U.S. takes extra big on final roster


VIDEO: GameTime: USA Basketball Final Roster

NEW YORK – Just a few hours after a 112-86 victory over Puerto Rico at Madison Square Garden on Friday and six days before it needed to, the U.S. National Team finalized its roster for the FIBA World Cup in Spain.

In a bit of a surprise, two players – DeMar DeRozan and Andre Drummond – who didn’t play on Friday made the final roster. Drummond is the fourth center on the team, while DeRozan made the cut over Chandler Parsons and Kyle Korver. He offers more playmaking and explosive scoring ability than the other two.

In addition to Korver and Parsons, Damian Lillard and Gordon Hayward did not make the 12-man roster.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski and USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo had previously indicated that they might take more than 12 when the team flew to the Canary Islands on Saturday afternoon, because some of the final decisions were proving to be difficult. But Krzyzewski made it clear after Friday’s game that they decided not to take any extras, for two reasons.

First, because it’s “really difficult,” according to Krzyzewski, for a player to travel abroad and eventually get sent home early. Second, with just one exhibition game remaining (Tuesday against Slovenia), it’s time for this team to finalize its rotation and everybody’s roles.

“Now that we’re down to 12,” Krzyzewski said, “we can get a little bit more precise with things.”

DeRozan and Drummond join guards Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, and Derrick Rose; wings James Harden and Klay Thompson; forwards Kenneth Faried and Rudy Gay; and bigs DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and Mason Plumlee.

The starting lineup – Irving, Curry, Harden, Faried and Davis – seems to be set, with Irving having replaced Rose for the two exhibition games this week.

Rose is going to Spain, though. If Irving is the starter, Rose will be one of the first players off the bench, along with Thompson (backing up Curry and Harden) and Gay (backing up Faried).

There was no need to see how Rose felt after his second exhibition game. He got four days of rest after last Saturday’s win over Brazil, but Krzyzewski has clearly seen and heard enough.

“I feel very confident about Derrick,” Krzyzewski said. “I think Derrick feels very confident.”

It remains to be seen how many of the USA’s nine potential games Rose will play at the World Cup. It’s safe to assume that it’s less than nine, especially with the five pool-play games in the first six days.

“If he needs a day off,” Chicago Bulls head coach and USA assistant Tom Thibodeau said of Rose on Friday, “he’ll get a day off.”

And Krzyzewski is fine with that. As the U.S. tries to win its fourth straight gold medal in international competition, it will also be trying to get Rose back into top basketball shape.

“These guys want to play with him,” Krzyzewski said. “Part of getting back is to be around a group of peers, who want you to be really good.

“That’s what we’ve seen over the years. That’s where the brotherhood develops. That’s one of the cool things about what’s happened over the last nine years. We think that can happen again and hopefully, that will help Derrick as he gets ready to keep participating in this, but also for the NBA season. I think it’s a huge, huge help for him.”

So the U.S. will have just one full-time point guard – Irving – on the roster, with Curry starting at shooting guard and Rose unlikely to play every game. That could be some extra burden on the Cavs’ All-Star, but the USA’s best talent is still in the backcourt and the staff clearly wanted extra depth up front, with Cousins, Drummond and Plumlee backing up Davis, who could see some time at power forward.

The need for three backup centers is a bit puzzling, especially since Davis will likely rank first or second on the team in minutes played. Two of three back-ups will certainly have limited roles.

But the U.S. may have its sights set on the frontline of Spain, which features Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol and Serge Ibaka. The hosts are the clear favorites to reach the gold medal game from the other side of the bracket, though they’ll have a tougher road than the Americans.

The U.S. got a tough 20 minutes on Friday, as Puerto Rico took a five-point lead in the first quarter and hung within two until Thompson beat the halftime buzzer with a pull-up 3-pointer. Veteran guards Carlos Arroyo and J.J. Barea were able to take advantage of the USA’s aggressiveness on the perimeter to push Puerto Rico to 47 points on just 40 first-half possessions.

The U.S. tightened up its rotation and its defense in the second half, using a 14-2 run to take control.

“We tried to do too much trapping [in the first half], and they’re just too good,” Krzyzewski said. “Second half, I thought we played really, really well.”

Still, the U.S. will need Tuesday’s exhibition game against Slovenia (2 p.m. ET, ESPN2) and all five pool play games in Bilbao to sharpen up for single-elimination action in Barcelona and Madrid. With the roster set, the focus can go from choosing a team to winning another gold.

“There’s still,” Krzyzewski said, “a lot to do.”

