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Uncle Drew
07-18-2008, 05:11 AM
If there is another thread on this subject I didn't see it but in the last three weeks I have read a TON of articles on the USA olympic basketball team. I've read praise and critics about all kinds of little and big things. I just finished reading Mr. Brills article and as always he puts things in perspective. But there were a couple of points he made, or rather that Coach K made and I have to say I honestly don't believe the man. When coach says he doesn't feel pressure I don't see how he could be human and not feel pressure.

The article headlined by DBR was quick to point out the two previous coaches were UNC guys. I honestly don't think Coach K feels any pressure to win gold to top the school down the road or even as some have suggested put him in the same company as Dean Smith. But I have come to realize something I already knew to an extent, but Coach K is an American and damn proud of it. Bringing in wounded GI's from Iraq, showing the players Ellis Island in NY and other motivational ploys might seem half hearted if other coaches did it. But knowing his tenure at Army as player and coach, knowing his parents strove for the American dream I came to realize just how much he does want this all to work. Not so much for himself, or even as some have suggested as a recruiting tool. But he wants this for American and it's citizens.

I have to say he has always acted gracious as a winner and loser be it to UNC durring the regular season or UCONN in a national championship game. And I find we tend to be his worst critics at times, but we are also few in number compared to the number of Americans world wide. I honestly think he has to feel some pressure playing on the world stage with an entire country carring about who wins or loses. I tend to pull for whatever NBA team has the most Duke guys on it, I don't have a favorite. And it's kind of the same when the olympic team plays, I want Laettner, Brand, Boozer or whomener to get a gold medal. But in this olympics while I will be pulling for the team as an American I will be rooting for them for Coach K in particular because I know he wants the gold not so much for himself or even his players, but for the country he loves.

I hate to even say this, but it's the feeling I get from reading articles written by sports writers all over the country. If the US does NOT win the gold, he will be made the scapegoat. If a key player goes down with an injury that won't be as remembered as who was the coach in my opinion. There are quite a few out there actually rooting against the national team due to who the coach is. A clear sign of just how loathed Duke is in the eyes of many. Mr Brill called it a three year experiment and I hope the experiment doesn't blow up in Coach K's face. But if the team doesn't win the gold I'm afraid quite a bit of the blame will be placed on him, and I for one don't think that's totally fair.

CameronCrazy'11
07-18-2008, 05:18 AM
You're right that they're definitely setting him up to be the scapegoat if the U.S. doesn't win it all. Of course, if the U.S. does win the gold, it will be because of the outstanding players, and Coach K will probably be just a footnote.

Bob Green
07-18-2008, 07:14 AM
You're right that they're definitely setting him up to be the scapegoat if the U.S. doesn't win it all. Of course, if the U.S. does win the gold, it will be because of the outstanding players, and Coach K will probably be just a footnote.

Hey, that's life in the fast lane! Coach K knows it and is willing to roll the dice. I guarantee the Olympic Team players will not be blaming Coach K if we do not win the Gold. Actually, the whole scenario is an anti-American/anti-Duke conspiracy led by the far left liberal Main Stream Media (okay that last line is a joke :D).

weezie
07-18-2008, 07:44 AM
And, keep in mind, if Coach K had refused the Olympic job, these same sports-"writers," not do-ers...would have been screaming for his head.

Bunch of windbags just trying to file columns in the dog days of summer.

CameronCrazy'11
07-18-2008, 07:52 AM
I'm always knid of surprised at how blatant and undeserved Duke-hating and uncalled for potshots at Duke seem to be perfectly in the media. If these writers treated UNC like the treated Duke, they'd be fired. Sort of like how if the refs called Hansbrough like they called Zoubek he'd be a bench player :).

Uncle Drew
07-18-2008, 08:00 AM
Hey, that's life in the fast lane! Coach K knows it and is willing to roll the dice. I guarantee the Olympic Team players will not be blaming Coach K if we do not win the Gold. Actually, the whole scenario is an anti-American/anti-Duke conspiracy led by the far left liberal Main Stream Media (okay that last line is a joke :D).

Bob I admire him for rolling the dice and taking on the job. And anyone who thinks it hasn't been work is crazy. Sure a lot of people / writers across the nation think it has hurt Duke's recruiting to an extent. But we ALL saw last year how his experience with the team taught him a new wrinkle which he applied to cover a gaping hole in the Duke line up last season.

If the US team doesn't win the gold I don't think Lebron, Kobe and company will blame Coach K, but by God a significant amount of the media will. And even those people out there pulling for the team, IF the US loses quite a few will take some solace in the fact Coach K is the coach. I'm sure Coach saw it as a winning proposition when he took on the responsibility. But other than the opportunity to bring pride to his country I kind of see it as a possible lose / lose / lose proposition.

Like CC said, if they win it had nothing to do with his coaching, but if they lose he will be the first to get blamed. Then whether it has hurt recruiting or not, a certain segment of Duke fans will think it has win or lose. And THEN to top it all off I honestly don't think many (if any) of Duke's present or future prospects will be swayed by the idea of playing for a gold medal winning coach. Now I could very well be totally wrong about that last one. But in a me first society where players want to be one and done and don't feel they owe anything to the university, I can't see them being wowed out of someone doing something for pride.

Bob Green
07-18-2008, 08:10 AM
And THEN to top it all off I honestly don't think many (if any) of Duke's present or future prospects will be swayed by the idea of playing for a gold medal winning coach.

I'm going to go on record and disagree with you here. When the USA wins Gold in Beijing, the 2010 and 2011 kids being pursued by Duke are going to be impacted by the victory and the kudos handed out to Coach K by NBA megastars such as Kobe, LeBron, and Melo.

The 2009 kids have pretty much already made up their mind (even if they haven't announced) and anything past 2011 is too far in the future for our fickle society.

dkbaseball
07-18-2008, 09:02 AM
My father, who is retired military, remarked at how incongruous it appeared when K brought in these middle-aged white military officers with chests full of medals to talk to the team. From the clips he saw, it didn't appear the team was interested in what they had to say, and he felt that there really wasn't the potential for much of a connection there. I also think that, given a moment's thought by the players, the Ellis Island gambit would fall flat. Since most of their ancestors came over on slave ships, It's not likely that Ellis Island would move them to affection for the "opportunity society."

