USA Basketball Senior Team will conclude its World Cup mini-camp in Las Vegas with a public intra-squad scrimmage on Aug.1. The 20 players currently in camp were split into two 10-player teams with assistant coaches Tom Thibodeau leading the Blue squad and Monty Williams being in-charge of the White team.
This Showcase event is important as it could give insight of which players could still be with the squad when the team reconvenes in Chicago on Aug.14 and who won’t. The game will tip-off at 9 p.m. EDT and will be televised on ESPN.
“Tomorrow night,” USA managing director Jerry Colangelo said Thursday, “if somebody just knocks somebody out, in terms of performance, that’s big. That is a big factor. So, not to put pressure on anyone, but it’s one thing to practice, it’s another thing to play in games.”
2012 Olympic gold medalists Kevin Durant and James Harden will lead the White team, which also includes Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal,Klay Thompson, Chandler Parsons, Paul Millsap, DeMArcus Cousins and Andre Drummond.
2012 Olympic gold medalists Anthony Davis along with World Championships gold medalists Derrick Rose and Stephen Curry will champion the Blue squad. The rest of the Blue team will include John Wall, DeMar DeRozen, Kyle Korver, Paul George, Gordon Hayward, Kenneth Faried, and Mason Plumlee.
No roster decisions will come until at least Aug. 2. Colangelo, head coach Mike Krzyzewski and staff will meet following the game to evaluate and discuss what they saw.
“This isn’t evaluating one individual and his game,” Krzyzewski said Thursday. “It’s about evaluating a group and how a group will go together. All these guys are outstanding players. It’s just a matter of how we feel they can mesh as a unit.”
The U.S. has until Aug. 29, to get down to the required 12 players and will likely take extra bodies when they head to the Canary Islands (Aug. 23) to train for four days . The trip to the Canary Islands includes an exhibition game against Slovenia.
Curry, Davis, Durant, George, Harden and Rose are likely to be locks to make the team.
Things to watch in the Showcase.
Irving vs. Wall: Colangelo told USA Today on July 30, that it would be hard to keep more than one “pure point” on the roster. Rose, Irving and Wall are considered to be the “pure” point guards on the roster.
Cousins vs. Plumlee: It is likely one or the other will not advance to Chicago.
Hayward, DeRozan and Parsons: These players are very similar so all three players must perform to have a chance to make the team.