ADDITIONAL QUOTES >> USA 122, Canada 89
Jeff Capel, 2010 USA U18 National Team head coach
(University of Oklahoma)
On the game overall:
I thought we played well. We did a good job defensively early. I thought our guys respected Canada and we knew they were a very good team. We came out and jumped on them early. I thought we did it with our defense. One of the things was a huge key for us was (Kyle) Wiltjer. He’s their leading scorer and we wanted to try to take him out of the game. We did a very, very good job of that. He was shooting about 68 percent from three coming into this game. One of our main goals was to not even let him get a 3-point attempt and our guys did a good job of following through on that.
Obviously, we had an incredible offensive performance by Austin (Rivers). He just got going. I think his teammates enjoyed seeing him do that.
We have one more. We’re playing against a very, very tough team tomorrow. It’s going to be a tough challenge for us.
How is it for you when a kid just can’t seem to miss?
I love it. I love it. It’s just really neat to watch him go through that. Really, the best part about it was watching his teammates. Seeing how excited they are. These are some of his peers, some guys that are a little bit older than him, but just seeing how excited they were for him was really pretty neat.
On playing for the gold medal tomorrow:
That’s the goal and that’s what we came here for. Not trying to sound conceited, but we expected to be in this position and this is what we’ve worked for. We’ve been together for three weeks and we’ve worked for this moment. Hopefully, we can come out and seize the opportunity tomorrow.
They’re good, they’re physical. They have perhaps the best post man prospect in this tournament. They’re well coached; they execute; they defend. They’re a very, very good team. I’ve been really impressed as I’ve watched them through this tournament. I thought they won just a flat-out dog fight today against Argentina and really pulled away down the stretch. So we expect this to be a tough game.
On Austin Rivers:
He’s a player. I wouldn’t categorize him as a shooter; he’s a player. He’s very, very capable of having these types of games. I’ve seen him do it before. He’s been on some rolls in this tournament. He was on one yesterday and got in some foul trouble, but again it was really great to watch it.
(Sanford H.S. / Wilmington, Del.)
On being part of the USA’s record-setting night in 3-pointers:
It feels good. Everything was flowing tonight. Austin (Rivers) got us going and it spread to the rest of us. Then we just kept going with it.
Do you think Canada was a little stunned at the way you started the game?
Yes, definitely. Everyone was saying how they were confident and how they could play with us. We didn’t believe that at all. We came out and wanted to prove that tonight and I think we did.
What do you think you’ll see tomorrow against Brazil?
We’re going to see a tough team. They’re very physical. They’re really happy to be there, they were cheering in our locker room tonight (before the U.S. entered). I think it’s going to be a good game. If we come out and play like we know we can and control the tempo, we’ll be fine.
(Montrose Christian School, Md. / Fredericksburg, Va.)
On advancing to the gold medal game:
I feel very good. We’ve been together for three weeks doing two-a-day work outs. Most of us aren’t used to two-a-days. That’s paying off. We’re winning decisively and that’s due the camaraderie we’ve developed. I’ve never been part of a team like this, and I just want a gold medal.
(St. Patrick’s H.S. / Elizabeth, N.J.)
On tonight’s game:
What led us was Austin (Rivers). He started off hitting a lot of shots. We just stayed with him. He was in a groove and we just kept on feeding him. I’m really proud that he got the record. Everybody’s happy, it was a great win. We just came out strong.
What do you expect from Brazil tomorrow night?
I’m expecting a lot of physicality. They’re a really physical team. I expect to get screened. I’m expecting a great game.
(Waukegan H.S. / Waukegan, Ill.)
On his role with the U.S. team:
My role is to bring energy. And I felt like I did that to the best of my ability.
On Austin Rivers:
We all know Austin’s a great scorer, but then we looked up and he had 35 points. It happened kind of quick and hit all those three pointers. We’re very excited that he broke the record. It was great. It’s a team effort, but to see one of our teammates break the record in this prestigious tournament – it doesn’t happen very often so we were proud of him.
We’re calm. From the time we came into training camp, coach put it into our mind that the gold medal is something we want to obtain for the USA. So I think everyone’s focused right now. Everyone understands what’s at stake and we’ll be focused tomorrow even more.
On Lucas Nogueira, post from Brazil:
A guy like that you got to attack from the hips, use a series of fakes to get him in the air and draw some fouls. He’s a great shot blocker, but we have some guys who are kind of fearless so we’ll go at him tomorrow.
(Winter Park H.S. / Winter Park, Fla.)
On his shooting tonight:
Sometimes I just get in grooves where I hit a couple shots. You feel like the basket’s real wide. I know I hit a couple shots and then everything started going from there. After that it felt like any shot I threw up would go in, so it’s kind of like a lot of adrenaline. It felt like I had ultimate energy. Everything was falling.
Did you know when coach Capel put you back in that you were close to breaking the record?
No. When he told me to go in, he was smiling at me and I was wondering what it was about. Then he told me about two minutes later ‘we want you to get the record.’ So I got a little follow-up tip and then he took me out of the game. It’s just awesome to get that. I’m excited.