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USA - Krzyzewski hoping for the 'Derrick of old'

Derrick Rose (USA)
Derrick Rose (USA) - Chicago Bulls (NBA) Photo: NBA/Getty Images

DURHAM (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Part of what makes a great basketball player is the ability to survive difficult times.

Every superstar has to overcome adversity.

Derrick Rose has had his share of unwanted challenges due to injuries the past couple of seasons.

After reaching the top of the podium with the United States at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey, Rose returned to the Chicago Bulls and excelled.

He was the Most Valuable Player of the 2010-11 NBA campaign.

The point guard has battled injury problems every since, including a torn ACL in his left knee that he suffered in the 2012 playoffs.

After not playing at all the following year, Rose returned to the court for the 2013-14 season but in a  game on 22 November, he tore the medial meniscus in his right knee and made no more appearances for the Bulls.

The aim for Rose ever since has been to return to full fitness and fight for a spot in the USA squad for the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

The 25-year-old is hoping he'll be with the national team when it plays in Group C, in Bilbao, against Ukraine, Turkey, New Zealand, the Dominican Republic and Finland.

This week, he was named as one of 19 players that will attend a USA training camp in Las Vegas.

Mike Krzyzewski, the coach of the USA, spoke about Rose in a teleconference call.

"We'd like to see him play like the Derrick of old because he is one of the best players in the world, an MVP in the NBA," Krzyzewski said.

"What we've heard is that he's in great shape.

"I think he's going to practice with the Bulls as they put their summer league (program) together…"

And when Rose joins the Americans at their training camp in Las Vegas, what will Krzyzewski want to learn?

"Just to see how he's going to do five on five," he said.

"We'll have four days to see that and on the fifth day, we'll have the intra-squad game. Hopefully he's going to be in top shape.

"Derrick's great, a great guy. I know that he loved representing his country in Istanbul and being one of our starting guards, so hopefully this will be a launchpad for a great NBA season this upcoming year."

A person that has a lot of insight into Rose's status is Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who will be a USA assistant for the first time this summer.

Krzyzewski spoke to Thibodeau last weekend but said Rose was not the subject of their conversation.

"I talked to Tibs a couple of times over the weekend but it was more for our team and also to congratulate him on (the Bulls' signing of Spain international Pau) Gasol," Krzyzewski said.

"So I think as a staff, we try to stay close together not just on one player but on a number of things."

A couple of other sensational NBA guards are in the USA training camp squad in Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"He's (Curry) an outstanding player," Krzyzewski said, before stressing that his excellent shooting is just one of his qualities.

"We want to concentrate on defense, rebounding, and overall we want to concentrate everyone on one mission, to win.

"Stephen is that type of player.

"He was our on world championship team in Istanbul. He's grown into a truly special player in the NBA and can play both guard spots. (But) His ability to score the ball is huge."

As for Irving?

"First thing is you have to be on that 12 (final squad)," Krzyzewski said.

"Kyrie has been at our camp, he did a good job at our mini camp last year. He was a part of our (2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Men) team that won."

There is much about Irving's game that makes him an attractive player.

"His on the ball pressure, his dribbling ability and his ability to shoot off the ball is critical because it gives him a chance to play not just as that so call point guard bit to be on the perimeter and be a threat in whatever situation we want to put him in."

The USA training camp tips off in Las Vegas later this month.

Following the camp, which concludes with the 2014 USA Basketball Showcase, a USA Blue versus USA White exhibition game on August 1 at the Thomas & Mack Center, the selected team finalists will have a 12-day break.

The USA are to reassemble in Chicago and train on 14-15 August before playing a friendly against Brazil at the United Center on 16 August.

The American squad will continue their preparations for the World Cup in New York from 17-22 August. They will play friendlies at Madison Square Garden on 20 August against the Dominican Republic and 22 August against Puerto Rico.

The USA will complete their pre-World Cup tour 24-26 August in Gran Canaria, Spain.

After training 24-25 August, the United States will face Slovenia on 26 August at Gran Canaria Arena.