Jerry Colangelo, the czar of Team USA's mens basketball program, told me a few minutes ago that DeMarcus Cousins will be invited to play for the Select team at the pre-Olympic training camps in Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski also planned to add a few players to its list of 20 Oympic finalists later today. The number of finalists had been trimmed significantly because of season-ending injuries suffered by Derek Rose, Dwight Howard, Chauncey Billups and LaMarcus Aldridge. Lamar Odom was bypassed for obvious reasons - he was dropped by the Dallas Mavericks after enduring a miserable season - though there been some speculation that he could be among the additions.
Cousins, 21, had hoped to be named to the Olympic team - which was highly unlikely - but last week said he would accept an invitation to play for the Select team. Consisting mostly of younger NBA players, the Select team's role is to practice and scrimmage against the Olympians. More importantly, Cousins' inclusion adds him to the national team's pool of candidates who will be named to the 2014 World Championship and 2016 Olympic squads.
"They haven't called yet," said Cousins' agent, John Greig, "but my expectation is that he would accept. He takes seriously the responsibility of representing your country."