When first Blake Griffin and then Kevin Love dropped out of Team USA, it looked for a while that Mason Plumlee might have a good shot at moving from the USA Select Team, the practice squad of young players, to the big team.
While he still has some chance this week of making the switch, Plumlee's stock diminished a bit when Paul Millsap asked if he could help out and was accepted for Team USA tryouts, which begin today in Las Vegas. Plumlee will still practice against Team USA this week as it prepares for the FIBA World Championships starting August 30 in Spain.
The Team USA front court looked like it was going to undermanned after Griffin, Love and LaMarcus Aldridge decided to take a pass. Anthony Davis, a gold medalist at the London Olympics, Andre Drummond, DeMarcus Cousins and Kenneth Faried, were the lone survivors, possibly opening up a bench spot for Plumlee, his brother Miles of the Suns or Doug McDermott, the Bulls rookie. Now Millsap's arrival complicates matters.
"In the last minute he reached out and wanted to be a part of it. That's what most of the guys are like. Millsap is a veteran player who is coming off of maybe his best year. It gives us another guy to look at.," said Coach Mike Krzyzewski, not committing to anyone. He did say "I don't expect anything else" beyond Millsap.
Plumlee has a couple of advantages. His speed and athleticism fit with Coach K's game plan for the World Championships. And the Duke coach had Plumlee (and his brother) for four years with the Blue Devils.
Of course, if he can continue to do THIS, he should be fine.
- Nets’ Plumlee could play his way onto US World Cup roster - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Q&A with Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski - Marc J. Spears - Yahoo! Sports
- Miles Plumlee in 'pipeline' of USA Basketball - Paul Coro - Arizona Republic