Plumlee, Irving among Team USA finalists
Former Duke stars Mason Plumlee and Kyrie Irving are among 16 players still in contention for the 12-man USA Basketball squad that will compete in the FIBA World Cup later this month in Spain.
USA Basketball released the 16 finalists on Tuesday morning.
Plumlee, who just completed his rookie season with the Brooklyn Nets, and Irving, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ fourth-year point guard, are among the finalists following the team’s tranining camp in Las Vegas.
The rest of the team includes DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans), DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors), Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets), James Harden (Houston Rockets), Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz), Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks), Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors).
USA Basketball and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski released the following statement about the finalists.
"We're excited about where the team is headed,” Krzyzewski said. “Really all 16 guys have a chance to make to the team, which usually does not happen in a training camp, and it shows that all of the guys thus far have done an excellent job. Then it's just a matter of finding what chemistry that we can develop with the entire group and I don't think we'll know that until we play some exhibition games. The 16 guys give us a chance to look at a way of playing in a number of different ways and we just have to figure out what those ways are and then the 12 who will fit best.”
The team will resume its preparations on Aug. 14 in Chicago. Team USA will practice two days before playing an exhibition against Brazil on Aug. 16 at the United Center.
From Aug. 18-22, the team will be in New York City for practices and a pair of exhibition games at Madison Square Garden: Aug. 20 against Dominican Republic and Aug. 22 versus Puerto Rico.
In addition to Krzyzewski, Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel is also helping with the USA Basketball coaching staff. Capel will return to Duke to run the Blue Devils program after the New York exhibitions while Krzyzewski will head overseas with USA Basketball.