2012 US Olympic Roster -- It's All Settled (And Maybe 2016) | The Boneyard

2012 US Olympic Roster -- It's All Settled (And Maybe 2016)

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JoePgh

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There is a great discussion going about the 2012 US Olympic team roster. But it's at the end of a thread that was ostensibly about Wednesday night's Minnesota-Atlanta playoff game, so probably a lot of people are missing it.

In my opinion, the 2012 roster is almost fully baked. I would say that the first 10 players named below (out of a total of 12) are 99%+ certain to make the roster, so only 2 spots, at most, are in play (assuming of course that everyone is healthy and available):

Centers: Fowles, Griner
Power Forwards: Parker, Charles
Wings: Catchings, Augustus
Shooting guards: Taurasi, McCoughtry
Point guards (have to be 3): Bird, Whalen, ?? (but why not Becky Hammon?)
Last player: Dupree or Pondexter or Brunson

You need 3 point guards on any team such as this because you need 2 to play a game, and you cannot take the risk that an injury will get you down to only one who can go. No one at any other position can become an effective Olympic-level point guard in the event of injury.

It is possible that Cappie Pondexter will be taken as the 3rd point guard (she is versatile enough to also play the 2), so that Dupree or Brunson could also make the team. But unless Hammon is committed to the Russians, there is no doubt in my mind that she is the third best American point guard.

The implication is that Maya will not make the team. I don't think that is either unlikely or undeserved -- both in the WNBA and in the World Championships last year, she did not play as effectively as Dupree, and clearly a healthy Augustus, at this point in their respective careers, is a better option. And I don't think Swin, Asjha, or Renee will make the team either.

That would leave 3 Huskies and 2 Volunteers, or 5 out of 12 players from the two perenially top programs. Seems about right -- but the evaluation should (and I think will) be done based on each person's individual likely contribution, without regard to her alma mater.

The most interesting observation about this probable roster is that it is quite young and therefore should change rather little by 2016. My guess is that only Bird and Catchings will be "too old" by 2016 to warrant inclusion based on their likely contributions at that time. So 10 of the 12 positions on the 2016 roster are also probably "spoken for". It's safe to say that Maya will have one of those two remaining spots -- who might get the other? EDD? (I don't think so.) Breanna Stewart? (Possible.)
 
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There is a great discussion going about the 2012 US Olympic team roster. But it's at the end of a thread that was ostensibly about Wednesday night's Minnesota-Atlanta playoff game, so probably a lot of people are missing it.

In my opinion, the 2012 roster is almost fully baked. I would say that the first 10 players named below (out of a total of 12) are 99%+ certain to make the roster, so only 2 spots, at most, are in play (assuming of course that everyone is healthy and available):

Centers: Fowles, Griner
Power Forwards: Parker, Charles
Wings: Catchings, Augustus
Shooting guards: Taurasi, McCoughtry
Point guards (have to be 3): Bird, Whalen, ?? (but why not Becky Hammon?)
Last player: Dupree or Pondexter or Brunson

You need 3 point guards on any team such as this because you need 2 to play a game, and you cannot take the risk that an injury will get you down to only one who can go. No one at any other position can become an effective Olympic-level point guard in the event of injury.

It is possible that Cappie Pondexter will be taken as the 3rd point guard (she is versatile enough to also play the 2), so that Dupree or Brunson could also make the team. But unless Hammon is committed to the Russians, there is no doubt in my mind that she is the third best American point guard.

The implication is that Maya will not make the team. I don't think that is either unlikely or undeserved -- both in the WNBA and in the World Championships last year, she did not play as effectively as Dupree, and clearly a healthy Augustus, at this point in their respective careers, is a better option. And I don't think Swin, Asjha, or Renee will make the team either.

That would leave 3 Huskies and 2 Volunteers, or 5 out of 12 players from the two perenially top programs. Seems about right -- but the evaluation should (and I think will) be done based on each person's individual likely contribution, without regard to her alma mater.

The most interesting observation about this probable roster is that it is quite young and therefore should change rather little by 2016. My guess is that only Bird and Catchings will be "too old" by 2016 to warrant inclusion based on their likely contributions at that time. So 10 of the 12 positions on the 2016 roster are also probably "spoken for". It's safe to say that Maya will have one of those two remaining spots -- who might get the other? EDD? (I don't think so.) Breanna Stewart? (Possible.)

