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Duke's Kyrie Irving scores over Mason Plumlee during an Aug. 1 exhibition game in Las Vegas.
Courtesy: USA Basketball
Duke's Kyrie Irving scores over Mason Plumlee during an Aug. 1 exhibition game in Las Vegas.
Irving & Plumlee Named Finalists for Team USA
Friday 08/05/2014  -  Duke Sports Information
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DURHAM, N.C. – Duke’s Kyrie Irving and Mason Plumlee along with 14 other players were announced today by USA Basketball National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo as finalists for the 2014 USA Basketball Men's World Cup Team roster. The USA National Team trained in Las Vegas from July 28-Aug. 1 and is scheduled to resume its preparations for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup Aug. 14 in Chicago.

The finalists include three Olympic gold medalists from 2012 - Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) and James Harden (Houston Rockets); three 2010 World Championship gold medalists - Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Durant and Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); and the addition of Plumlee to the 2014-16 USA National Team roster and to the list of finalists participating in Chicago. Plumlee began the Las Vegas training camp as a member of the 2014 USA Select Team.

Selected USA World Cup Team finalists were DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Curry; Davis; DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Durant; Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Harden; Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks); Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers); Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks); Plumlee (Brooklyn Nets); Rose; and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors).

While training in Chicago, the 16 selected finalists will be actively involved in the 2014 World Basketball Festival that is being held Aug. 13-17, and which is being hosted by NIKE, Jordan Brand and USA Basketball.

"We had an excellent training camp in Las Vegas and each player gave a great effort and deserves recognition and thanks for his commitment and hard work,” said Colangelo. “We've said all along that we would be proud to have any of the players who were in Las Vegas represent USA Basketball and the United States. This phase of the selection process was extremely difficult and very thorough, and it's worth again mentioning that we are looking to select the best team, which are not necessarily the best players. We're pleased with where we are at this point of our training and we're looking forward to getting back on the court and continuing our preparations to represent the United States at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.”

The 2014-16 USA Basketball National Team coaching staff features USA head coach and Duke University's Naismith Hall of Fame mentor Mike Krzyzewski. Serving as assistant coaches are USA Basketball and Syracuse University and Naismith Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau and New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams.

The USA finalists will practice Aug. 14-15 at the Quest Multisport Complex, Chicago, and play an exhibition contest versus Brazil at the United Center on Aug. 16 (8 p.m. CDT).

"We're excited about where the team is headed. Really all 16 guys have a chance to make to the team, which usually does not happen in a training camp, and it shows that all of the guys thus far have done an excellent job. Then it's just a matter of finding what chemistry that we can develop with the entire group and I don't think we'll know that until we play some exhibition games. The 16 guys give us a chance to look at a way of playing in a number of different ways and we just have to figure out what those ways are and then the 12 who will fit best," said Krzyzewski.

The American squad will continue its World Cup preparations Aug. 18-22 in New York, and play a pair of exhibition games at Madison Square Garden, Aug. 20 against Dominican Republic, and Aug. 22 versus Puerto Rico. The USA will complete its pre-World Cup exhibition tour on the island of Gran Canaria, Spain. Training Aug. 24-25, the U.S. will close out its exhibition tour on Aug. 26 facing Slovenia at Gran Canaria Arena. Conducting a basketball clinic for youth on Aug. 27 in Dakar, Senegal, the USA team will complete its training for the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Basketball World Cup Aug. 28-29 in Bilbao, Spain, the site of its World Cup preliminary round games.

The 2014 World Cup, featuring a total of 24 national teams, is scheduled to be held Aug. 30-Sept. 14 in Spain. The USA will play its preliminary round games in Bilbao, after being drawn into Group C along with teams from the Dominican Republic, Finland, New Zealand, Turkey and Ukraine.

The USA opens the 2014 World Cup on Aug. 30 against Finland, and then faces Turkey on Aug. 31 in a rematch of the 2010 FIBA World Championship gold medal game, a contest in which the USA claimed an 81-64 victory. Following a day off on Sept. 1, the USA resumes play Sept. 2 facing New Zealand. The U.S. will go against the Dominican Republic on Sept. 3, and will conclude its preliminary play on Sept. 4 facing Ukraine.

Each team at the 2014 World Cup will play the other teams in its preliminary group, and the top four finishing teams from each of the four preliminary round groups will then qualify for the round of 16. Winners of the round of 16 games will advance to the quarterfinals, while losers are eliminated. Winners of the quarterfinals games will advance to the medal round semifinals, while the quarterfinals losers are eliminated from the competition. Winners of the semifinals will advance to the Sept. 14 gold medal game, while semifinals losers will meet in the bronze medal game on Sept. 13.  The games from the round of 16 to the semifinals will be played in Barcelona and Madrid, and the bronze and gold medal games will be held in Madrid.

Additional information on the USA Men's National Team is also available at www.usab.com.
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