Team USA struggles against Select Team in scrimmages ahead of FIBA World Cup

On the third day of Team USA training camp for the upcoming FIBA World Cup, the media was allowed into the gym to watch scrimmages between the U.S. men’s senior national team and a Select Team roster of younger, less experienced players.

The two quarters that the media was able to see ended up with no winners, meaning that the Senior Team still has a lot of work to do. No doubt that the Select Team has a talented group of young players, but the Senior National Team is supposed to not only be more talented, but their experience should make all the difference. From NBA.com:

At the end of the first of those two, Khris Middleton got Jonathan Isaac to bite on a pump fake and then made three free throws with 0.7 seconds on the clock to tie it at 23. And with the score tied 24-24 at the end of the last 10-minute scrimmage, Derrick White missed a pull-up 3 that would have given the Select Team the win.

It’s too early to sound an alarm. Considering that it’s only the third day of training camp and the Senior roster is full of players that have never played in international competition at this level, there’s plenty of time (relatively) for the team work things

New Players Developing Chemistry

A lot has been made about Team USA’s lack of veteran star power after a couple dozen players have pulled out of participation, and that’s a large part of the issue with this new composition of Team USA.

Due to the lack of continuity, there’s a lack of chemistry. The Senior players are clearly getting accustomed to playing with one another and that’s coupled by the fact that Team USA coaches are experimenting with different line-ups and strategies.

“We’re just trying stuff,” Team USA Assistant Coach Steve Kerr said. “We’re looking at different players at different positions to see how they fit. [Playing small] is something that we will definitely consider, but it’s Day 3 of training camp. Who knows if it’s something we’re going to do?”

After each day, the coaching staff evaluates every single player on both teams. The play of Select Team players Marvin Bagley Jr. and White have been noticed by US team managing director Jerry Colangelo.

White in particular has played so well that he’s reportedly been promoted to the to the Senior training camp roster as De’Aaron Fox and Joe Harris were promoted in the last week.

As it stands, Team USA is planning on bringing 15 players to Los Angeles for three practices and an exhibition game against Spain starting August 13th. At that time, we’ll have a better sense of whom will be representing Team USA at the FIBA World Cup that’s set to begin at the end of the month.

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