K much prefers the motivational stuff to X's and O's, but I hope he's devoting plenty of time to defending the pick-and-roll and such. He's brought them together as a team from everything I can gather, and nobody's better at that, but they need to know he's in command when it comes to the execution on court part.

roywhite
07-18-2008, 09:52 AM
My father, who is retired military, remarked at how incongruous it appeared when K brought in these middle-aged white military officers with chests full of medals to talk to the team. From the clips he saw, it didn't appear the team was interested in what they had to say, and he felt that there really wasn't the potential for much of a connection there. I also think that, given a moment's thought by the players, the Ellis Island gambit would fall flat. Since most of their ancestors came over on slave ships, It's not likely that Ellis Island would move them to affection for the "opportunity society."



Maybe so, but that doesn't seem to square up with Bill Brill's account in the goduke.com piece that is posted here today:

"Brown brought with him four wounded heroes, one of them now blind, another with a shrapnel hole replacing his left eye. All four are still on duty. The players were overwhelmed as they understood what representing your country was all about. Several of them were overcome by emotion."

dkbaseball
07-18-2008, 10:15 AM
Maybe so, but that doesn't seem to square up with Bill Brill's account in the goduke.com piece that is posted here today:

"Brown brought with him four wounded heroes, one of them now blind, another with a shrapnel hole replacing his left eye. All four are still on duty. The players were overwhelmed as they understood what representing your country was all about. Several of them were overcome by emotion."

Possibly two separate events. What my father says he saw was uniformed officers addressing the team members, who appeared to be indifferent, but at 94 he isn't the most reliable witness. Anyone is going to be moved by the plight of the wounded, but I'm not sure the players are going to be connecting up all the dots K wants them to, or that they should. At this point I'm hoping that he is focusing far less on national pride -- this team seems to have plenty of motivation -- and more on the vision of playing basketball at the highest level, which this group has a chance to do. For motivation purposes, I'd be showing them the Nadal-Federer Wimbledon final four hours in and challenging them to play basketball, and compete, at a similarly high level.

Jeffrey
07-18-2008, 10:31 AM
But other than the opportunity to bring pride to his country I kind of see it as a possible lose / lose / lose proposition.

Hi,

IMO, this is one of the greatest win/win/win propositions any coach has ever had the opportunity to help achieve. We've mucked this up for years and we're at the bottom reaching up to the stars with nowhere but up to go. Everybody involved can be a winner with this opportunity.


Like CC said, if they win it had nothing to do with his coaching, but if they lose he will be the first to get blamed.

What's the problem with that? Any great leader recognizes that you assume all accountability & responsibility for defeat AND you share all the glory of victory.

Why are you'll so concerned for Coach K? This may be the greatest professional opportunity he ever experiences.

Best regards,
Jeffrey

Jeffrey
07-18-2008, 10:44 AM
For motivation purposes, I'd be showing them the Nadal-Federer Wimbledon final four hours in and challenging them to play basketball, and compete, at a similarly high level.

Hi dkbaseball,

I'd be more prone to emphasize a team sport.

IMO, one of the best examples of a coach maximizing the performance of an extremely talented maverick was Coach Wooden's approach to Bill Walton. Some of those techniques may transfer well to this situation.

Best regards,
Jeffrey

Bluedog
07-18-2008, 10:46 AM
At this point I'm hoping that he is focusing far less on national pride -- this team seems to have plenty of motivation -- and more on the vision of playing basketball at the highest level, which this group has a chance to do.

I'm sure K is focusing on strategy much more than the motivational aspects. It's just those national pride snipets make a much better news article/TV special so that's what we hear about! ;)

Wander
07-18-2008, 11:39 AM
I'd be more prone to emphasize a team sport.


Or at least one that won't put them to sleep.

roywhite
07-18-2008, 02:02 PM
I don't recall any predictions being made here, but I'll venture forth. Coach K and staff have put together a very talented, dynamic team that appears to embrace the team concept and is very motivated.

The USA Mens Basketball team will go undefeated in Olympic play, with perhaps one close call. Average margin of victory will be 20-25 points.

GOLD MEDAL

MChambers
07-18-2008, 02:09 PM
IThe USA Mens Basketball team will go undefeated in Olympic play, with perhaps one close call. Average margin of victory will be 20-25 points.

GOLD MEDAL

Works for me!

Uncle Drew
07-18-2008, 02:19 PM
Hi,

IMO, this is one of the greatest win/win/win propositions any coach has ever had the opportunity to help achieve. We've mucked this up for years and we're at the bottom reaching up to the stars with nowhere but up to go. Everybody involved can be a winner with this opportunity.



What's the problem with that? Any great leader recognizes that you assume all accountability & responsibility for defeat AND you share all the glory of victory.

Why are you'll so concerned for Coach K? This may be the greatest professional opportunity he ever experiences.

Best regards,
Jeffrey

Sure this CAN be a win X 1000 opportunity for K and Duke and I hope you and Bob are right. And the Green Machine probably is correct in it affecting 2010 and beyond recruits much more than it will the guys Duke is currently focusing on if it does have some effect.

Jeff, there is nothing wrong per say when the general gets blamed for losing a battle when the general screwed up and made the wrong decission. But history has taught us even with superior leadership sometimes the troops just don't match up or are out numbered.

From reading numerous articles already about K and the US team I have gotten a strong impression that the journalists are ready to pounce if the US doesn't win gold. And they won't be pouncing on Wade, Howard or Paul they will be pouncing on Coach K. I am not a fortune teller, I can't see the future win or lose. But by the tone of many writers nationwide the anti-Duke hatred undercurrent oozes from their articles. Coach K already has to answer for everything he does (commercials, endorsements etc.) and things he doesn't do (speak out on LAX for example). It just seems in the eyes of non-Duke fans he can't do the right thing in their eyes. Remember the flap about what Coach K SUPPOSABLY said around NCAA tourney time everyone got all bent out of shape over?? Remember when it was revealed it was a misquote from a transcript and a jouranlism error?? You didn't hear quite as much about that, that got swept inder the rug.


My concern for Coach K? Well again I hope it's win, win, win all around, for him, the team and the nation. By God with the state of things in the country right now we could all use a good distraction that ends up with a happy ending. But all too often I have seen Duke / Coach K positives be ignored or taken with a grain of salt and the misses magnified. It's one thing when the magnification is state wide, even worse when it's blown up nation wide. This time we're talking about a world stage and I'd rather not see his reputation / image tarnished along with the university's. You can say I'm being paranoid or pessimistic I've just seen Duke and Coach K reemed by the media and opposing fans long enough to see the possible negatives.