69 Comments

  1. GMan says:

    Who cares about the Basketball world cup? Come on people, its a nothing competition that few people worldwide care about. This isn’t soccer (or futbul, if you prefer that name), and that’s the only “World Cup” that matters at all. Frankly I find the US team with little personality and like every other year if the US doesn’t win it will be a surprise. Lets face it Basketball internationally doesn’t even stand up to hockey (which has 4 times the number of teams competing to get to it’s world cup) and no one cares about the hockey world cup since they changed its name from the Canada Cup (as is should still be called). If basketball wants people to care get a name of your own, stop trying to hitch a ride from soccer’s worldwide popularity.

  2. marlon green says:

    Coach K is not keeping 2 Dukies on the team because he coached them. Do you guys remember when Boozer was on the team? He hardly even played so Coach K is not doing a favoritism thing like some of you are thinking. You guys really need to stop hating on Lillard. He definitely is in the top 2 for best guards on the team. Curry is great and very streaky. Harden is good but can put up too many shots and not play team ball and his flops in the lane are not going to work in FIBA play. Rose is awesome but if your already needing to take days off then there is a problem. Lillard is more efficient and takes carre of the ball and can run the offense and handle the pressure. You guys give Plumlee credit too. He is a hustle player that plays defense and rebounds and is also fearless at protecting the rim. Lets not forget that he was the one who rejected everyone’s beloved Lebron James at the rim when the game was on the line. His game is similair to Faried’s but I dont hear no one complaining about him making them team. I would have taken an extra guard instead of 4 bigs. This team is acting like they are preparing to play against Shaq and they are gathing alot of bigs so they can have plenty of fouls to give or something. And I worry about the guards except Irving because none of them are known to play any defense. Harden reaches all the time and Curry is small. And people stop crying over Korver, the man is a 1 dimensional player and if he isn’t making three’s then he cant help the team at all. In my opinion he is an overrated shooter. And I think Parsons would have been a better choice over Gay. I’m anxicous to see how this team does good luck USA!

  3. adot says:

    Its not even a debate that Boogie is perhaps the best centre in the league, defo the most talented.
    How is Damien Lillard not in the team would of picked him over Irving and defo over Plumlee

  4. jdub455 says:

    lillard didnt make it?? whoooops…. i think that he should have been with the team, above kyrie and drose

  5. come on, really? says:

    I wanted to see Lillard instead of Plumlee. Lillard is a very talented scorer. The guy is calm and cold blooded and clutch
    Also Cousins who is a nut case should not have made the team. He doesn’t represent team USA.

    P.S D-Rose could get hurt so I would take Lillard & how did PARSONS NOT make the team?????
    He is the only true stretch four on the team.

  6. mai says:

    Why are people so ignorant about team selection? This is not an All Star game or exhibition game for US team. All players
    deserve to be in US team. It’s a matter who blends as a team player not a popular player. You should root for team USA and
    not be wondering why this player made it and the other didn’t. Why question the USA selection committee, the question is why
    didn’t Melo,Lebron,Love,Durant wants to be part of the team? Country or personal matter first..We the public won’t know the
    truth. These 12 guys deserves an ovation, not criticism!!!

  7. yhe says:

    spain 2014 fiba champ!

  8. Kao says:

    Let’s face it, it’s not a matter of how many big man they take, it’s a matter of how good they are.
    Plumlee or not Plumlee, still Spain has better big men, and still USA will beat them (if they play).

  9. Tony says:

    Lillard should have made it instead of plumlee, as an extra guard (who can also play the 2) is much more useful to this team than an extra center when you already have Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond and Demarcus cousins and Kenneth faried

  10. rose should leave US roster and focus on winning a title with the bulls

  11. Shawn Kemp no. 1 says:

    they are ripe for losing to spain :D

  12. Just wow! says:

    Plumlee, an absolute bum, makes it and both Hayward and Parsons don’t?!? I would pick Greg Oden ahead of Plumlee.. sheesh! I mean, wt..?

  13. rjsl says:

    What s the argument? USA committee s always pick the right players to play for team USA. They know way more better than us. That s their job. Good luck TEAM USA!

  14. Telusfrankley says:

    I’m afraid that Harden will grab a leadership role and shoot us out of a game while giving the stink eye to all the international officials that don’t worship his (flopping) game. Maybe he can play soccer.

  15. Euroball says:

    Why is there so much talk about Spain being the main (or even only) contestant to USA when France won Eurobasket 2013. Spain didn’t even make it to the finals. US should wake up and realise there are other teams in this competition than USA and Spain.

  16. real talk says:

    parsons is garbage same with hayward

  17. harriethehawk says:

    I’m not upset that Kyle Korver got cut. We need him healthy for this season. It was good while it lasted. Le’s Go Hawks!

  18. KaashMoneyy94 says:

    If Javale McGee was healthy, I would’ve taken him over Plumlee. I know he gets made fun of a lot for his low basketball IQ but talent wise he is way more talented than Plumlee.

