Additional Quotes >> USA 81, France 60
Sept. 25, 2010 • Ostrava, Czech Republic
Geno Auriemma (University of Connecticut)
On today's game:
I thought the first half, the first 10 minutes especially, were difficult for both teams to make any shots. Usually when you play pretty good defense and hold the other team to three or four or five points, you would think that you would come down and get maybe 10, 12, 14, but it was difficult for both teams in that first 10 minutes. As we settled into a rhythm, we played really well. Our defense was much better in the second half. Our second group that came in did a great job in the third quarter. We have a young team, but we have some talented players and we have depth. I think that helped us again tonight.
What are you looking to improve upon before you
face your next opponent?
The difficult thing about this tournament is you play three games and your team's tired, and then you have to practice. So how much can you practice, knowing that you have three more games? It's difficult to improve a lot during the tournament. You have to hope your team is ready to play when they get here. Watching us the first three games, when our offense is moving, we're very good. When we're standing around, it's not so good. I think the same thing that every coach wants to work on - you get better at defense, you get better at moving without the ball and you get a little smarter on how to guard screens. Tomorrow we just have a couple of our players, we just got one practice together before they played, so tomorrow will be our second practice. Hopefully we'll fix some of those things.
Diana Taurasi Talks With FIBA TV
Was fatigue a factor today?
I think every team here is tired. When you're playing your third game, and some of these players have been playing all summer in the WNBA or wherever, everybody's tired. But that's part of the World Championship. You have to play tired, and you have to mentally get through all of this. The younger the players are, the more they get tired. We have six players who have never played in a World Championship, but we didn't come all the way over here to be tired. I thought in the third quarter, that second group gave us a lot of energy. It's my job that we use the whole roster and try to avoid that as much as possible.
Is this similar to the NCAA Tournament?
No, this is much more difficult here than playing in the NCAA Tournament. When you go into the NCAA Tournament, you've had five months together. Here, you get together for a couple days, and then you come over and play. And you're playing against better teams. It's much more difficult. In the NCAA Tournament your team is together, you're better and you know what you're going to get and you can prepare. Here, the teams that you play are much better. They all can score. They all can do things that can hurt you. In the NCAA Tournament if you play poorly, we can still win. At this tournament, especially next Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, if you play poorly, you can lose. For me, this is much more difficult than the NCAA Tournament.
Jayne Appel (San Antonio Silver Stars)
On tonight's game:
We played great defense, the whole game. They didn't score very well. On the other end, we weren't playing together or really flowing as a unit for the entire 40 minutes. I think as we get more and more games, we will build into that. It definitely wasn't our best performance in terms of offensive fluidity.
On the USA's defense:
We were focused, and we gave up fewer threes than we have been, which is something we've been trying to focus on. So, to come out and be able to do that was good for us, to be able to get our defensive momentum going.
Is this team were it wanted to be
headed into the second round?
I think we are definitely ready. We are going to look to build off of tonight's game. But we are 3-0, and that's where we wanted to be.
Sue Bird (Seattle Storm)
On the first quarter:
France is a very good team. They are well coached, and you can tell they have been playing together for a long time. And for us, we just got caught up in the moment I think in the first quarter, and we didn't really run our sets, didn't really execute what we wanted to do, and it took some time to get into our flow. Even though France is a very good team, I really think that was all us.
Linsday Whalen Postgame
Are the young players asking questions
of the veterans, or is it leading by example?
I think a lot of it is leading by example, trying to be vocal. Just because they are not asking, that doesn't mean they know everything, so you just try to give some words of advice here and there. Myself, Diana, Catch, we're the three players who probably have the most experience. We've been to World Championships, and we know what it's like. There are times when they ask us things, and it doesn't always have to be basketball. It could be something off the court that's happening or stuff like that. We are always there to help.
What do you think of these young
They are great. That's really our advantage, is the talent that we have in the states. This team, although we are young, we are very talented and we are very deep. These other teams might have had more time to practice, but if we can go 12 deep, that's hard to compete against.
Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever
On tonight's game:
I thought that they came out really aggressive, and in the first half our spacing wasn't as good as it has been in the past. So, it's just one of those things we talked about at halftime. Defensively we did a good job the whole game, jumping on them and not letting up. Even though we weren't scoring on offense, we were doing a pretty good job on defense.
Have you seen improvements on the team in the
past few days?
Definitely we've improved. Every single game, we'll continue to see improvement in our team, but I would say probably the biggest thing for us still is adjusting to one another on the offensive end, and even on the defensive end.
