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DeMarcus Cousins set to be the backup center for Team USA

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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported Thursday morning that Mike Krzyzewski said that DeMarcus Cousins "cemented" a spot as the backup center for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup.

Turns out Cousins had plenty of justification to be so self-assured: Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski told ESPN.com this week that Cousins has cemented himself as the backup to starting center Anthony Davis

In the weeks leading up to the final cuts of Team USA, it was believed that Mason Plumlee, not Cousins, was being groomed to backup Pelicans big man Anthony Davis, but Cousins' refined offensive game, along with his supreme confidence, has put him ahead of the rookie Net.

Stein writes that despite a poor showing with Team USA in 2012, Cousins is "clearly ahead" of both Plumlee and Detroit Piston youngster Andre Drummond.

USA opens up group play Saturday afternoon against Finland at 3:30 PM ET on ESPN.