Basketball / Sports

Derrick Rose named USA roster finalist, gets rave review from Coach K

Derrick Rose is one of 16 finalists for the 12-man roster that USA Basketball will take to Spain for the FIBA World Cup..

"Derrick was sensational the whole week," Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke said. "He really (showed speed) every day, how fast and strong and decisive he was. He really created an air of excitement for the team. We were all anxious to see who he was. And who he is is very, very good. We're ecstatic about it and happy for him."

Dropped from the pool were the Wizards' John Wall and Bradley Beal and the Hawks' Paul Millsap.

Asked what it says about Rose to perform at such a high level after eight months off, Krzyzewski said,

"It takes an exceptional person, which is why we're talking about Derrick. He went right at it. The first defensive exchange in the camp, he was all over the ball-handler, moving his feet, attacking him. There was a buzz right away. He wasn't just saying, 'I'm back. He was saying, 'I'm back at a level that's elite.' Derrick maintained that the entire week. We could not be happier about that situation."

The roster, whose minicamp in Las Vegas was marred by Paul George's gruesome right leg injury, next convenes in Chicago for a stint that features an Aug. 16 scrimmage against Brazil at the United Center.

"The ending to our Las Vegas training camp with the injury to Paul George was very emotional for everyone involved in USA Basketball," USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said. "I very much appreciate the outpouring of support Paul and USA Basketball has received the past couple of days from the basketball world. Past Olympic coaches and some of our past Olympic and World Championship players have reached out offering their continued support and that's very important. Paul's injury was an extremely unfortunate occurrence; it was truly a freak accident. We're all very pleased that his recovery is going well.

"Their willingness to represent the United States says a lot about our players' patriotism and their willingness to sacrifice their time to this commitment. Not every American has the opportunity to represent their country and our players have embraced each opportunity to do it. They have worn the USA jersey with respect and honor, and by their commitment they have made all Americans extremely proud."

Kyle Korver also made the initial cut and will practice in Chicago Aug. 14-15 before the scrimmage.

"We're excited about where the team is headed. Really all 16 guys have a chance to make to the team, which usually does not happen in a training camp, and it shows that all of the guys thus far have done an excellent job," Krzyzewski said. "Then it's just a matter of finding what chemistry that we can develop with the entire group and I don't think we'll know that until we play some exhibition games. The 16 guys give us a chance to look at a way of playing in a number of different ways and we just have to figure out what those ways are and then the 12 who will fit best."

(c)2014 Chicago Tribune

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