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2012 Olympics Preview: United States

President Barack Obama, Team USA's "No. 1" fan? (Photo by Leslie E. Kossoff-Pool/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama, Team USA's "No. 1" fan? (Photo by Leslie E. Kossoff-Pool/Getty Images)
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Four-straight gold medals. A 33-game Olympic winning streak. A 50-3 record in the Games since 1976. Who's the Dream Team again?

Of course, maybe this is just the Reality Team - and the reality is that winning is a standard. The big question becomes is this an 11-team tournament already or will someone rise to the challenge for the first time since 1992?

United States | Group A

FIBA profile

Olympic Games history: The United States will be vying for their fifth-straight gold medal in London and seventh overall. While the world is slowly catching up to the Americans in the discipline of women's basketball, the U.S. still has the definitive stronghold.

Place at 2010 FIBA World Championship: First

How they got here: By winning the 2010 FIBA Worlds - the team went an undefeated 9-0 en route to the title

Key player: Diana Taurasi | Rising star: Maya Moore | Legend: Lisa Leslie [FIBA's thoughts, not mine]

Names you might recognize: All of them? Ha. I would guess the least recognizable would be the last woman added to the roster, Asjha Jones. But even then, it's not like she's a complete newbie here. This will be the third Olympic go-round for Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and Tamika Catchings.

Statistical leaders: At 2010 Worlds, Taurasi, Angel McCoughtry and Tina Charles all posted double-digit scoring averages, and five more players were in that 8-10 point range. Candice Dupree, who is not on the Olympic roster, was the leading rebounder with 6.0. Lindsay Whalen added 2.9 assists and McCoughtry 2.7 steals a night. If you've forgotten, the U.S. team won each of their nine games with an average margin of victory of 35.1 points and broke the 100-point barrier in four games.

In 2011's European Tour, the women brought a vastly different roster into the competition, including non-Olympians Brittney Griner, Renee Montgomery, Cappie Pondexter and Sophia Young. This team went 3-2 in their September/October two-week swing, losing by four to Ros Casares and by six to USK. Despite the losses, Swin Cash, Charles, Griner and Montgomery all averaged at least 10 points a game.

In 2012 exhibition games Team USA is 5-0 with wins against Olympic competitors China, Brazil, Great Britain, Croatia and Turkey. There has been some lament in these tune ups that the USA has been relying too much on transition points and settling for jumpers. But lest one forget, the squad has been pulling out wins by more than 33 points a game whilst shooting 50% from the field, holding opponents to 36.6% shooting, winning the battle of the boards by 13 a night and forcing the competition into over 24 turnovers per contest. And they're playing not their best. It's a reality of winning, alright.

Preliminary round schedule: vs. Croatia (July 28), vs. Angola (July 30), vs. Turkey (Aug. 1), vs. Czech Republic (Aug. 3), vs. China (Aug. 5)