U.S. Olympic Basketball: College Players Who Will Be on the Team in 2016
College star Shabazz Muhammad can only watch as this year's U.S. Olympic basketball team heads to London for the 2012 Games, but he will get his chance to play for Team USA in Rio in 2016.
Muhammad is not alone in being a college star who will get his chance to play on the international stage in 2016, and there are five players still in college who will be seen donning a U.S. jersey in 2016.
These kids are stars now and will be able to bring their game to the next level so that they can compete for their home country during the 2016 Olympics.
James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina
James Michael McAdoo was a highly coveted recruit in the Class of 2011 when he picked the North Carolina Tar Heels. However, he sat the bench behind three NBA players in John Henson, Tyler Zeller and Harrison Barnes.
We saw flashes of brilliance last season when he came in for John Henson during the NCAA tournament, and I fully expect him to emerge as one of college basketball's best players this year.
This kid is freakishly athletic with the ability to pick off passes and take the ball coast to coast before throwing down a dunk.
Versatile and skilled, McAdoo will be the star of an elite North Carolina team this year, and will soon be in the Association.
Kyle Anderson, UCLA
Shabazz Muhammad's UCLA teammate, Kyle Anderson is another player with star potential.
The reason? He's a 6'9" point guard.
Anderson is a truly skilled point guard with the size of a power forward. He can do it all, and could play every position on the court in college.
The only comparison I can even make with this kid is to Magic Johnson because they are both big point-forwards with sensational games.
Anderson has a ton of potential, and he could be a huge success in college and the NBA.
Nerlens Noel, Kentucky
Nerlens Noel is the second coming of Anthony Davis in Lexington.
The 6'10" center is long and has incredible shot-blocking ability. He could very easily be the best shot-blocker in the country next year, just as Davis was last year.
Davis made the Olympic team coming out of college. Noel won't have that option, but in four years he should have three NBA seasons under his belt and a wealth of experience.
This kid has a better offensive game than Davis did despite being slightly less efficient on defense, and he could very easily become a big hit at Kentucky.
Cody Zeller, Indiana
Cody Zeller is in for a monster sophomore season. After averaging 15.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game as a freshman, he is considered one of the best players in the country heading into next season.
Zeller will be leading consensus No. 1 Indiana next year, but could very easily depart for the NBA after that.
The 6'11" forward has great size and skill, which makes him a dangerous player. He played inside against greats, like Jared Sullinger, twice a year in Big Ten play, and will get Michigan's Mitch McGary next year.
Zeller has a bright NBA future ahead of him. He should be a star as a pro and should make the Olympic team. If this year's team is any indication, we know that Team USA doesn't have a lot of big men, but Zeller is good enough to be one of the few.
Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA
Shabazz Muhammad is the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2012 according to my rankings, and with good reason.
The chiseled wing can drive through the lane like no other player in college today, and he will have his way with opposing defenses who allow him to come within 15 feet of the basket before trying to stop him.
He has a good shot that could be improved, but it serves its purpose in extending the defense long enough so that he blow by them on his way to the hoop.
Muhammad could have easily gone to the NBA this year, but will be playing for UCLA for a year before achieving his NBA dreams. Once he does he will be a stud as a pro, and should make the 2016 Olympic team.