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Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe left off Team USA roster projection

Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk projected the Team USA roster for the 2014 World Championships, and he omitted Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.

Drummond and Monroe both just participated in the Team USA minicamp, so they’re at least in the mix. But Helin’s projection – an outlook I also see as likely given the positional disparity and the style of international play – gives Team USA a roster that skews small with an extra point guard replace a big. That would obviously hinder Drummond’s and Monroe’s chances, but I still wouldn’t count them out for 2014, when Helin predicts – another assessment I agree with – multiple top players will sit out.

If Monroe’s defense really has taken the next step, he’ll be a decent contender for a roster spot. He has the type of high-post passing game that works well in the international game, but Team USA should be able to do better than the one-way player Monroe has been for most of his NBA career. If Monroe is truly a capable defender now, not one who just helps on that end sporadically, that bodes well for his chances.

Drummond is the real wild card. He’s looked great in the minutes he’s gotten, but unfortunately, he hasn’t gotten many. (Thanks, Lawrence Frank.) Even counting college minutes, Drummond lags well behind nearly all the other participants in the minicamp.

The darker portions of the bars represent NBA minutes, and the lighter portions represent college minutes.

With all due respect to Marcus Smart, the Oklahoma State point guard who hasn’t yet been drafted, every one of Drummond’s major competitors for a roster spot has a significant advantage here. USA basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo just hasn’t had enough opportunities to see Drummond play.

At least Drummond and Monroe can prove themselves during at least part of the 2013-14 season before the roster is set. I think Drummond, if his per-minute production holds up in what should be a larger role this season, will make the Team USA roster. Monroe’s case is more doubtful, because the flaws in his candidacy are more under his control, and he’s had more time to improve them but still hasn’t done so.

At this point, both are on the verge, and they have a real chance to make their cases. I don’t see enough evidence to disagree with Helin leaving off Drummond and Monroe now, but hopefully they’ll give him reason to reconsider his prediction before the actual selection.


  • Jul 30, 20139:43 am
    by Vic


    Their per-minute production in the USA basketball scrimmage should have been enough-


    Monroe & Drummond were 2 of the 3 best bigs on the floor for USA Basketball… they both scored in double figures with a high quantity of rebounds in less than 20 min. Monroe only played 18 min. Drummond only played 13 min. Their only issue was foul trouble.

    • Jul 30, 201311:20 am
      by Huddy


      It seems inconsistent in a way because I see Anthony Davis is on his list and he had a good scrimmage in big minutes, but has a small NBA sample size and played 8mpg more than Drummond and wasn’t the better PER player.  Does this mean the scrimmage holds that much more weight?  On the other hand there is Cousins who was given equally limited minutes to Monroe and Drummond and (especially considering character issues) doesn’t have a more impressive NBA career so far than Monroe.
      Kawhi Leonard seems like an underwhelming selection over Monroe/Drummond, but I know that is probably part of focusing on small ball.

      • Jul 30, 201312:23 pm
        by I HATE FRANK



        Davis fits international play offensively and probably defensively…but when you consider there’s no goaltending in international play, and you could turn a player like Drummond loose …

        My thing is scoring isnt going to be the issue….Defense has been the issue …

        Durant,Irving,Westbrook, Harden , Love can get you 100+ ppg combined … Those other guys need to be specialist… Slasher & Creator / 3 point shooters & spot up shooter / Rim protect& rebounder/ 

        that when certain guys miss the cut…Drummond has a gift for rebounding and shot blocking… better than anyone at the USA invite, and Per-Minute almost better than anyone in the NBA …

        • Jul 30, 201312:48 pm
          by Huddy


          I agree about defense being the bigger issue thats why I think Drummond has a better chance because I don’t understand how a team could have Westbrook, Durant, Harden, Love, Irving, Rose, Curry, and George and still choose to pick the rim protector based on a more developed offense.  I see Davis, but not Cousins.

        • Jul 30, 20131:52 pm
          by tarsier


          There is most definitely goaltending in international play. Their rules on defensive goaltending (most goaltends are defensive) are the same as the NBA’s. And they even have offensive goaltending, the rules are just a bit more relaxed there.

    • Jul 30, 201312:21 pm
      by Dan Feldman



      Their per-minute production in the USA basketball scrimmage should have been enough

      Oh, really? 18 minutes and 13 minutes in a scrimmage should outweight every other factor? Are we positive those 31 minutes weren’t enough for the tournament to cancelled and Drummond and Monroe to be just awarded gold medals?


