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.