Team USA

Video: Coach K talks Team USA with Dan Patrick

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Team USA has blown through its competition in its first two exhibition games ahead of next month’s Olympics in Rio De Janeiro with wins over Argentina and China by a combined a combined 96 points.

Tonight, they’ll have a rematch against China, which they defeated 106-57 on Sunday, but it will also serve as the unofficial debut of Kevin Durant in front of his new hometown fans with the game taking place at the home of the Golden State Warriors, Oracle Arena, in Oakland.

“Excited for Kevin tonight to make his debut in front of the Golden State fans,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said Tuesday on the Dan Patrick Show. “He got a great reception (Monday) at a function. He was, as he should be, warmly welcomed.”

The team has been together since July 18 in the run-up to its first Olympic contest on Aug. 6 against China. For Krzyzewski, a couple of players have made an impression already.

“You see these guys on TV,” the Duke coach said, “but I don’t get a chance to see them in person. (Clipper) DeAndre Jordan is such a good player. A great athlete, a great guy. To see him run, defend, holy mackerel. He’ s really good.

“I haven’t seen Paul George in two years when he had that horrific (leg) injury in Las Vegas at one of our camps, and he’s so darn good. On defense, tremendous.”

It’s on the defensive side of the floor that Coach K believes his team can really make its mark even with the incredible collection of offensive talent the roster has.

“We’re very athletic so defensively we could be a very good defensive team,” he said. “We’ve shown a willingness to want to do that in the first two games.”

As usual, Team USA is the prohibitive favorite to bring back gold for the third consecutive Olympics, which will be Coach K’s last at the helm after taking over after the 2004 bronze medal debacle.

“I’m excited about the team,” he said. “It’s a short time. to see our guys working so hard and they get along so well, I’m excited about the team we might be in Rio. We’ll use tonight to get a little bit better.

“I kind of have the blinders on. You only have a short time. It’s a little over a month, and we want to win the gold medal in Rio.”

Billy Donovan, Sean Miller and Ed Cooley return to coach U19s this summer

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USA Basketball has announced that Billy Donovan, along with assistants Ed Cooley and Sean Miller, will coach the U19 team at the World Championships this summer.

The three worked together last summer while leading the U18 American team to a title in FIBA Americas.

“USA Basketball has been a first-class organization to be a part of over the past several years, and it is an honor to be able to come back and represent our country again this summer,” Donovan said in a release. “Sean Miller and Ed Cooley are both great guys and excellent coaches. It was very rewarding for me working side by side with them on the U18 team last summer, and it will be great to have that continuity with the staff again with the U19 team.”

Donovan is 19-0 as a head coach for Team USA, having won gold medals with the U19s in 2013 and the U18s in 2012.

The U19 World Championships will be held in Crete, Greece, from June 27th-July 5th.

Report: Geno Auriemma returning to coach Team USA in ’16 Olympics

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Geno Auriemma will be making a return to the Olympics.

Auriemma, UConn’s legendary women’s coach, will be the first coach to return for a second run at Olympic glory, having led the USA to Olympic gold in 2012. The news will be announced on Friday, according to the AP.

Auriemma had long said that he had no interest in returning to the Olympic sidelines similar to the way that Mike Krzyzewski had long intimated he didn’t want to return to USA basketball for the next Olympics. But Coach K will be coaching Team USA in Rio de Janeiro, and Auriemma will as well.

I do enjoy seeing coaches from the college ranks racking up the gold medals. And if there’s anything we know about the Duke men and the UConn women, it’s that their coach’s dedication to the Stars and Bars hasn’t hurt the programs.

Could Coach K return to Team USA again for 2016 Olympics?

Mike Krzyzewski
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Despite his insistence that the 2012 Olympics in London would be his last with Team USA, it appears that Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski could be in for another run in the 2016 Games.

Team USA chairman Jerry Colangelo has yet to name a replacement and has pushed the deadline for finding a new coach past the end of the college basketball season, ESPN.com is reporting.

In an additional report from the Associated Press, speculation still abounds:

One of the people told The Associated Press that though Krzyzewski gave no indication in London he would return, there were since ”rumblings” that he was open to it. Another said the delay was creating speculation that Coach K would be back.

Krzyzewski has been a part of USA Basketball since 1979. He has served as the head coach for the last two Olympic teams, one that bounced back from a disappointing showing in Athens in 2004 to take gold in 2008, then just this past summer in London.

The Associated Press reports that Krzyzewski will continue to focus on his Duke team before making a decision about Team USA. The Blue Devils are ranked No. 4 in the country and are 20-2 on the season.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Coach K wins gold medal in final game with Team USA

Coach K USA
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After a driving layup by Chris Paul that all but sealed a victory with 51 seconds remaining in Team USA’s gold medal game against Spain Sunday, head coach Mike Krzyzewski gave a display of emotion that we don’t typically see from the stoic and legendary college coach.

He jumped up in celebration as Team USA took a 104-93 lead, on its way to claiming the gold medal with a 107-100 victory in London.

That moment will be frozen in time for many if Krzyzewski holds to his word and says he is stepping down as Team USA coach, an announcement he made to the Associated Press Saturday.

It has been a memorable basketball year for Coach K, after becoming Division I’s all-time wins leader and now taking the Americans to a gold medal.

He was tapped to become the head coach of the US National Team in 2005, one year after perhaps the lowest point in US Olympic basketball history when they took home a Bronze from the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

”He was the right guy at the right time,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told the Associated Press. ”He’s been so important to me in everything we’ve done in building the infrastructure and philosophy and standards – all of it. His legacy goes beyond the record on the court. We’re 52-1 since this all began, and hopefully we’ll be 53-1 after tomorrow. That’s a legacy in itself.

”I really love him and respect him.”

Coach K took this 2012 team, depleted by injuries in the frontcourt, and made a collection of all-stars into a cohesive unit as they marched toward Sunday’s gold.

Of course, a great deal of credit goes to the players as well, including LeBron James and Kevin Durant, who at separate times carried Team USA. Durant had 30 points against Spain. James added 19.

Don’t think that Colangelo will let Krzyzewski go without some serious efforts to persuade him to stay, but if this is the last chance we have to see him coaching on the international stage, it is memorable, picturesque, and fitting for the man who helped return Team USA to the top.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

After getting minutes vs. Nigeria, Anthony Davis sits in Team USA’s close win over Lithuania

Anthony Davis Team USA
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Granted, we came into this Olympics with the understanding that Anthony Davis was the last man on the bench of a loaded Team USA roster, but the former Kentucky star and No. 1 overall pick to the New Orleans Hornets saw some good minutes in the Americans’ 156-73 rout of Nigeria this week.

He was, perhaps though, more remembered for this moment, when he forgot his jersey on his way to checking into the game before halftime. Overall he played 15 minutes, went 4-of-4 from the field, and scored 9 points.

It was a different story Saturday against Lithuania, as the Americans could not fend off the fifth-ranked team in the world until the final minutes, even trailing in the fourth quarter on their way to a 99-94 victory in London.

LeBron James was the hero in the final minutes, integral to a 17-6 run that put Lithuania away for good. James finished with 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting.

But this close win aside, it is worth taking a look at what Anthony Davis has been able to bring to this team, despite the fact that he didn’t get a chance to see the floor in the closest game Team USA has had so far in this tournament.

When Blake Griffin went down in an already depleted USA frontcourt, Davis was brought onto the team and has filled the exact role that Coach K and that staffed asked him to: Be fresh legs to let stars rest during blowouts, play hard, provide some defense, and enjoy the ride.

He just needs to remember his jersey next time.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_