Mason Plumlee impressed at the first day of practice with Team USA on Monday in Las Vegas, and it clearly made an impression on the coaching staff and Jerry Colangelo. Plumlee has been called up from the USA Select Team to the actual Team USA for Tuesday's practice.
When Colangelo, the Director of USA Basketball, was asked if there was a player from the Select Team that would be considered for a roster spot, he said, "Yes, Mason Plumlee we have added today. We made a decision yesterday...We want to balance the two teams we need 20 to scrimmage, two bigs on each team." Colangelo added, "It's not just because he had a good day yesterday, he's got good size, he's active, we'll take a step at a time....I want extra bigs in my pocket. There's going to be team's where we need them."
Here is more about Plumlee's role on Tuesday.
Seems like the Senior Team has borrowed Mason Plumlee from the a Select Team for scrimmages going on now, giving them 10 on each court.
— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) July 29, 2014
Interesting, Mason Plumlee was deemed the best big from Select Team to practice w/National Team. He hasn't been added to roster but could be— Jared Greenberg (@NBATVJared) July 29, 2014
This does not mean Plumlee will be playing in the FIBA Basketball World Cup by any means, but more a sign that Plumlee has impressed at training camp. Plumlee can be sent back down to the Select Team or he can continue to climb the depth chart, for he will now be going up against the likes of Anthony Davis and the other Team USA big men. With LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, and Blake Griffin all withdrawing from consideration, the team has been lacking big men. Davis, Andre Drummond, and DeMarcus Cousins are thought to are the favorites to make the team.
"There’s a lot to it," Plumlee said of his responsibilities as a USA big. "You know you have to be a great screener to play for [Coach K]. You have to be on the boards all the time. There are different things you have to see as a big man. Like, in our half-court sets, you’re going to be a playmaker-passer from the elbow. So, there’s a lot that goes into it. Just because you aren’t putting the ball in the hole, there’s a lot more to it."
If Plumlee was to make the final roster of 12, he would be the third Net to be in the tournament. Bojan Bogdanovic is representing Croatia, and Jorge Gutierrez is representing Mexico. The tournament commences on August 30 with Bogdanovic and Croatia taking on former Net Andray Blatche and the Philippines.
- Plumlee gives USA another big option - John Schuhmann - NBA.com
- Mason Plumlee could sneak onto the US National Team - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- What could Mason Plumlee offer Team USA? - Brian Mazer - The Brooklyn Game
Mason Plumlee Showing Nets, Team USA That He’s Ready To Make Leap - Steve Lichtenstein - WFAN