  19. aces says:

    So Lillard who has been great the past 2 seasons including being one of the most clutch players in the NBA doesn’t make this roster? He also did not miss a practice for team USA while Rose sat out last 2 years and missed numerous practices for team USA. Looks like this is a favoritism pick because rose did not show anything worthy of being a “lock” even though that’s all they said since the beginning of training camp. Lillard should be the back up SG to Curry. I hope team USA loses which is very realistic based on their roster. By having all these big’s looking too far ahead to Spain will be this team’s ultimate defeat

  20. mr.bennett says:

    If this squad was based on what they do in the league than theres legitimate gripes about who made the roster. I watched both games and a televised scrimmage and ill vouch that this is the best 12 outta the 16 remainig players. Save the popularity contest for the all star weekend. Lets go USA

    • aces says:

      How could you base it on the exhibition games since rose barely played because of “soreness” and Lillard was kept on the bench???

      • dylan says:

        Its based on experience, not just talent. You are ignorant to say Lillard is more worthy of a USA spot than Rose, Granted he has missed the last 2 years of the NBA.

      • xo187 says:

        They did practice ! That’s why some players didn’t get mins ..

  21. Igor says:

    The squad looks right to me considering it is built to beat Spain. Drummond is there to guard Pau Gasol in the paint. Plumlee is there to guard Marc Gasol all the way out to the 3-point line. Cousins is there to use his offensive skills to get the Gasol brothers in foul trouble.

  22. filip says:

    wow coach k is such a hypocrite for picky mason plumlee. He is a great coach but come on someone has to tell him he can’t do that. They already have two centers. Why is he still on the team, he won’t play. Coach k just picks these guys because they played for him and that shouldnt be allowed. plumlee is an average player, not even a starter on his team. He is the most undeserving player to make the usa team in the last 10. wow just wow coach k shouldnt be replaced. i really hope they lose because of this. so coach k learns his lesson but he will still say that wasnt the problem

  23. IrieChat says:

    We all were aware that only 12 players can make the roster, and no matter who got sent home, some fans would be disappointed. Now that the team has been decided our focus and energy has to shift to bringing home the Gold. These 12 must gel and very quickly. Demar will keep us entertained and will deliver the best dunk in this competition, hopefully one similar to Vince over the 7 footer. Go Demar and the rest of the USA Team. No dream, just reality it is what it is lets accept and move on.

  24. archeonix says:

    It’s just plain not right to leave out Kyle Korver. Put aside the fact that this guy’s game could flourish with the short 3 (and, moving without the ball as he does, I believe he could wreck havoc on European style defenses), he’s still an older guy volunteering to play for his country. If Coach K could have found a way of using Korver, it would add a whole lot to my appreciation of the USA Basketball program.

    • Sedare says:

      I honestly think he was more valuable in the 16 to help the younger people develop that were going to stay. I dont think he has the utility compared to the others.

  25. Banana says:

    Woo! Team USA all the way! :D:D:D

  26. brock says:

    Great roster!! Guys, plumlee is very important addition as we would need him during spain vs usa final match. It was the only team that gave previous usa team a challenge that had durant, love, bryant, james, paul, howard and many other stars. Now spain have the same roster but USA have a different fast paced tempo team. Coach K will lead us to gold. No mercy to any team. Every game must be 20-30 points plus. In this FIBA, we will see gasol’s , dragic brothers, unhappy face of batum, team like greece and lithunia fighting knowing the fact USA would get a gold. Bring it on FIBA 2014

  27. Lbj imposter says:

    Team USA Playing basketball in Europe won’t win them a title worth winning they all need to join our “king” lebron James in cleveland.we will send over joe Harris,a kevin love cavs jersey autographed by everyone besides kevin love,Norris cole future hall of famer the rock n roll hall of fame and the canton football hall of fame and every resident who resides in canton as well

  28. TheKush says:

    I love DeMar DeRozan’s game he reminds me of Mitch Richmond he practically lives in the lane! I think they picked the right roster. With James coming to Cleveland Irving is going to have to step it up this season. He’s looked good so far, I think they made the right cuts I like Mason Plumlee for shot blocking. However I personally would have kept Kyle Korver and gotten rid of Rose I don’t trust Rose and those knees!

  29. toki says:

    damn, the starting lineup is so small.. hope it won’t backfire on them

  30. Yanni C. says:

    Sort of surprised that Parsons did not make the team over Derozan ( he gave them another stretch 4 along with Gay ) …. however, I think Coach K along with his staff know what their doing.

