Out of nowhere, Kenneth Faried has emerged as a go-to player for USA Basketball during the FIBA Basketball World Cup. The Manimal is shooting a silly 80.8% from the field, while also providing boundless energy, rebounding and defense.

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski can hardly believe his good fortune when it comes to Faried’s play thus far. Per ESPN:

“Expect the unexpected,” Faried said Tuesday night, unable to muster a better explanation for it all after another evening in the spotlight against a helpless New Zealand club.

 

“Overall, from the start of training camp, he’s been the biggest and best surprise and has turned out to be a very, very important player for us,” Krzyzewski says. “He’s made that happen. We never call a play for him.”

 

“He plays with amazing energy and really is as good of a rebounder as there is, I think,” Krzyzewski said. “He plays hard every second he’s out there. I think these guys would tell you they love playing with him.” […] Said Faried: “We’re just trying to get the gold [medal]. We don’t care who’s out there scoring, who’s out there rebounding, who’s out there getting steals or the shine and glory. We just want to win games.”