TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

July 29, 2016 — A pin in the balloon?

Aerial Powers?

Kelsey Bone?

Sugar Rogers?

Earlier this week, these women were wearing the letters USA on their tanktops as members of a select team meant to give the U.S. Olympic basketball team a good runout before Rio. Despite being unknown to all but a handful of true WNBA junkies, the select team pushed the Olympic team to within four points on Monday night in Los Angeles.

In watching parts of that game, as well as seeing the States in a Wednesday game in Newark, Del., I do wonder if the 2016 team, which on paper is as talented as any women’s team ever assembled, is in trouble. There were times when players were late to their assigned spots in the offense, leading to late passes which were easily intercepted by high pressure.

Layups were missed. The defense was a step slow. The expected rain of long-range buckets to break the spirit of the opposition didn’t come. That is, until Maya Moore got untracked in the third quarter of Wednesday’s game against France, the fourth-best team in the world according to the FIBA rankings.

It’s hard to judge this U.S. team after only a handful of shootarounds and this week of scrimmages. They will, however, need to find themselves in short order because the Olympics begin next week.

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