  • Jul 30, 201310:52 am
    by Russ


    Who care what these writers think I don’t even care if either makes the squad it will be there loss. I know the Pistons are going to be a team that will be championship caliper very soon in a few short years. Even when we win we never get our dues they save that for all the big money market teams so the writers can write there ego laden asses off……Go Pistons play teams ball.

  • Jul 30, 201311:38 am
    by Jon


    Drummond should be on that list instead of cousins.

  • Jul 30, 201312:07 pm
    by Corey


    I highly doubt Cousins makes it. Or, if he does, he won’t be the only real center.  Davis can provide rim protection, but he’s not big enough to be the primary center on the team.  Maybe by 2016 he’ll have enough weight, but not in 2014. So that roster is one “DeMarcus Cousins being DeMarcus Cousins” moment from not having a single capable center.  If he even qualifies – does he ever play any D?

    It’s much too risky to rely on Cousins. If those are the big man options, I would expect Monroe or Drummond to make it. If you’re going to take fewer big men, then you need RELIABLE big men. Even if Drummond didn’t play a lot of minutes, if they took him he’d be great insurance that the team couldn’t be bullied down low.  Or they might take Monroe if they feel a need for a more developed offensive game. 

    We’ll see… but rely on Cousins? I doubt it.

  • Jul 30, 201312:08 pm


    They are looking at potential….Cousins is way more skilled offensively than Drummond….

    But everyone says Drummond is highly coachable and they talked alot about him during the practices. Coach K would probably rather than a coachable and likeable big like Drummond than a player with a history like Cousins. No matter how much cousins has grown he has soo much to prove to people about his maturity.

    • Jul 30, 201312:28 pm
      by I HATE FRANK


      Coach K would probably rather have a coachable and likeable big like Drummond than a player with a history like Cousins.

  • Jul 30, 201312:12 pm
    by Otis


    But I thought these two were God’s gift to basketball! They should be starting together on Team USA like Christ intended! They’d be undefeated!!

  • Jul 30, 20131:04 pm



    I love when respected coaches say what I have been saying…

    • Jul 30, 20131:05 pm
      by I HATE FRANK


      Calipari on Knight’s future

    • Jul 30, 20131:19 pm
      by Huddy


      No specific beef with anyone being a fan of Knight or wishing him the best, but….an article by Langlois about Calipari’s opinion about a former player of his may be the least credible evidence possible to prove your point lol.  Langolis doesn’t publish a single thing with a whisper of negativity and I don’t know if I have ever read a quote from a coach saying he doesn’t think a former player of his (barring some obvious public confrontation between the two) will thrive at the next level.
      No offense I just find about everything that comes from that site to be about informative as talking to a pet rock.

      • Jul 30, 20131:34 pm
        by I HATE FRANK


        I feel you,

        and its not to hype Knight up, but I said it a Gazzillon times…Terrible Coaching, unbalanced roster, and Terrible Coaching, and unbalanced roster is all knight has known since he has been in Detroit.

        for the First Time he has a really has no excuses…

        • Jul 30, 20131:36 pm
          by I HATE FRANK


          “for the first time he really has no excuses”

          • Jul 30, 20132:57 pm
            by Max

            The problem with Knight is the turnovers and weak handle.  Kentucky’s style isn’t enough of an excuse given the chances he’s had in the NBA.  

          • Jul 30, 20134:34 pm
            by Otis

            Turnovers and weak handles are bad. Not having a single playmaking bone in his body is worse. Like, not even a hint that this kid will ever develop into something resembling a point guard.

      • Jul 30, 20132:59 pm
        by tarsier


        I gotta agree with Huddy.

        The article may be dead on, and I hope it is. But if there ever was one to take with a grain of salt, this is it. 

  • Jul 30, 20132:56 pm
    by George


    I could easily see Drummond taking the spot of Griffin or Cousins.  Cousins issues are more about coachability, because his attitude is ridiculous.  Heck, he seems dumb enough to cause an international incident if he has one of his meltdowns.  When it comes to Griffin, I think if he isn’t involved offensively, he seems to disappear from games.  He doesn’t always bring it defensively too.  It was on full display in the playoffs.  Drummond will be perfect for the role of defensive big, which works great in international play.

    On another note, I would never take what Kurt Helin says as credible.  If you read the comments to most of his posts, he is called out often for mis-information, as well as misspelings/grammer errors.  I am shocked he has so much power on PBT.  I do think Feldman deserves some props for bringing some credibility to the site.

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