Northwestern University has announced that head basketball coach and former Duke player Chris Collins will be coaching the USA Select Team in Las Vegas. The USA Select Team is the group of guys that serve as practice opponents for Tea USA.
Collins went 14-19 in his first year at Northwestern, but now he will be called upon to challenge his mentor Coach K and the might of team USA with these thirteen guys:
Tim Hardaway Jr
Already you can see some interesting combinations. You have the two Plumlees. You also have the Ames, IA connection of Barnes and McDermott.
Trey Burke is the only true point guard on the roster, which smacks me as poor planning. There is also not a lot of post depth. I’m not sure that Coach K is really trying to challenge Team USA.
One practice matchup that will inevitably happen will be Dion Waiters going up against Kyrie Irving. I expect those two will relish the opportunity to school the other.
I know Coach K likes to promote his guys and running the USA Select Team is something of a thankless task, but could K not have gotten someone other than Collins to do it? I have a sneaky suspicion that Coach K taught Chris Collins all that Collins knows. So K is not challenging his coaching style here.
Why could he not have brought back Mike D’Antoni, who has a background as an international coach? Or someone with a similar resume? I don’t think that Team USA is going to see a mirror of itself at the FIBA World Championship. Therefore they are best off if the Select Team is coached like an international team.