Tina Charles, Connecticut Sun
Did you feel like you executed well offensively?
Yeah, definitely. I thought we played well tonight. We just have to work on spacing the floor out and setting more ball screens.
How about the USA's defense?
Coach put an emphasis on defense, keying in on certain things we wanted to do and how we were going to defend certain things, and I thought we executed our game plan well.
Do you feel like this team is still
trying to put together a full 40 minutes?
Yeah, we are. We are getting better one game at a time, but we have to continue to pick it up, especially now that we are moving onto the second round and then down the road.
Is this team where you want it to
Not yet. I don't think any team is going to be satisfied with the way they are playing, so I think if we just keep working, day-by-day we will progress.
Are you ready to move on to the
We are ready, and that is the reason we came here -- to work toward a gold medal.
Sylvia Fowles, Chicago Sky
How do you feel out there?
Every game is different, something different that they throw at me. It's just a matter of getting my timing back and being ready to dominate each second.
Do you feel that you are improving
I feel like I'm improving daily, but I think I'm still rushing. Shots that I would normally get, or open looks that I would normally get, I have been missing, and they haven't been good.
What was going on the first quarter and what
adjustments did you make?
First quarter we just weren't moving the ball. Everybody was basically doing their own thing, one-on-one type stuff. Second half and second quarter, we moved the ball a little bit and got to the basket.
Candice Dupree, Phoenix Mercury
On tonight's game:
We knew this was going to be a tough game going into it. The game plan was to try and hunker down on defense, and I thought we did a good job of that. At some points, we were over-rotating on help-side defense. Offensively, we need to move the ball more. We tried to play one-on-one in spots. Overall, it was a good game.
Is this team where it wanted to
be at this stage of the tournament?
I think so. Every game is a learning process for us, and it gives us the opportunity to learn a little more about each other on the court. But 3-0, that's a good way to start.
Is this team ready for the tougher competition
you will face in the second round?
Absolutely. France gave us a run for our money, and from here on out the competition is only going to get better.
Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta Dream
On tonight's game:
I thought we played a very good game today. We knew that France was a very tough team. We commend them for all their hard work. But we felt like there were certain things we could have done better on, rebounding, reversing the ball, but overall we felt that we did really good. Each day we have to get better and better.
On being out of synch in the first quarter:
I would just say that we started out a little slow. We just had to settle down and run our plays better, because once we start running our offense, passing and cutting, we get easy layups. We just have to come out with a little better start in the future.
What do you need to improve on in the next round?
I would say we definitely have to rebound the ball offensively, get offensive rebound. Defensively, we need to work on getting around screens, getting better on help defense. We'll adjust.
On the USA's cold shooting in the first quarter:
We just started off a little slow. Once we got our rhythm, we were fine. We just had to run our offense and reverse the ball. Once we started doing that, everything started running smoothly.
On her first experience as a member of the USA
It's been a wonderful experience. I've been really enjoying myself. I've been learning a lot from the veterans, because we do have a young team. We have a lot of young players, but I've been learning a lot from coach and his offense. It's been really great so far.
Maya Moore, University
On tonight's game:
On tonight's game:
I thought we were a little more on the same page defensively in the second half. We're trying to do a better job of making teams take tougher shots, and I think we did that tonight. There are still a lot of things that we want to improve, but I think we responded very tonight.
On the USA's offense:
We still are not where we want to be. We had our moments when we shared the ball and we looked really good. But offensively, it wasn't our best night. Only having nine assists in a game is not what we are striving for. We want to bump that number up.
Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury
On the USA's first quarter:
We were a little stagnant on offense, the ball was not moving, we were not getting to the spots we needed to, and that's what happens. But we found a way to turn that around in the next three quarters.
What adjustments did you make?
Sometimes it's just as simple as getting to certain spots and running sets that we are comfortable with, and defensively we got some stops and created some offense out of that.
How much do the younger players look up to the
We have six players that have never been here, so we are just trying to feel each other out still, finding ourselves on the court, and today I think was good for us in a lot of ways.
Are there still improvements to make?
Oh yeah, we have a long way to go. This team is far from where we can be.
Lindsay Whalen, Minnesota
On tonight's game:
I felt like we worked through our offensive struggles at the start and played great defense. We ended up holding them to 60, so that is a great defensive effort. We had mistakes, but overall we made plays and it was a great way for us to finish up the preliminary round.