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Report: Mason Plumlee likely to make Team USA roster over DeMarcus Cousins

Jul 31, 2014, 8:01 PM EDT

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Mason Plumlee is a promising NBA big man who averaged 7.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in a limited role during his rookie season with the Brooklyn Nets.

It should go without saying that he is nowhere near the on-court talent that is DeMarcus Cousins.

But USA Basketball is a funny thing, in that qualities like being in the program from a young age and having a pristine attitude can sometimes be more important than pure skill, and the latest report about who might make the final 12-man roster that will compete in the World Championships later this summer would certainly be a reflection of those tenets, should it come to pass.

From Brian Windhorst of

2 things from Team USA: post practice games between Durant/Harden/George are epic; Mason Plumlee likely to make team over DeMarcus Cousins

Cousins has a long history of inappropriate behavior on the basketball court, despite being one of the game’s top talents at his position.

Mike Krzyzewski often mentions other bigs first when discussing who is making an impact at camp in Las Vegas this week.

“The big guys have given good efforts: Drummond, Cousins, even Faried. Then Plumlee, we didn’t expect that (level of performance),” Krzyzewski said, via our own Kurt Helin who is in Vegas with Team USA this week. “He’s going to be in the scrimmage Friday, so we’ll take a look at that.”

Despite the many skills that Cousins possesses, the ones sought after by Team USA in a backup big man role will be energy, defense, and most importantly, filling the required role without becoming a distraction.

If Cousins is left off the team, it will be a sign that his maturity — at least in the eyes of Jerry Colangelo and Coach K — isn’t where it needs to be to represent USA Basketball in international competition.

  1. nfl4days - Jul 31, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    “Attitude over on-court ability? That’s disrespectful”
    -Isaiah Thomas

    • handsomerob86 - Jul 31, 2014 at 9:27 PM

      Lol thats exactly what I thought of. But putting Stockton over Isiah is not even close to the difference between Cousins and Plumlee. Stockton went to the hall, and everyone knew he would in ’92. Plumlee hasn’t even been a starter for a season vs. Cousins who is a All-star big man. Cousins has a much more legitament beef than Isiah.

      • tomtravis76 - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:04 AM

        2002 worlds and 2004 Olympics showed everyone team is much more important than overall individual talent.

  2. campcouch - Jul 31, 2014 at 8:41 PM


    • chicagosports2014 - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:09 AM

      He just cry to much.

  3. 00maltliquor - Jul 31, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    Boogie stays getting shXtted on. Smh

  4. blogsk3tball - Jul 31, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    Good luck scoring in the half court with no post presence!

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:28 PM

      That’s not really how the international game is played

  5. elcapitanfiscal - Jul 31, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    Wow Plumlee over DeMarcus? That’s ridiculous, Cousins should be pissed.

    Thats messed up, Coach K.

  6. christdp443 - Jul 31, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    pretty preposterous, Coach had to give 1 of his own the spot. Plumlee showed some promise but…what?! Really?

    • muhangis - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:58 PM

      Yep. You said it.

    • atahualpaoxford - Aug 1, 2014 at 1:02 AM

      One of his own…???? You mean a white guy…???
      Yup…there are going to be a whole bunch of white faces at the Worlds…
      The US should try to fit in…

      • elcapitanfiscal - Aug 1, 2014 at 6:29 AM

        They are both from Duke, but good guess.

  7. bux1022 - Jul 31, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    Can anyone say Christian Laetner?? Seems pretty similar, just sayin..and I actually like the Suns!

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:27 PM

      You’re thinking of the wrong Plumlee.

    • muhangis - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:59 PM

      True, Christian Laettner over Shaquille O’Neal

      • lhollis74 - Aug 1, 2014 at 1:00 AM

        No, no ,no, you got it all wrong. Shaquille was was finishing his junior season at LSU after which he was drafted. On that dream team they were taking a Senior college player and after the way CL finished the year with Duke and his last second shot, how could you pick anyone else?

      • muhangis - Aug 2, 2014 at 1:28 AM

        Regardless O’Neal was the much dominant player. Senior or junior year or not, Shaq was done with college & coming into the NBA.

  8. charlescub80 - Jul 31, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    U guys need to think outside the box. Of course cousins is better player! They are looking for more team players who play defense, rebound, and be in the right spot on the floor. Cousins is much less effective when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands. Just look at the teams potential squad. How many touches will he really get?

