The basketball delegation to be fielded in the upcoming 2014 FIBA World Cup has been trimmed down to 16 players. The fans and the coaching staff alike are all praises for the whole team but reserves the best for the return to form of come backing point guard Derrick Rose.
Mike Kryzewski, Team USA head mentor, used the word "elite" to describe the level of play of Rose during last week's training camp in Las Vegas. While Rose, his camp and his fans may be jubilant of the ray of hope of his return to action, still, the basketball world is practicing caution and managing expectations. After all, the former MVP just returned from two seasons of limited action due to an assortment of injuries and medical procedures to his knees.
Still, Coach K was all praises for Rose given his situation.
"It takes an exceptional person, which is why we're talking about Derrick," Krzyzewski said per ESPN. "I think he's exceptional in every way. He went right at it. The first defensive exchange in the camp, he was all over the ball handler, moving his feet, attacking him. There was a buzz right away because it was basically his saying, 'Look, I'm not just back. I'm back at a level that's elite.'"
Coack Kryzewski was not alone in the boat as fellow players and coaches have declared that Rose was moving similar to the way he functioned prior to the ACL injury in April of 2012. While the explosive guard is penciled in as a starter for the team during scrimmages, there is still no assurance that he is a lock to make the team.
His Chicago Bulls head coach and also assistant coach of Team USA, Tom Thibodeau believes that the exposure and environment alone is perfect for his ward and his road back to basketball, in general.
"I think it's ideal for him in this particular case," Thibodeau explained during a radio appearance at ESPN's The Herd. "One of the great things they do is the way they pace the team. There's days where there is no contact at all. ... We never went past two hours, and oftentimes it was an hour and a half. There was not a lot of contact. I think it's good for Derrick. It's great for him, actually."
The said declaration is timely as Team USA is bound for Chicago for the last leg of their training before flying to Spain. It will be a sort of homecoming for most of the members of the team such as Rose, Anthony Davis, Coack K and Jerry Colangelo. But naturally, fan craze would be reserved for the Bulls' revered star.
With Derrick back on the court and looking sharper and explosive as the Rose of old, we can only hope that the health gods will be good to him and bless the talented player a healthy season.
To view some of the highlights of Rose's scrimmages with Team USA, watch below:
(Video Courtesy of: Youtube/GD's Latest Highlights)