At any rate I will try and use the good karma and think positive thoughts. When the US DOES win the gold, I hope it's a proud moment for our nation. But also a moment a guy who loves his country gets his due.

Jeffrey
07-18-2008, 06:00 PM
Jeff, there is nothing wrong per say when the general gets blamed for losing a battle when the general screwed up and made the wrong decission. But history has taught us even with superior leadership sometimes the troops just don't match up or are out numbered.

From reading numerous articles already about K and the US team I have gotten a strong impression that the journalists are ready to pounce if the US doesn't win gold. And they won't be pouncing on Wade, Howard or Paul they will be pouncing on Coach K.

Hi,

A great leader will assume total accountability & responsibility for the defeat before anyone even has a chance to place blame. It does not matter who "screwed up" and/or "made the wrong decision". A great leader stands in front of the troops during defeat and behind or, at most, aside the troops when glory is awarded.


But all too often I have seen Duke / Coach K positives be ignored or taken with a grain of salt and the misses magnified. It's one thing when the magnification is state wide, even worse when it's blown up nation wide. This time we're talking about a world stage and I'd rather not see his reputation / image tarnished along with the university's.

May I suggest a different yardstick? IMO, the ultimate yardstick of Coach K's success is not how many titles do his players win but what do his players accomplish during their lifetime. Coach K is developing young men, not merely basketball players. What would be the greater accomplishment for the USA team..... the players win a gold OR the players learn that there is something in this world bigger and more important than they are? Kobe will win many titles during his lifetime BUT, if Coach K can teach Kobe that there is something in this world more important than he is, then, IMO, Coach K has achieved the ultimate success and many will benefit.

Best regards,
Jeffrey

Indoor66
07-18-2008, 06:19 PM
Hi,

A great leader will assume total accountability & responsibility for the defeat before anyone even has a chance to place blame. It does not matter who "screwed up" and/or "made the wrong decision". A great leader stands in front of the troops during defeat and behind or, at most, aside the troops when glory is awarded.



May I suggest a different yardstick? IMO, the ultimate yardstick of Coach K's success is not how many titles do his players win but what do his players accomplish during their lifetime. Coach K is developing young men, not merely basketball players. What would be the greater accomplishment for the USA team..... the players win a gold OR the players learn that there is something in this world bigger and more important than they are? Kobe will win many titles during his lifetime BUT, if Coach K can teach Kobe that there is something in this world more important than he is, then, IMO, Coach K has achieved the ultimate success and many will benefit.

Best regards,
Jeffrey

Well said. Thank you.

bhd28
07-18-2008, 10:43 PM
If they don't win gold, yes Coach K will probably get a lot of the blame. So did Larry Brown a few years ago (yes, the guy with the UNC ties). He probably deserved most of the blame he got attributed to him. Coach K may or he may not. As others (dkbaseball notably) have said, let's see what the team looks like. If they have trouble with stopping basic international offense or if they can't run good offensive sets in the half court, then the coaching should take some blame (and as head coach, Coach K would and should take the lion's share). If they lose because of some players mailing it in or an injury or some other team having some unbelievable game, then the coaches should take much less (if any) of the blame. I wouldn't spend too much time right now worrying about what may happen.

gep
07-18-2008, 11:53 PM
If they lose because of some players mailing it in or an injury or some other team having some unbelievable game, then the coaches should take much less (if any) of the blame. I wouldn't spend too much time right now worrying about what may happen.

Reading this, I was wondering about the Greece game in 2006. Was that Coach K and the staff not making adjustments, or was Greece just playing the game of their lives... after all, I think they got wiped out in the final. I'm wondering if there was anything that the coaching staff could have done at that time. Running into a once-in-a-lifetime buzz-saw cannot be helped, I think...:rolleyes:

roywhite
07-19-2008, 08:23 AM
Reading this, I was wondering about the Greece game in 2006. Was that Coach K and the staff not making adjustments, or was Greece just playing the game of their lives... after all, I think they got wiped out in the final. I'm wondering if there was anything that the coaching staff could have done at that time. Running into a once-in-a-lifetime buzz-saw cannot be helped, I think...:rolleyes:

Greece shot 62.5% and ran a pick-and-roll play that the USA team could not stop; I believe the score (actually it was in the semifinals) was 101-95. The point guards on that USA team were Kirk Hinrich and Chris Paul, and they had trouble with the physical international style.

On the 2007 team, Coach K went for more size at PG, with Jason Kidd, Chauncey Billups, and Deron Williams. In addition, Kobe Bryand and LeBron James played some defense at the top of the key. Opposing teams were not able to successfully run the pick-and-roll sets. The competition was not as strong in 2007, as in 2006, but it did seem some lessons had been learned.

So the coaching staff is very aware of what they need to defend, and the team is more experienced in the international style and more used to some of the rule differences. A hot shooting team is always a risk, but the USA is well prepared.

BD80
07-19-2008, 09:46 AM
This team may not average a 40 point margin of victory, but it will not lose and there won't be any close games.

The better national teams haven't had much luck staying together, and we are bringing a much better team that will play defense and play as a team.

2004 we had Iverson and Marbury at the point. Nuff said. Remember, the Sixers got better by trading Iverson, he has NEVER been a winner.

We will be playing Kobe, so there will be no issue of having an opposing player have a hot shooting night. Tayshaun will make sure there is no opposing "big" gets too hot from the outside.

Lebron, Melo and Wade are 4 years better than 2004.

Jason Kidd has never lost an international game.

Boozer and Bosh will thrive in the larger lane.

Howard is simply a beast.

Kidd, Kobe, Melo, Lebron and Howard are so much better than anything they will face and there will be no dropoff when we go to our bench.

dkbaseball
07-19-2008, 10:25 AM
2004 we had Iverson and Marbury at the point. Nuff said. Remember, the Sixers got better by trading Iverson, he has NEVER been a winner.

That's certainly not what I thought about him when I watched him rally his high school team from a 15-point deficit in the Virginia state finals his junior year. The other team was better overall, and were double teaming AI. The first half he tried to stay within the team offense, but it just wasn't working, so he had to take over the game, and did, in a remarkable comeback. The ultimate winner performance. I don't think anybody could touch Boo Williams when he was playing for them with Joe Smith, including a team with Stackhouse and McGinnis. Georgetown was good when AI was there, and Philly went to the finals once with him. So I wouldn't say he's never been a winner, and I don't think anybody who's played with or against him would ever question his competitiveness.

