Additional Quotes >> USA 83, Canada 54
July 4, 2011 ē Riga, Latvia
USA Head Coach
Opening comments on the game:
†I thought Canada played very well at the start, they gave us a lot of problems and then Jahii came in and got our running game going and we got going in transition and got some easy baskets and that opened the game for us.
You mention that your team is playing better as the tournament goes on. Tomorrow you play Lithuania -- a team that beat you a week ago. Can you talk about how your team has evolved?
Like what (Canadaís) coach said, you forget about five days ago and worry about your next game. We just have to play better, we didnít play well, and they played really well. If weíre going to have a chance against them, weíre going to have to play better and hope they donít play as well.
Talk about your teamís defensive effort today:
Itís getting better. Thatís one thing Iíve noticed as this tournament has gone on, weíve become a little bit more cohesive defensively. Guys can now take more chances because they know their teammate is going to be there to help them if something doesnít go right. So, I like the fact that weíre playing together better defensively as the tournament has gone on.
This was a little more transition type game, how good was it to get a game like that in?
We said going into the game that one of their flaws was transition defense, so we just tried to exploit it. We got stops and we got out running. But it started with the stop though. We all buckled down on defense, got deflections, got rebounds and we just got out.
You had a good shooting night; you seem to get in a good flow:
My teammates put me in the right positions. They made great passes, and I was just knocking down shots, it was just one of those days.
With Lithuania next, how far do you think the team has come since we had the exhibition game with them a week ago?
Weíve come a long way. We know where we have to be to beat them. We know how we have to play to play with them.†We just have to play our game; stay confident and just stay solid; no turnovers; limit their fast break points and just stay in the game.
I thought we played good overall as a team. Weíre starting to get team chemistry, get team bonding, just start playing together as a team both offensively and defensively. I think weíre starting to step it up as the games start to increase during the tournament.
You mention that your team is playing better as the tournament goes on. Tomorrow you play Lithuania a team that beat you a week ago. Can you talk about how your team has evolved?
I think weíre starting to bond more off the court, and I think thatís a huge part of being successful for our team. Weíre learning each otherís personalities, and I think that helps on the court. We start to learn and know what players like to do, and I think as the tournament moves on knowing your teamís personnel is going to help tremendously.
Talk about getting the transition game going, getting the running game going:
I like to push the basketball and I think putting pressure on the defense catches them off guard and thatís something I like to try to do. And on the defensive end I try to get into the point guard and make him uncomfortable. I think when Coach Hewitt calls my name thatís one thing I liked to try to bring to the floor, put a little spark into the game.
The offense tonight looked much smoother:
Definitely;† I feel like weíre getting a lot more comfortable with each other as we go along. Some of these teams have been together a while and weíve only been together a few weeks here, so itís been going well.
How important is an up tempo like todayís game and how much fun is it to play?
Itís really fun, just to watch and play with these guys. Itís been great. We got off to kind of a slow start, Canada did a good job early, but then we started feeling it, got on a roll and it felt good.
The defensive effort limited Canada to 30.0 percent shooting; talk about the teamís defense today
We had a good game plan coming in to shut Kevin Pangos down and I thought we did a good job of that; we did probably not as good as we wanted to do on their 7í6" guy, but we still played really well on team defense.
How important is it to have the kind of depth the USA Team?
Itís really important. I think everyone is starting to figure out their roles and figure out what they need to do and bring to the team so we can get wins.
You play Lithuania next, what do you need to do win?
I think we know what we have to do, weíve got do a really good job on Jonas Valanciunas and try and take them off of the 3-point line because thatís what they do really well - shoot it and play out of the post. Weíve got to prepare for them tonight and hope for the best tomorrow.