Could Trey Burke, Cody Zeller be on 2016 Team USA?

Indiana’s Cody Zeller and Michigan’s Trey Burke shared last season’s Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Could they share a court in the 2016 Olympics? That’s what CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman predicts. With rumors that Olympic basketball will go with players 23-and-under beginning in 2016, Goodman compiled his Team USA roster, and the starting 5 included the current Indiana and Michigan stars.

[CBSSports.com: 2016 Olympic Team: Major changes likely with coach, personnel]

Cody Zeller
US PRESSWIRE

Burke and Zeller are joined in the starting lineup by high school star Jabari Parker, former Kentucky standout and 2012 No. 1 pick Anthony Davis and current UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad. See the entire roster.

Not a bad roster, knowing what we know now. But all of this is highly speculative and way too early to take very seriously. A lot can change before next basketball season, let alone before 2016. Still, it’s cool to see two of the Big Ten’s top players getting respect like this.

Here’s a question, Big Ten fans: Between Burke and Zeller, who is more likely to make this a reality? Assuming, of course, they implement the rule that only players 23-and-under are eligible.

I’ll go with Zeller. Size is something you can’t teach, especially when it comes with the athleticism and speed Zeller possesses.

Brent Yarina is a web editor and blogger for BTN.com. Find all of his work here and follow him on twitter at @BTNBrentYarina.

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3 Comments

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A. Mauro on 8/1/2012 @ 7:32pm EDT Said:

I agree, Zeller already has the physical tools and can run the floor with the best of them. Burke had a great freshman year, but guards are a dime a dozen and who knows whether he’ll be able to sustain that level of play over time, especially taking his game to the next level.

aroznowski on 8/2/2012 @ 12:18am EDT Said:

I am sort of torn on whether or not this rule should go into effect. On one hand, I enjoy watching the best basketball players in the world representing their countries. With basketball continuing to grow globally the way that it is, it is quite likely that there will eventually be some countries that will be able to compete with the United States on a regular basis and probably defeat the United States and its team of all-stars at some point. On the other hand, the proposed rule would add more value and exposure to the Basketball World Cup since that event would not have any age limit and would have more of the top players in the world than any other FIBA event. With that said, I hope that David Stern and the NBA just leave the Olympic men’s basketball alone. I don’t even want to see USA Basketball implement the rule for itself only. If the rule is implemented, it should be implemented for all countries, and at the very least, each team should be allowed to have two players older than 23 years of age. (In Olympic men’s soccer, each team is allowed to have three players older than 23 years of age.)

aroznowski on 8/2/2012 @ 12:20am EDT Said:

Kobe Bryant makes a great point. “If I’m an owner, I would want my player to play (internationally) because I understand that they’re going to be playing anyway, going to be playing pickup basketball in the summertime, and I’m not going to be able to know where they are. They could be playing against a bunch of bums — no, really — guys that feel like they have something to prove and all of a sudden, a (star player) goes to the rim and a guy takes them out and now he’s hurt. Here you’re playing against the best guys, you have treatment around the clock, your (NBA) coaching staff can always come sit in the stands and view practice. To me, playing on an Olympic basketball team is actually better if you’re an owner.”

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