I also liked Marbury a lot as a high school and college player, and early in his NBA career. But I will concede that those two, in their current incarnations, wouldn't be my first choices for the backcourt if I'm trying to put together a team with good chemistry.

gep
07-19-2008, 01:10 PM
Greece shot 62.5% and ran a pick-and-roll play that the USA team could not stop; I believe the score (actually it was in the semifinals) was 101-95. The point guards on that USA team were Kirk Hinrich and Chris Paul, and they had trouble with the physical international style.


Thanks for your insights. I actually meant that Greece got wiped out in the final game after playing lights-out in the semi-final against USA.:D

tecumseh
07-19-2008, 03:31 PM
I'm going to go on record and disagree with you here. When the USA wins Gold in Beijing, the 2010 and 2011 kids being pursued by Duke are going to be impacted by the victory and the kudos handed out to Coach K by NBA megastars such as Kobe, LeBron, and Melo.

The 2009 kids have pretty much already made up their mind (even if they haven't announced) and anything past 2011 is too far in the future for our fickle society.

I agree almost 100% except that there will be a little bit of benefit down the line. When Coach K visits a kid's high school it will be a bit bigger for quite a few years and when a kid sits down to talk in his office and sees photos of him and Kobe and Lebron and that gold medal on the wall it may take his breath away.

I think 2008 sets up perfectly for K, he is following a loss so a win is much, much more meaningful. I see Michael Phelps as a US star but he is not a great interview and the swimming is over early, other than him I see no clear male stars out there so the basketball team coverage will be HUGE. The team has young stars with whom K will have relationship for years. China is a huge potential area for future Duke recruits. This team is really, really good I think they will win gold easily. I think though Jason Kidd will be the star of the team from a media perspective.

tecumseh
07-19-2008, 03:38 PM
Not just me but it seems a lot of people think the USA will win. The latest line (http://www.oddsmaker.com/sportsbook/) has USA -350 which is 3.5 to 1 in the USAs favor to win the gold.

RainingThrees
07-21-2008, 01:37 PM
anybody know when is the next road to redemption episode comes on?

bill brill
07-21-2008, 03:08 PM
on espn2 at 7:30. just 30-minute show. bb

Bluedog
07-22-2008, 03:35 PM
The writer calls Patrick Davidson's monumental performance equivalent to junior high school stunt?!?! Blasphemy!

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Alj08QTDmXW6f1AYJyUvz.s5nYcB?slug=aw-paulteamusa072208&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

"Krzyzewski started a Duke walk-on, Patrick Davidson, on Paul, a move that was unmistakable in its intent to incite a physical reaction. After committing two fouls in two minutes including feverishly bumping Paul until the whistle blew Davidson left the floor and thrust himself into a creepy sideline embrace with Krzyzewski that revealed so much of the intent.

"The late Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser had never been so furious, one of his former assistants says. As for Paul, he had watched a Hall of Fame legend lower himself to something that junior high coaches had tried on him. 'He wanted me to smack (Davidson) back,' Paul said then.

"Paul had to get over it all to play for Krzyzewski and insists hes let it go. 'It all went out the window when I came here to play,' Paul says. 'That was a long time ago.' "

Duke79UNLV77
07-22-2008, 04:22 PM
I get sick of hearing duke-haters gripe about that game.

As I recall, Duke had played poorly the previous 2 games, and K said that whoever played with the most heart and pride in practice would start the Wake game. Davidson was one of the 5. I loved the move even before the opening tip, and it clearly worked in sending a message about earning the right to wear a Duke uniform and inspiring a level of effort that had been lacking.

I believe Davidson only got called for 1 foul, and it wasn't anything that risked inflicting injury on Paul. Davidson was playing hard and close, Paul is quicker, and a foul was called. No jabs, trips, blood, twisted ankles, or anything like that.

I guess if you're a K-hater you can see ill intent in anything.

sagegrouse
07-22-2008, 05:05 PM
Greece shot 62.5% and ran a pick-and-roll play that the USA team could not stop; I believe the score (actually it was in the semifinals) was 101-95. The point guards on that USA team were Kirk Hinrich and Chris Paul, and they had trouble with the physical international style.


The real reason the US lost to Greece has not been fully appreciated.

Here in Mountain Time, the preliminary round FIBA games came on at 5AM. I dutifully set my alarm and watched every US win.

In the semis against Greece, the game started at 3AM. I dutifully set my TIVO, and the rest is history. You can't leave important games to TIVO; you must watch live.

sagegrouse

jipops
07-23-2008, 01:02 PM
Greece shot 62.5% and ran a pick-and-roll play that the USA team could not stop; I believe the score (actually it was in the semifinals) was 101-95. The point guards on that USA team were Kirk Hinrich and Chris Paul, and they had trouble with the physical international style.

On the 2007 team, Coach K went for more size at PG, with Jason Kidd, Chauncey Billups, and Deron Williams. In addition, Kobe Bryand and LeBron James played some defense at the top of the key. Opposing teams were not able to successfully run the pick-and-roll sets. The competition was not as strong in 2007, as in 2006, but it did seem some lessons had been learned.

So the coaching staff is very aware of what they need to defend, and the team is more experienced in the international style and more used to some of the rule differences. A hot shooting team is always a risk, but the USA is well prepared.

What is interesting is that this group is now loaded with big guards especially at the point to counter that issue with defending the pick and roll. But now the criticism becomes that the team lacks another big to go with Howard.

My biggest fear with this team is it's health, which is so eerily a similar problem with almost all Duke teams. So LeBron now has an ankle sprain (though minor), we really don't know how healthy Wade is, Kobe has his finger issue, Howard is recovering from a fractured sternum, Chandler as the designated alternate may not go b/c of a toe injury... did I miss anything? Seems like a pretty banged up group to me.

My other concern is our ability to defend in the post. Past Howard do we really have much defensive presence down there? I really haven't seen enough to judge the defensive prowess of Bosh but I can say that Boozer's ability on that end can be severely lacking. Carlos pretty much excels in every area for a power forward except for defending the low post. Maybe the international game won't manifest that like it does in the NBA, or maybe it will be worse, don't know.

We should be set on defending the perimeter. We've got the best perimeter defender in the world in Kobe along with solid guys in Paul and D Williams. Prince may be the most versatile defender on the team. So though we may not have a lot of bigs we do have some very physical perimeter guys to spread around with LeBron, Kobe, Wade, Kidd, Anthony, D Williams. That's a lot of muscle to drive to the paint with and keep others out.

