Additional Quotes >> USA 112, South Korea 68
Aug. 15, 2011 • Shenzhen, China
Matt Painter, USA head coach
On tonight’s game:
South Korea gave us a different look. They had quickness at every single one of their positions. They were hard to handle. They were in constant movement. It was a good look for our guys to be able to handle that. They played a lot smaller than we play, so that was a little bit of a tough match-up. But I thought our depth and our overall strength and our ability to rebound really helped us.
How important is your depth when you have nine games in 11 days?
We’re trying our best to kind of keep two fives together and then sprinkle in (Ray) McCallum and (Greg) Mangano and hopefully with that, we can get some chemistry with two different units. I don’t think everybody is playing like that. So far, the teams we’ve scouted aren’t looking like that. It looks like they really have their top five, then they have their reserves like a normal team. So, hopefully that depth and balance will really help us.
How hard do you think it is for teams to scout you when you have so many options?
For us, we’re trying to jam the ball inside, especially when we go big. Then with our 3-point shooters and all those different weapons, I think it’s hard for guys to match up. What decision are you going to make? Are you going to spread out a little bit and stay with the shooters, stay one-on-one inside? Are you going to pack it in and let the shooters go? So, that’s really causing some of our opponents some problems.
What do you need to work on before the final pool play games?
For us, defensively we have to be better. We’ve got to be better at containing the dribble. We’ve got to do a better job with the ball screen defense. Then we have to do a better job when shots go up, just getting contact so we’re in better rebounding position.
Tim Abromaitis (University of Notre Dame)
On tonight’s game:
They were really quick out there, constantly moving on offense and that caused us a little bit of trouble. We adjusted to it in the second half and kind of outsized them.
Is it also a matter of wearing them down by halftime?
Yeah, definitely. They didn’t go to the bench that much compared to us. We have 12 guys who are playing pretty equally. We definitely wore them out in the second half. We were able to get a lot of fast-break layups because I think they were tired by the end of the game.
How fun is it to play on a team like this, with so many good players?
It’s really fun playing with these guys because everybody’s unselfish out there. Everybody knows how to play. It kind of all comes together when we’re out there. We’re getting easy looks and a lot of dunks. It’s really a lot of fun out there.
What have you been doing off the court?
We’ve been hanging out as a team a lot, trying to explore the village a little bit. We get to know different people and see what’s around. The day off tomorrow will be nice to get outside the village and experience China and its culture a little bit. So far it’s just been a fun experience.
Draymond Green (Michigan State University)
On tonight’s game:
South Korea was a good team. They were very fast. That kind of caught us off guard, but I think we did a great job adjusting to it. We’re going to have to do a better job of it when we face fast guys like those guys, keeping them in front of us. Overall, we played a pretty good game. We did some things well. We just have to correct the defensive end of the ball and we’ll be fine.
Did you use your size to your advantage?
Definitely. I’m not sure what the rebounding total ended up being, but I’m sure we won it by a big margin. That’s what you have to do against smaller teams that are a little bit quicker. Not that they were that much quicker than us, but those guys are fast. We used our size to pound it inside and hit the offensive rebounds and I think that played well to our advantage.
Was it a matter of wearing them down or making adjustments in the second half?
A little bit of both. We did make some adjustments, but we have a team that can go 12 deep. A lot of teams aren’t used to a team that can constantly throw guys at you and you don’t really lose anything going from me to a Darius Miller, going from a Scoop (Jardine) to an Ashton (Gibbs). A lot of teams aren’t used to that, so we’ve been able to wear teams down, including this team.
Did you play zone defense for the first time tonight?
Yes. We played a little bit yesterday, but that was with unconventional line-ups. But tonight when we got into the zone we actually said ‘let’s try to get better at the zone.’ We had a couple good plays in the zone.
JaMychal Green (University of Alabama)
On tonight’s game:
I felt pretty good out there. We did a good job on defense there in the second half, got stops and pushed it up. We picked it up in the second half.
What did Coach Painter talk to you about at halftime?
They were quick, so he was telling us we had to get back on transition, stop the ball and play help defense. I think we adjusted well in the second half when we did that.
On the USA team’s depth:
It’s great. Our legs get tired. We get tired. It’s always great to sit down and know that the team out there is still going to play well. We’re not losing anything. That’s always a great thing.
How hard do you think it is for other teams to scout the USA?
I think it’s pretty hard, because we can go12 deep. They have to worry about 12 players instead of just like three or four. It’s good to have that on the team.
How has life in the village been for you?
It’s been good. We’re adjusting well, meeting new people. People here are very nice, so we’re having a good time and enjoying it.
Scoop Jardine (Syracuse University)
On South Korea:
They were a very unique team. We haven’t played a team like that yet. They were really quick. They were quick to the basketball. There were five guys around the same size, they just were really quick and athletic. They surprised us in the first half. They made some shots, but we were able to adapt to that and put the game away in the second half.
Is it more of a matter of wearing them down, since they primarily played about seven, eight guys?
Yes. We knew going into the game that they had seven guys. If we could wear them down, we knew that we would be able to beat them by how much we did.
On the USA’s chemistry:
We’re an unselfish team. We don’t have too many superstars. We have a lot of good players, a lot of older players who have played in college three years and when you have a core like that, everybody knows what it takes to win games, we’ve all played in big games and that’s what it’s going to take to win the gold medal.
How fun is it to play on a team like this?
I’ve only been with these guys for 18 days and I feel like I’ve known them my whole life. They’re like my brothers. I actually competed against these guys and now I’ve found myself a fan of all my teammates. We’re so close together, our coaches are close and we’re all like a family. Like I said, we’ve only been together for 18 days, but it feels like we’ve been together for longer. It’s a beautiful thing when you can play basketball that way.