Additional Quotes >> USA 87, Colombia 36
Gurabo, Puerto Rico â€¢ Aug. 17, 2012
Katie Meier, USA and University of Miami head coach
Colombia was trying to stay in the game by shooting 3-pointers. What kind of defense adjustment did you make at halftime?
We had to pay more attention to their guards, obviously. They were trying to neutralize our size by playing a very small, quick lineup. We didnâ€™t want to give in. We didnâ€™t want to just play small with them. So, it was a matter of switching our defenses up. Our post players had to get low and cover the 3-point arc. I thought that was a good mental adjustment on their part to get their butts low and keep their hands high and really defend the 3-point shot.
On the USAâ€™s 3-point shooting and ball movement:
I havenâ€™t seen any selfish play at all. Itâ€™s been a really, really unselfish team. Theyâ€™re trying to make the right basketball play and weâ€™re asking people to pass up shots and go deeper into the possession a little bit with our depleted roster. The result of that has been some pretty beautiful basketball.
Michaela Mabrey, who hit 5-of-6 from 3-point, said you told her to go ahead and shoot. Is that the case?
Yeah (laughs). We have a drill and you have to earn the green light and consistently in camp Mike was the only one who earned the green light. That basically means when she gets her first-look three, she gets to take it. Weâ€™re talking on her first pass sheâ€™s allowed to shoot. So, when she made her first couple, the dam breaks and the light turns very, very green. I said it was moving toward aqua because it was so green it was starting to turn a little bit blue (laughs).
What do you need to work on heading into the semifinal?
In a perfect world Iâ€™d like to not have to call a timeout to make an adjustment. They went on a little run there and cut it to 18 at the start of the second half. We had to call a timeout to make an adjustment. That adjustment led to a 25-0 run. The negative is that we had to call a timeout. The positive is, that was a ridiculously impressive response to that timeout.
Bashaara Graves (Clarksville H.S. / Clarksville, Tenn.)
What kind of adjustments did you make at halftime against Columbia, which shot a five of its seven threes in the first half?
We needed to close out better on their two guards who had the most threes. In the second half we did a lot better job of that. Even though they were still hitting their shots, we did better.
What do you need to do in tomorrowâ€™s semifinals in order to advance to the gold medal game?
We need to come out strong. We look forward to our next game, no matter who weâ€™re going to play. We need to hit our shots and keep doing what weâ€™ve been doing.
How does your game fit into the international game?
Itâ€™s a lot more physical. They get into you a lot. I got in and coach told me to go in and rebound and thatâ€™s what I did.
What were the teamâ€™s goals tonight?
Our goals were to limit the threes and limit their penetration. I think we did a pretty good job with that. We had a little bit more penetration than we expected, but it all came together.
Michaela Mabrey (Manasquan H.S. / Belmar, N.J.)
On tonightâ€™s game:
Colombia had two very good players who shot from anywhere. So, in the beginning we let them shoot too much. We had to adjust. Once we adjusted, that made them rethink whether they were going to shoot or not. They were a good team. They ran a little bit and gave us a little trouble in the beginning, but once we adjusted, I think we played better.
On the USAâ€™s ball movement and 20 assists on 33 field goals:
I think weâ€™re just such an unselfish team that we always look for the next pass. Weâ€™re all â€˜pass firstâ€™ players. Weâ€™re going to have our assists, all of us. I think thatâ€™s where it came from.
On shooting 83.3 percent (5-6 3pt FGs):
I was just feeling it today. I was feeling it, but I was open. Iâ€™m not going to take a contested three that many times. Coach gave me confidence. She said â€˜shoot it.â€™ So I was like â€˜alrightâ€™ (laughs) and they went in. So, I was happy.
On the play of Alexis Prince:
Prince came up big today. Prince and (Morgan) Tuck. They came up big doing all sorts of different things on the court. Since weâ€™re down three players, three guards, people have to step up and play all different positions and I think weâ€™ve done that well.
Alexis Prince (Edgewater / Orlando, Fla.)
On todayâ€™s game:
The team came out strong. We had a good offensive game. I think today was one of our best offensive games so far, because the three was falling. Usually we donâ€™t shot a high percentage of threes, but today we did. Our defense was pretty good, too.
Are you getting better as a team:
Yeah, I think weâ€™re getting more comfortable with each other. We know where everybodyâ€™s going to be or what theyâ€™re going to do. We donâ€™t really surprise anybody with shots we take or the spots weâ€™re going to be at, because everybody knows. And, weâ€™re all unselfish.
What kind of adjustments do you have to make with having nine players on the floor?
Everybody just has to know theyâ€™re going to play more minutes than what they would have. We just have to be mentally ready for that and push yourself to play more.
What do you need to work on heading into these next two games?
We just have to keep going and try to keep up what weâ€™ve been doing. I canâ€™t think of one specific thing that we need to work on. We just need to continue to play consistently. We need to play good defense and get things started on the defensive end.
Morgan Tuck (Bolingbrook H.S./ Bolingbrook, Ill.)
What do you need to work on as a team before tomorrowâ€™s semifinal game?
I think we just need to have everyone stay focused and make sure that we play hard the whole game. Sometimes we have those lulls in the game where we donâ€™t have good defense or donâ€™t have good offense, so we just have to play well the whole game.
Does it help the team to have international veterans like you, Bashaara Graves and Breanna Stewart?
I think it helps a little bit to know that there are people whoâ€™ve been there, who know what you need to do. I think it gives the team more confidence.
How difficult is it adjusting to a nine-person roster?
It makes it kind of hard, because we know they want to be here and we want them to be here. But at the same time it gives us some energy, it gives us something to drive us to make us want to play hard for them.
On the team chemistry:
Itâ€™s coming along real good. I definitely think that everybody was ready for this game. I think weâ€™re all kind of jelling and playing as a team.
Is that part of the reason there was such great ball movement today?
Yes. Weâ€™re getting to learn each otherâ€™s game a little more and weâ€™re getting more comfortable with each other out on the court.
Jannah Tucker (New Town H.S. / Randallstown, Md.)
How difficult is it to sit on the bench and watch your teammates play?
Itâ€™s extremely difficult, but I know that theyâ€™re going to use this adversity as fuel and continue to play hard like theyâ€™ve been doing.
What can you do to help from the bench?
My â€˜greatness pullâ€™ was contagious enthusiasm. So I try to keep everything positive, remind them to always play hard and not take anything for granted.