Great post. Well thought out.

Maya, as the future of WBB, will somehow be included on the 2012 roster.
Bird is a question mark recovering from surgery and she will be 32 next year.
Whalen will always be a question mark in my mind because I am partial to foot speed.
Parker, hopefully, can remain injury free between now and next year.
I tend to agree about Swin and Ashja.
I like the fact that Dupree and Brunson are getting strong consideration. However, if it came down to Maya or Dupree, the choice will likely be Maya.
If EDD is to make the team, she has got to get into and start competing within the upper echelon mix.
Catchings is older than Bird.

It is nice to have such tough choices.
 

speedoo

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I'm sure I'll be alone with this opinion but I don't think Parker is a lock, because:

1. Possibility she may not be fully healthy... She is very injury prone, probably because she is too fragile in the post at this level.
2. Aside from her offensive prowess, she is neither a great defender or rebounder.
3. She is still prone to lapse into play that is characterized by less than 100% effort, going off on her own on offense, and generally acting like a star instead of a team member. This is not USA Basketball.

Not saying she won't be on the team, I think the odds are well above 50% she will be on the team. I just don't believe she's a lock.

IMO, locks are Bird, Taurasi, Catchings, Fowles.

Near locks: Parker, Whelan, Charles, Maya, Pondexter, Cash.

(that's 10)

Very possible: Dupree, Augustus, Brunson, Griner, McCaughtrey.

Unlikely: Appel, Jones, Robinson, Montgomery, Young, VanDersloot.

I think McCaughtrey or Augustus makes the team as the fifth guard, and Griner, Dupree and Brunson battle it out for the fourth post spot. This might be the greatest WBB team of all time.
 

easttexastrash

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IMO, Augustus is a lock, as is Parker, if healthy. I don't see Whalen as a lock, as a previous poster indicated, due to foot speed. I take Cappie and Montgomery over Whalen. Cappie can simply light it up and Montgomery knows exactly what is expected in Geno's system.

I also consider Griner and Cash near locks. Swin has sooooo much international experience and has performed very well on the current European tour. Griner has been the top performer on the current European tour and Geno has done nothing but sing her praises. You don't leave 6-8 and the other future of WBB sitting at home.

My roster:
Taurasa (best player in the world), Bird (best PG in the world), Catchings, Fowles, Griner, Parker, Charles, Pondexter, Augustus, Moore (need the three point threat), Cash and Montgomery.

Brunson is the one that I think may crash the party. Her mid-range game and rebounding are so strong. Dupree is also tough to leave out.

I have NO problem with six former UCONN players being on the team, although I am sure that some people will. There is a reason that UCONN has so many NCs.

oops...left out McCoughtry...can we take 13 players? McCoughtry could beat out Moore.
 

easttexastrash

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Does anyone really think that Hammon has a chance after playing for Russia? I would not even consider her for that reason alone. IMO, she burned her bridge with the US team when she did that.
 
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Although i am not a regular posters. I'm usually a big lurker! :) I follow women basketball extensively and LOVE GENO and the UCONN! :) (so i may be a tad bit biased)

Here is my opinion of players that are currently on National Team and Who i think may make the roster for Olympics.

Jayne Appel- Doubtful- just because she has not really played well in WNBA this season

Seimone Augustus- She is probably one of the locks. Had an awesome WNBA season.

Alana Beard- Inconsistent this season, oftentimes injuried

Sue Bird- an absolute lock.

Rebekkah Brunson- She had a good season, but will she fit in Geno’s system, is the question. I think she’s on the bubble.

Swin Cash- She is the USA’s 12th player. Someone Geno could use for leadership and experience.

Tamika Catchings- She’s absoulte one of the locks. She has awesome season. WNBA MVP. She will fit in great with Geno’s playing style.

Tina Charles- She will make it. Does not matter what anyone says, but She knows Geno’s system intimately and has been very committed to the USA team.

Shameka Christon- She will not make it, She hasnt made enough appearance with USA basketball to merit naming her to Olympics team.

Candice Dupree- Although a good player, I think she doesn’t make it. Maybe as an alternate.

Sylvia Fowles- a Beast, She will make it! imagine having Fowles, Griner, and Charles in the post, with Taurasi and Bird as guards.. Thats a huge line up!

