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The 2016 Olympics Could be Very Fun for Kentucky Fans

The rest of the world should get used to seeing this.


Not long ago, after watching Geno Auriemma coach six of his former UConn players on the U.S. Women’s National Team, I posed the question here on KSR about the likelihood of John Calipari doing the same in four years if he would be chosen as the new coach of the U.S. men’s squad. Admittedly, it was a bit of a stretch to think about a similar scenario for the men’s team with many of the current stars expected to remain on the team in 2016, but a new age restriction rule could make it more likely that more Kentucky players will find themselves on the 2016 Olympic roster, regardless of whether Coach Cal would be named the coach or not.

The NBA owners are supposedly in favor of Olympic basketball to be 23-and-under starting in 2016 and NBA writer Steve Wojnarowski told Jeff Goodman on his radio show, “I have little doubt in my mind it’s going to happen”.

Here is what Goodman says the next Olympic team could look like without guys such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and others who will have turned 24 by the time the Olympics begin in Brazil (with Kentucky players in bold and potential Kentucky players in bold italics):



SF – Jabari Parker (3-15-95), Simeon High (Illinois)

PF – Cody Zeller (11-5-92), Indiana

C – Anthony Davis (3-11-93), New Orleans Hornets (NBA)

PG – Trey Burke (11-12-92), Michigan

SG – Shabazz Muhammad (11-13-93), UCLA



SG – Bradley Beal (6-28-93), Washington Wizards (NBA)

PG – Kyle Anderson (9-20-93), UCLA

PG – Andrew Harrison (10-20-94), Travis High (Texas)

SF – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (9-26-93), Charlotte Bobcats (NBA)

SF – Adonis Thomas (3-25-93), Memphis

BF – James Michael McAdoo (1-4-93), North Carolina

PF – Aaron Gordon (9-6-95), Archbishop Mitty High (Calif.)

C – Nerlens Noel (4-10-94), Kentucky



That is potentially six Kentucky players right there, but others who could be eligible are Marquis Teague, Alex Poythress, Archie Goodwin, Julius Randle, Aaron Harrison, and if only Andrew Wiggins wasn’t Canadian, he’d be on the team, too. There could be an absurd number of Wildcats who could be considered for the 2016 Olympics if the U.S Team were to only choose from players under the age of 24. I don’t think it’s too far off to envision a Team USA roster consisting of more UK players than non-UK players. If this is to be the case, let’s all start saving up for a trip to Brazil in four years.

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 Follow me on Twitter: @JohnWilmhoff

33 Comments for The 2016 Olympics Could be Very Fun for Kentucky Fans

  1. coolio1
    1:18 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    Wiggins will only be in th olmpics if Canada makes it….

  2. Bob Sugar
    1:29 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    Trey Burke as a top PG is laughable.. maybe he’ll join Ronald Steele as the greatest point guard of all time.

  3. KYTurtle
    1:29 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    Isn’t Wiggins Canadian?

  4. Bradley
    1:30 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    The reserves would beat the starters by 100. Zeller is a nice college player. Anyone who thinks he’ll be a GREAT pro has lost their damn mind. And Trey Burke? Olympic team? LOL

  5. jaxcats8503
    1:30 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    1) That’s a pathetic roster. I truly hope NBA owners (and Stern) don’t get their way and enact this age limit. We’ll return to 2004 level and be competing for the bronze medal.
    2) Wiggins is from Canada and has stated he’d play for them in 2016.

  6. John Wilmhoff
    1:32 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    yeah, Wiggins is Canadian. Sorry, fixed it!

  7. Morgan Whoton?
    1:35 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    Apparently Canada and U.S. are united of 2016… And, if that is correct, that’s the only meaningful news in this entire post.

  8. stupid
    1:45 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    23? That is way too young. Maybe 30 and under, but 23? Let’s get Wall, Boogie, Jones, MKG, Knight, etc. a chance to get their gold.

  9. Steely Dan
    1:47 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    This team would suck

  10. cracka
    1:48 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    it’s hard to tell if that would even be a good team or not … how about showing what a team under 24 would look like right now

  11. schwing
    1:48 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    the point of that new rule is…?

  12. AaronJ
    2:06 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    I doubt USA gets gold versus the grownups from all other countries. Seriously a lineup like that without at least 2 veterans would get crushed by this years Argentina, Lithuania, and Spain.

  13. TampaCat
    2:08 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    If all other teams have rosters age 24 and under fine. If not, then why should we?

  14. CrappyRule
    2:13 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    The NBA owners want this bc they feel the older players are more injury-prone and they want to protect their investment. Too bad the ‘investment’ doesn’t get a say in this because they are the ones wanting to put themselves out there.

