Additional Quotes >> USA 71, France 55
USA head coach Jamie Dixon, University of Pittsburgh
It was a comfortable victory in the end, were you happy to win by that much?
It was a pretty decisive win, but I thought we could have played better. They're good, they're athletic, we couldn't dominate them inside and we knew that going into it so that was a little different for us. We needed to shoot the ball well and we didn't. But I think our defense was pretty good and that was really the margin of victory. It was one of those games where they zoned us, we took care of the ball pretty well, four turnovers at halftime and I'm not sure what we had in the second half, but we didn't shoot it great and that something that we do pretty well. So considering we didn't shoot it well we got a pretty good margin of victory. Our defense was pretty good.
There seemed to be a lot of traveling calls made today by the referees:
Yeah, I guess that's something we're going to just have to get use to and adapt to. We've talked along about how things would be different than what we're use to - rules, how they call the game, style of play - we really did a lot of scrimmaging the last couple of weeks because of that, We tried to get our guys with veteran FIBA officials, we tried to bring in game like situations to just get used to it; timeouts, just getting used to it. Timeouts are shorter, you can't stay on the floor...so there are little things and we did a lot of scrimmaging to adapt to the rules. There's a 24 second (shot) clock, that's a new thing for us, and so that's a significant difference than a 35 second clock.
We're you concerned about lack of focus in the last quarter?
I don't know if it was a lack of focus, we just didn't shoot the ball well throughout. Guys are going to make some runs. We need to get to the free throw line more than we did and that's something we have to adapt to. You know we're playing a lot of guys, I think we're keeping guys fresh and we're playing with a lot of intensity. I don't think it was a lack of focus I just think they're a good team, they made good shots, and we didn't execute quite as well and that's something we have to continue to improve on. We're two weeks into this. We've talked all along about it's not where we're at right now but where we're going to be.
They have a good point guard who gets to the line, and you managed to close down their shooting as well, was that something you focused on?
Definitely, definitely on this team. We watched them play last night and we really wanted to take away the shooters - Jonathan Bourhis and Nicolas Lang were the two guys that we really didn't want to let get going because we thought that was big part of their offense. The point guard Albicy hurt us with some tough shots in the first half, but we didn't think he could do that consistently and so what we really played to (was) taking away those two shooters and not allowing them second shots.
How important was that quick start, the 9-0 jump?
It was good, we started a new five and really want to keep guys rotating, keep the guys working and trying to improve and they played really well, it was good. We got some good spot up jump shots and some transition baskets, passed it really well and our defense was very aggressive. I thought our defense was much better, I think we've seen improvement in our defense which is really what we have stressed as a team over these two weeks.
SETH CURRY (Duke / Charlotte, N.C.)
You seemed to be able to find spots for a couple of threes despite France paying a lot of attention to you.
I had a little bit of rhythm, some guys penetrated and kicked it out to me and I was able to knock them down. But after I hit my first two threes they went box and one and that just opens it up for my teammates to get open shots and that's when we pushed it up.
Did you feel a different intensity in this game?
Oh yeah definitely this was a different type feel game, there's was a better opponent in France than when we played against Iran. It's a good experience for us in pool play to play a good team like France and get the win,
Are you feeling like the team is continuing to get better, getting more familiar with each other?
We're definitely getting better just with the game atmosphere, just learning how to deal with it. Everyone is learning their roles on this team and we're going out there trying to do the best we can do.
Has it been a big adjustment playing the 10 a.m. games?
Naw it's not been too bad because we've been practicing early mornings in Colorado and even here we had scrimmages early in the morning so it's not that bad.
ASHTON GIBBS (Pittsburgh / Scotch Plains, N.J.)
That was a very comprehensive win, were you expecting to win like that against the French team?
We knew they were a good team. They had a blowout win last night (102-56 versus Egypt) and we went to see them play so we knew they were a tough team. They play hard the whole game so we had to play hard the whole game, and they brought their defensive intensity but we were able to withstand that and we got the win..
Did you learn something playing against that type of physical European defense today?
Well the refs are a little lenient on some of the pick and roll calls, and some of the physicality down low, so we had to get used to that. But now I think we're fine, we've just got to keep going.
Any concerns about that last quarter and the lack of intensity?
Yeah, we should have brought more defensive intensity. I think we lacked it a little bit in the second half overall. We've got to withstand their defensive intensity and keep it up the while game and we'll be fine.
You had a good start scoring five points in that 9-0 run to start the game. How important was it to get off to a quick start against France?
We knew they were a tough team so we wanted to make a statement quick, make a statement early, bring our intensity and I think that's what we did, we just need to sustain it the whole game.
Do you feel like you guys are coming together?
I think we are coming together. We practiced for like two-and-a-half weeks together and now the chemistry is there, you see it with the guard and the big men and the different plays we have. Everybody is playing together, playing as a team, we're coming together and we're beating teams.
Did you feel like today's game was an improvement on yesterday's?
I think so, we sort of lacked it a little bit in the second half with our defense and our turnovers, but I think we'll be fine.
What was it like trying to guard their little point guard Anthony Albicy, he's very quick...
Yeah, he's tough. He reminds me of a Tony Parker type of player. He's tough player to stay in front of, but we slowed him down a little bit in the second half.
Good support from the crowd?
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. The kids, it was great enjoyment to have them here and it was a great atmosphere here.
GORDON HAYWARD (Butler / Brownsburg, Ind.)
You seemed to get your shot going a little more today, are you finding your grove a little more?
A little but more, finding it a little bit more. It's just going to come with shooting more and getting used to it. It will come, I'm not worried about myself anyway, I just glad we got the win and I'm looking forward to tomorrow (game versus Egypt)..
Was there a little different feel to this game than yesterday's?
Yeah it was a little more intense right from the get go. It seemed like there was more of crowd here, I don't know what that was about. It was a good game for us, we played real good defense. We really respected France and so we came out intense and we got off to that 9-0 run and that was really key for us and so I'm just looking forward to doing that again tomorrow.
TERRICO WHITE (Mississippi / Memphis, Tenn.)
This game had a little different intensity than the first one didn't it?
Yeah it was different than our game with Iran. We came out and went up 9-0 quick, dug in and came out hitting shots and we really set the tone early.
How important was it to get out to a good start and force some early turnovers like you guys did?
It was very important because when we did that France got shaky out there and started playing bad and after that we just had to keep playing like that the whole game.
Are you getting more comfortable with your teammate and the things that the coaches are trying to do?
The players all have roles and like coach says, everyone has to play their role on the team.
This (game versus France) was a pretty solid test don't you think?
Yeah it was, they're probably one of the best teams in our group so we had to come out and play good against them.
Are you looking to do any special when you're out there?
No, I'm just really trying to do what they need - rebound, shoot the ball, do everything.