On Friday, USA Basketball announced that John Wall and Bradley Beal are among 35 players in the 2018-2020 men’s national team pool. The 35 players in the camp will be in Las Vegas from July 25 to 27. The head coach of the men’s national team is Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.
Of the 35 players on the roster, 11 players from the 2016 Olympic Team and seven players from the 2012 Olympic Team will return. It will be an uphill climb for Wall and Beal to make the roster. In Wall’s case, there are many point guards who appear to fit the “FIBA-style” game better than he does. In Beal’s case, USA Basketball may keep in mind that he turned down an invitation to be on the 2016 Olympic Team. So even though he’s invited, turning down “the call to duty” may be held against him at some point.
There is no FIBA World Cup for men’s basketball this year. Instead, the World Cup will be next year in China. Though NBA players will be on the World Cup and Olympic Teams, the Americans aren’t guaranteed a trip to the World Cup in 2019.
The United States has to participate in World Cup Qualifiers which end in July. The current USA Basketball men’s national team participating in the qualifiers is made up of G-League, two-way contract, and international league players. Fortunately, they are 4-0 in Group C play, where ESPN color analyst Jeff Van Gundy is serving as head coach.
Team USA still has four more games to go in the first round of qualifiers, but they should make the second round. The second round of qualifiers starts in September and runs through February 2019. The top teams in the second round of qualifiers make the World Cup.
Go Team USA! And here’s hoping that Wall and Beal make strong cases to be on Team USA next year at this summer’s camp.