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Villanova Basketball in action today as Team USA takes on the Virgin Islands

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Gillespie and Samuels will be key to a deep tournament run

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Happy Wednesday Nova Nation! Team USA is up early this morning as they prepare for their first game of the 2019 Pan Am Games. Check out our How To Watch piece for full details on how you can see Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels in their Team USA debut.

It’s been a while since the United States won gold at the Pan Am games, 36 years to be exact. In fact, the last team to win it had Michael Jordan as its star player. That would be rising junior at UNC Jordan.

Since then Team USA has been different combinations of college players, G-Leaguers, other levels of pro-prospects... basically anyone but NBA players. It makes sense, the Pan Am Games aren’t exactly the most enticing proving ground for players of that caliber. We’ve seen that with the recent dropouts from the FIBA World Cup as well.

So this year USA Basketball decided to try something new. For the first time this year’s Pan Am Team USA is composed entirely of players from a single collegiate conference. The Big East was chosen as the first test case, and that gets us caught up to game one this morning.

It’s not going to be easy. The US is the youngest team in the tournament, but they do have the two things you need to win at international basketball: speed and shooting. That also explains why Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels are such key pieces to this team. Paired with Myles Powell, the three could be one of the best shooting backcourts in the Pan Am Games.

So before today’s 11:30 AM ET tipoff, let’s put a prediction out there. I leave it to you Nova Nation, how will the Big East’s rendition of Team USA finish this week in the Pan Am Games?

Poll

How will Team USA Men’s Basketball finish in the Pan Am Games?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Gold
    (164 votes)
  • 21%
    Silver
    (76 votes)
  • 18%
    Bronze
    (66 votes)
  • 12%
    No Medal
    (44 votes)
350 votes total Vote Now

In other “news”, Daniel Ochefu is headed to Japan, Ryan Arcidiacono returns to high school, and some teams are spending over $700,000 on recruiting. Enjoy!

Villanova Basketball

No Dream Team, no problem. Big East steps up in quest for Pan American gold | ESPN
Seton Hall's Myles Powell and Villanova's Collin Gillespie lead a U.S. basketball team that last won gold in these Games in 1983.

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