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Four More Years! Coach K Returns to Olympics

Although it seemed unlikely after last year's successful run, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski is reportedly returning to coach the U.S. men's basketball senior national team. Yes, Krzyzewski is getting a second term. What's interesting is where this leads the program. ↵

↵If you followed last summer's Olympics, you know the backstory. The ↵U.S. basketball program was in shambles, all things considered. ↵Although clearly superior in talent, there was zero organization of any ↵sort. Then came the commitment from players like Carmelo Anthony, ↵LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, who were part of the embarrassing effort ↵in the 2004 Olympics. And it really became more about committing to ↵multiple years and offseasons, not just a few weeks one summer. ↵

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↵But will that same group follow Krzyzewski's lead and join the team again? Back in June, Mike DeCourcy did a Q&A with Jerry Colangelo, ↵who specifically mentioned core players (LeBron, Wade, Chris Bosh, ↵Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul and Deron Williams). No mention ↵of Melo, but it's hard to picture him not going back with this crew. ↵

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↵Let's work from the assumption that those eight players will return. ↵That leaves just four spots. Who will make up the rest of the roster? ↵

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↵The big men ↵seem obvious, given the mentions of Bosh and Howard. I'm going to vouch ↵for Blake Griffin, sight unseen as an NBA player, for the third big ↵man. He won't rock the boat, personality-wise, so he'll fit in that ↵way. By all accounts, he should be the consummate pro. The glaring ↵concern with Griffin would be improving his jump shot to be better ↵suited for the international game. Possible alternative to Griffin: ↵LaMarcus Aldridge. ↵

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↵That leaves us with three spots. ↵

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↵On the wing Michael Redd and Tayshaun Prince are clearly out. ↵Kevin Durant steps in for one of those spots without question. He'd ↵have size to bother opponents and be an excellent second-unit scorer. ↵If you wanted to go with a defensive specialist, you could certainly ↵look at Trevor Ariza. The good thing about him is you wouldn't be ↵looking for an early commitment like with some of the other stars, so ↵you'd have time to see if he was a one-year wonder and could function ↵outside of Los Angeles. If you strictly wanted to go with a young, ↵rising talent, Danny Granger would slide in nicely to one of these ↵spots. ↵

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↵In the backcourt: Jason Kidd is out and in my book Brandon Roy ↵has to get the first ticket into that backcourt. Then you're left with ↵the question of what to do at the final spot. Once again, too many ↵point guards to choose from. Does Deron Williams keep his spot or do ↵you extrapolate out more growth from either Derrick Rose or Rajon ↵Rondo? Colangelo's comments seem to lead you to believe he's probably ↵in there no matter what, but humor me in this hypothetical argument. ↵I'd worry about the shooting ability of both Rose and Rondo in an ↵international setting. I'd also lend a lot of credence to Williams' ↵previous experience and place a lot of value in trying to keep as much ↵of the '08 team together as possible. Advantage: Williams. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.