Durant's breakout season in the NBA in 2009-10 along with his arrival to Team USA set the bar high for the B-squad. However, whatever expectations were set for the a lanky third-year wing, he shattered- earning the tournament's Most Outstanding Player award to go along with his gold medal. He completed the nine-game tournament in Turkey with averages of 22.8 points and 6.1 points, but those stats aren't telling. He raised his play when the games mattered the most; in the U.S.' final three contests, Durant poured in 33, 38 and 28 points.
Luis Scola - Argentina (Houston Rockets)
Some are calling Scola the clubhouse favorite for the tournament's MVP despite Durant's dominating play and leadership. The reason? The Argentinean big-man scored a tournament-high 27.1 points and dominating the glass for nearly 8 rebounds per game. With Yao Ming returning, Scola is unlikely to have his offensive prowess translate to the NBA regular-season, but he showed good reason by the Rockets invested $47 million in him this summer.
Kirk Penney - New Zealand (New Zealand Breakers, NBL)
The former Wisconsin-Badger and current New Zealand-star lit it up for the Tall Blacks in the team's six games. He kicked off the tournament with a 37-point barrage against Lithuania, and poured in 21 against Spain and 25 against France. His perimeter shooting was inconsistent, but as a 6'5" guard, he may be a nice option for an NBA team to sign off the bench.
Linas Kleiza - Lithuania (Toronto Raptors)
Fans and analysts sat in disbelief when the Toronto Raptors "overspent" on Kleiza this summer with a four-year, $20 million contract. However, after this tournament, he looks worth every penny of that deal. He averaged a team-high 19 points and collected 7.1 rebounds per game, but scored just 4 points against Team USA. He did manage to bounce back the next game, hitting five-of-seven 3s en route to 33 points.
Omer Asik - Turkey (Chicago Bulls)
The 2008 NBA Draft second-round pick showed some nice promise in the FIBA Worlds tournament. He is a lengthy 7-footer who is not afraid of physical contact on either end of the court and should be able to contribute with his energy immediately on the defensive side of the ball. He averaged 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per games on 58% shooting, but was absolutely woeful from the foul line, shooting 37% (he played a crucial role in Turkey's semifinal win over Serbia when he was fouled with one minute remaining in the game and Asik stayed on the ground, leading to a substitute foul shooter).
Ricky Rubio - Spain (FC Barcelona)
His averages and play didn't overwhelm, but Rubio did not perform as lowly as some analysts insist, labeling him a "bust" before he even steps foot on an NBA court. The expectations were set high for this teenage-phenom and his passing and court vision surpassed all the YouTube highlights and ESPN clips fans have seen of him. He had several spectacular plays, weaving the ball through spaces perhaps only Steve Nash and Deron Williams could navigate, however his skills were diminished because of his own personal inability to score the basketball. He shot just 27% from the field in Spain's nine games, never reaching double figures. He struggled to knock down shots from the perimeter and even more so finishing inside around the rim.
Boris Diaw - France (Charlotte Bobcats)
After a few solid NBA seasons, more was expected from the so-called leader of the French team that competed without its point guard Tony Parker. Diaw lacked the aggressively and scoring punch his team needed from him until the very last game. In fact, he scored just four total points in France's first two contests, contributing in other areas across the board, but combining to go 2-for-11 in those games.
Fran Vasquez - Spain (FC Barcelona)
The one-time lottery pick back in 2005 of the Orlando Magic has still yet to play a single NBA minute failed to make an impact for Spain's national team. He showed flashes of brilliance, going perfect from the field in games against Liberia, Canada and Slovenia, scoring a combined 50 points on 24-for-24 from the field. However, in the remaining six games, he scored just 21 points. His inconsistent impact kept him from logging major minutes for a Spain team that needed one more punch inside.
Elias Harris - Germany (Gonzaga Bulldogs)
The 6'7", versatile forward made little, if any, impact for Germany in his five games of action. He tallied just 17 total points, going scoreless from behind the arc in the tournament. Not exactly what we were expecting from one the 2011 NBA Draft's top prospects. Without Matt Bouldin at Gonzaga this season, we'll need to see a much-improved and determined Harris to move him back up our big board.
Tyson Chandler - USA (Dallas Mavericks)
Chandler entered the tournament as the only center on the United States' roster. He was coming off a strong few weeks of training camp and seemed poised to handle the starting job as a defensive and rebounding centerpiece on an otherwise undersized U.S. squad. He played less than ten minutes a game on average, almost none of them meaningful, putting up under three points and rebounds per contest. The Americans went with smaller lineups of Lamar Odom and Kevin Love at center with their ability and versatility to guard on the perimeter.