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Team USA heavy on muscle despite lack of star power

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Team USA won't have a ton of star power in the FIBA World Cup, but it will have a lot of size and muscle.

That's the direction that the team decided to go when it announced its cuts early on Saturday.

Chandler Parsons and Kyle Korver were sent home along with Damian Lillard and Gordon Hayward while big man Andre Drummond and physical guard DeMar DeRozan will stick with the team as it headed overseas on a Saturday flight with 12 players.

USA Basketball sent out a statement along with its announcement of the final roster, which doesn't need to be submitted until Aug. 29.

"Since taking over the USA Basketball men's national team program in 2005, this was without doubt the most difficult selection process we've gone through," chairman Jerry Colangelo said in the release.

"I can't stress enough the outstanding effort and commitment that has been given by each finalist. I also want to make it clear that this is not just about talent; each player is incredibly talented and each player offered us unique skills. In the end it was about assembling the best team, selecting guys who we felt would be able to best play the kind of style we envision this team playing."

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Why go big?

The biggest reason to go big, according to ESPN.com, is to match up against host Spain's frontcourt of Serge Ibaka and brothers Marc and Pau Gasol. That's a big, and pretty talented, frontcourt to deal with.

So Team USA decided to leave shooters Parsons and Korver home to concentrate on keeping physical big men. That's why the roster has four centers in Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Drummond and Mason Plumlee along with power forward Kenneth Faried.

Team USA will play an exhibition against Slovenia on Tuesday before opening tournament play against Finland on Saturday.

Where are the stars?

A look at the Team USA roster is a look at a team with a lack of star power. Kyrie Irving and Davis are certainly destined to be stars and Derrick Rose is a former MVP recovering from a pair of knee injuries while Stephen Curry, Rudy Gay and James Harden are all names people know.

But the injury to Paul George and Kevin Durant's withdrawal, along with Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook, seriously hurts the team's talent level.

That means they'll have to play physical and scrap out more wins, rather than by relying on superior talent or shooting on a team that technically kept just two forwards (Faried/Gay) along with three shooting point guards (Curry, Irving, Rose) and three other shooting guards (Klay Thompson, DeRozan, Harden).

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