2007 Nike Hoop Summit Post-Game Quotes
April 7, 2007ï¿½ Memphis, Tennessee
USA BASKETBALL JUNIOR NATIONAL SELECT TEAM
USA Select Team Head Coach, Pat Fitterer:
I thought we came out with great enthusiasm. For the first two minutes of the game, I actually thought we were nervous, and we missed a couple free throws, we missed a couple easy shots cause they were nervous. But then we settled down and had a very good first quarter.
The second quarter, that first group the first five minutes of the second quarter--we were flat awesome. That was great basketball and it was really fluid. And the the second five minutes we were playing really good, and Jonny Flynn was playing such good defense. that all the sudden the other guys got antsy and we tried to double-team and we left guys open. and they wind up hitting six of seven shots to end the second half.
And then we started the third period, and there were so many whistles and stuff it never got into a flow. The third quarter was really ugly basically for all the way, and it was like we were really struggling.
Then the fourth quarter, it's so nice you clear the board of fouls and start all over. There in the fourth quarter, we loosened up and played real well.
The world team is better than they looked. I thought our defense was so good. O.J. Mayo came out on a mission, Jonny Flynn was on a mission. And by doing that we kind of put the World Team their heels. I think if they would have had a few more open shots, that they would have been more succesful.
We came in with a real simple philosophy. Defensively we're gonna stay between our man and the basket, and we did that except for the end of the second when we tried to double team. Offensively, when we played the team game and went with the pass first, we were outstanding. Still, to have 10 outstanding guys who are used to scoring 20, to get them to share the ball was good. Tonight, we had 23 assists, so that's pretty good.
USA Select Team Member, O.J. Mayo:
The USA Team seemed to earn this win with its defense.
The coaches stressed all week that they can knock down open jump shots so we just wanted to make sure that the point guards didn't get a lot of penetration and have their guys hit open shots. I think it started with me and D Rose making sure we played honest defense and cut down on penetration.
How much fun was this?
I told everybody I wish we would have had the opportunity to all sign at the same school, but I know we all got our own things that we've got to handle and I wish the best of luck to everybody. It was definitely one of the best weeks I've ever had.
USA Select Team Member, Jonny Flynn:
What was different about this week from previous USA Basketball experiences?
I wanted to worked on my leadership skills. O.J. was out there directing us, kind of showing me the way. So, I thank him for that.
How do you feel about your performance in today's game?
I think I was successful (today). You know coach was bringing up to me how I played the most minutes, and I think that was due to me just getting my teammates involved, making people run, getting them the ball in spots where they could score. To be an effective point guard at the next level, that's what you have to do.
This is so much fun. A lot of us, this is gonna be the last high school moment we have. Reminising over the past years, who got dunked on, who lost to who in certain tournaments, things like that. Real fun experience.
In any game you have to play defense. Coach Fitterer really put that upon us. You know if you want to win this game, you have to play defense.
That's the thing, you've got all these guys that are the best players in the state, best player in the region and it's sometimes hard to play together. This team was one of those teams that just played together, passed the ball, just enjoyed seeing another player getting a shot off.
(The win) feels good. You don't want to be that one team from the USA that says, yeah we lost the game, or anything like that. So it feels real good to come out of a game like this, you know great players on their team. You're gonna see them in the NBA one day. So it's good. When we get to the NBA, we can joke around with them and say you know we beat you and stuff like that.
USA Select Team Member, Kevin Love:
The U.S. got off to a great start.
Mike really set the tone with his rebounding; I made some early buckets, O.J. came out and hit some shots, Jonny came out and dished the ball, I think he had 10 assists, so we all played great and it was fun representing our country today.
We came out and played well and got the 20-point win. It was great, we had to represent because some of those guys are going into the draft.
Was playing good defense the key?
One of the things we were working on all week was defense and getting into it, being really aggressive, because it's not an all-star game; it's not a McDonald's game, it's not a Roundball game, it's not Jordan game, it's a game where we're coming out being competitive and playing for USA Basketball and Player for our country.
USA Select Team Member, Michael Beasley:
Did your experience last year with the USA Basketball U18 National Team help you in this game, help in terms of knowing what to expect from the international players?
This year playing against an international team was totally different experience than in the summer. Last summer, I was on a team that played against (a team from) one country and one style of basketball. This year, there were 11 players from 10 different countries playing 11 different styles, so you donï¿½t know what to expect. Last yearï¿½s experience did help me, but todayï¿½s game was totally different.
On the defensive effort needed to win the game:
ï¿½They (World Select Team) went on a lot of runs, they wouldnï¿½t die. We had to play tough defense. We had to pull one out of our hearts.ï¿½
WORLD SELECT TEAM
World Select Team, Rob Beveridge
On the game:
We had a very simple game plan. If you turn the ball over against the USA they're the best in the world at fast break basketball. They put a show on. They were very, very impressive. I'm seating back there as a coach going 'that's just beautiful basketball' and its against my group. For us to turn the ball over 11 times, that's just not good enough. We were much better in the second, third and fourth quarters, but we're never going to be in the game if we're down by 25 points. We got it back to 10; chipped away; we looked after the ball; got good shots; we were agressive. We got it back to 10, then we turned it over twice, there were three possessions, they got two dunks and a 3-point shot and there's the game, they're back up 17 or 18 points. Against their team you have to have great patience and you've got to take care of the ball and not turn it over.