2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
Additional Quotes >> USA 85, Canada 81

Additional Quotes >> USA 85, Canada 81

June 27, 2009 - Belgrade, Serbia

Bo RyanUSA head coach Bo Ryan, University of Wisconsin
Was there any worry in the first half when you were down by double digits?
Well, what we are trying to do is get used to the style of play, get used to some things. Canada is used to playing this style all the time, with their team that has been together for a long time, and that's the area where we have to pick it up.

I watched that first game with Serbia and Russia and, wow - the bodies, the collision, the contact. It's a tough game, and it's a different game, which we tell them when we are in Colorado Springs. But until you get over here, then you find out what it's like.

Did you see a more cohesive team in the second half?
No question. We were anxious with the ball early, thinking we could get some quick scores without making sure that we had our angles properly set up for our post feeds, making sure the skip passes were where they needed to be. We did not do a good job of ball-faking and making Canada react to us. In the second half it was a whole different ball game.

The competition is going to get even tougher because you have teams that are used to this environment, like the Serbs and the Russians. We know tomorrow night in this friendly game, the idea is let's play and play hard and get things done. Where our weaknesses are, they will be exposed. Serbia will expose our weaknesses tomorrow, and if it means we have to learn on the fly, while the game is going on, I've coached teams where that's what happened, and they got better as the game went along because they paid attention. We reacted better to things. I know the same thing is going to have to happen tomorrow night.

What was the difference for the USA to start the fourth quarter?
Defense was the difference in the fourth quarter no question. We got them to take some tough shots and took them out of their comfort zone. But again, they are not as big as what we are going to face down the road.

How important is this pre-tournament for this team's preparation?
This is good because it means we have to work under these kinds of conditions, and we get a chance to see how teams play. Canada is so used to playing this style, with international rules and the trapezoid. We had eight or nine days to get ready to come here. We just have to run a little faster when we hit the floor.

DaDa'Sean Butler (West Virginia / Newark, N.J.)
What was the difference for the USA to start the fourth quarter?
It was a change in attitude, demeanor, everything. Evan really knocked down a big 3-pointer that put us up by two points. To have him make that shot lifted everybody's spirits, and everybody was just excited to get back on defense and get the ball back.

What did you think about the USA defense in your first game?
I think we did well. We can always get better as a team. We just got together a few weeks ago. Right now we are playing well, but we are not playing up to our potential, defensively or offensively.

You were the USA's leading scorer with 20-points, was that about you being aggressive or your teammates getting you the ball?
I would say a little bit of both. Corey found me a lot, Talor found me a lot and the big men definitely found me a lot as far as Deon and Craig. They found me on the perimeter, and a lot of shots just fell tonight. I've had lots of games where teammates found me, and I missed. They just fell tonight.

You watched tomorrow's opponent, Serbia, play Russia tonight. What do you expect to see tomorrow?
It's going to be a tough game. It's a dog fight, and you have to play hard. We watched them play. They play aggressive, they play hard and they play smart at times as well. We are looking at a very well coached team and a very aggressive team. We just have to come out and match that intensity and not give up any easy baskets.

Do you expect a loud hometown crowd?
I hope so. I like playing in away games, so it should be fun.

Corey FisherCorey Fisher (Villanova / Bronx, N.Y.)
Was there any worry in the first half when you were down by double digits?
Not at all. It's our first game. We are coming together, no matter good or bad things. Now we got a feel for each other. Everybody comes out slow sometimes - you just have to finish the game.

What did you think about the USA defense in your first game?
We've got a lot of work to do. You never stop doing work on defense. We came out today, and we won the ball game. It was a good game, and you have to give Canada credit. Tomorrow we are back at it, and we just have to play hard and compete.

You watched tomorrow's opponent, Serbia, play Russia tonight. What do you expect to see tomorrow?
It's going to be an intense game. They are going to bring it, and we are going to bring it.

What was the difference for the USA to start the fourth quarter?
Everybody just said don't worry about our offense, and we came together on defense and that's what we did. We forced turnovers, and we had steals that turned into points. That's how we won the ball game.

Lazar HaywardLazar Hayward (Marquette / Buffalo, N.Y.)
Do you think you guys came out ready to play tonight?
I think we did. I think being the first game over here in Serbia, playing in front of a crowd, I think we were very excited. Maybe a little nervous, but I think we were definitely ready to play.

Do you think it took a few quarters for the USA to adjust to the international style?
We are still getting a feel for it. We are still learning about each other every single day. We are seeing how the refs call the game, things like that. I think we are going to gel at the right time, and you can start to see it forming.

What was the difference for the USA to start the fourth quarter?
I think it was that we knew we had to buckle down. We have great players on the team, and we are playing great together. We knew it was time, so we buckled down. We knew it was going to come down to stops, and we got them when we needed them.

You were one of four players in double-digits, was that about you being aggressive or your teammates getting you the ball?
I think it was my teammates finding me, and also a little bit about taking advantage of great opportunities. But I would never have those opportunities if I didn't have the teammates that I have now.

What did you think about the USA defense in your first game?
We did well in spurts. We have to get it together so we can do it more often. Sometimes we do well for a couple of possessions, and then we do badly for a couple of possessions. We have to do a better job of stacking them together.

Were you ready for Canada's zone?
We were ready for that. Coach Ryan has been telling us teams are going to play zones against us a lot - probably a lot more than we saw tonight. We are ready for teams to have different looks against us.

You watched tomorrow's opponent, Serbia, play Russia tonight. What do you expect to see tomorrow?
They are a great team. It will be a great game, and it will be a good test for us as a team. It will be our chance to show that we are a good team and that we trying to win. But they are a very good team, and we have to be focused. We can't come out and not be focused.

Deon ThompsonDeon Thompson (North Carolina / Torrance, Calif.)
Was there any worry in the first half when you were down by double digits?
I don't think we ever panicked. I think that was just first game jitters. It was the first time we had actually seen new faces, been a different country; we flew all day on Thursday. It was our first game together, and I think in the first half, we just had to get those first game jitters out.

What was the difference for the USA to start the fourth quarter?
I would definitely say it was on the defensive end. Guys started to get stops, and we only had five turnovers in the second half compared to the 12 turnovers in the first half. Five and 12 is a big difference. We started to take care of the ball and got stops.

How much did you learn about this team in this first game?
It definitely showed us how we play together. That first half showed us where we were at, and we came out and turned it around in the second half. Now we just have to build from there and be ready to play tomorrow.

Does Canada deserve credit for leading most of the game?
I like to think we were better than we showed in the first half. Canada had wide open shots. We didn't have hands in their faces or anything like that, so they just knocked down easy shots.