Brittany Griner- She has earned Geno’s respect and has had excellent showing with USA basketball. She’ll make it! She won’t log 30 minutes, but whenever shes on floor for her 13-17 minutes, she’ll be a force!

Lindsay Harding- She won’t make it. too inconsistent and lack of international experience may hurt her.

Ebony Hoffman- Same reason as Lindsay and she has not been an active part of USA basketball.

Ashja Jones- Although she has UConn experience with GEno, she has no chances, with better players ahead of her.

Kara Lawson- She's doubtful. Geno has not used her lately. She has aged out, although she can be a good clutch player.

Angel McCourthy- She will make it, IF she promise Geno she'll buy in the team concept. Theres no I in Team... if she shares basketball and play as a team, she'll be on team..

Maya Moore- She's our future, She will be on the team. although maybe not as a starter, but a force off the bench.

Candace Parker- She'll be on the team. She is one of the strongest forward in WNBA. She'll be on roster, only if she's healthy.

Diana Taurasi- She's Geno's to go girl. She'll be on team. The selection committee will have to be nuts if they left Diana off the roster.

Courtney Vandersloot- I think she will be one of the two alternates. She has a great potential and she can go as Bird's Shadow. as 3rd point guard.

Kia Vaughn- Shes doubtful, she has not participated alot with the USA basketball.

Linsday Whalen- I am not fond of her playing style. I don't think she'll fit in with the players such as Taurasi, Catchings, etc, They are too fast for Whalen.

Candice Wiggins- She is also on the bubble. She could be on roster, if few got injuried.

Becky Hammon- SHE CANNOT PLAY FOR UNITED STATES. once she play internationally for one country, she cannot represent the other country in Olympics (although it is possible but there are a lot of complicated procedure and regulations and I am pretty sure USA basketball does not want to deal with that)

So In my own opinion-

Locks- Taurasi, Bird, Parker, Fowles, Moore, Griner, Cash, Augustus, Catchings, Charles

On bubble- fighting for last two spots would be, Wiggins, Vandersloot, McCourthy, Dupree.


 

UcMiami

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I am pretty sure Hammon cannot play for the USA since she has already played for Russia. As far as three point guards, I think USA will consider Diana as the 'third' option and will only have two on the team. I agree with the original post first 9 players (always supposing health):
Centers: Fowles, Griner
Power Forwards: Parker, Charles
Wings: Catchings, Augustus
Shooting guards: Taurasi, McCoughtry
Point Guards: Bird
I think the second point guard is between Whalen and ...? Vandersloot, Rene, Cappy?
I think the last two are Maya and ... ? I have been impressed with Brunson and Dupree. If Cappy is not chosen as the 'second PG' then she is probably the second. I think Maya gets her place based on the future, and on her intangibles, and not on her specific stats.
 
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Becky Hammon- SHE CANNOT PLAY FOR UNITED STATES. once she play internationally for one country, she cannot represent the other country in Olympics (although it is possible but there are a lot of complicated procedure and regulations and I am pretty sure USA basketball does not want to deal with that)

Actually, It's not difficult to do that: I have a relative who holds both Jamaican and US citizenship, and who represented the Jamaican team. It's not a complicated process ONCE you have a country's citizenship. So I think she could play with a minimum of hassle if all you're considering is the administrative process: now, dealing with all the egos and political feelings within USA Basketball surrounding her previously playing for Russia, that's another matter. As far as the players go, Geno has been pretty admiring of Vandersloot in his comments, so I think she has a good chance.
 
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Becky Hammon can no longer play for any other national team besides Russia in a FIBA sanctioned event. Once you play for a senior national team in a FIBA sanctioned event you can no longer play for any other national team. International governing bodies for different sports have different rules, but FIBA is clear on this.
Actually, It's not difficult to do that: I have a relative who holds both Jamaican and US citizenship, and who represented the Jamaican team. It's not a complicated process ONCE you have a country's citizenship. So I think she could play with a minimum of hassle if all you're considering is the administrative process: now, dealing with all the egos and political feelings within USA Basketball surrounding her previously playing for Russia, that's another matter. As far as the players go, Geno has been pretty admiring of Vandersloot in his comments, so I think she has a good chance.
 

EricLA

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IMHO...

