Additional Quotes >> USA 106, Iran 55
USA head coach Jamie Dixon, University of Pittsburgh
On today's game:
Well, One thing we did pretty well was shoot the ball and we made some extra passes, made good decisions, we need to cut down on some turnovers, but I think it was a good start. We know we've got to get better as this tournament continues so this is the first one and hopefully we've got something to build on.
I was impressed with how hard Iran played, they continued to battle all the way through and continued to make shots to the end so they should be proud of the way they stayed with it.
What are some of the thing you think to need to improve on?
One is cutting on turnovers, we want to limit those. And also on defense we've got to get used to moving our feet, keeping the ball in front us. We got beat off the dribble a little too much and fouled too much on the dribble and that's something we've got to stay away from.
Are you always going to kind of rotate your entire squad in?
Yeah, I think we're going to play a lot of guys. I think that's strength of ours. We don't see a lot of difference between our 12 guys. There's not really a lot of separation. That may be a little different than most teams, but that's what we have so we're going to use that as strength of ours, play a lot of guys so fatigue should not be an issue for us because of that. We really just want to keep our energy and intensity as we rotate 12 guys.
Are you seeing good focus from the guys?
Yeah, they're doing a good job, I've been happy with them. We can do some things better on the floor, but off the floor I've been very impressed with their commitment and determination and their preparation for the event, they're excited. They know we haven't won this thing since 1991. We continue to stress that, that's a lot of times where we haven't been the victor so our guys are well aware of that and they understand from that statistics alone that it's not an easy event for us and that we're up against very good competition.
Midway through the first quarter you had five different players make a 3-pointer, to kind of blow the game open.
I think that's a strength of ours, we shoot it well and we have a lot of guys that can shoot the three so I think it is something that we're going to play to and we will have a number of guys hits 3-point shots and score points for us. I think our strength is our depth and balance, especially from the shooting aspect.
What were you most please about today?
I thought our passing was pretty good, I thought we did a good job in that regard. I thought we were unselfish for the most part and that's a good sign in a game that had this kind of scoring margin.
DeANGELO CASTO (Washington State / Spokane, Wash.)
About today's game:
It was just good to finally just be able to put on my jersey and play. We've been working hard for 14 days, putting in a lot of work, so it was really good to put on your jersey and actually go out and showcase our talent.
You shot the ball well and were getting some good looks at the baskets; did you feel you were in the flow of the game?
It was really cold in the gym so it was hard to get warm and loose and outrun the other team and get down to the other end of the court. But that's how I got some pretty easy buckets, just out work the other team the whole time. That's what coach has been telling me what I need to do and that was how I was going to get my easy money so that's what I did.
What does this team need to continue to work on?.
We're still trying to get used to the actual speed of how the game is supposed to be played. It's not as long of a shot clock; its only 24 seconds so we need to speed up a little and slow down as well. We had a lot of turnovers where we got the rebound and were trying to run. More possessions means more chances to get turnovers. We need to cut down on our turnovers a little and just be more poised on offense.
SETH CURRY (Duke / Charlotte, N.C.)
How did you feel finally getting out there?
It was fun to get out there and play and not just scrimmage or practice today. We got to have real referees and a real game atmosphere; it was a good experience for us.
Midway through the first quarter there was a stretch where the U.S. hit five or six threes and it was everybody hitting a three, it wasn't one person making them, will that we a strength for the U.S.?
Definitely! That's one of things the coaches picked this team for, everybody can shoot the ball, stretch the defender and when we're moving the ball well and knocking down shots it's hard to beat us.
What areas does the team need to improve or focus on?
We need to continue work on the defensive end because offensively it will come because we have so many scorers on this team. We just need to continue to work on the defensive end and continue to rebound and we'll be good.
GORDON HAYWARD (Butler / Brownsburg, Ind.)
On today's game:
It was good to just get out there and play, we've been going hard for so long and practicing, it was good to get that first game out of the way. I think we kind of had some jitters a little bit, but it was good to get out there and get warm, it was a good first win.
What does this team need to improve on?
We obviously still have some rebounding issues, they had too many offensive rebounds and sometimes defensively we lost focus. I think that's going to be the biggest key is focusing, focusing on every possession and every play.
How important is the team's depth?
That might be our biggest asset; we have 12 guys that can play. No matter who is in, they can go in there and give good minutes. One guy might be having a down game but we can have another guy step up and take his place so I think that will help us a lot.
DARIUS MILLER (Kentucky / Lexington, Ky.)
How did you feel to get the first game out of the way?
It felt real good, especially because we got the win. I think we all played really well, we played together, it was just a lot of fun playing out there, I think we all had a lot of fun.
Did it feel good to finally goes against someone other than your teammates?
Yeah, definitely. We've been working real hard playing against each other, so it definitely feels a lot better to play against other people and work as a team.
Is this tean's strength its depth, the fact there are 12 players of essentially the samelevelof abilities?
Definitely. We have 12 players so we won't really get worn out. A lot of us are going to play a lot of time, and we're going to all share the minutes and we're all happy doing so, I think that could really help us out in the long run. Especially because some players are going to have off days and that when other players will step up.
What do you look to bring to the team when you play?
Just whatever coach needs me to do. Just trying to play defense, rebounding, just anything really.
JOHN SHURNA (Northwestern / Glen Ellyn, Ill.)
Talk about getting the first game out of the way and how you felt.
It was good to finally get the first game jitters out of the way. I'm honored to represent the country and it was good to get out there and play and get the win.
Did you feel comfortable out there today?
Yeah, I mean we've been practicing and playing a lot together so its bee getting a lot easier, everyone is getting to know to each other's style of lay so it's been a lot better.
What does the team need to work on?
I think it will come from just constantly playing more with each other; we'll be able to know each other's style. Coach mentioned cutting down on turnovers, that's one area, I think it will just come with playing with each other more.
Are you trying to bring anything special to the team?
I'm Just trying to help the team win by doing whatever I can.
TSYSHAUN TAYLOR (Kansas / Jersey City, N.J.)
About today's game:
I think we've been waiting for this, we've been ready. We've been practicing for a couple of weeks real hard and we were ready to take it out on someone else and I think we showed that today.
What were you pleased about today?
I think we all played hard and I think when we just played and we're having fun. I think everyone gelled because the other guys are real good and we play together as a team. For some guys who have just been playing together for two weeks, I think we play good as a team. I think on the court we all like each other and the chemistry is real good and I like that.
What about this team's superior depth?
I think it's good because it just shows how good of a team we are. When you can sub five for five and have no drop off at all. Our scoring was even. I think I had 13 and everyone else 11, 10, or 12, so the scoring was even which shows we can score and we can play hard.
How important is defense and getting transition baskets for this team?
I think it's good, it makes the game more fun and interesting. All of us like to play fast and get out and go so when we pressure the ball on the defensive end it leads to dunks and fast break points and that's what we like to do. It gets the crowd excited, it gets us excited and it's fun.