July 28, 2006
Las Vegas, NV - Former Cal State Fullerton star Bruce Bowen of the San Antonio Spurs has made the travel roster for Team USA.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski from Duke will take 15 players including Bowen to the FIBA World Championships in Japan next month. Ultimately, the roster will be finalized from 15 to 12 before the team's first game on Aug. 19. Krzyzewski said there won't be set starters. There won't be a traditional bench.
The original roster included 24 players. As ESPN.com reported, the two players who were essentially told they wouldn't be going on the exhibition tour through Las Vegas (Aug. 3) and then to China and Korea were Charlotte Bobcats rookie Adam Morrison and Seattle point guard Luke Ridnour. Phoenix forward Shawn Marion hurt his left knee over the weekend and told ESPN.com Monday that he was taking himself off the trip so he could get the knee evaluated. USA National Team managing director Jerry Colangelo said that, as late as over the weekend, the plan was to take 16 players to Asia, and Krzyzewski said Marion would have been on that roster of 16.
While the remaining players on the roster are all potential players for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, other players who have been cut or not invited to tryout are also still available for the '08 Games. For now, however, the 15 who will workout in preparation for the competition in Japan are: Bowen, Carmelo Anthony (Denver), Gilbert Arenas (Washington), Shane Battier (Houston), Chris Bosh (Toronto), Elton Brand (L.A. Clippers), Kirk Hinrich (Chicago), Dwight Howard (Orlando), LeBron James (Cleveland), Antawn Jamison (Washington), Joe Johnson (Atlanta), Brad Miller (Sacramento), Chris Paul (New Orleans/Oklahoma City), Amare Stoudemire (Phoenix) and Dwyane Wade (Miami).
Bowen, the elder statesman on the squad at 35, said there's no reason to even think twice about players taking turns on the court since "there's nothing that you can do to change it. That's the way things are going to be so you better get on board."
Bowen said if the U.S. plays defense the way Krzyzewski envisions, then he would liken it to the Jerry Tarkanian-coached UNLV teams he went against when he was at Cal State Fullerton in the Big West.
"I remember the pressure defense, denying the pass and when you go backdoor there is someone there to help," Bowen said. "That kind of pressure creates opportunities [on the offensive end]."
Bowen, who played in France, said the NBA has been a detriment for players trying to learn the international game. He said the NBA milks a skill of a player and leans on it, but in the international game you can't just shoot over three players. There is also no 3-second call in the trapezoid lane, so trying to go one-on-one against a defense can be more difficult with more help-side defenders.
"The NBA contributes to the selfish players and in Europe they're moving the ball, not just the isolation," Bowen said. "There is a detoxification that goes on here."