Locks:

Bird
Taurasi, Augustus
McCaughtry, Catch
Charles, Parker
Fowles

Near locks:

Whalen, Griner

the remaining 2 spots will come down to Cappie, Renee, Maya, Swin, Ashja, Candace Dupree, Becca Brunson, and Lindsay Harding. One thing to consider is that Geno favors players who are flexible and can play multiple positions. Cappie, Maya and Swin can all do that better than Renee, Candace, Becca or Lindsay. so i think the last 2 will come from the trio i mentioned above.

one thing to consider is that Renee has not been able to showcase any of her talents to a national audience as the Sun were ousted in the 1st round. she mightily impressed me with her numbers this year, even tho Whalen got all the publicity (and she deserved it) but partly cuz she was on the best team that got the most wins.
 

DaddyChoc

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Cappie isnt on my list... nor AJones, Cash or Renee.

BTW someone said Lawson is too old... she's younger than Cash, Jones, Bird and a year older than Taurasi
 

KnightBridgeAZ

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Just one follow-up on someone's earlier remark - although in some ways the team will be playing Geno's style - it also isn't Geno's UConn style. International basketball being a different animal, and Geno adapts his style to the circumstances.

Cappie is an open question - between her rather tactless remarks and her not playing USA basketball last year - it will be interesting what the committee thinks. The converse to this is the truth that her and Geno have a very special relationship and I think that if he says he wants her most likely the committee will go along.
 

easttexastrash

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Just one follow-up on someone's earlier remark - although in some ways the team will be playing Geno's style - it also isn't Geno's UConn style. International basketball being a different animal, and Geno adapts his style to the circumstances.

Cappie is an open question - between her rather tactless remarks and her not playing USA basketball last year - it will be interesting what the committee thinks. The converse to this is the truth that her and Geno have a very special relationship and I think that if he says he wants her most likely the committee will go along.

There is no doubt that Geno's fingerprints will be all over the style of play. Basketball is basketball and it is not going to change drastically just because this is international basketball. Geno surely wants as many players as he can get who know exactly what he expects.
 

Kibitzer

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Props to all posters! From the OP onward, this was one of the very best threads to appear on this new version of the Boneyard. None of that back-and-forth crap, just thoughtful, informative, and insightful (preferable to incite-ful) comments by knowledgeable wbb fans.

Well done!
 

semper

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Do people think that Sue and Catch will both be recovered from surgery on the one hand, and that injury on the other? I think that the physical state of some of the players will play a role in the selection process, perhaps even more than usual.
 

speedoo

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Do people think that Sue and Catch will both be recovered from surgery on the one hand, and that injury on the other? I think that the physical state of some of the players will play a role in the selection process, perhaps even more than usual.
I think they both will make sure they are ready. It will almost certainly be their last Olympics and they will do everything possible to play.
 
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IMO the choice for the backup PG will come down to Cappy, Renee or Whalen. I think as well that there is no need for 3 PG as DT can be fill that role if needed.
I think that Maya will be on this team as she is part of US Basketball future and as such will be taken over some other players who are maybe a bit better at this point as she'll be only the 10-12 player and that will be for the experience and not for her to be the savior and besides she is a good omen as she very rarely loses any kind of title :)
I like Brunson as the 12th player on this team as she is a stronger rebounder than Dupree and more physical.
So the team the way I see it is:
Bird, Whalen (or Cappy or Renee)
Taurasi, Augustus
Catch, McCaughtry, Maya
Charles, Parker, Brunon (or Swin or Dupree)
Fowles, Griner
 

MilfordHusky

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Actually, I think this is our consensus:

1. Geno will do a good job of coaching.

2. Injuries will partially determine who makes the team.

3. If healthy, at least Sue, Diana, Tamika, Sylvia, and Tina are locks.

4. At least a few very, very good players, including probably some with Olympic or World Championship experience, will NOT make the team.
 
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Couple things
1) Geno will adapt to his roster, not the roster adapt to him. Either way there are very few at this level who can't adapt. The US plays basically the same year in and year out. The players are the mainstays, not the coach. How many players have been on multiple Olympic and World teams? How many different coaches for those teams?
2) Dupree was USA's leading rebounder at the World Championships. It wasn't even all that close. She started 5 of the 9 games. She may not be a lock, but I think there are fewer locks than people think and she may be closer than they think as well.
3) Whalen's speed is a none issue. She and Bird were eerily similar in stats from Worlds. The couple differences offset each other. Bird led 26 to Whalen's 14 in assists. That is offset by Whalen's 21 ft to Bird's 0. Every other statistical category was almost exactly the same in totals except Bird played more to get to those totals.
4) McCoughtry is a lock. She scored the second most points and doubled up the next closest in steals. Geno loved her.
5) Injury will play a role. Last year some were left off the team because they weren't fully recovered i.e. Augustus. She'll be back to claim a spot.
 

