Coach K, U.S., Prep For Basketball World Cup

Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans could be the inside player the U.S. builds around. - Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It's going to be a different team but possibly one with some exciting new talent.

In case you were wondering what Coach K was planning on doing this summer, he'll be coaching the U.S. team in the World Cup.

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It's a bit confusing, but FIBA has renamed the World Championship the World Cup to drum up interest. It's a cheap trick, but if it works, great.

However, Coach K has been watching the World Cup and plans to incorporate it into preparation for the roundball version, to show how intensely other countries can prepare for a major event. And playing the U.S. in basketball is a major event.

So who's going? Right now, the roster lists 28 guys, but some you can probably rule out, like LeBron James, who could probably use some rest.

We saw somewhere that Derrick Rose would like to play to facilitate his return to NBA competition.

We'd expect that the U.S. would like to start incorporating some younger players, so don't be surprised to see Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard end up on the final roster.

We're also not sure who the U.S. takes defensively. As much as we love Curry and Irving, neither is famous for defense. Leonard is very solid. Davis is capable of shutting down the lane alone; paired with, say, Tyson Chandler, penetration would be extremely difficult.

As you'll see in the link above, Coach K says that there are no guarantees, that the U.S. can certainly be beat - and points out that the Spurs had nine international players on the roster.

Defense, though, is still an area that no one else can approach the Americans, with the possible exception of the Canadians, who are improving rapidly. A powerful inside game centered around Davis would make it much easier to shut down three point shooting. We'd love to see Marcus Smart brought in too; he'd be a great asset.

National Team Roster as of June 2, 2014
LaMarcus Aldridge
F
6-11
240
7/19/85
Portland Trail Blazers
Carmelo Anthony
F
6-8
230
5/29/84
New York Knicks
Bradley Beal
G
6-5
207
6/28/93
Washington Wizards
Tyson Chandler
C
7-1
235
10/02/82
New York Knicks
DeMarcus Cousins
C
6-11
270
8/13/90
Sacramento Kings
Stephen Curry
G
6-3
185
3/14/8
Golden State
Anthony Davis
F/C
6-10
220
3/11/93
New Orleans Pelicans
Andre Drummond
C
6-10
270
9/10/93
Detroit Pistons
Kevin Durant
G
6-9
230
9/29/88
Oklahoma City Thunder
Kenneth Faried
F
6-8
228
11/19/89
Denver Nuggets
Paul George
G
6-8
221
5/02/90
Indiana Pacers
Blake Griffin
F
6-10
251
3/16/89
Los Angeles Clippers
James Harden
G
6-5
220
8/26/89
Houston Rockets
Gordon Hayward
F
6-8
210
3/23/90
Utah Jazz
Dwight Howard
F/C
6-11
265
12/08/85
Houston Rockets
Andre Iguodala
G/F
6-6
207
1/28/84
Golden State Warriors
Kyrie Irving
G
6-3
191
3/23/92
Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James
F
6-8
250
12/30/84
Miami Heat
Kyle Korver
G/F
6-7
212
3/17/81
Atlanta Hawks
David Lee
F
6-9
240
4/29/83
Golden State Warriors
Kawhi Leonard
F/G
6-7
235
6/29/91
San Antonio Spurs
Damian Lillard
G
6-3
195
7/15/90
Portland Trail Blazers
Kevin Love
F
6-10
260
9/07/88
Minnesota Timberwolves
Chris Paul
G
6-0
175
5/06/85
Los Angeles Clippers
Derrick Rose
G
6-3
190
10/04/88
Chicago Bulls
Klay Thompson
G
6-7
205
2/08/90
Golden State Warriors
Russell Westbrook
G
6-3
187
11/12/88
Oklahoma City Thunder
Deron Williams
G
6-3
207
7/26/84
Brooklyn Nets
X
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