Chicago Sun-Times

Rose advances to next round of USA selection process

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USA Basketball trimmed its roster of players being considered for the team that will play in next month's world championships in Turkey to 15 players -- and the Bulls' Derrick Rose survived the cut, although there was little doubt he would following training camp last week in Las Vegas.

"I thought he had a great week," head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "I love Derrick. I thought he had an incredible performance in the scrimmage on Saturday and defensively I thought he took it up a notch. Derrick really pressured the ball very well."

The other players still in contention for the U.S. men's team are (in alphabetical order) Chauncey Billups, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, Eric Gordon, Danny Grander, Jeff Green, Andre Iguodala, Brook Lopez, Kevin Love, Lamar Odom, Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook.

Former Bull Tyson Chandler also was among the players chosen and is a virtual lock for the final roster because there are only four big men left.

The players who didn't make the cut were Tyreke Evans, O.J. Mayo, JaVale McGee and Gerald Wallace.

After wrapping up five days camp in Las Vegas over the weekend, the team will reconvene Aug. 10 in New York for a few days of practice and an exhibition game against France. After that, the plan is to select the 12 players to participate in the world championships, although more than 12 players could make the trip to Europe in case someone is injured in the exhibition games before the tournament.

If NBA teams had their choice, most probably wouldn't let their star players participate in international competition. But Rose making the team could be a plus for the Bulls. New coach Tom Thibodeau wants Rose to focus on improving his defense, and that's precisely what Krzyzewski has emphasized to the 21-year-old point guard.

"I'm transferring that over to next season with the Bulls," Rose said. "Just playing hard, just playing tough defense and just trying to get the team to do what I want them to do."

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Let's hope D. Rose will have stamina towards this upcoming season to finish strong at the end. If we do not have back-up point guards who can force the ball up court and play pressure defense as we expect from D. Rose to give him breathers, playing in the USA Basketball tournament will be all for naught.

I would rather have a fresh D. Rose to start the up-coming season. I don't care if he is 21, that is wear and tear on the body especially the knees.

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This page contains a single entry by John Jackson published on July 28, 2010 2:05 PM.

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