The big news of the day is Coach K's decision to return to his Olympic duties.
First thing we noticed in his press conference: a diet Coke can with a great big K turned toward the camera.
Krzyzewski quickly tucked it under the table, although not because of the K, which was facing outward. A.D. Kevin White followed suit with his water bottle, but President Brodhead, who didn't appear to see the other two move theirs, picked his water up and had a sip. A funny visual.
In his press conference, he said that his family was not in favor of his return initially but when he said he wanted to do it they agreed with the decision.
It'll be a different team and experience. As Coach K pointed out Thursday, 21% of the NBA is international now and they're just as good as the U.S., at least on any given day.
Krzyzewski's coaching philosophy was pretty much tailor-made to press the U.S's advantage in international ball as no other country can match the U.S. when it comes to applying athleticism to defense.
One of the most memorable plays in any of the previous K-led Olympic teams took place in Beijing, when Dywane Wade picked off a pass and appeared to be heading out of bounds. He hit an absolute bullet pass to LeBron James for a dunk.
Other teams, notably the Spaniards, continue to improve, but they have a tough time matching that.
LeBron James has said that he'll wait to see how his health is before committing, which is reasonable when you consider that he's been on three straight Olympic teams: the disaster with Larry Brown and two with Krzyzewski.
Otherwise, we'd expect a blend of veterans and newcomers. We're fascinated with the potential backcourt of Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving. They wouldn't necessarily be the full-time backcourt - one of the first revelations that Coach K had was that you had to have bigger guards internationally and neither guy is big nor is either a great defender - but it'd be amazing to watch them together. How could you guard both? Who has successfully guarded either?
What they'll have to find is the mid-range guys. Kobe Bryant surely won't be back in 2016, Andre Iguodola will be past 30, as will Deron Williams.
Russell Westbrook is a freak athlete at 6-3 and James Harden (6-5) was a revelation with the Rockets. Both players should be moving into their athletic prime around 2016.
We'd expect to see guys like Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis and maybe Michael Kidd-Gilchrist show up in camp, along with some rising stars like Marcus Smart, Nerlens Noel, Victor Oladipo, Otto Porter, Jabari Parker and the Harrison twins, among other prospects.
One guy to keep an eye on: Mamadou Ndiaye. We're not sure what his citizenship status is, but he's 7-5 and coming on fast. He'll be at Fresno next year. A 7-5 player is rare enough, but he's actually fairly fluid. And in high school - it takes a while for the body to catch up.
One guy we probably won't see on the U.S. team is Andrew Wiggins who grew up in Canada. His parents are both U.S. born so as we understand it (which is minimally) we think he could theoretically play for the U.S. Irving, you'll remember, was born in Australia. There was an American NBA player whose grandparents were German and he somehow qualified for the German team. So who knows.
Assuming that he plays for Canada, though, the Canadians are in the midst of a basketball boom. There are some really solid players coming out of there, including two possible lottery picks this year and Wiggins.
The Argentines are aging, as are the Greeks, who have other more fundamental problems (it's hard to fund a sports program when the unemployment rate is between 20-30%). The Spaniards will be great again, the Lithuanians are always good, and the Canadians, from where we sit, are the rising power.
Right now they could put out Robert Sacre, Tristan Thompson, Wiggins, Myck Kabongo, Cory Joseph, Anthony Bennett and Kelly Olynk. That's a very credible roster.