No way this squad will just roll through. Adversity is certainly imminent. My biggest concern is that we're actually healthy enough to handle it. Size is a bit of a concern but it may have just been the way K wanted it, after all that is what he is used to coaching.

RainingThrees
07-23-2008, 01:42 PM
I was reading on Espn.com how international bigs are more face up players and not your typical back to the basket low post power guys. With this in mind we wouldn't need that many true bigs. So guys like Prince who can guard the perimeter and the post fit in better than guys like Chandler.

bird
07-23-2008, 03:05 PM
Everyone is talking about the pick and roll, but . . .

Every time I think about the Olympics I get this mental image of a 6'10" shooter getting an instant of time and space after an overplay on defense, with the US player recovering and skying across but just briefly late, and the shooter hitting a 3. Time after time.

That's my nightmare.

I have to say that I am looking forward to the Olympics with more anxiety than anticipation.

MLeeJr
07-23-2008, 04:11 PM
Not just me but it seems a lot of people think the USA will win. The latest line (http://www.oddsmaker.com/sportsbook/) has USA -350 which is 3.5 to 1 in the USAs favor to win the gold.


That line from your link has since moved up to -450 or 4.5 to 1. Some online sportsbooks have the line set at -600 for the USA to win gold. Heavy Heavy favorites. I am really excited about watching these games. It's going to be great!!

SilkyJ
07-23-2008, 04:13 PM
My biggest fear with this team is it's health, which is so eerily a similar problem with almost all Duke teams. So LeBron now has an ankle sprain (though minor), we really don't know how healthy Wade is, Kobe has his finger issue, Howard is recovering from a fractured sternum, Chandler as the designated alternate may not go b/c of a toe injury... did I miss anything? Seems like a pretty banged up group to me.


I'm not worried about the health of Wade, Kobe, or Howard. Colangelo flat out said, "if you aren't 100%, you aren't coming to China." What worries me is staying healthy throughout the tournament, especially upfront.


Everyone is talking about the pick and roll, but . . .

Every time I think about the Olympics I get this mental image of a 6'10" shooter getting an instant of time and space after an overplay on defense, with the US player recovering and skying across but just briefly late, and the shooter hitting a 3. Time after time.

That's my nightmare.

I have to say that I am looking forward to the Olympics with more anxiety than anticipation.

Why do you think those 6'10" guys get the time? B/c of the pick and roll's twin: the pick and pop.

Bluedog
07-23-2008, 04:31 PM
That line from your link has since moved up to -450 or 4.5 to 1. Some online sportsbooks have the line set at -600 for the USA to win gold. Heavy Heavy favorites. I am really excited about watching these games. It's going to be great!!

On that site, it also has us (Duke) as having the second best odds to win the NCAA tourny in 2009 at 12 to 1. Behind UNC's 2.5 to 1, tied with Uconn, and ahead of UCLA and Pitt at 15 to 1. Seems hard to believe. I mean, I have high expectations for next season, but nobody has us as pre-season #2.....that I know of.

balkan boy
07-23-2008, 04:52 PM
as duke fans, it's easy to see and feel all the real and perceived sleights to coach k and duke in the onslaught of coverage of the olympic team. but there has already been a TON of extremely positive coverage of krzyzewski and how he has helped to re-establish the team concept in putting the squad together, 3-year commitment and all that jazz. don't think that it hasn't already had an impact. reactions to all of this upbeat coverage are only natural and are likely to be magnified because of all of the historical issues in the media surrounding duke and coach k.

so be it. quit worrying, coach k was right to sign up, even if there are risks. let the media speculate endlessly whether it is hurting recruiting (i bet it won't) or whether it will sap coach k's energy and devotion to duke (i bet it won't). rise up and take the challenge. win or lose, i wouldn't change a thing.

balkan boy

SilkyJ
07-23-2008, 11:00 PM
nice article on kidd, and a little on the rest of the team, is up on espn:

i dont know if K is going to name a captain, but no question in my mind he should name one and it should be him.

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/olybb/columns/story?columnist=sheridan_chris&page=TeamUSA-Kidd-080723&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab1pos1

just to clarify I'm not saying he should name one just to name one or that I'm opposed to co-captains (I actually like it when he did it 2 years ago with melo bron and wade, but kidd wasn't on that team). I just think the amount the team can feed off him as their leader and captain (and starting PG and best passer) is tremendous. and while I'm not worried about egos, there are some REALLY good players and big egos in that room and I feel pretty good about kidd in the locker room.

BD80
07-23-2008, 11:27 PM
What is interesting is that this group is now loaded with big guards especially at the point to counter that issue with defending the pick and roll. But now the criticism becomes that the team lacks another big to go with Howard.

... My other concern is our ability to defend in the post. Past Howard do we really have much defensive presence down there?

Few international teams have a back-to-the-basket, NBA low-post offensive set. The trapezoidal lane doesn't give an offensive player time to set up and get such position in the lane. A back-to-the-basket position outside the lane is vulnerable to help defense, and we would wind up with a bunch of steals. Low post play in the international game is more face-up just outside the lane. Not sure how Los and Bosh will be on defense, but Coach K seems to think it will work. Prince will be the guy we bring in to shut down a big that gets that aspect of the game going.

I will be interested to see if Howard, Melo, Wade and Lebron can learn to instinctively grab rebounds off of the rim. We are so much more athletic, the more liberal goaltending rules should work to our great advantage.

SilkyJ
07-24-2008, 01:53 AM
I will be interested to see if Howard, Melo, Wade and Lebron can learn to instinctively grab rebounds off of the rim. We are so much more athletic, the more liberal goaltending rules should work to our great advantage.

IIRC, Bosh was actually good at doing that in the 2006 games. I seem to even remember an article singling him out as the first person to do it in their first practice or something like that...

RainingThrees
07-25-2008, 03:11 PM
Tonight at eight on ESPN USA vs Canada exhibition. Expecting a blowout but it will be interesting to watch the new team.

jipops
07-25-2008, 10:19 PM
Dwayne Wade looks pretty healthy, had 20 - definitely a good sign. Also loved the play of Deron Williams. Noticed that K had Deron and CP3 in at the same time throughout. The entire team really got after it on D, even Boozer had a couple blocks late. The intl 3 is a layup for Michael Redd.

