Just imagine if USA Basketball were to revert back to using amateurs for the Olympics and other international competitions. For those of us who've been around a little while, it doesn't seem so long ago that the original Dream Team debuted in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics after the relative disappointment of the 1988 team made up of college players. And while it doesn’t appear to be a likelihood, despite the recent Paul George injury, it's a debate that hasn't completely gone away. My colleague Jay Bilas recently noted that we shouldn't go back to the old ways, in part because our college kids could no longer beat (or even compete with) many of the international teams. I tend to agree.
But what would Team USA look like under the old rules? I decided to come up with an American-born roster full of collegians, plus one high schooler.
Two players who would have made the team but don’t hail from the United States are Oklahoma’s underrated and versatile junior guard Buddy Hield (Bahamas) and Kentucky’s talented freshman forward Karl Towns Jr., who is from the Dominican Republic.
Here’s the team: