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 78, Ros Casares Valencia 68

Oct. 1, 2011 • Monte di Procida, Italy

Geno Auriemma

USA head coach Geno Auriemma (University of Connecticut)
On tonight’s game:
This was a completely different game than last night in the sense that this is one of the top teams in Europe. They’re well-drilled. Their coach is excellent. They shot the ball incredibly well in that whole first half. We had some foul problems, but I thought our guys did a great job of attacking them and getting them into foul trouble. We had a stretch there in the second half, where I thought the game was decided. We got five or six shots in a row and converted on three or four of them. I thought that was the deciding factor in the game.

On Swin Cash:
Swin throughout these past two games has been exactly what Swin’s always been. She’s a high-energy player who’s around the ball all the time and makes big plays. She had a couple offensive rebounds and put-backs that I thought were exactly what we needed when we needed them. She is a leader out there for them. She’s been around more than any other player that we have. She’s been in more international competitions than anybody else on this team. It’s probably apropos that she’s the one who took on that leadership role without even being asked to do so.

You’re playing the same team again in a few days. What kind of adjustments do you need to make?
Our zone has to be a little bit better in identifying who their shooters are and where they are. They do a great job of getting inside the zone and then kicking it out. Once we stopped them from doing that, they struggled. But, I think that’s going to be an ongoing problem with only seven players. We’re afraid to foul. We’re afraid to be too physical. Before we play them again, our defense has got to tighten up a little bit. We’ve got to rebound better on the defensive end. I don’t think we did a great job of that today, but we’ve only been together four days. In a short period of time we’ve gotten a lot done. We’ve still got another week or so left in this trip and I think we can get a lot better.

Swin Cash

Swin Cash (Seattle Storm)
On tonight’s game:
Ros Casares is a very physical team. They have very good players. We knew, with them having Ann Wauters, that she was going to be a physical presence on the block. I was really just happy with our post players, with Tina, with Brittney, just holding their ground down low, playing solid defense and rebounding the basketball.

You earned a well-deserved MVP honor and all your teammates have been talking about your leadership and energy. What do you think about that?
I’m obviously the most seasoned, in regard to age. I just feel that I’ve been with USA Basketball for a long time and it’s good to see some of the young faces out here. I remember my first time when I came out with USA Basketball and players like Tina Thompson and Sheryl Swoopes took me under their wing and showed me how things were done. I just feel that, being the seasoned player here, it’s up to me to kind of lead by example, bring energy and hopefully the other guys will follow. All the players here are really good players and they should be here. The reward is that we all come together and get the win like we did tonight.

Ros Casares shot a lot of uncontested 3-pointers. What kind of adjustments do you need to make for the next game to not let that happen again?
We’ll go back, look at the film and see how the zone was working. We played a lot of zone tonight. For a lot of players, they’re not really used to playing zone on their WNBA teams. We were put together, had a couple of days of practice and I thougth, for the most part, we did what we wanted to do. We gave them open shots. They hit some of them, but down the stretch we were able to lock up on defense and pull out the game. When you’re playing with only seven players, you have to make some adjustments. We did that on the fly and we were successful.

Not only do you have just seven players, but two of them had three fouls in the first half. How much more difficult did that make the game?
Very difficult, because then the players come in and they haven’t really got a rhythm. You don’t want to foul, so you’re really not playing aggressive as you need to play. In the second half I just kept telling the girls that even if we’re not making shots, we have to defend. I thought we showed a lot of heart, a lot of character and that’s what USA Basketball is all about. It doesn’t matter who’s playing on the floor, it matters what’s across your chest, like coach always says, and that’s USA Basketball. We take pride in it and I thought the girls took ownership of this team the last two days.

Tina Charles

Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun)
On the physical nature of tonight’s game:
Yeah, it was really tough. It was definitely a battle. I think both sides came out with a lot of intensity, especially them. They knew what they were up against and we did, too.

How difficult is it when you’re already playing with just seven, to have two players with three fouls in the first half?
Super tough. But, we’re all pros. Well, except for Brittney (Griner), but the rest of us are pros and we know how to adjust to certain things. Sometimes in the WNBA you have a couple players injured and you have to play with a certain amount of players, or with a certain rotation that a coach has and his tactics. We were able to pull it out and win.

You’re playing the same team again in a few days. What kind of adjustments do you need to make?
Mainly, just boxing out, learning how to box out in a zone. That’s the main thing we need to focus on.

Renee Montgomery

Renee Montgomery (Connecticut Sun)
On tonight’s game:
They hit a lot of shots in a row. You know, at a certain point you think, ‘well, not every shot’s going to fall.’ But, for a stretch there, they were really making everything they put up and that’s partly them hitting shots and it’s us also not contesting as much as we should.

What was Ros Casares doing well?
I think the game more so with them, it was pass, pass, pass, pass, they know each other so well in their system so well, that they move the ball really fast. So if you didn’t contest the ball handling, the ball is moving.

Ros Casares was in the EuroLeague Final Four and have a roster of international stars. What are your thoughts on the strength of its roster?
This is a great team. The scary thing is they haven’t gotten Lauren Jackson, Maya Moore or Erika De Souza. This team is really good right now, so I can understand why this team made the Final Four.

You’re playing the same team again in a few days. What kind of adjustments do you need to make?
We just have to get out there and contest more shots. We can’t just let them just sit behind the 3-point line and get good looks, because we saw that they can knock them down.

What do you think about Swin Cash’s play over these two games?
She’s been … it’s not only her getting offensive rebounds, it’s the little things that you’re not going to necessarily see in the stat sheet. Yes, she had 17 points, but it‘s the little things that don’t show up that she does. You made a bad pass, but she doesn’t let it become a turnover. She dives on the floor to save it. So, it’s not just her stats, it’s her presence.

Danielle Robinson (San Antonio Silver Stars)
On the USA’s last two games:
Yeah, we really had to fight. We’ve had to fight through some fatigue. But, part of playing USA Basketball is representing our country and we knew that it was going to be tough, especially tonight. Valencia’s a great team. We came in prepared to have a battle and we really fought through and played for each other. And we got the win.

What’s it like being out here with the USA National Team?
It’s definitely exciting to be playing with the elite of the elite of our country and of our league is such an honor. It’s a blessing to be here. To go out there and get better, obviously having the experience of playing for Coach Auriemma and Doug and Jen is something that you don’t get all the time. I’m just soaking it all up.

You’re playing the same team again in a few days. What kind of adjustments do you need to make?
The team’s talking about how great they are at home and how crazy their fans are. So, really we have to go in there rested. Tomorrow will be a great day for us to be kind of light. Then we’ll get there and get some rest. But it’s all about playing hard and just outworking them on every single possession.

What do you think about the play of Swin Cash over these two games?
Oh my gosh! Swin’s our heartbeat. She’s a great leader. I can see why the Seattle Storm is always successful with her on the court.