Additional Quotes >> U.S. Men 27, Israel 20
Eric Flannery, U.S. Men's Head Coach
St. Edward High School, Ohio
How important was Sterling Gibbsí play today?
He played a lot better than he did yesterday, especially shooting. He actually made a big 3-pointer for us in the second half. Israel had cut it to two with 30 seconds to go, and he hits a 3 to extend (the lead) to five and pretty much close the game out.
Thatís why heís the team captain, right?
Absolutely. He takes over and wants the ball in crucial situations. Heís done that time and time again in practice, but this was the first opportunity heís had in a game, and he stepped up in a big moment. Thatís why he is the captain.
That Israel cut it to a two-point game after you led, 13-5, in the first half shows just how quickly things can change in this version of the game, right?
Again, I think it shows the pace of the game and how quick it can change. Israel hit an off-balance 3-pointer off the backboard to cut it to two, and that made it kind of hectic down the stretch. But to be able to win games like this is great for us, because not only do you get a win, but it sends an important message to your team about the momentum and how quickly it can change. Even if itís for 30 seconds or one minute, if you have any lack of focus, it could cost you the game.
Overall, were you happy with the teamís performance?
I was. I thought we played a little sluggish physically, and mentally we got a little slippery in spurts. But overall I thought we did pretty well. We actually started the game with a little rain delay. The roof was leaking a little, and with all the other things going on, I thought we did a pretty good job. Obviously, I think we can play a lot better and be a little bit more focused, but this is part of the learning process. And weíre fortunate enough to win while learning. Hopefully, we keep getting better.
What are you going to do with your day off?
Weíre going to come watch the girls play and actually walk around the city a little bit and do a little touring. Thereís a team free throw competition in the afternoon that we must compete in, and then weíll make it an early night and get ready. Since we have the day off tomorrow, weíre going to the zoo tonight, though.
Brea Olinda H.S. / Brea, Calif.
So, the roof was leaking?
Yeah, it delayed the game for about 10 minutes, and we had to play with a towel on the court. They put it in the one spot that it was dripping on to absorb some of it.
How do you feel about the pace of the 3-on-3 game with a 10-second shot clock?
The pace is definitely really quick. Itís much faster than normal 5-on-5. You canít really make a mistake or go into much of a lag. You just have to play through everything and never get down on yourself.
How do you feel about your role on the team so far?
Pretty good. Iím definitely going in there and playing my butt off for the time that Iím in and just trying to be really efficient.
Would you say you guys have a size advantage over other teams?
Yeah, weíre much bigger than the other teams weíve played. Weíve been trying to pound it inside, and then when they collapse or double, kick it out to Sterling or Brandan for a perimeter shot.
Herbert Hoover H.S. / San Diego, Calif.
Was it a wild ending to todayís game?
We let them get rebounds, and we didnít box them out, and thatís when it got close. Then we got a couple rebounds, and Sterling hit a big shot for us. He hit a 3 that put us up five, and they fouled, then we went back and hit another shot that made (the U.S. lead) seven. It was pretty crazy.
Was the floor slippery at all?
It was slippery. It was, like, wet, and (the roof) was leaking. So it was slippery, and the other team was fouling, so it made it pretty hard to score and get possessions.
That said, how do you feel about todayís game?
We did good, but we could have done better. We could have done way better than that. We should have beat that team by about 15. We just gotta keep working to get better.
Do you feel comfortable with the pace and style of play?
Not really, not yet. Iím not really comfortable. At the beginning of the game I took some quick shots because I was worried about the (10-second) shot clock. Iím still not used to that. I just gotta get used to that. It might take a little bit, but when we play some more, weíll get better at it.