Additional Quotes >> USA 76, Lithuania 69
DARIUS MILLER (Kentucky / Lexington, Ky.)
This was a different game in the sense that they're a big team, a physical team and we really had to scrape from the start.
I think they came out and played with a lot of intensity. This was their game to get into the quarterfinals so they came out and played really tough, played with a lot of emotion and they have a really good team.
Was it good to have a tight game?
Yeah I definitely think it can help us in the long run. We can be better prepared for that, we got experience like that now and I think that can definitely help down the road if we get in another close game.
Talk about that stretch where you had you scored six points and had a blocked shot and a steal, you seemed to give the team a lift.
They didn't play a lot of guys so I think they got tired so when I came in and just tried to play with a lot of energy and it just worked out for us. My teammates did a good job of getting me the ball when I was open.
In the second half the team seemed to make the key plays, get the loose balls and critical rebounds. What was the difference?
I think we played with a lot more intensity in the second half. We came out ready to play and ready to go. They we're playing with a lot of intensity and we had to match it in the second half to come out with the win.
Now you're down to the quarterfinals where it's like the NCAA setting in the sense that it's lose and your done. What will it take to win it all?
Hard work and determination. We've got to be ready to go every single game. You've got to come out and play hard, play physical and play with a lot of emotion and if we do that I think we'll be fine.
TYSHAWN TAYLOR (Kansas / Jersey City, N.J.)
Challenging game tonight, you seemed to take it on your shoulders down the stretch and made some tough shots:
We started kind of slow. We knew they would play us hard because if they would have beat us then they would still be in the tournament (quarterfinals). We just had to come out and play hard. I played with a little chip on my shoulder because I didn't play so well yesterday, I just wanted to come out here and play a good game.
What was the reason for the slow start?
I don't know. they just out played us. I think they just had more to play for at this moment so they came out a little bit more aggressive. We went in at halftime tied up and coach told us that we had to come up and play because they were playing like it was their last game and we were playing like we had another game. We had to play like it was our last game too so we came out with more intensity in the second half.
Did it take a while to adjust to playing against such a big team?
Yeah, their guys were big. They had a 6-11 guy who could take you off the dribble so it was kind of weird playing against those guys. They ran some plays we weren't use to, but we got it together. We've got great players on this team and we made plays down the stretch.
It looked in the second half you really adjusted...he (Lithuania's Eimantas Bendzius) didn't do much in the second half.
Yeah we just adjusted. We knew he was a great player and that he was going to look to be aggressive and try and carry his team and our guys responded to that. Our big guys who guarded against him responded to that - Darius Miller played really good against him, Gordon Hayward played good against him, so our guys responded to it.
How are your guys feeling after just over a week of competition?
We're kind of tired, but we have tomorrow off. Everybody is tired, everybody played just as many games as us so you can't use tired as being an excuse. We've got video tomorrow, we're going to rest and try and get our legs back and come back here Friday and be ready.
You scored some key baskets down the stretch, did you feel like you had to take over?
I just wanted to be aggressive, whether it had to be scoring or looking to attack and hit one of my teammates for a layup. I just wanted to be aggressive. I had open shots so I took them and they just fell for me today. They weren't falling the last couple of games so I'm glad they fell today.
This is like the NCAA Tournament now, one and done, you've got to win to keep moving on.
I think most of our guys are use to this maybe, playing like it's our last game just like Lithuania did tonight. We've got to play every game like it's our last. I think with more to play for our guys will come out and we'll start more aggressive and we'll be ready.
American teams in the past had a reputation for playing selfish, but your team seems to always make the pass to the open man, and its a different guy stepping up it was John Shurna in the third quarter, yourself in the last quarter, what's the feeling like on the team?
I think it's just a bunch of guys that like each other. We like playing with each other, we haven't been together long, but we like playing with each other. We like being around each other and there's not really any stars on this team, it's just great players, just a bunch of great players who like playing with each other and I think that causes a good team. Seth (Curry) played really good a couple of games; Ashton (Gibbs) played really good a couple of game, myself, John (Shurna) like you said, so it's just a bunch of guys that can play and like playing with each other. I think it's hard to beat us. It's hard to beat us when you don't know who is going to be the leading scorer, or the leading rebounder, or the leading assist man.
What's it mean to you to represent the United States of America?
It means a lot, it means a lot. I'm glad to have this honor, it means so much to be here. I think all 12 guys feel the same way - just a great honor to be here representing our country.
KLAY THOMPSON (Washington State / Ladera Ranch, Calif.)
The U.S. had the No. 1 seed locked up and Lithuania was desperate. The USA struggled at the start of the game tonight, talk about that.
I felt like we all had to turn it up and I think we did. It was good to have a close game like this because we learned a lot from each other and we learned a lot about our team. It was tough playing Lithuania tonight because it was all or nothing for them, they almost had that extra gear.
Lithuania is a big team, it was physical inside and it looked like you were banging hard. Was it a more physical game then you've been playing?
It was more physical than I expected. They had some skilled big guys who knew how to use their body and they knew how to pass, they could all put it on the deck too, so they all could all play.
Down the stretch it cam down to getting loose balls, making defensive stops. Was that a key in the win?
Yeah it was. We just had to focus defensively and we knew we could come up with the stop if we just played hard and focused.
Going on from here its like a NCAA Tournament setting, how do you feel heading into the quarterfinals?
I'm excited because I didn't go to the NCAA Tournament last year so it's kind of like a second chance. We feel good though, we feel like we should win it and we're the favorite and we just have to compete.