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6. Derrick ROSE (USA)
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USA - Colangelo marvels at Rose’s emergence

CHICAGO (Olympics) – It’s no surprise at all that the reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose is among the 20 finalists for USA Basketball's Olympic squad.

If Rose is the most valuable player in the best league in the world, that makes him one of the best players in the world.

Still, when it comes to the United States and their Olympic teams, there are no guarantees.

Rose appears to have the inside track to a spot in the 12-man squad judging from the comments of USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo and national team coach Mike Krzyzewski.

“There seems to be a load of outstanding point guards in the NBA today and including some very young ones,” Colangelo said.

“But I’m not sure anyone has come as far and as fast as Derrick Rose.

"He literally dominates games.

"As I watch him play, he seems to be able to get to any point on the floor at any time he wishes to.”

When it became apparent that every member of the Americans' gold-medal winning team in Beijing would not suit up for the national team at the 2010 FIBA World Championship, Rose jumped at the chance to play and in Istanbul, the coaching staff fell in love with him.

“He’s just a marvelous player to coach because he’s a sponge and such a team player," Krzyzewski said.

"That whole summer he wanted to learn.

“He did a great job for us and then it helped him going into the next year.

“Derrick pays his dues. He’s an incredible athlete and an incredible guy.”

Of the 20 finalists, Rose seems a sure bet to be headed for the Olympics.

He is averaging 20.8 points and 8.7 assists per game for Chicago in the NBA this season.

More important than his number is that the Bulls are winning games.

They currently own the best record (13-3) in the league.