than make him a better player. It's also a way to spend his offseason doing what he loves while showing his appreciation for others who've made greater sacrifices, and taken far greater risks, in the name of patriotism. "I love playing for USA basketball. Some guys look at it as they don't get paid, so you don't have to play or whatever," Davis said on a conference call with reporters on Thursday. "I love playing the game of basketball and any time I get a chance to represent my country, especially for all the servicemen and women who do so much for us, I think it's a great opportunity to show your appreciation. "So I love doing things like this and I look forward to future years playing for USA Basketball." USA Today Sports

Connor Sports: How would you describe the team’s offensive play at this moment? Stephen Curry: “It’s pretty good. We’re still learning about knowing where everybody is, but we have so many weapons around the floor. We have got to figure out how to continue to get in the paint and keep it moving because with our speed we’re pretty tough to guard against when we do that. We showed that in the second half against Slovenia (a 101-71 victory on Tuesday) when we got a lot of open shots just by how fast we moved.” TalkBasket

Connor Sports: What do you remember about the previous edition of the event in Turkey in 2010 and how long it took to get up to speed? Stephen Curry: “All of the pool games are important. You try to play your best every night and it’s all about getting a little bit better, but we didn’t blow everybody out. There were some tough games. So we have high expectations of playing well against Finland (in Team USA’s opening pool game on August 30), but we will not get discouraged if it it’s not perfect.” TalkBasket

August 28, 2014 Updates

Insisting he had zero worries about making the 12-man squad, Cousins brushed off the doubters last Friday night in the bowels of Madison Square Garden, telling assembled reporters: “Y’all will see.” Turns out Cousins had plenty of justification to be so self-assured: Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski told ESPN.com this week that Cousins has cemented himself as the backup to starting center Anthony Davis…. For all the skepticism about his ability to win over Team USA staffers who haven’t forgotten his poor first impression in 2012 — as well as the questions that linger about how he’ll get along with FIBA referees — Cousins is clearly ahead of fellow bigs Mason Plumlee and Andre Drummond. (Ditto for 10th man DeMar DeRozan.) ESPN.com

August 27, 2014 Updates

Harden’s responsibilities increased once more when Kevin Durant, his close friend and former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate, backed out of his commitment, citing fatigue and not the injury to George as the reason. That left the lefty Harden as the only first-team all-NBA player remaining on the squad. The earlier withdrawals of Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook also meant that Harden and Anthony Davis were the only holdovers from the 2012 London Olympics team. “Right now, I think I would look to Harden as that leader,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said as his team continues to prepare for the tournament in which the winner earns an automatic berth in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. “Harden is kind of a natural leader and he seems to be willing to accept that role. And you can just kind of feel it and sense. He’s the one.” Washington Post

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