U.S. Select team gets defensive

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The U.S. Select Team just got a little more select. Kind of.

Twenty college players were in Las Vegas last month to train against the 2010 U.S. men’s team. Ten of those players will return for a repeat session Aug. 9-13 in New York to play against the finalists for the U.S. squad. Anything to help Team USA win at the Worlds.

The new roster, as released from USA Basketball earlier Tuesday:

Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith (Duke); Chris Singleton (Florida State); JaJuan Johnson (Purdue); Jon Leuer (Wisconsin); Shelvin Mack (Butler);; Howard Thompkins (Georgia); Mike Tisdale (Illinois); Kemba Walker (Connecticut); and Chris Wright (Dayton). Villanova head coach Jay Wright will also return to direct the 2010 USA Select Team in New York.

“One of the great developments of our Las Vegas camp was the USA Select Team which consisted of juniors and seniors out of the college ranks that we brought in to scrimmage against the USA National Team,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said in a prepared statement. ” Lorenzo Romar and Jay Wright did a terrific job of coaching the select players in Las Vegas. It worked so well we’ve decided to bring to New York a smaller group of players from that Select Team to do the same thing. They were very valuable to us and it’s a great experience for them.”

So who won’t be in New York that was in Vegas? Temple’s Lavoy Allen, Ohio State’s William Buford, Baylor’s LaceDarius Dunn, BYU’s Jimmer Fredette, Tennessee’s Scotty Hopson, Syracuse’s Scoop Jardine, Kansas’ Marcus Morris, Northwestern’s John Shurma, North Carolina’s Tyler Zeller and Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen.

Does this mean the 10 players heading to New York are better than the 10 who aren’t? Not really given that guys like Pullen, Dunn and Morris were tagged as three of the best from the earlier roster. Most have previous commitments, usually related to their teams.

And besides, this is a group assembled to improve an opposing team, not play together. You’ll notice many of the guys – Johnson, Thompkins, Tisdale, Wright and Singleton, for example – are long-armed and mobile players who’ll make many of Team USA’s stars work on every possession. Meanwhile, they’ll have to chase Smith, Mack and Walker all over the court.

Yeesh. Good luck to the pros.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.