During the trials, Auburn junior Charles Barkley impressed with his performance - most observers felt he and North Carolina guard Michael Jordan were the two top performers. However, Barkley's and Knight's strong personalities did not mesh and Barkley was one of the last cuts for the roster. Released with Barkley in the penultimate cut from 20 to 16 players in May were John Stockton, Terry Porter, and Maurice Martin. Knight's final cut to twelve players came in June, and the final four let go were Tim McCormick, Lancaster Gordon, Johnny Dawkins, and Chuck Person (Dawkins and Person served as alternates for the team). The most controversial selection was Knight's own player, Steve Alford, who at 19 was the team's youngest player and who most did not expect to make the team.
The team went 8-0 in the Olympic tournament, averaging 95.4 points per game and holding their opponents to 63.3. Four players averaged double-figures: Michael Jordan (17.1), Chris Mullin (11.6), Patrick Ewing (11.0) and Steve Alford (10.3). Wayman Tisdale led the team in rebounding (6.4 per game), while Leon Wood led the team in assists (7.9 per game).
The 1984 Olympics was a coming out party for Michael Jordan, who led the U. S. team in scoring and dazzled the worldwide viewing audience with his athletecism and speed. In addition to Jordan, the team featured two other future Hall of Famers in Patrick Ewing and Chris Mullin (who would later reunite with Jordan as a part of the 1992 Dream Team). The team was considered one of the strongest in U. S. history as it featured four of the five 1984 consensus first team All-Americans - Jordan, Ewing, Tisdale and Sam Perkins. Jordan recalled that while this Olympic experience was exciting, it had been difficult because of Knight. "I don't know if I would have done it if I knew what Knight was going to be like" he would be quoted later. 
The Olympics and trials helped the draft stock of several players. Vern Fleming and Jeff Turner parlayed their Olympic exposure into first round spots in the 1984 draft, while several players cut from the team either received strong recommendations from Knight (John Stockton, Tim McCormick) or benefitted from exposure from the trials (Barkley, Lancaster Gordon).