USA MEN'S DEVELOPMENTAL TEAM -- 1992
La Jolla, California • June 22-26, 1992
When USA Basketball began its planning for the 1992 U.S. Olympic men's team training, it decided that the squad's best interest would be served if it had a team to scrimmage during its initial June 22-26 training camp in La Jolla, Calif.
In assembling a scrimmaging partner that could challenge the Dream Team and imitate the international style of play, USA Basketball looked for players that would get the ball up and down the court quickly, penetrate and pass back out to the perimeter and take plenty of 3-point shots.
Ultimately, an eight-member all-star collegiate team was selected and was headlined by four Atlantic Coast Conference players, two from NCAA champ Duke and one from North Carolina and Wake Forest.
Selected for the USA Developmental Team were guards Anfernee Hardaway (Memphis State/Memphis, Tenn.); Allan Houston (Tennessee/Louisville, Ky.); Bobby Hurley (Duke/Jersey City, N.J.); forwards Grant Hill (Duke/Reston, Va.); Jamal Mashburn (Kentucky/New York, N.Y.); Rodney Rogers (Wake Forest/Durham, N.C.); and Chris Webber (Michigan/Detroit, Mich.); and center Eric Montross (North Carolina/Indianapolis, Ind.).
University of Southern California head coach George Raveling, an assistant coach to the 1984 and 1988 U.S. Olympic teams, served as head coach. He was assisted by University of Kansas mentor Roy Williams.
Scrimmaging daily against the Dream Team, the Developmental squad proved right from the start that this was not some star-dazed team and proved to be some of the best competition that the legendary team would face.
Amazingly, in a 20-minute scrimmage against the '92 Olympic men on June 24, the Developmental squad managed the unlikely by defeating the Dream Team 62-54 on the strength of its 3-point shooting. While lasting only half the time of a regulation 40-minute game, the Developmental team had delivered a crucial wake-up call to the U.S. Olympic Team.
"We got killed today," Michael Jordan said. "They beat us and they played well. We're so out of sync and so unsure about things that we feel comfortable with in normal situations. We don't have any continuity at all."
"These young kids were killing us," Scottie Pippen recalled years later. "We didn't know how to play with each other."
"Some of these college players should be probably be playing on this team," Larry Bird said afterward.
"If they were in the Olympics," Jordan said, "they'd win the silver medal."
"Our purpose is to help them get ready to win the gold medal and to improve our own game," Webber said. "But we're not going to back down. I'm not even nervous out here playing with these guys. I'm out here talking trash just like I always do. They're doing the same thing. They talk a lot more trash."
"Houston hit 10 threes in the scrimmage. They couldn't do anything with Webber. I'm telling you, Webber was killing these guys," said the Developmental Team's Hill. "We all had our moments. Bobby Hurley though, they couldn't keep him out of the paint."
The next day's meeting between the Dream Team and the Developmental team was completely different from the first. The Dream Team dominated that game and looked like the best team in the world.
"The next day, we couldn't get the ball over half-court," admitted Hill.
The Dream Team went on to cruise through the 1992 Tournament of the Americas and qualify for the 1992 Olympic Games, then of course went on to dominate its opponents (winning its eight game by an average margin of 43.8 points a game) and win gold in the Barcelona Olympics Games.
1992 USA MEN' DEVELOPMENTAL TEAM ROSTER
|Anfernee Hardaway||G||6-7||197||20||Memphis State/Memphis, TN|
|Grant Hill||F||6-8||225||19||Duke/Reston, VA|
|Bobby Hurley||G||6-0||165||20||Duke/Jersey City, NJ|
|Jamal Mashburn||F||6-8||240||19||Kentucky/New York, NY|
|Eric Montross||C||7-0||258||20||North Carolina/Indianapolis, IN|
|Rodney Rogers||F||6-7||235||20||Wake Forest/Durham, NC|
|Chris Webber||F||6-9||240||19||Michigan/Detroit, MI|
|HEAD COACH: George Raveling, University of Southern California|
|ASSISTANT COACH: Roy Williams, University of Kansas|
|ATHLETIC TRAINER: Ron Linfonte, St. John's University|
|TEAM MANAGER: Dennis Johnson, University of Southern California
|TEAM MANAGER: Scott Williams