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 99, Dominican Republic 26

Gurabo, Puerto Rico • Aug. 14, 2012

Katie Meier
Katie Meier, USA and University of Miami head coach
Do you think the slow start was due to first-game jitters?
Oh yeah. We've been practicing for so long together and we're really excited to be here. I'll take that, having a team that's just a little over excited. I'd rather have that passion show up. It turned into a couple turnovers and fumbles. But, as they settled in I thought we played consistently with passion throughout the rest of the game.

What did you talk to them about between the first and second quarters?
First we had a group exhale. We needed to exhale and just relax. Then, it was just looking at our high-low game a little bit more. We were making the first excited pass that we could find and we needed them to just check off that first pass and look for their secondary options. I thought they really came through on that.

What pleased you about today's game?
Michaela Mabrey did a great job of filling in. She played three different positions for us, shared the basketball, had her head up the whole game. She really did a nice job of keeping our tempo up with the pass instead of the dribble.

On the USA's blocked shots record:
I didn't really encourage that behavior. I know that once it gets started we have to show a little more discipline there. If that's our goal defensively (to block shots) it means somebody got beat and we're already in trouble. We're going to correct that. I'm happy for them, but that's not the defense we want to play.'

Are there things you were working on out there once you had the game in hand?
What we really wanted was 65 percent of our field goals assisted. What that means is we need to settle down and share the ball, make sure we're making that extra pass. For a team that didn't know each other five months ago to get together and have 26 assists on 38 field goals, that's somewhere in that (65 percent) range. That's really impressive for the first time putting this uniform on.

Candice Agee

Candice Agee (Silverado H.S./Victorville, Calif.)
On playing in her first international game:
I loved it. It was amazing. Being my first game I thought I was going to come out a little shaky. Once we got into a rhythm it was just natural and I loved it.

What did coach talk to you about between the first and second quarters?
Because it was our first game and we had jitters and everything, she just wanted us to slow the ball down, run through our plays and make those simple adjustments that every team needs to make, to make the rest of the game a little bit smoother.

Was there something you were trying to work on after you had the game in hand?
Our man defense. Even when we didn't have to run it, we ran it. We just focused on getting better at what we're doing. We ran through our plays. There weren't as many fast breaks because we wanted to pull it out and set up our offense and make that a little bit better before our next opponent.

On the team's 26 assists:
It wasn't really a main focus, it just comes naturally. We all trust each other, so we know if one of us isn't there, someone else is going to be there for you. It just has to do with, 'okay, you make the decision of whether you want to put the ball up or if I know somebody has the better shot right behind me, I'm passing it off.' It's basically a trust thing between us that we have.'

Moriah Jefferson

Moriah Jefferson (Texas Home Educators Sports Association / Glenn Heights, Texas)
What was it like for you to play in your first international competition after missing out the last few summers?
It's an honor. It's great to be able to play with the teammates that I'm going to be with at (Connecticut), and then all these guys that I've grown up playing with. It's just an honor to be able to wear USA across my chest.

On the USA's slow start:
That's just nerves. It's the first game and everybody's excited and trying to do too much. That's all, but we got into our flow.

What did coach talk to you about between the first and second quarters?
Just to slow down and do what we know we can do. We trust each other, so don't get rattled about anything.

How hard is it to maintain that intensity after being up by so much?
Honestly, you have to be mentally prepared because if you go down, that's when teams start coming back up. If we play a different team with a different score, we have to be mentally prepared the whole game. We just worked on things we've been trying to do in practice.

Michaela Mabrey

Michaela Mabrey (Manasquan H.S. / Belmar, N.J.)
On today's game:
I had so much fun. I absolutely love my teammates. I think we have such good chemistry. We're more of an unselfish team and I just love that about us. It was a lot of fun. I think we were all a little nervous in the beginning, but once we got that out, we really started playing and had fun.

On her 10 assists and four blocked shots:
I couldn't do it without my teammates. I wasn't really hitting any shots, so when that happens I look to pass. I'm more of a pass-first person. That's my type of game, so that's where those assists came from. Defensive-wise, we were all in help. We all helped out. Without my teammates, that wouldn't be possible.

You said you were nervous to start the game. Was that first game jitters?
Yeah, I think we were just really nervous in the beginning. People were dropping the balls. Then we all got together and we were just like, 'just play. We're here, let's just play.' I think that got to everyone and we picked it up from there.

Morgan Tuck

Morgan Tuck (Bolingbrook H.S./ Bolingbrook, Ill.)
On today's game:
I felt pretty good. We started off a little slow. I think the nerves were there a little bit, but we picked it up as the game went on.

On her point production:
I think it was just that we play together as a team and running the floor, it just comes sometimes. When everyone's playing as a team and you're there to get some layups, they give it to you in the right spot. When you have people not being selfish and letting the game flow, I think that's what happened.

How were you able to settle down and pull away in the second quarter?
We picked up our defense a little bit. We were playing a little unsure on defense, so we definitely tried to make our defense more intense and that helped with our offense.

On her 6-0 run in the second quarter:
The coaches said before the game that the posts need to dominate. So, that's what I pretty much tried to do. I think that the guards were on board with that and really tried to get it into the post. '

On the USA's intensity level never dropping, despite the point differential:
We did that because we've been practicing for a couple of weeks now and everybody was ready for a game. Even if the team wasn't as good as us, we definitely wanted to show that we are a great team and not play down to the competition.