Additional Quotes >> USA 94, Dominican Republic 92
Oct. 30, 2011 ē Guadalajara, Mexico
USA head coach
Talk about the tournament overall and winning the bronze:
It was a lot of fun, our guys competed, and today after the loss yesterday we were a little disappointed, but Iím really proud of our guys for stepping up and playing with a lot heart just like the Dominicanís did.
How disappointing was the loss yesterday?
Itís disappointing, we wanted to play better yesterday, I thought our guys played extremely hard and thereís a winner and a loser and yesterday we were on the wrong side of it but we came back and played hard today.
What did you think of using NBA Development League players?
Iím really proud of our guys because we were put together in a short amount of time, but all of guys know one another and the guys from the D-League or minors always have a chip on their shoulders and this was another opportunity for them to prove themselves.
What did you think when the two teams gathered at midcourt after the game and did that dance? Doesnít it kind of show the spirit of these games?
Thatís what I told our guys. The one thing we can learn, even though the Dominican Republic was disappointed, but what Jack Martinez did is brotherhood, itís fellowship, it almost brought tears to my eyes because thatís a special moment.
What were thoughts on your teamís play today?
Iím excited about this. Itís our first medal since 1999 and Iím really proud of our guys for bouncing back after a tough loss yesterday and coming out and playing hard this morning.
This was a team effort today as all 12 players scored and you needed them all. Whatís it mean to win like that and win a bronze medal?
Thatís something we talked about this morning, bouncing back and being professionals. I thought our guys did that. What a great thing for our guys to win a bronze, we hadnít done it since 1999 and now weíve got something to bring home with us and be really proud of.
Does it make the time and effort these guys gave a little more worthwhile, a little more meaningful?
Definitely. All of these guys will probably frame that USA jersey down the line and it will be nice to frame it with a bronze medal.
Talk about the game, you were obviously able to score today:
I think there probably wasnít as much pressure on both ends defensively, but our guys got in a rhythm and we made shots and we really started to trust each other. I donít know how many assists we had, but Iím guessing it was close to 20.
While trying to run some time off the clock, what did you try to do on the last offensive possession?
We just wanted to get a good look, we were trying to space it and get some shooters around the court and then have Blake (Ahearn) try and create for us.
What did you try to do defensively on the Dominican Republicís last possession?
We thought that they were going to go to Jack Martinez; we were going to switch on pick and rolls and try and deny him. But they got a great look, but one of our guys went over and really challenged the shot and Dyson was there to get the rebound.
What did you think of the competition overall in this tournament?
I thought it was really good. Coming in we didnít know how it as going to be, but it just proves that the basketball around the world is getting better and better. It was great for our guys to see a lot of things. Itís a totally different game than what these guys are used to. The international game is a lot about spacing and movement and it was a great eye opener for all of us.
(Erie BayHawks / Missouri State '07)
Talk about the last play (the USA's defensive stop):
Me and Lance had pre-switched it and we were switching all the screens and it just so happened that we had a long defender on a small shooter. He had a good contest and if he makes it he makes it. We had good defense and were fortunate enough to grab the rebound and come out with the win.
What does it mean to win the bronze medal?
It means a lot. Obviously itís not what we wanted, we were coming for the gold medal, but for guys who have been together for two weeks, we competed hard, we played well together, and we fought through some tough times. Itís a great group of guys in this locker room, coaching staff, players, we all got along and it was a great experience and weíll remember it forever.
(Texas Legends / Washington '09)
You scored nine of your 12 points in the fourth quarter; can you talk about your offensive contributions?
I just saw opportunities to score and if it werenít for Marcus Lewis dominating down low it wouldnít have opened up for us guards to be able to drive like we did.
They were really focused in on him and it left driving opportunities for me to get to the basket or to kick it to my teammates.
Whatís it mean to win the bronze medal?
It means a lot to even come here and play. Iím blessed to be able to say I played for an American team and Iíll remember this for the rest of my life.
(Tulsa 66ers / Connecticut '10)
Whatís it mean to battle back and win the bronze medal?
It means a lot, we havenít won a medal since 1999 so itís a tremendous honor for us to go back and have something to show for it.