So just out of curiosity I looked up the Spain team on wikipedia to check out their roster. WOW! This is a truly formidable group. If you follow the nba you'll recognize most of this team. Easily right there with the US right now in terms of world basketball powers. Or maybe I should say, we're now right there with them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spain_national_basketball_team

roywhite
07-25-2008, 10:46 PM
So just out of curiosity I looked up the Spain team on wikipedia to check out their roster. WOW! This is a truly formidable group. If you follow the nba you'll recognize most of this team. Easily right there with the US right now in terms of world basketball powers. Or maybe I should say, we're now right there with them.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spain_national_basketball_team

Well, Spain looks pretty good, but I don't think they get within 12 points of the USA team. The USA has no apparent weakness and no one else has talents like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Dwayne Wade.

darthur
07-26-2008, 01:27 AM
So just out of curiosity I looked up the Spain team on wikipedia to check out their roster. WOW! This is a truly formidable group. If you follow the nba you'll recognize most of this team. Easily right there with the US right now in terms of world basketball powers. Or maybe I should say, we're now right there with them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spain_national_basketball_team

Gasol and Calderon have both shown NBA all-star level ability. I'm not so sure about the rest of the team though. They're obviously very good of course, but I bet they get killed by the US team over say 10 matches.

I haven't followed too closely, but who are the favorites outside the USA? Argentina is probably #1. Is Spain #2?

BobbyFan
07-26-2008, 07:36 AM
While Kobe, Melo, and Wade were certainly on last night, the Paul-Williams backcourt combo was most encouraging and could be the more effective offensive squad.

jipops
07-26-2008, 09:36 PM
Gasol and Calderon have both shown NBA all-star level ability. I'm not so sure about the rest of the team though. They're obviously very good of course, but I bet they get killed by the US team over say 10 matches.

I haven't followed too closely, but who are the favorites outside the USA? Argentina is probably #1. Is Spain #2?

Spain is by far the favorite outside of the US. I wouldn't be surprised if right now they are the best team in the Olympics, and that includes us. Argentina is up there as a contender but word is Gnobli is not 100% these days so that's a huge downer for them.

As we should have all learned by now, it's not all about talent in international play. But if you have the kind of talent that Spain has and a group that has played together for quite awhile,... such as Spain, then that team becomes so very tough to beat.

I'm still very much concerned about our lack of significant height and bulk underneath. Expect us to get decimated on the boards often in Olympics, we simply must force turnovers and bad outside shots that lead to long rebounds. (wow kind of sounds like Duke huh?). I love what K is doing with Deron and CP3, it think it's a great move. It totally opened the game up vs. Canada.

SupaDave
07-26-2008, 09:55 PM
I also think that, given a moment's thought by the players, the Ellis Island gambit would fall flat. Since most of their ancestors came over on slave ships, It's not likely that Ellis Island would move them to affection for the "opportunity society."


WOW! That's pretty closed minded and judgemental and seems to be indicative of a near disdain for the players. Doesn't really matter how MOST of them got over here. Once you're an American - you're an American. I think Coach K would tell you that. Blacks weren't the only ones that came over here as slaves and there were many non-blacks dropped off at Ellis Island with 'obligations'.

The statue of liberty is just as important to the black cause as it is to the american 'immigrant's' cause. Remember, that black Americans helped to build this country and have fought to become a part of it. To be recognized as a representative for your country is not something that is normally taken lightly.

Considering the commitment these young men have made - I don't think any of them are taking this lightly. Remember that they are representing THEIR country - they don't get much out of this deal.

"America probably could not have won its freedom from the British during the American Revolution without the help of the French. France provided arms, ships, money and men to the American colonies. Some Frenchmen - most notably the Marquis de Lafayette, a close friend of George Washington - even became high-ranking officers in the American army. It was an alliance of respect and friendship that the French would not forget.

Almost 100 years later, in 1865, after the end of the American Civil War, several French intellectuals, who were opposed to the oppressive regime of Napoleon III, were at a small dinner party. They discussed their admiration for America's success in establishing a democratic government and abolishing slavery at the end of the civil war. The dinner was hosted by Edouard Rene Lefebvre de Laboulaye. Laboulaye was a scholar, jurist, abolitionist and a leader of the "liberals," the political group dedicated to establishing a French republican government.

During the evening, talk turned to the close historic ties and love of liberty the two nations shared. Laboulaye noted that there was "a genuine flow of sympathy" between the two nations and he called France and America, "the two sisters."

As he continued speaking, reflecting on the centennial of American independence only 11 years in the future, Laboulaye commented, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if people in France gave the United States a great monument as a lasting memorial to independence and thereby showed that the French government was also dedicated to the idea of human liberty?"

http://www.ohranger.com/statue-liberty/history-statue-liberty

roywhite
07-26-2008, 10:21 PM
Spain is by far the favorite outside of the US. I wouldn't be surprised if right now they are the best team in the Olympics, and that includes us. Argentina is up there as a contender but word is Gnobli is not 100% these days so that's a huge downer for them.

As we should have all learned by now, it's not all about talent in international play. But if you have the kind of talent that Spain has and a group that has played together for quite awhile,... such as Spain, then that team becomes so very tough to beat.

I'm still very much concerned about our lack of significant height and bulk underneath. Expect us to get decimated on the boards often in Olympics, we simply must force turnovers and bad outside shots that lead to long rebounds. (wow kind of sounds like Duke huh?). I love what K is doing with Deron and CP3, it think it's a great move. It totally opened the game up vs. Canada.

IMO, you overrate Spain and underrate the USA team. Is Pau Gasol their best talent? He's good, but didn't exactly rise to the occasion in the NBA finals.

Lack of significant height and bulk for the USA? Dwight Howard, Carlos Boozer, LeBron James; what team has three stronger inside players?

Well, just a matter of opinion at this point; we'll see how the tournament plays out.

Devilsfan
07-26-2008, 10:30 PM
Heard Coach Wojo address Duke fans after the exhibition game last night and he is quite an impressive speaker. Even when somone asked him a rambling almost incoherent question he handled it well. Now I know why Coach K chose him to be one of his assistants. Duke puts out alum that are a notch above the rest, IMHO.

RainingThrees
07-26-2008, 10:39 PM
USA will be the clear favorite after these exhibition games. There was a lot of sloppy play which needs to be tuned up and will. I was very excited at how fast team USA played. We will completely wear down teams that aren't extremely deep.

jipops
07-26-2008, 10:55 PM
IMO, you overrate Spain and underrate the USA team. Is Pau Gasol their best talent? He's good, but didn't exactly rise to the occasion in the NBA finals.

