Additional Quotes >> USA 110, Brazil 82
June 17, 2009 - Mendoza, Argentina
USA head coach Don Showalter (Mid-Prairie High School, Iowa)
On tonight's game:
Anytime you win at this level of competition, you're satisfied with the win. We have some things that Brazil threw at us that I thought we were prepared for like half-court traps. They never played us man-to-man so we had to adjust on the fly. We were prepared for it, we got kids in the right spots. Our rebounding was fantastic. We outrebounded them 51 to 25, that was a huge factor for us. We also had 22 assists. That shows we're moving the ball around really well. Then our 3-point shots started clicking for us in the fourth quarter. Brad Beal and Adonis Thomas hit some threes for us and broke the game open. That gives you more flexibility inside.
Brazil played a small line-up. How did you adjust to that?
We put Adonis on one of the inside players and he plays mostly on the wing. They adjusted and wanted to put some quicker kids out there so we had to counteract them. I thought Brazil was a very well coached team, they stuck to their game plan. I was real proud of our kids for sticking to what we wanted them to do.
How difficult is it to play five games in five days, especially with the player rotation?
It was nice tonight. Everybody played between about 12 and 27 minutes, except for someone like L.J. (Rose), who was in foul trouble. Hopefully that'll pay off as the tournament goes on.
Brad Beal (Chaminade College Prep H.S. / St. Louis, Mo.)
Did you started to feel your shot in the second half?
In the first half I wasn't making a lot of shots. I was getting a feel for the game, getting used to the physicalness. The first play of the game I got hit pretty hard and they didn't call a foul. I realized it's just a different style of play and I just have to adjust to it.
And when your shots started falling?
Coaches told me not to worry about my misses. Just keep shooting. That's what I kept doing in the second half, I just kept shooting.
Were you excited to finally start playing?
We've been waiting a long time for this. We were really excited. We really couldn't wait. In practice today we were trying to go hard. We were really anxious to get going with the games.
The USA seemed to have a lot of energy in the warm-ups before the game:
It's really exciting for us to play the first game. We were just happy to be out there and play as a team. We wanted to come out and show everybody what we can do.
How hard will it be to play five games in five days?
It shouldn't be too difficult because we have one game a day. We should be well rested.
Quinn Cook (DeMatha H.S. / Bowie, Md.)
They were very aggressive. They got after it early. They stayed aggressive during the game and were very, very physical.
What do you need to work on as you move along in the tournament?
Come out ready to play a lot better. Today we came out flat. I know it's the first game, but still. You have to come out of the gate ready to win. And turnovers, we committed a lot of turnovers today. I know it was the first game, but we'll tune it up.
Your energy during warm-ups was evident. Was it because it was finally time to play against someone else?
I think it was the dunking. Back home you can't dunk in warm-ups and everyone was getting hyped up about that. And we finally got to play another team so it was cool.
What did you think the USA team did well tonight?
We shared the ball. I don't know how many assists we had, but guys had open shots and gave it up to their teammate. That's the best thing about this game, sharing the ball and helping getting everybody involved. I thought we shared the ball very, very well today.
AndrĂ© Drummond (Capitol Preparatory Magnet School / Middletown, Conn.)
On the difference in the international style of play:
It's different than high school basketball because if you try to push someone in high school basketball, they're going to call the foul. But they let you play a little more physical than they let you play in the USA.
What were Brazil's inside players like?
I'm not trying to knock anyone, but they were a little smaller than me. I'm a little stronger than them so I kind of got around them and got the put-backs.
On the USA's play;
I think we came out of the gate real strong. We slowed down a little bit right after halftime, but then we picked it back up.
What did you talk about in the locker room at halftime?
Coach told us in the locker room that what we did in the first three minutes will determine how the game is going to end. If you let them go on a run, it's going to be a problem.
What do you still need to work on as the tournament moves forward?
I think finishing games. We need to work on keep going at it and not let up.
James McAdoo (Norfolk Christian H.S. / Norfolk, Va.)
On the USA's play against Brazil:
Andre came real strong off the bench. We definitely look to him to be an inside presence immediately, right when he comes off the bench. He really gave us that today. Brad and Adonis, their shots weren't falling in the first half. In the second half we told them to keep shooting and they eventually got hot. That's when we made our push and increased our lead.
Was it frustrating to make a run, but not be able to really pull away?
We weren't really looking at the scoreboard. We were just out there playing. We knew that we were going to beat this team. So we were out there just trying to work out the kinks of the first game. But yeah, it was kind of frustrating, watching them go on runs. Because we thought they were going to get tired in the second half, but they didn't. We just were able to increase our lead by hitting shots.
With five games in five days, you can't let other teams come back.
Definitely. We know that we have probably the best bench here. We know that we're going to have fresh bodies coming in for defensive purposes, keeping the pressure up and keeping them from scoring as much as they want to. We want to be able to send a message to other teams we'll play in the future.
How did you adjust to the international style of play?
It's definitely a lot more physical. Probably because we're a lot bigger, they're not going to give us as many calls. But sometimes guys would hold you so you couldn't even jump for a rebound. Stuff like that, getting fouled in the paint, you just have to play through it.
Adonis Thomas (Melrose H.S. / Cordova, Tenn.)
On the game against Brazil:
They were a great team. They're aggressive and physical. They made good shots. They are a nice outside shooting team.
The USA seemed to struggle from the outside in the first half (2-11 3pt FGs), but picked it up in the second (10-17 3pt FGs). What was the difference in your shooting from the first to the second half?
We knew that we had to shake it off after the first half. In the second half we knew we had to come together, make shots. Just play as a team and move the ball around. If you're open, you just have to take the chance to make the shot.
There was a 12-0 USA run in the first half, but Brazil came right back. How did you allow that?
I think our adrenaline got to us, then we got tired, got kind of slow and we needed to keep picking up our defense like we did during that time.
What did you think about your team's performance tonight?We did a great job. We got our first win. Everybody played together. There wasn't arguing, we were all cheering