FIBA World Cup, Twitter / Aug 1, 2014 / 10:45 am

Report: Mason Plumlee Likely To Make Team USA Over DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins, Mason Plumlee

DeMarcus Cousins (Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports), Mason Plumlee (Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports)

Team USA tryouts have wrapped up after three days of scrimmaging and drills under the cool eyes of college assistant coaches and head coach Mike Krzyzewski. With Kevin Love withdrawing at the behest of Minnesota — though that might change — and Blake Griffin done after a small back fracture was discovered, it opened up a spot for Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins to earn a spot. Not so fast though, because Mason Plumlee might beat him out as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst notes.

Boogie, as most know, has been a pretty consistent double-double machine for Sacramento this year on his way to averaging 22.7 points and 11.7 rebounds in 32.4 minutes a night. He also finished with a 26.1 player efficiency rating (PER), which was fifth in the NBA last season, trailing only Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Kevin Love and Anthony Davis.

Mason Plumlee, on the other hand, only started 22 games for the Nets during his rookie season, though he did sport a decent (19.0) PER and he played really well for them and got more time towards the end of the year and into the postseason, something Boogie still hasn’t experienced after four years in the league.

With Love and LaMarcus Aldridge abstaining and Blake injured, the big-man role falls to Anthony Davis, and well — it could be Plumlee. We’ll let Coach K explain:

“In DeMarcus’ case, the style we play lends itself to what Anthony does or even what Plumlee is doing,” Krzyzewski said. “DeMarcus’ game is different, so he has an adjustment to make and he’s trying to make it.”

Andre Drummond is also in Vegas, but he’s the youngest guy there and is considered a longer shot to make the squad, Windhorst adds.

While Boogie is more talented, with the biggest test for the USA in the FIBA World Cup likely coming from home country, Spain, and Marc Gasol and Pau Gasol leading their frontcourt, Plumlee might be a better fit as Ant’s back-up.

Then again, some will claim Mason’s four years at Duke under Coach K might be the primary reason for his selection over a more refined offensive player like Boogie.

Smart move by Coach K and Team USA?

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  • diablofreak

    i wonder if most of these guys who don’t make a squad will hold a grudge. let’s say if Drummond doesn’t make the cut, will he still participate in 2 or 4 years if the opportunity arises again? do they feel slighted?

  • Jack0137

    good

  • Demons Run……

    they hold a grudge and kill a chance to ever win a gold medal.

  • 2cents

    I actually think Coach K is onto a good thing here. Yeah, I understand the talent Boogie has, but this is not the NBA. Playing for your country, is about fitting into the rest of the team and that is something Boogie hasn’t mastered yet.

  • SweetdickWilly

    It may also be the fact that DeMarcus doesn’t have the best wiring upstairs and he’s been good for doing something stupid and or crazy since his high school days.