Icebear

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Actually, I think this is our consensus:

1. Geno will do a good job of coaching.

2. Injuries will partially determine who makes the team.

3. If healthy, at least Sue, Diana, Tamika, Sylvia, and Tina are locks.

4. At least a few very, very good players, including probably some with Olympic or World Championship experience, will NOT make the team.

+1 beyond that there are numerous ways to go and little is settled.
 

wire chief

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Mr. Fuller reports that USA has won the 5th and final game in Europe. Once again, Swin is a major contributor, as she has consistently been for Team USA over time. High scorer today.
I must question why so many see Swin as a bubble, when she performs as she has in the setting under discussion.
 

EricLA

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Mr. Fuller reports that USA has won the 5th and final game in Europe. Once again, Swin is a major contributor, as she has consistently been for Team USA over time. High scorer today.
I must question why so many see Swin as a bubble, when she performs as she has in the setting under discussion.
if you look at who most see as locks, there are anywhere from 8-10. that leaves Swin, Maya, Dupree, Ashja, Cappie, Renee, Rebekkah, Harding, Sophia Young, and a few others fighting it out for the final 2 spots. Swin had a terrific first half to her season but really bombed in the 2nd half. i think if she built on her all star MVP performance and had a really terrific season, no one would be talking about her being on the bubble.

no i have no idea what the Team USA committee is thinking. maybe they consider Swin a lock. we won't know till the team comes out. Swin has been a terrific performer for team USA in the past and it's highly possible she'll be viewed favorably because of that. you make good points and i don't disagree per se, but a lot of us probably look at it as "what have you done for me lately"...

i had posted i thought there were 8 players who were locks with Whalen and Griner as near locks which leaves 2 spots available for the cadre of players i listed above.

anyway it's just my opinion, but if you have Bird, Whalen, Taurasi, Augustus, McCaughtry, Catch, Charles, Parker, Fowles, and Griner as your base 10, who do you replace with Swin if you really feel she belongs as a lock? i'd honestly put Cappie and Maya ahead of Swin at this point....
 

VAMike23

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Mr. Fuller reports that USA has won the 5th and final game in Europe. Once again, Swin is a major contributor, as she has consistently been for Team USA over time. High scorer today.
I must question why so many see Swin as a bubble, when she performs as she has in the setting under discussion.

You make a very good point. I usually think of her as a 'bubble' player or even a 'cut' player when putting together my own hypothetical 12. But you can't say she doesn't perform in the Team USA games. Her odds of ultimately making the are probably better than I and perhaps some others have been saying. I look at the other names competing for spots and am in awe of the talent level, but Swin brings energy, experience, and consistent Team USA performances in addition to talent. If the committee leaves her off, it will be a very close vote. If she makes it, no one should really be surprised.
 

bbsamjj

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I think the team can also be divided up by experience and uniqueness of skill set:

USA Vets who will be on the team unless injured:
1. Bird
2. Taurasi
3. Catchings

Players with USA experience, locks because of talent/necessity of skill set
4. Fowles
5. Charles
6. Parker

These are the only 6 that, barring injury, I would be shocked if they were not on the team

Players falling into 2 categories: (less USA experience/more USA experience but less unique talent)

7. Augustus
8. Pondexter
9. Cash
10. McCoughtry
11. Whalen

Players who may not be the best right now at their positions, but USA basketball wants them to have the experience because they are the future:
12. Griner
13. Moore

Then there's the fun game of who do you want to be your traditional 4 backup: 14.Dupree/15.Brunson/16.Young

And the if you don't take Whalen or don't want Cappie to be your backup PG spot: 17.Harding/18.Montgomery

And the player who really should be part of the discussion but never is:
KATIE DOUGLASS

And when all things shake out, I think your most likely staring lineup is (with huge nod to experience):

C-Fowles
PF-Charles/Parker
SF-Catchings
SG-Taurasi
PG-Bird
 
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