Additional Quotes >> U.S. Men 28, Spain 18
Eric Flannery, U.S. Men's Head Coach
St. Edward High School, Ohio
Spain is regarded as an international rival of the U.S., did this game have that type of intensity?
Yeah, I think all of these games at this point, especially today because it was Spain, we can expect to be very competitive. And I’m really proud of our guys today, because I think we’re starting to get it. We played extremely well today, and what we need to do is keep getting better and better every day. Today, we took a big step in playing very well.
What specifically did you see today that you liked?
Well, actually, offensively we were a lot more aggressive. Angelo Chol, just facing up, was attacking the basket and he was unstoppable. He played with a lot of confidence that he hadn’t played with. Normally, in the beginning, he kind of gets in a flow. Today, he was ready to go from the beginning. And, it’s all about defense at this point, and I thought our intensity and defense has been the best it’s been to this point, and that’s the big difference.
What’s it going to take to win the gold medal?
Well, tomorrow against Serbia is going to be a huge challenge. I said it the first time I saw them that they’re the best here, and I have no qualms about saying it now. We’re one of the only teams that can beat them, but we have to play as perfect a 10-minute game as we can possibly play to beat them. Serbia is a big, physical, talented team, and we have to be ready to go to war, per se, from the beginning. We’ll come out tomorrow focusing on one game and one day at a time. So at this point, we’re focusing primarily on Serbia.
Seton Hall Prep H.S./Scotch Plains, N.J.
Was this game especially competitive because it was against Spain?
Yeah, it was definitely competitive. Everybody, both teams, played real hard. We got after it, they made some great plays, we made some great plays, but we can’t say we out-hustled them. They definitely hustled. I think our athleticism got us over.
Coach Flannery says the team’s playing the best it has so far. What’s the difference?
I think we’re just playing harder. Before, we weren’t playing as hard. I think we came in saying, ‘We’re the USA. We should automatically win it.’ Now we know that we just gotta play hard to win the gold, and we gotta lay it all on the line.
What is it about this Serbian team that has people calling them the favorites?
They’re big, and they’re physical. They’re a good team, but honestly, I like that everyone’s going against us, because I think we can definitely prove everyone wrong. We’re going to go out there, play hard and defend and hopefully come away with a win.
Detroit Southeastern H.S./Detroit, Mich.
Was this a really competitive game?
Yeah, it definitely was. It went through my mind, like, (Spain) played the USA pretty tough (in the 2008 Olympics). We wanted to come out here and just keep our focus and play through the physical aspect that they bring to the game.
Why did Coach Flannery say he was especially happy with this performance?
We were coming out with an intensity and getting into our man on the defensive end from the jump. And just coming out with intensity, that’s what he’s talking about.
Why are people calling this Serbian team a favorite?
They’re real physical. They’re just as big as us, maybe bigger. And they’ve had some pretty easy matches so far, and they’ve been blowing teams out. Just they’re very, very physical.
What will it take to beat them?
Playing hard and physical. Staying focused no matter how much dirty stuff they try to do. And just executing and doing the things we’re supposed to do.