HoopsHype World Cup rumors

August 23, 2014 Updates

Gilas Pilipinas lost to FIBA Africa Champions Angola, 83-74. Andray Blatche with 33 pts and 17 rebs. Facebook.com

August 22, 2014 Updates

For the second time in three games, Andre Drummond didn't play in one of Team USA's exhibitions. That might not bode well for Drummond's chances of making the team that will travel to Spain for the upcoming World Cup. The Detroit Pistons center is battling for the No. 3 center's job behind Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Hornets and DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings. And despite scoring 12 points in a rout over the Dominican Republic, he didn't get off the bench in Friday's 112-86 victory over Puerto Rico at Madison Square Garden. Booth Newspapers

That count stretches to only nine if you include two players USAB sources say have emerged as Krzyzewski favorites -- Golden State's Klay Thompson and Brooklyn's Mason Plumlee -- and then presume Rose and DeMarcus Cousins (bruised knee) will be healthy enough to fulfill their planned roles. "I'm not going to do assumptions," Krzyzewski said of Rose. "I think he's ready. I'm thinking about him playing and being there [in Spain]." ESPN.com

The date previously known in basketball circles as the first day No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins is eligible to be dealt by Cleveland to Minnesota in a Love swap, will also be when we learn the identities of the players Team USA is leaving behind when it travels to Spain in advance of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told ESPN.com that team officials, after initially weighing the prospect of announcing some roster moves before Thursday's practice, will huddle late into the night after Friday evening's exhibition against Puerto Rico at Madison Square Garden to finalize the roster decisions that can be delayed no longer. ESPN.com

And we say twosome, trio or quartet because Colangelo and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski are still deciding whether to take 12, 13 or even 14 of the 16 players currently in camp to Spain to buy an extra week of evaluation time, since the roster doesn't have to be officially sliced to 12 for the World Cup until Aug. 29. "Like in anything, whatever we decide, we'll be questioned," Krzyzewski acknowledged after Thursday's non-contact practice at the New York Athletic Club. ESPN.com

Faried appears to be in good position to make the 12-man squad that will represent the United States at the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain. While not taking anything for granted, he is looking forward to the next step in the journey. “My anticipation level is high,” he said. “I’m excited about this whole experience. I’m excited to wake up every day and play the game I love, especially at this level. I’m very anxious to go out there and win this gold and come back home and say I’m one of the lucky few that was able to play for a gold medal for this team.” Self-confidence has never been a problem for Faried, who was selected by the Nuggets 22nd overall in the 2011 NBA Draft. It also has served him well while training under Hall of Fame coach Krzyzewski. “Coach said to be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you’re not,” Faried said. NBA.com

For the record: Sources say that, in Team USA staff meetings, deciding how many bigs to carry is the issue that has been generating the most discussion. Even more, in other words, than Rose's situation. Coach K, though, was only prepared to confirm that sending players home is indeed "the worst thing" about the USA Basketball experience he has come to cherish since adding this job to his Duke duties in 2005. ESPN.com

August 21, 2014 Updates

The referees that will officiate the games at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup have been announced. The 38 officials come from 28 countries across FIBA's five continental zones. They rank in age from 27 to 50 (average age of 38.7) and have between three and 20 years of experience as FIBA referees (average of 11.6 years). Click here to view the full list of referees. FIBA.com

Drew Gooden will not be able to represent Finland in the upcoming FIBA World Cup because his application for dual citizenship will not be cleared in time for the tournament, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The Wizards big man, whose mother is Finnish, was not on the 12-man roster Finland submitted Wednesday for the competition, according to reports out of Finland. The tournament will begin Aug. 30 in Spain. Finland’s first game will be against the United States. Washington Post

In a recent phone interview, Gooden explained that he grew up with his father, Andrew, in Oakland, Calif., but made summer-long trips to Finland every two years to spend time with his mother’s family. He roamed his grandparents’ farm — situated about four hours north of the Finnish capital of Helsinki — milking cows, hunting, fishing, and tending to chicken coops. The biennial visits left an impression on Gooden, who identifies as Finnish. “Half of my family is still over there and I communicate with them all the time,” said Gooden, whose father met Lear while playing professional basketball in Finland. “So it’s like I have time spent there. It’s not like I’m doing this because I just happen to be half-Finnish. No, I really actually have ties to Finland and the culture.” Washington Post

But the situation was complicated because Gooden played for Team USA in a tournament in Brazil in 2000 while attending Kansas and he had never applied for dual citizenship before. He waited until this spring to begin the paperwork process — he recalled starting on it during the Wizards’ first-round playoff series victory over the Bulls — because he held out hope of representing the United States again. Washington Post

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