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Could Calipari and Six Former Wildcats Make the Olympic Roster in 2016 or Beyond?

Diana Taurasi is one of six former UConn players playing for UConn Coach Geno Auriemma on Team USA

Former UConn women’s basketball players Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Tina Charles, Asjha Jones, Maya Moore, and Diana Taurasi are all playing for their old college coach, Geno Auriemma, for Team USA in these Summer Olympic Games. Reading about this got me thinking of what the chances may be of a similar group of Wildcats being assembled in the 2016 Olympics with Coach Calipari. Coach K has already made the announcement that he will retire as the U.S. National Coach after these Olympics in London, which opens up the door for John Calipari to take over.

With the number of NBA players Calipari has produced, his ability to bring together a team of superstars and get them playing as one unit in a very short time period, and his international basketball experience with the Dominican Republic, Calipari would be an excellent fit with Team USA. If he is named the head coach, which former Wildcats do you think will join Davis on the 2016 Olympic roster? Could UK match UConn’s total of six players on this year’s women’s team in 2016 or on future National Teams? Sound off in the comment section below.

Article written by John Wilmhoff

Former beer vendor, college mascot and ESPN editor. This spring, you can also find me blogging about the Reds on blogredmachine.com. Follow me on Twitter: @JohnWilmhoff

12 Comments for Could Calipari and Six Former Wildcats Make the Olympic Roster in 2016 or Beyond?



  1. BigBluSoTru
    1:10 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    As much as i would like too see a UK flavor too 2016, There are so many great players in the league and 4 years from now who says Cal is even the coach at UK. Besides in reality what he is doing is not going to go on forever with this string of luck. We have yet to see a Cal player from UK so far dominate the league at this point yes Wall , and Cousins have been good but not great.



  2. SuperTroy
    1:18 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    The stars would definitely need to align to get that many Cats on Team USA. The ones I think COULD make it would be Wall, Cousins, Davis, maybe Rondo and MKG. One of the future Cats would probably have to make it as well. (Wiggins, Noel, etc…) There is so much more parity in the men’s game than in the women’s though. A UK All-Star team would be Heaven to watch though.



  3. John Wilmhoff
    1:18 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    I tend to agree that it would be tough #1, but keep in mind that in four years, players like Nerlens Noel and guys that we haven’t even signed yet (like a Wiggins or Jabari Parker) could potentially make up some of those six players along with guys like Wall, Cousins, Davis, MKG.



  4. Bunch of Hosers
    1:21 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    2 & 3 – Wiggins is Canadian.



  5. John Wilmhoff
    1:22 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    Oh yes, duh, scratch that haha.



  6. nybrasky
    1:24 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    In terms of players, if they pass the U23 rule then it becomes possible. As for Cal, if he had gotten the Dominicans into the Olympics it would’ve made everyone take notice, however I’m guessing the brass at USA Basketball probably have something against him.



  7. putinrichie
    2:38 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    Possible, but extremely doubtful. Every great player that comes through Kentucky isn’t going to be one of the best in the entire NBA. I think it’s possible that we would have 2-3, but would be surprised with anymore than that. Guys like Lebron, Durant, CP3, Deron Williams, etc…will still be the main pieces of the team in 2016. While 6 or 9 UK players would be awesome…..lets try and set a more realistic goal of 2-3. Even if MKG pans out and averages 20+ ppg at Charlotte that doesn’t mean he will be picked to be on the Olympic team. Its a pretty exclusive bunch.



  8. blurishturr
    2:50 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    The Mavricks rock



  9. David
    4:14 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    John, I don’t think you realize how little 4 years is in the NBA. Melo, Iggy, Deron and Lebron will only be 32, Durant, Westbrook and Love will only be 27/28, and then you’re forgetting about the superstars not playing. Howard will be 30 and Rose will be 27. So although we dominate the recruiting field, we won’t have more than 3 in 2016, as the NBA’s best will still be in their prime. The only one who is guaranteed (by me) to make it is Davis. Cousins should, as he is growing tremendously, and if Wall continues, he has a shot. But other than that, I don’t see anyone else. Maybe if MKG floruishes, or Nerlens bulks up, but there will still be too many good players.



  10. John Wilmhoff
    4:39 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    Good point #9, timing is everything for something like this to happen, and unfortunately the timing may not be right with many of the current USA players still young enough to play again in 2016. Possibly, some of them may not be playing at the same level though.



  11. David
    5:00 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    Yeah John I was thinking about that a bit. I don’t think Melo or Iggy will make it again, as I don’t think Melo is that great and Iggy was bottom 3 and is at his peak. Also, some might not want to play again. Taking an educated guess, I’d say Deron, Melo, Iggy, Chandler and Kobe will all be off of it, and Rose, Howard and Blake on it. Wade is declining and Bosh won’t be a top 10 PF, so we have 2 spots left, all assumptions necessary. Wall and Cousins are the two biggest rising stars imo, so we could get 3 players, Cal getting 4 with Rose.

    All speculation, obviously.



  12. HamnEggs
    7:31 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    11) Kyrie Irving is a LOCK to be next guard to make the team. Adding Rose then it makes it very tough to see JWall making team