  31. snoopy says:

    Stop crying usa guna win no matter wat

  32. johnnyhoops1980 says:

    Would have like to seen a spot for Damian Lillard. Already have Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and D Rose on the roster, so there are 3 bigger guards, not sure DeRozan was needed. Would rather have another playmaker in Damian Lillard. plus, he one of the most efficient PG’s in the NBA: http://straighthoops.com/the_pg_index_revised.html

  33. WhyIsNobodyAdmitting says:

    Why is nobody mentioning the possibility that Coach K kept two DUKE players that really don’t deserve to be on the team, over other players? Kyrie should probably not be there, but that I guess is as least debatable. But Mason Plumlee? Seriously? How f’ing obvious is that? The ONLY reason those two made the final 12 is because Coach K coached them at Duke. If you look at who they cut, it seems pretty ridiculous. Coach K is certainly one of the best/ most successful coaches of all time, but still these selections look pretty silly. If USA loses to Spain, people may be wondering if things might’ve been different if someone else did the roster selection and Coach K just coached whoever he was given.

  34. whypigsfly says:

    Mason Plumlee should do the right thing and give the spot back to Lillard, AD will eat up bout 25 mins a game and USA has more than enough skill and high IQ players to offset what Plumlee brings on the interior. I personally would take Lillard over Kyrie cuz of his toughness and ability to deliver in the clutch….on the other hand Derozen seem like a no brainer to me John and if you are talking about a fit, then he is the glove……just watch and see how he changes the game when he is in…defense will have to honor him and the floor will open up more as they attempt to trap him because he is that good an iso player and he cant be contained without help

  35. Spurs Fan says:

    ! Go Spurs Go !

  36. John says:

    Size isn’t everything in basketball skill is and Kyle Korver and Damian lillard have a lot more of It then most of the guys that made the roster and they just sent their two best 3 point shooters home. Do we even want to win.

    • Sequan says:

      Your saying they are better then the splash bros!? Seriously!?

      • dd def says:

        i would say lillard is all-around more skilled than either splash bro. not to take away from that dynamic duo, but lillard’s pretty dame fierce

      • dylan says:

        So you are saying you’d take Lillard over Steph Curry??? If you answer yes, you should just start watching the WNBA cuz thats the kind of talent you think is good

    • mojache says:

      Kyle korver doesn’t deserve to be there guy. Come on lol

      • dylan says:

        So you are saying you’d take Lillard over Steph Curry??? If you answer yes, you should just start watching the WNBA cuz thats the kind of talent you think is good

  37. Spursonpoint says:

    Not to be too loud…..but there’s a good chance that the Spurs can fare better than this lineup! Just saying!

  38. Henrik Jensen says:

    Look this roster is pretty great compared to all other teams in the world, i think they will win it this time around, if they can keep up with a together playing France and Lithuania, but on the contraiere, it could have been nice having a better SF on the team, too bad about George, i can understand Durant, Lebron need a break, but how about Carmelo Anthony??

  39. CG says:

    At least they picked the most talented big in the league. Tear them up Boogie Cousins.

  40. mojache says:

    Wooderson is a complete idiot lol lillard, the BEST American player????? Way to show yourTrail Blazer bias hahahaha

  41. Surprise? says:

    Happy for Demar, totally deserving. It really did seem after the game against DR that Demar deserved to make the team. But Lillard is clearly a special talent, not as much total playing yr’s exeperience, but a far more refined talent than demar at this stage in his carrier. Mason P? Not sure, than again Lillard would have over saturated an already saturated position, and I guess having bigs doesn’t hurt against Spain.

    Great for the USA and the Raptors! Go Demar!

  42. Zobo says:

    Really, Drummond’s on the team? Come on, cuh.

  43. wooderson says:

    lillard didnt make it!!!!!!!!???? the best player on the whole roster behind steph curry didnt even make the final roster.im shocked by this. glad demar made it, how is it a surprise at all? schuhmann you should be banned from talking/writing abot bball, your views are absurd. australia have got this though, better bigs yeah yeah baynes and bairstow will eat up the USA child frontline. go boomers.

    • Light Drought says:

      If he was the best behind curry. He wouldn’t have got cut lol.

    • Really? says:

      Your crazy if you think Damien Lilliard was the best player on the squad. Steph Curry, D Rose, and Anthony Davis alone are better than Damien Lilliard. Not to mention Boogie and James Harden! It is undeniably true that Lilliard has tremendous talent and potential, but at the end of the day, talent isn’t what makes the U.S. squad. Its if you fit within the system of the offense and defense. Personally I thought it was ridiculous they were even speculating there was a possibility they would keep all four point guards. You need your bigs against Spain. They would have found heavy criticism upon them if they made such as rash move based on talent and potential and speed. Give me a break!

      • dd def says:

        HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! boogie better than lillard? are we talking about the same sport?

      • CG says:

        Glad Boogie made the team, give him some real time and he’ll put up big numbers with looks. Would’ve liked to see Lillard instead of Plumlee. Lillard is a very talented scorer.

      • CG says:

        Boogie Cousins most talented center in league. Lillard very talented scorer

  44. Travis B. says:

    Why Team USA continues to go with athleticism over talent year after year really boggles my mind.