  15. John Wall
    2:15 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    The Olympics are about sending your countries atheletes to compete against the world. Sorry our basketball players are the best. No other event worries about how bad they beat their opponent. That should be the other coutries problem to figure out how to compete. Making teams fair is not always what sports is about and especially not the olympics. USA

  16. John W
    2:17 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    This just makes me hate David Stern even more. It would be cool to see a team loaded with UK players, but more and more will creep on the roster even without this rule. I hope a lot of players come out against this.

  17. TheNationSays
    2:30 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    It’s not the UK/us olympic team 2016, for cryong out loud I guess this site has to come up with all type nonsense too keep us idiots reading.

  18. theWilkman
    2:30 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    Should be under 28, not 24. That’s just nuts.

    Also, We’ll have #9, maybe even #10 by then, so there is a great chance Cal gets the nod as coach. Can you name one coach out there who can corral elite individual talent (with little-to-no history of playing on the same team) into an unstoppable force better than him?

  19. Will S
    2:30 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    I’ve seen many REACH articles on KSR, but this one takes the bait. That’s absolutely foolish and has about a 1% chance of actually happening. Basically the same percentage of Calipari ever being named Head Coach to represent the USA.

    It’s just not going to happen.

  20. gossie21
    2:30 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    David Stern is trying to replicate the Soccer FIFA model. FIFA makes tons of money off of the World Cup and basketball/FIBA don’t make anything.

    Likewise, FIFA restricts Olympic teams to 23 and under. So if this goes into effect it would be a FIBA rule, and all countries would be sending U23 teams to the Olympics. I don’t oppose the age restriction, I just wish it was U30. I would hate for John Wall and Demarcus Cousins to be denied the opportunity to play for the USA.

  21. Owen
    2:35 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    Can the owners actually do this without a new CBA?

  22. John Wilmhoff
    2:38 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    #19, the title of the post is “could be very fun for Kentucky fans”. It “COULD” be. All I said was that there’s a decent chance of a lot of UK players being on the Olympic team, which is actually pretty likely even if none of the changes take place. I also said it will be fun for UK fans, which it will. We’ve had fun watching Davis get mop up minutes. We will have more fun with at least several others joining him in 2016, and maybe more than several.

    Have fun watching Louisville in swimming and steeplechase events.

  23. TheNationSays
    2:44 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    We’ve had fun watching Davis get mop up minutes.Have fun watching Louisville in swimming and steeplechase events.
    And BBN wonders why the rest of the country thinks of them the way they do enough said!

  24. usa
    3:12 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    Doc Rivers will be the next to coach team USA.

  25. Bradley
    3:13 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    Stern is a money grubbing ego-maniac. The NBA doesn’t make money off these players playing in the Olympics. That’s his issue with it, not injuries. Stern wants a World Basketball Classic type tourney and he wants every damn dime from it. That’s all this comes down to.

  26. Jordan
    3:46 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    22) Wow, KSR editors slamming their own readers. Classy.

    “2016 Olympics Could be Very Fun for Kentucky Fans.”

    So, it wouldn’t be fun if the team wasn’t 1/2 former UK players?

  27. Dave
    3:58 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    This rule would apply to the other countries as well. Their NBA players would have to be 23 and younger. I will take our younger NBA players over the world’s older non-NBA players (and young NBAers). I still think it is silly and the best should get to represent.

  28. CATS
    4:18 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    I think David Stern just looks for more ways for people to dislike him. This just makes me mad. Honestly, it makes me feel bad for players like John Wall, Cousins, and Knight. They’ve worked their entire lives to play in the NBA and play for team USA. Now with Stern’s idiotic rule, they won’t even have the chance to go to the Olympics. Unbelievable.

  29. BCG
    4:27 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    Ive already been asked to lead this team in battle , mental toughness is key.

  30. bill
    4:56 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    Ever heard of John wall and cousins?

  31. Rae
    5:11 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    30. If the age is 23 and younger, they’d be too old. That’s why 28 or so would be better. Wall has to be at least 20 now.

  32. what!
    5:26 pm August 7, 2012 Permalink

    That is not a team of players that could win a gold medal… sorry.

  33. putinrichie
    7:25 am August 8, 2012 Permalink

    This post is beyond stupid. For starters, I don’t want to see this group play in the Olympics. I want Lebron, Durant, CP3, etc….. Also, even if the age is changed, half of the guys on your team wouldnt even make the Olympic team. Quit pegging high school kids that want to come to UK as Olympic material and including Nerlens Noel on anything like this is a reach at this point. We don’t even know how we will fare at UK this year yet.