    • antistratfordian - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:02 PM

      That seems like inside the box thinking. Outside the box thinking would be saying something in support of Cousins.

      • charlescub80 - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:24 PM

        No, inside the box would be picking the player who everyone thinks is the obvious pick.

      • antistratfordian - Aug 1, 2014 at 2:09 AM

        But when you’re talking about Cousins, usually the obvious pick is not him because of his reputation. He always gets the s— end of the stick from just about every angle, so this is just the same thing, different day.

    • muhangis - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:06 PM

      Cousins is also the much greater rebounder than Plumlee. Cousins averages 1 reb per 2.75 mins, Plumlee avg 1 reb per 4.15 minutes. That’s a vast difference… Cousins is the superior rebounder!

      And they are almost equal defenders, much closer than the media suggests…

      Unlike you, I don’t judge Cousin’s based on what the media tells me, I judge his play based on his *numbers !!

      • charlescub80 - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:28 PM

        Did u read the part where I said cousins is the better player? I base my judgements on what the media tells me? Why are you even commenting if you don’t even read the whole comment?!?

      • muhangis - Aug 2, 2014 at 1:31 AM

        I did read the whole comment. If you and I both agree that Cousin’s is the better player.. then why the heck the debate?!

        Your response: __________

        ME: Yes, well my thoughts exactly..

  9. mzim2756 - Jul 31, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    Let’s see, Plumlee played for Duke, Mike K was the coach of Duke, Hmmmmm

    • bealwithit - Jul 31, 2014 at 9:59 PM

      Mason Plumlee over DeMarcus Cousins.

      Kyrie Irving over John Wall.

      Coach K is picking his Duke players and doesn’t like Wall and Cousins for putting Kentucky back on the map. Those guys made it cool to go to Kentucky again.

  10. sportsfan18 - Jul 31, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    Tis the way of the world folks.

    Bobby Knight kept Alford too… over one John Stockton.

    This is NOT new.

    Stockton was great and he was NOT a head case.

    Cousins does have a 10 cent brain and tons of talent too…

    This won’t be the last time either.

    Folks hire friends of theirs all the time, no different here like Bobby.

  11. mzim2756 - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    John Thompson picked his guy when he coaches the Olympics, Charles Smith, I think for PG and it was the first time in a while that team USA did not win gold

  12. antistratfordian - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    That’s ridiculous. I’m sure opponents would much rather see Plumlee coming off the bench over Cousins.

    • muhangis - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:08 PM


  13. unfly - Aug 1, 2014 at 5:56 AM

    …white guy rule?

  14. rodyaugu - Aug 1, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    If I’m Cousins, I never tryout for team USA ever again.

  15. halfcourthero - Aug 1, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    Miles has to be this team’s token white guy and what’s worse it’s gonna come at the expense of a waaaay better player but in terms of chemistry I see what it is. And it don’t hurt that plumlee played for Coach K This should be a lesson to young players everywhere, your prior actions usually get held against you somewhere down the road when it comes to future opportunities

    • johnc44 - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      Really? Gordon Hayward,Chandler Parsons and Kyle Korver don`t qualify for token white guy.Talk about the racist who cried wolf.

      • unfly - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:39 PM

        the difference is that you can make an argument for each of those guys based on their output. Plumlee just has upside…hasn’t even proved he’s a fulltime starter yet.

    • borderline1988 - Aug 1, 2014 at 1:14 PM

      Your prior actions arent held against you, but of course they are considered in determining what you might do on the team, what else would you do?

      Whether it’s Plumlee or Cousins, he wont be averaging too many minutes. Do you trust Cousins to play the part of good teammate, while sitting on the bench for 35 – 40 minutes per game? Even when he is on the floor, is he the guy who will working hard on D, rebounding, setting screens, etc. as opposed to demanding the ball in the post?

      How are Team USA coaches supposed to ignore Cousins’ behavioural history? He’s a chemistry problem waiting to happen, is that worth the risk for the 11th or 12th guy off the bench?

  16. bux1022 - Aug 1, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    Ya I mixed up the plums. But hey they both suck!

  17. provguard - Aug 1, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    Its simple, the USA needs team players, not an angry ego maniac

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