Nike Hoop Summit Quotes
USA HEAD COACH DOUG MITCHELL
I thought the World team came out and tried to set the tempo early with their length. They did a nice job early on and we had trouble with taking it to the basket. In our half court offense they got quite a few blocks.
In the second half, we really picked up the pressure out front. Malcolm (Lee), Tyreke (Evans), Jrue (Holiday) and Jerime (Anderson) all did a great job putting pressure out front and making it tough for them to set up their offense and I thought that was the difference in the game. Forcing them into bad shots or turnovers that resulted in points for us.
We wanted to see how fast they could run. We wanted to get down there before they set up and we didn't do a very good job of it off of makes. I don't think we got it out and pushed it until we defended and we were able to get some points off turnovers. And, that was the difference.
I just think it's a real blessing for me to play in this game. I thank God that I was able to come out here and represent the USA. I've never had a game like this, on such a large scale, playing inside the Portland Rose Garden and everything. The whole experience is a real blessing for me. The experience and the game are just a lot better than an all-star game because in an all-star game everybody is trying to get theirs. When we play for the USA, it's all about the team. It's all about playing and trying to get the win. Nobody is trying to get theirs; we're playing as a team. I felt that we did that really well today.
The World Team was big so it was hard for us to go to the hole and we had to adjust. In international rules we can knock the ball off the rim so we had to adjust and get a couple of steals and just run them. We did a good job and we got a win for USA.
Watching Kobe play last summer in the Olympic Qualifier and seeing how much he wanted to win and how he changed the game with defense, that was my goal. Everybody knows I can score, so I just wanted to set the tone on defense.
It was a different style of play, but it was still like a regular game. They had the best of their players, and we had the best of our players. They were big, and we had to be really quick to get into the lane.
I gotta thank the guards. Our big men weren't quite as big as the other team. We battled hard in the post but the guards definitely stepped it up on offense and on defense to stop their pressure and set up our offense. Malcolm (Lee) was a big defender for us and he came up big to get us back on defense and gave us time to set up on defense and offense. Most of my credit goes to that.
We knew that the USA guards had an advantage, and we all saw how big the World Team's big men were. I think our big men played well, and didn't take anything. That made a huge difference.
I think our defense was the key to pulling away in the second half, especially our guards. We picked up full-court, and applied a lot of pressure up top, trying to distract them and disrupt them. I think we did that really well.
WORLD SELECT TEAM
WORLD HEAD COACH ROB BEVERIDGE
I thought the USA team did a good job with their guards and they took away our strengths. In the past, we've always been beaten on the glass pretty bad. We went out this year to identify some really big players, this was the biggest team we've ever played with, and unfortunately the USA team had 23 offensive rebounds and I think that's just a terrific effort from their guys that were smaller.
I think the US team plays good defense because we had so many turnovers and after falling behind in the second half it's so difficult to come back and score. If we played good in practice we could win, it was not so much a problem for the US team. We didn't play very good in the first half and in the first quarter.
It was disappointing to lose but you have to give it to the Americans, they got after us, forced turnovers and their athleticism on the boards hurt us. I thought I played alright but, as a team, we could have played much better. We did a lot better in practice but a lot of the shots we normally hit just weren't going down today.
I knew all their guys, I've played against them in school and at AAU, and even been on the same team as some of them in all star games and next year I will be playing against a lot of them in college. So I knew what to expect, I knew how good they would be and I wasn't surprised that they punished our mistakes so much. But it was a great experience to come together with different people from different parts of the world.
This was the first time I have ever played against an American team and the style of play was very different. European players like slow play, run their plays, make their points that way. The Americans were more athletic, they just ran and jumped, hit the offensive boards. That's how they made their points. It was very different for me.