Additional Quotes >> U.S. Men 31, Singapore 21
Eric Flannery, U.S. Men's Head Coach
St. Edward High School, Ohio
Despite the win, is there still room for improvement?
No question. I think every game we’re getting a little bit better and more familiar with the style of play. But there’s still a lot of areas, both as a team and individually, where we can improve and get better. The goal in any game is to win, and fortunately we’re doing that still. But there’s definitely room for improvement for each of the guys individually and for the team as a whole.
What do you want to see when you take the floor tomorrow?
Well, I think our intensity. We want to make sure that on defense we keep up our intensity for 10 straight minutes and make sure we’re not losing our focus. Where we get into trouble is when we kind of get a little bit lax on defense when we have a 10- or 12-point lead, and we let the other team back into the game. Tomorrow, if we establish 10 solid minutes of defensive basketball, I think the rest will take care of itself.
Sterling Gibbs has had two nice games in a row, now. What’s been the key to his success?
I think Sterling’s understanding the game a lot quicker than the other guys. He’s aggressive offensively and attacking the basket, and he’s also doing a tremendous job rebounding from his position. And that’s an area that can be exploited – offensive rebounds – because in a half-court, you don’t have to worry about getting back on defense. He’s figured that out, and it’s showed statistically. I think he had nine rebounds today, and he’s also getting second and third shots and attacking the basket. So being the aggressor on both ends and rebounding has paid off for him.
Seton Hall Prep H.S./Scotch Plains, N.J.
How do you decide what you want to do on offense with only 10 seconds to operate?
We have set plays to run once we get it out (behind the 3-point line). But a lot of times we have mismatches inside, so we try to get it inside as much as we can. Today, me and Brandan were just attacking the hole a lot, and it was working for us.
Was the crowd behind Singapore?
Yeah, it was crazy. When they would score, the crowd would go crazy. We tried to limit them, but we had a couple of broken down plays that they were able to score. But yeah, the crowd was crazy.
Did that make you feel like the underdog at all?
Not really. We’re going in confident, knowing that we should be the better team. Lately, we haven’t been playing that well. But if we pick it up, hopefully we’ll be able to win the gold.
What do you still need to work on?
I think just getting adjusted to game and finishing around basket, making easy shots. We missed a lot of shots we should’ve made. Overall, we’re just not playing as well as we should.
Knowing that, it must be nice to be 3-0, right?
Yeah, definitely. We’re confident, and we know that all we can do is improve. We’ve been doing that each game, and it’s definitely making us a little bit more confident.
Did you get to see any of Singapore on your off day?
Yeah, we got to go into the city and do a little shopping. We got to go see the city, a couple malls, and some of the stores gave us a little discount because we were with the USA.
Detroit Southeastern H.S./Detroit, Mich.
How’d you feel about today’s game?
I feel we played well at first, and we knew we had to play well the whole game. The start and the finish were all right, but not like we wanted. We need a better start and a better finish.
What seemed to be working for Sterling today?
He was driving to the basket. He played great D today, too.
Overall, do you think the team is improving?
Yeah, we’re getting better. You can tell we’re getting better every time we play, we’ll get better next game. We just want to keep getting better with the rules and with the way the 3-on-3 game is played.
Do you feel comfortable with a 3-0 record so far through preliminary round play?
Yeah, we wanted to win all our games in pool play and heading into the medal round. So, I feel that if we get this next win, we just have to go in with a chip on our shoulder into the medal round.
How did you guys spend your off day?
Actually, we went to the mall. It was a very, very nice mall. We just hung out for like a half an hour. I think we’re going back today.