This was a little more offensive game today.
It was. In the first half we kind of felt like we could outscore them and then in the second half I think we got back to playing more defense and trying to stop them from scoring.
What did you think of the tournament overall?
It was a great tournament. Iím very proud I was able to be a part of it. Not a lot of people get this opportunity and itís going to be something you can look back on and be like ĎI won a medalí and a lot of people canít say that.
(Tulsa 66ers / Oral Roberts '09)
How does it feel to win the bronze medal?
It feels good, I feel that this trip wasnít a lost cause. It feels good to go back to the states with something and it was a big deal for us to get bronze and we got it. So I feel good and feel like our hard work went to something. I would have been very disappointed if we had walked out of here with nothing. Getting the bronze, everyone wants the gold but we got the bronze and itís a great deal.
You and Jack Martinez were really battling down low, talk about that match up:
Martinez is a great player, heís known worldwide. I just figured Iíd play aggressive and try to go mano e mano because the coaches were trying to not have any help because they have a lot of shooters. So I was trying to play good one-on-one defense and try to frustrate him a little bit because Iím pretty sure he was tired too like a lot of us because he played a lot of minutes; so I just tried to keep going at him and keep getting in his head and make him make tough plays.
Talk about your last score when your drove and scored to put the USA up four (94-90):
Blake passed it to me I think, I looked at the clock and there were like five seconds left. Coach always tells me if you get the ball with five seconds left just drive it, try to drive it, try to draw a foul. So I drove and I was trying to find Blake or JD (Justin Dentmon), one of them I thought would be open, and then help came and he kept going to the side and the basket was wide open. It was just a nice layup. I didnít think it would be that wide open, but it got wide open, so I was happy.
(Austin Toros / Missouri '09)
You had eight points in the first half and helped get the offense going. Can you talk about your contributions in the first half?
I just tried to make the most out of every opportunity I had. I have a role on this team and itís not usually what Iím used to, but when I get out there I just play as hard as I possibly can and when I come out hopefully the next man comes in and does the same thing.
What does it mean to you to win the bronze medal?
It means a lot. Itís a big boost to start the season for us to win the bronze medal and to be able to be playing before a lot of guys, a lot of guys are at home not doing anything and we were playing for a medal.
Does this help make everything you put into it worthwhile?
Yeah, it definitely does. All the hard work in the summer paid off by getting this opportunity to come out here and show my abilities.
(Reno Bighorns / Texas A&M '10)
What does it mean to win the bronze medal?
It means a lot. We came out here with one goal and that was to get gold but we fell a little short. We could have hung our heads low but we came out and fought and went home with something. I think everyone came together when we needed it and we came out with the bronze medal.
You got your shooting going early to help get the offense on a roll.
It always helps to be able to knock down a couple of shots especially coming off a game where it seemed like nobody could make any shot. We had in our mind that we were going to need to make shots today because we knew we were going to need it and it kind of got everything else going.
What did you think about the competition?
It was a great competition, we knew that coming in. We knew there were going to be tough games, tough players, hostile environment, so our focus wasnít shook once things got rolling, but we knew there were going to be great players here.
(Austin Toros / Duke '10)
The USA had a stretch where we were struggling in the third quarter but you came up with some important plays:
Marcus (Lewis) was commanding a man-and-a-half when he got the ball in the post and that half of guy that went was my guy. He found me at the mid-range and I made the shot. I had a couple of opportunities to shoot it and I made those and got fouled and made some free throws as well.
What does it mean to go home with a bronze medal.
Iím just happy we got a medal. It gave our trip some purpose as opposed to it just being a vacation and going home with nothing. Itís just good to make sure we brought something home as opposed to just coming out here and going home at the end.
Does it also says something about the team too, itís tough to regroup and come back for a bronze medal game?
It was a tough game, it was a slow start, it was a really early game but we fought. The Dominican Republic definitely had a chip on their shoulder because they lost a close game last night and lost to us earlier in the tournament in another close game, so we knew they werenít going to lie down against us. It was a close game throughout the whole game and just for us to find a way to close it out in the end together like we did the first time we played them was amazing.