When Mason Plumlee first started working out with Team USA it seemed like a dream that he would even have an opportunity to try out. Now, he is a finalist to make the team.
Plumlee has been added to the 2014-16 USA Basketball National Team roster and was named as a finalist for the 2014 World Cup Team, USA Basketball’s Managing Director Jerry Colangelo announced on Tuesday. This means that Plumlee will travel with the team to Chicago on August 14 to resume training camp. He was in Las Vegas with the team as a member of the 2014 USA Select Team.
“It’s quite an honor to be added to the National Team and to be a finalist for the World Cup roster,” said Plumlee. “I am very much looking forward to training camp in Chicago as the next step in representing our country as a member of USA Basketball.”
Plumlee has been battling with DeMarcus Cousins for the final spot on the 2014 World Cup Team and reportedly has the edge due to his time served under Team USA’s Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski while at Duke University.
Some are skeptical about Plumlee’s real chances and wonder if this is not just a ploy to get Cousins motivated. However, others have remarked that Plumlee fits a specific role on the team and would contribute more than expected. There is no doubt that he’s been good enough to make it this far and now that he is on the 2014-16 USA Basketball National Team, he’ll have opportunities to play in competitions even if he is ultimately cut from this World Cup roster.
Plumlee averaged 14.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per 36 minutes in 70 games last year. He got better as the season progressed to the point where he was a big help when Kevin Garnett went down with a back injury toward the end of the year. Plumlee struggled in the playoffs, though, and that experience and now this time with Team USA could be huge for him going forward.