Lack of significant height and bulk for the USA? Dwight Howard, Carlos Boozer, LeBron James; what team has three stronger inside players?

Well, just a matter of opinion at this point; we'll see how the tournament plays out.

Well, here is what I feel is a common misunderstanding about the USA and international basketball. The most talented team does not mean it's the best team. If this were always true then Iverson may have won it for the US by himself in '04. This logic could even be applied to college ball, was Kansas actually the most talented team this year? Maybe, maybe not. Florida certainly was in '07, but that entire group had also played together through one championship season already. So there is this ridiculously common mistake in assuming that we SHOULD win. We have Kobe and LeBron and Dwight Howard. It's in the bag right? Wrong. Basketball is the best sport in the world. A talented team that knows each other inside and out can beat a physically superior team. We've all seen it at every level. So now we actually go into the Olympics with our own possible physical shortcomings. Do our guys actually know each other well enough on the floor to overcome that? Will Boozer and Bosh have spent enough time playing with Carmelo, Kobe, LeBron, and Kidd?

The best team will win Olympic gold, that is certain. If the US falls short then everyone will be asking once again what went wrong and point fingers at whoever, most likely K. But, if this happens, will anyone realize that the best team actually won? Period.

The issue of continuity has been somewhat resolved by the current culture of USA basketball. But it still doesn't compare to the better part of a decade's worth of time that many of these top teams have spent playing together.

Oh yeah, and in response to your question about Gasol, is he Spain's best talent. I don't know, he's darn good though. His performance in the NBA finals is/will be in no way indicative of his play in international ball. Calderon is an all-star as well. Rudy Fernandez and Pau's brother Marc blistered the nba summer league and have been playing international ball for years. Doesn't matter who their best player is, could be that Rubio kid. Point is, they're all very good players and know each other very, very well. They are very strong in the backcourt and loaded up front as well. They'll be tough, I'm definitely not over-rating them.

dkbaseball
07-26-2008, 11:10 PM
WOW! That's pretty closed minded and judgemental and seems to be indicative of a near disdain for the players. Doesn't really matter how MOST of them got over here. Once you're an American - you're an American. I think Coach K would tell you that. Blacks weren't the only ones that came over here as slaves and there were many non-blacks dropped off at Ellis Island with 'obligations'.

The statue of liberty is just as important to the black cause as it is to the american 'immigrant's' cause. Remember, that black Americans helped to build this country and have fought to become a part of it. To be recognized as a representative for your country is not something that is normally taken lightly.

Considering the commitment these young men have made - I don't think any of them are taking this lightly. Remember that they are representing THEIR country - they don't get much out of this deal.

"America probably could not have won its freedom from the British during the American Revolution without the help of the French. France provided arms, ships, money and men to the American colonies. Some Frenchmen - most notably the Marquis de Lafayette, a close friend of George Washington - even became high-ranking officers in the American army. It was an alliance of respect and friendship that the French would not forget.

Almost 100 years later, in 1865, after the end of the American Civil War, several French intellectuals, who were opposed to the oppressive regime of Napoleon III, were at a small dinner party. They discussed their admiration for America's success in establishing a democratic government and abolishing slavery at the end of the civil war. The dinner was hosted by Edouard Rene Lefebvre de Laboulaye. Laboulaye was a scholar, jurist, abolitionist and a leader of the "liberals," the political group dedicated to establishing a French republican government.

During the evening, talk turned to the close historic ties and love of liberty the two nations shared. Laboulaye noted that there was "a genuine flow of sympathy" between the two nations and he called France and America, "the two sisters."

As he continued speaking, reflecting on the centennial of American independence only 11 years in the future, Laboulaye commented, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if people in France gave the United States a great monument as a lasting memorial to independence and thereby showed that the French government was also dedicated to the idea of human liberty?"

http://www.ohranger.com/statue-liberty/history-statue-liberty

Disdain for the players? I'm asking that their intelligence not be insulted by shoddy motivational techniques that attempt to substitute mythology for history. I also don't think it's a good idea, especially in the current political climate when many people here and around the world think the American military is not being well employed, to use the military to invoke national pride. The Olympic games were conceived as an attempt to rise above nationalistic fervor, and focus on the bonding of nations that can come about through appreciation for the purity of athletic competition. There's plenty of motivation to be mined in that idea. JMO.

roywhite
07-26-2008, 11:17 PM
Well, here is what I feel is a common misunderstanding about the USA and international basketball. The most talented team does not mean it's the best team. If this were always true then Iverson may have won it for the US by himself in '04.


I don't see much comparison between the USA 2004 and 2008 teams. The 2004 group was an oddly matched collection of talent thrown together for 20 days work before the Olympics. The 2008 team has been building for 3 summers now, and the players have been selected to fit together. I see no apparent weakness in this USA team---they can score, rebound, handle, pass, shoot, and defend. They are motivated and well coached.

One game elimination tournaments (as the medal rounds will be) are always a risk, but the USA is well prepared to win this tournament decisively.

sue71, esq
07-26-2008, 11:24 PM
I posted this on the OTB... here are some pics (http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/forums/album.php?albumid=20) from the game on my page if anyone's interested. Unfortunately they were taken with the camera on my phone, so they're pretty darn bad, but it was SO great to be there. A write up will follow soon.

jipops
07-26-2008, 11:24 PM
I see no apparent weakness in this USA team---they can score, rebound, handle, pass, shoot, and defend. They are motivated and well coached.

And this is somehow different from other teams in Beijing?



One game elimination tournaments (as the medal rounds will be) are always a risk, but the USA is well prepared to win this tournament decisively.

I'll be utterly shocked if we win this thing "decisively". I think we have an excellent chance to win. But it's a pretty level playing field these days.

RainingThrees
07-26-2008, 11:28 PM
One huge advantage this yar is that vwe can utilize our athleticism. In the last few years we have had superior athletes but they didn't play as a team so our athelticism didn't help us. This year if we play defense as a team other teams wil have a very tough time trying to score on faster stronger athletes who play as a team. Look what happened to Gasol when the Lakers played the Celtics. Teams that used to outsmart us by exposing our team defense cannot anymore.

bhd28
07-26-2008, 11:31 PM
The best team will win Olympic gold, that is certain. If the US falls short then everyone will be asking once again what went wrong and point fingers at whoever, most likely K. But, if this happens, will anyone realize that the best team actually won? Period.


