USA - France -- Additional Quotes

August 8 , 2004  • Salamanca, Spain

USA head coach Van Chancellor (Houston Comets)
Opening Comments: I'd first like to thank their federation for inviting us to play in these games. Also for moving the dates of the tournament to allow us to compete in New York.

On tomorrow's game against Spain: Tomorrow's game will be much more difficult. Spain shoots the ball very well. They scored a lot of points today and the United States will have to play much better in order to beat them. They're very quick and transition defense will be very important for us. If they play like they did today, they'll be very hard to beat both here and the Olympic Games. They really miss Amaya Valdemoro (injured) though, she shoots the ball really well. I'm really interested to see how we react to playing a team that's as good as they are.

Sue Bird (Seattle Storm)
What do you still need to work on? Our offense will come, our defense is there. Rebounding, Yolanda (Griffith) was awesome tonight on the boards. So was Lisa (Leslie) and everybody else. I really just think it's taking care of the ball. If we can take care of the ball and limit our turnovers, that will give us more opportunities to score.

Swin Cash (Detroit Shock)
What was the difference between the first and second quarters? We were a little more focused. We knew we didn't want to make the same mistakes we did in the first (quarter).

What happened to start the game, why did you come out so slow? It looked like we were trying to get ahead too fast. Trying to make the plays right away instead of letting the game come to us. We've had it a little rough the last couple of days traveling and different things and we really wanted to come out on top. That was it, we were just a little anxious.

Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever)
On tonight's game: They have a pretty good team. They came out trying to attack and get the ball inside. Their post players have some great post moves, so I think early on they were hitting a lot of their shots. Not only in the post but in the perimeter as well.

What do you need to work on over the next six days before your first Olympic game? The biggest thing is turnovers. We had way too many turnovers, unforced turnovers, that we can definitely cut down on. But I think that's the beauty of this team. We are all so good. We were killing people on the boards and we're not selfish at all. That forced a lot of the turnovers that we had. As we continue to play with each other and we get it into our minds that sometimes we need to take that shot instead of making a pass we'll be alright.

You built some great chemistry together in the spring, does it take some time to get that back? It's different. In the spring you were bringing people in and out who were trying to make the team. Coming here, this is the first time we've had the whole team, everybody together. Even though we had a core group (in the spring), but even in the core group people were in and out. I think it's hard sometimes. We're coming from our WNBA teams in which everybody's playing a lot of minutes. We're each stars on our own teams. And now we come into this setting. Like I said, we're all unselfish and that's the beauty of it. We're willing to share the ball. When you're on a team with such great players and you know what people can do. When you see somebody open you want to hurry up and get them the ball, you're not concentrating on getting your shot, you're concentrating on getting them the ball. It's just different, but you could tell in the second half we started to come together a lot more.

Shannon Johnson (San Antonio Silver Stars)
How did it feel playing here in Salamanca again? (NOTE: Johnson competed two years in Spain) It's a lot of fun. Mainly because there are a lot of fans who supported me when I was here. It's really great that they came out here and continued to support me. I don't know how many were here tonight, but there were a lot of them. I heard them.

What did that sign say? Pee Wee Estamos Contigo. That means we're with you.

Sheryl Swoopes (Houston Comets)
On the turnovers tonight: I think there were lots of things that we could improve on before the next game. For whatever reason, in the game we played against the (WNBA) All-Stars and this game tonight, we got off to a slow start. We eventually picked it up. But the more we play with each other prior to Athens, we'll get used to playing together and hopefully we'll be able to start out the way we usually end the game. It's a lot different when you have a few players who have played together on previous teams and then you bring in a lot of younger players, a lot of newer players. It takes some time to find that chemistry. I think it's probably one thing, not only the coaching staff, but us as players were concerned about. Having to leave our WNBA teams and then come back together in such a short time to get ready to play in the Olympics. A lot of players are still in their WNBA team mind-set. It's just going to take a little bit of time. Over the next couple of games we'll definitely be able to work a lot of the kinks out and come out with a better start.




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