London 2012 Basketball: Stars Who Will Catapult US Women to Gold Medal

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07:  (L-R) Tamika Catchings #10, Angel McCaughtry #8, Diana Taurasi #12, Candace Parker #15 and Sue Bird #6 of United States huddle up after scoring against Canada during the Women's Basketball quaterfinal on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Basketball Arena on August 7, 2012  in London, England.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

 With the 2012 Summer Olympics from London getting down to the final days of action, it’s time to determine which stars on the women’s basketball team will help the squad take home the gold medal.

It’s not only the American men that have the chance at basketball glory in 2012.

As long as Team USA has stars like Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and Maya Moore hitting on all cylinders like they have throughout group play and into the elimination tournament, there is little doubt the United States women will have some serious gold-plated hardware.


Sue Bird

The women’s basketball team is built on the fundamentals—thanks to head coach Geno Auriemma—and the basis of their play comes from the point guard position; that’s why Sue Bird is the team’s captain and on-court general.

Not only is Bird the best at finding the perfect pass, she has proved that her defensive skills are just as good as anyone at the point guard position in this tournament. When it comes to the matchup at the PG spot, Bird wins every time.

If Bird can continue to play the same style of fundamental offense and keep her team from getting into any consistently bad habits, her defensive prowess will give Team USA the chance to win a gold.


Diana Taurasi

While it’s Sue Bird’s job to keep the offensive pace and get the team on track, the biggest star on the offensive end has been women’s basketball legend Diana Taurasi.

With the ability to shoot at a very high percentage and a willingness to drive to the lane at any time to take a foul, Taurasi is the ultimate offensive weapon. Add in her passing abilities, and she has become the female version of LeBron James.

Taurasi isn’t the greatest defender on the team, so the United States women need to be cautious about teams driving at her in their offensive zone to try and get her in foul trouble. That’s the only way teams can stop her.


Maya Moore

The ultimate X-factor on this 2012 Olympic basketball team is 23-year-old Maya Moore. With a great relationship between Moore and head coach Auriemma, the first-time Olympian has proved that she is ready to take on every responsibility.

From defense to rebounding to passing to shooting, Moore has made an impact in every game she has played for Team USA.

What separates the young star from others, though, is that if she is struggling in one area on a certain night, she will take on more responsibility in another area. The perfect example was against Canada in the women’s quarterfinals when her shooting wasn’t great (4-9) and she snagged seven rebounds and had four steals anyway.

If Team USA gets that Moore for the rest of the tourney, she’ll be wearing gold.


Check back for more on the 2012 Summer Olympics as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s Olympics page to get your fill of the best athletes the world has to offer.