Good to know the best team will win. I was afraid there might be an upset somewhere in these Olympics. Might happen in swimming, Track and Field, tennis, or soccer... but it won't happen in basketball, right? (BTW is this just true for the gold medal game, or throughout all basketball played at the Olympics... I am considering betting on a few games with some friends, and I want to make absolutely sure before I go dropping money on them.)

moonpie23
07-27-2008, 11:16 AM
guaranteeing a gold in china is akin to all the tarholes guaranteeing a ncaa title.....for the last two years......

there are a whole lot of factors that just can't be controlled....i hope we are successful, i hope we come to play hard, respect that the gold medal does not
belong to us and we are merely going to china to pick it up..


i see a difference in this team.....there's a bit more "team" in this team....and the defense is starting to really gel...

Edouble
07-27-2008, 11:43 AM
IMO, you overrate Spain and underrate the USA team. Is Pau Gasol their best talent? He's good, but didn't exactly rise to the occasion in the NBA finals.

True, but neither did Kobe. :(

tecumseh
07-27-2008, 12:24 PM
What puzzles me is why is the US opening against China, as Yao Ming said
"My form in the games might be an illusion, caused by the differing quality of opponents," he told Sohu.com. "We have lots of problems, in rebound, in defense and in shooting quality, overall. These cannot be solved in one or two days."

I rode back to the States with some of China's top junior players and one told me that the gold medal should come down to China or the US. Perhaps Spain will beat the US but I will bet dollars to doughnuts that the US will rout China. This is a team with their best player sub par and in the last world championships they came in 15th recently they lost to Angola (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/olympics_blog/2008/07/yaos-team-loses.html) So to open against the USA seems to me it might shake the confidence of this pretty shaky team whom the average Chinese person has highly unrealistic expectations of. I guess it was concession to the TV god.

wilson
07-27-2008, 12:24 PM
Here's (http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/olybb/columns/story?columnist=sheridan_chris&page=USACanada-080726&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab3pos1) a good X's and O's breakdown of the USA-Canada game the other night from Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com. Sheridan focuses on defense, and rightly points out that pick-and-roll defense needs to continue improving. He also notes as many around here have that forcing turnovers will be an important element of the team's defense. A good read.

moonpie23
07-27-2008, 01:48 PM
sorry, that read like i thought we WERE going to "just go pick the gold up"...i meant that i hope we respect that it is NOT ours to just pick up...

whatever...y'll knew what i meant...but since i was tarhole hating on some other posts........

moonpie23
07-27-2008, 01:51 PM
I rode back to the States with some of China's top junior players and one told me that the gold medal should come down to China or the US.




who's in charge of the clock? and who are the officials.....i'm not sayin, i'm just sayin.


how do you say "shaftola" in ruskie???

tecumseh
07-27-2008, 02:11 PM
When you are down by 40 the clock is not much of a factor. China is going to be blown out by team USA. It will be interesting to see if the USA runs out to a huge lead if they rest Yao. The Chinese are of the disposable athlete mode and are in general running Yao into the ground.

BlueintheFace
07-27-2008, 03:28 PM
It's far more likely that Chinese officials simply threaten the players by telling them that their families will be bankrupted if they don't win (jk). The pressure on some of the athletes over there right now is absolutely incredible... i mean, beyond American comprehension.

Here is a breakdown of how Olympians come to be Olympians in China--

When children are younger and show athletic promise, the government approaches the child's family and offers to "educate them" while preparing them for athletic glory. The family is "compensated", but most of the time there really isn't a choice involved. The family needs the money, the party needs the child and that is what happens.

Then, these children are sent to athletic combines across the country where they do very little learning and are essentially brainwashed and trained for their sport day and night. If they are not good enough, then they are sent home, uneducated and untrained in any craft. They become useless and unable to generate any kind of living for a family. If they succeed, then they essentially become property of the state. They go where the Chinese government tells them to go when they tell them to go there. They are even limited in their choice of life partner. They usually are forced to marry another athlete for genetic (read- breeding) purposes. If they somehow win medals then they are country-wide heroes and financially set for life. If they do not, then they simply fade away and become uneducated and poor citizens with zero training in a society where such tools are almost entirely necessary to generate any kind of wealth.

So, China may be an inferior opponent, but for some of the players-- this olympics could be the difference between eventual poverty and great fortunes. Plus, a win over America would be bigger to them than our Miracle on Ice. I guarantee that.

tecumseh
07-27-2008, 03:40 PM
It's far more likely that Chinese officials simply threaten the players by telling them that their families will be bankrupted if they don't win (jk).

Oh I don't think they need to tell them anything they all know what the deal is. To add to the pressure all these athletes are only children and the families are relying on them as their retirement pension. I agree unbelievable pressure and I think sadly a few will crack. As for the miracle on Ice the US had a pretty good hockey team and would have won a medal without that win. I think the Chinese have a very slim chance of a medal of any kind in basketball. If they get out of the round robin phase it will be a major accomplishment and there is so much pressure on this team. This is a team that just lost to Angola. To top off everything the Chinese are particularly bad at guard play which is the key to keeping a team steady faced with tremendous pressure. No a very bad decision for this team to open with the US. Open with the two easiest teams and get the confidence up.

Tennessee&DukeFan414
07-30-2008, 02:30 PM
USA plays Turkey tomorrow @ 8:00 and Lithuania friday in firendlys. USA should beat these teams by at least 20. I know Turkey has good players suach as Kutluay,Okur,Turkoglu and Lithuania has guys such as Jasikevicius, Macijauskas, Songiala, and Siskauskas but they should be no much for USA. The real test will be in Beijing when we face Spain and Greece, who I think are the 2 favorites behind the USA to win, because Argentina has just not been playing well. I am anxious to see the Spanish Pete Maravich, who will probably be the number 1 pick in 2009 or 2010 and the Greeks Sofoklis Shortsianitis is 6'10 375 and they have a good PG in Theodoros Papaloukos but I think USA should win. It should be interesting.

roywhite
07-30-2008, 06:42 PM
USA plays Turkey tomorrow @ 8:00 and Lithuania friday in firendlys


Viewer alert---the Turkey game is at 8:00 Thursday 7/31, but that's 8:00 AM EDT live, and 8:00 PM EDT on delay, both on ESPN2

I guess we should get used to planning for morning telecasts once the Olympics begin.

CameronCrazy'11
07-30-2008, 06:46 PM
I believe U.S. vs. Lithuania is on ESPN2 at 8:00 AM EDT Friday morning.