Additional Quotes >> USA 84, Poland 47
July 9, 2011 ē Riga, Latvia
Paul Hewitt, USA head coach
Your comments about the game:
Iím very pleased for our guys. They came out and played with great intensity from the beginning and did a very good job defensively. I thought we turned the ball over a little too much in the first half, but in the second half I thought our focus and concentration was very good.
What did you say to the team to help get them past yesterdays loss and to play like they did today?
Not much. It was a difficult game for us and I thought our guys competed very hard and tried very hard. Iíve watched the game twice now and it (the loss to Russia) wasnít for a lack of effort, we just didnít make some threes yesterday. Itís tough to overcome a deficit of 36 to nothing from the 3-point line, but our guys gave an effort so as long as the effort was there we knew we would come out and play well and they have. These guys have been great the entire trip and they continue to impress with how hard they play and how much they want to represent the U.S.
(Michigan State / Detroit, Mich.)
Talk about the USA team effort today:
It shows weíre a bunch of guys that are not ever going to quit. We understand what we could have accomplished but we tried not dwell on the past and focused on the future.
What have you learned from this tournament?
Youíve got to be willing to compete at all times, thereís a lot of great players out here from a lot of different countries, so youíve got to be ready to compete and stay focused and poised at all times.
What have you learned about international basketball, has this changed your opinion of international basketball?
Oh yeah, it changed my opinion a lot. I didnít think any other country was as good as America when it comes to basketball but thereís a lot of other countries that have a lot of very talented players.
(Illinois / Robinson, Ill.)
Was it difficult to get up for this game today?
For me it wasnít really hard to get ready for the game because Iím just trying to get better and I thought yesterday I got in a groove and Iím trying to keep it going obviously for these last few games and I thought I played pretty well again today. As far as the other guys, they were ready to go too. Itís hard coming off a loss knowing you canít get the gold medal, but Iím just happy with the way everyone played, we competed and we played really hard and weíre keeping a good reputation for ourselves.
You were real active today, rebounding, blocking shot, getting up and down the court, talk a about that, do you feel youíre starting to hit your groove?
Thatís how itís always been. Itís been tough for me in the first parts of the tournament. I thought I did well in the tryouts but once we got to the tournament I was starting to get a little less minutes; I was starting to get down on myself a little. But Iíve kind of got my confidence back, got my groove back, started getting into my style, getting up and down and be a high energy guy and I think thatís all coach wanted from me Ė to bring a lot of energy and I wasnít doing that at the beginning but I am now. Iím just finding my groove and playing my hardest.
What have you learned from this international experience and has it changed your perception of international basketball?
Theyíre very physical, I didnít know that. I did know theyíre very skilled but I didnít know theyíre this skilled. They all know how to play together, they pass well, they really know how to work as a unit and they never stop playing hard thatís for sure. Iím just going to go back to my team at back Illinois and try to share all of this experience with them and hopefully have a good year next year.
(Butler / Davie, Fla.)
How hard was it to get ready to play this game after yesterdayís loss?
Everybody is still bummed about what happened yesterday so during warm ups I think all of us were still mad about how we shouldnít be in this game, we should be fighting for the gold medal right now. But at the end of the day weíre in this game so itís something we have to put behind us and just focus on this game.
What does it say about this teamís pride and competitiveness to play like it did today?
It shows that if we just play together and play defense great things can happen. As a result, we won by 30 plus points and that just showed this team could be really good if we just all play together, play defense, play together as one team.
How much pride have you taken in represent the United States?
At the end of the day I cannot be more proud, Iím representing my country and fighting for a medal. Iím representing my whole country and playing against the top competition in the world. I couldnít be more proud.
(Creighton / Ames, Iowa)
Your comments about the game:
I thought we set a tone early, especially defensively. We held them to a low shooting percentage the whole game and we did a really good job in the second half of not letting them get to the offensive boards after they had eight in the first half. I think we did a really good job of sharing the ball and shared a lot of fun today as a group.
In the U.S. you donít have these consolation type of games, how do you get up for it because youíre not used to it?
Yeah, Iím not used to it at all. I think just for the love of the game that all of us have, we all wanted to play a game and represent our country and put on the USA jersey a couple of last times. Itís just an honor to be here and its unfortunate we lost yesterday but we know we canít complain, we just have to move forward and try and get a win tomorrow too.
Talk about hitting the three that opened the second half and how it felt to make one?
Yeah it felt good to hit one there and get me going; it definitely boosted my confidence and I think I hit another one right after that so just to get our team going in the second half and off to an 8-0 run just felt good. It was a good win for us.