LAS VEGAS — Three days into Team USA training camp for the World Cup and the reviews are coming in on Derrick Rose — and they are glowing.
“Derrick’s played great, not good, and hasn’t held anything back,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
“He’s playing well,” fellow Chicagoan Anthony Davis added. “He’s playing out of his mind. He’s being Derrick Rose.”
Krzyzewski admitted he didn’t know what he was going to get out of Rose at camp, nobody did after the former MVP missed the past couple seasons following a couple of knee surgeries. But Rose has shown both some explosiveness and a more mature game, being more of a floor general than just a scorer.
“(Key) for us not to put a cap on him, just let him go, let’s see, let it out. And he’s done that, even on the defensive end,” Krzyzewski said.
On a perimeter heavy team it’s defense that is going to determine which guards will make the cut, and that is an end where Rose is using his athleticism to his advantage so far. He only tends to be on the court for short bursts of time (this is true of most of the players in the scrimmages here) but when he’s out there he’s going hard like the Derrick Rose of old.
Rose says he having fun being back on the court, he smiling more than he did in the past. He’s savoring the experience.
“This right here is just to knock off the rust and prepare me for the World Championships if I make the team, and get ready for the season if I don’t,” Rose said.
He’s even having more fun with Bulls coach and USA assistant coach Tom Thibodeau.
“Thibs cool man, he’s not yelling at me the whole time so he’s fine. Just being calm. I like this Thibs, he seems happy,” Rose said.
The USA is going to play small and fast, and that is fitting Rose well so far. We’ll see more of that in the big Team USA scrimmage on Friday night.
“Just play as hard as I can, push the ball, get people in that groove, and play defense, that’s my job,” Rose said.