The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Team USA’s “B” team is the team to beat

Courtesy of mct Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski meets with the press prior to Team USA’s practice at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday, July 20, 2010. Photo Credit: courtesy of MCT

In its first international basketball competition since winning the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Team USA hopes to recapture glory at the FIBA World Championship tournament in Turkey.

The team that played in Beijing featured the best of the best with players such as perennial All-Stars Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade but this year’s USA team will not have a player that competed in the ?08 Olympic Games.

In fact, almost every player on this year’s squad has no international experience other than Lamar Odom, Chauncey Billups and Tyson Chandler.

Is it time to panic? Time to loose hope and conjure up the evil spirits of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games?

The answer is simple: No! No! No!

This year’s team has the makeup of a champion and has a legitimate shot at capturing team USA’s first gold medal in the FIBA championship since 1994.

In coach Mike Krzyzewski team USA trusts, that if there’s anything “Coach K” does great, is building a team. He is the master at getting a team to mesh together and feed off each other. He doesn’t fill his entire roster with All-Stars. He gets players that are willing to buy into his team-first philosophy.

Another reason why the Americans will be successful in the FIBA championship is that the team is loaded with talent from top to bottom, especially at the guard position.

Young quick guards Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook will be anchoring the team’s offense.

Team USA’s go-to guy will be last season’s NBA scoring champion forward Kevin Durant. With three games already played, Durant is averaging 21 points per game on 52 percent shooting all U.S. wins.

The team, as is, has a lot of potential.

They have the tools to compete with any team. Take for instance the defending champion Spain, who still have center Marc Gasol to take advantage of USA’s lack of size, but Tyson Chandler, when healthy is an above average center with exceptional defense on the boards. Spain is not the same without Pau Gasol and his high basketball IQ.

Spain does have exceptional ball handling skills with teenage phenom Ricky Rubio handling the point countering Rose and Westbrook. Let’s face it, Rubio has no NBA experience to go with the fast-paced American league.

Another threat for the U.S. is Argentina with established players like center Fabricio Oberto and power forward Luis Scola. These players have NBA experience and are integral parts of their teams. Carlos Delfino is a solid guard, but average nonetheless and inconsistent with his jump shot.

Argentina could be a dangerous matchup, but without Manu Ginobili, they’re not the team that has beaten the Americans in the past.

One advantage that most teams have over the Americans is that their players have experience playing internationally and have won championships in their respective countries. Team USA has brought on two-time NBA champion Odom and former NBA Finals MVP Billups.

Team USA is young and inexperienced, but there’s no doubt it is a sleeping giant.

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