US Basketball Team

Every since they started letting pros into the Olympics, a lot of people miss seeing the young players, though there was more mystique I think when we were playing the USSR.

While, overall, one for one, we overall have superior players, they certainly don’t get to practice very much after the NBA season.

I contend, that if we sent the NCAA champions starting 5+1, including their coach, plus 6 other college players as chosen by poll, the coach, or whatever, that against any other amateur national team, there would be almost zero chance of way of losing. I’d even go as far to say even if we let the other countries use their NBA players, we’d still almost win every time just by virtue that the team get gets the entire summer to practice together. I realize some countries like Spain or Argentina would be, ahem, trouble but still.

Moved to The Game Room from Great Debates.

Disagree with you… The problem with playing the kids is that we had 19 yr olds going up against 30 yr old guys. Grown men will always beat kids. Theirs no way Anthony Davis could hold up in the post versus Pau Gasol… or a Yow Ming…

Yao Ming. It’s Yao.

A college all-star team, with enough practice, could probably medal on a regular basis, but a gold is far from assured.

Also, Yao Ming has not laced up for a few seasons, at least not in the NBA. Those 7 and a half footers don’t hold up like they used to.

I don’t think we were doing so hot before we started sending pros. Frankly to send anything but the best possible team is kind of condescending towards the rest of the world. The problem is that NBA players only take the Olympics seriously when we lose for a few years and people start talking about how the rest of the world is catching up to the US.

He retired in 2011 after dealing with foot injuries for years. It’s happened to a lot of players his size. No way is he suiting up for China or anyone else.

My understanding is that before 1992, the U.S. sent college players to the Olympics and other countries (particularly the U.S.S.R.) sent “amateurs” who were effectively professionals. So if the OP is talking about going back to a situation like that - with the way the game has spread globally, I don’t think a team of U.S. collegians is going to beat a team of professionals (including some NBA talent) from Argentina or Spain or other countries.

I love the OP’s idea. Basketball is a team game and I’d rather see a tight knit college team play than the sloppy game the NBA stars play after practicing together for a few weeks. No shame in losing with college kids and more glory if they win. It’s not like the US needs to prove anything. My proposal would be the NCAA champs + 1 member of the previous 3 years’ winners.

I’m talking about sending, in my mind, the best possible TEAM (taking account the NBA season, etc) not the best possible players.

I always thought in many sports, athlete wise they are essentially all-star teams anyway.

Also, of course we know this, college exhibition teams in the preseason pretty much dominate the rest of the world ( of course the opposition doesn’t have their NBA players) against players who are pros in their country.

Of course, I’m a college sports fan, above pro. And this is kind of the scrappy Lake Placid team who beat the USSR, after the USSR told their players that if they win, they will let them play in the NHL, I think in certain sports (and in soccer they’ve moved that way) there is something of intangible pride of using non-pros. In basketball we have a pretty deep well of non-pro talent.

To be honest, the rest of the world catching up to us? I love it, I’d LOVE to see basketball achieve the international level (and I think it’s almost there) that soccer/football has. Also, as basketball, compared to say American/Canadian/Australian (sorry Bombers) or soccer is relatively cheap.

I honestly do believe in the notion that international competition does bring, a little bit, slowly, and grudgingly, the world a little bit closer ( somehow exploiting national pride I know).

As far as pros go, I only think about team sports. If some hitter playing shortstop wants to be in the decathlon while being paid by the Yankees, I have no problem at all.

There is no guarantee that all the players from the NCAA champion will be Americans.

Actually these days it would be quite the opposite. Not so hard to overcome, just replace them from someone else from the roster or someone else from another school.

As for talking about talent, I thought the team which went to Greece was loaded with talent. I watched the games in Spain and I was praying for a 50 pt explosion from Iverson…instead when the US beat Spain in the ranking game, I tried to look inconspicuous and someone turn to me and said “you guys planned this didn’t you” lol

I don’t think a college team would do anywhere near as good as a group of NBA stars with little or no practice.

Most of the players on the leading college team don’t even get drafted. There’s no comparison to the NBA.

NCAA champions Kentucky had their entire starting five drafted this week. That said, they are all 18 or 19 years old and Spain would crush them like a bug.

I disagree. If anything, we should be sending the NBA champs of that year, not the college champs.

You realize there are non-U.S. players in the NBA, right?

Yeah, but we’ll work around that