In addition to the half a dozen Butler games Jim Boeheim has watched, the Syracuse coach has experience watching and evaluating a couple of the Bulldogs stars.
Boeheim is an assistant coach for Team USA, but also chairs the committee that selected Butler sophomores Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack to play on the Team USA U19 team that won a gold medal last summer in New Zealand.
"The reason Butler is in the top 10 is because they have players that can play anywhere in the country," Boeheim said. "This is not some senior-oriented team that's come together and gotten better. These are very talented players. They can play anywhere."
The additional competition at a high level gives Team USA players an advantage, Boeheim said.
"I think it's a tremendous benefit for all the players that play with USA Basketball, pro or college players," he said.
Boeheim took particular note of Hayward, who is projected as a first round pick if he declares for the NBA Draft this summer. Hayward averaged 10 points for Team USA; Mack averaged 6 points
"I was as impressed with him as anybody that we've had with USA Basketball in the last eight years I've been involved with that, working with college kids," he said. "He's a great player."
McNamara an assistant for Orange
Kansas State's Jacob Pullen , who scorched BYU for 34 points last week won't be the only man at Energy Solutions Arena this week whose name makes Cougar fans twitch.
Gerry McNamara , Syracuse's point guard from 2002 to 2006, joined the Orange as an assistant coach. One of Carmelo Anthony 's running mates in 2003, when Syracuse won the championship, McNamara is also remembered for the 43 points he scored against BYU in the first round of the 2004 tournament.