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Jerry Colangelo: USA Basketball ‘looking to select the best team, which are not necessarily the best players’

Mason Plumlee, DeMarcus Cousins

Mason Plumlee, DeMarcus Cousins

AP

USA Basketball officially announced the trimming of this summer’s list of participants to 16 players, after the conclusion of training in Las Vegas and in advance of the same in Chicago which will begin next week.

John Wall, Bradley Beal and Paul Millsap were all cut from the group for somewhat obvious reasons, but select team big man Mason Plumlee reportedly having the inside track on making the squad over DeMarcus Cousins isn’t as easy for many to understand.

Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball National Team Managing Director, made a veiled reference to this while being quoted in the organization’s official release.

“We’ve said all along that we would be proud to have any of the players who were in Las Vegas represent USA Basketball and the United States,” Colangelo said. “This phase of the selection process was extremely difficult and very thorough, and it’s worth again mentioning that we are looking to select the best team, which are not necessarily the best players.”

There are additional biases evident in USA Basketball selections; showing a consistent level of past commitment to the organization has proven to be advantageous, as has previous experience playing under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke University.

Plumlee qualifies to be in the latter category, obviously, but has also shown in camp to be a better fit on the defensive end of the floor than Cousins. That more than anything will determine whether one or both of them ends up on the final roster, which is what Colangelo was trying to point out by reiterating this statement.

The updated roster is listed below.
NAME POS HGT WGT DOB TEAM / COLLEGE

DeMarcus Cousins C 6-11 270 8/13/90 Sacramento Kings / Kentucky

Stephen Curry G 6-3 185 3/14/88 Golden State Warriors / Davidson

Anthony Davis F/C 6-10 220 3/11/93 New Orleans Pelicans / Kentucky

DeMar DeRozan G 6-7 216 8/07/89 Toronto Raptors / USC

Andre Drummond C 6-10 270 9/10/93 Detroit Pistons / Connecticut

Kevin Durant G 6-9 230 9/29/88 Oklahoma City Thunder / Texas

Kenneth Faried F 6-8 228 11/19/89 Denver Nuggets / Morehead State

James Harden G 6-5 220 8/26/89 Houston Rockets / Arizona State

Gordon Hayward F 6-8 210 3/23/90 Utah Jazz / Butler

Kyrie Irving G 6-3 191 3/23/92 Cleveland Cavaliers / Duke

Kyle Korver G/F 6-7 212 3/17/81 Atlanta Hawks / Creighton

Damian Lillard G 6-3 195 7/15/90 Portland Trail Blazers / Weber State

Chandler Parsons F 6-9 227 10/25/88 Dallas Mavericks / Florida

Mason Plumlee F 6-11 235 3/05/90 Brooklyn Nets / Duke

Derrick Rose G 6-3 190 10/04/88 Chicago Bulls / Memphis

Klay Thompson G 6-7 205 2/08/90 Golden State Warriors / Washington State