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Mike Krzyzewski

Quotes From Day 4 Of Men's National Team Training Camp

  • Date:
    Jul 31, 2014

Las Vegas, Nevada 

USA Basketball National Team Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski

On DeMarcus Cousins:
“I think he’s been attentive and tried. He’s diving on the floor for loose balls. They all have to adapt and it’s a different way of playing defense. How do you play defense with all these athletes and how do you help out? So we have to see in these exhibition games how that’ll wash out. First of all, we haven’t made the decision on 12 and we won’t for a while. We definitely will take a long look at the big’s.”

On the group’s brotherhood:
“We feel that USA Basketball and the word used a lot is a family. It should kind of be a little bit of a safe haven for being yourself, getting better, developing relationships with all the different guys in the league. So we feel how comfortable (Kevin) Durant, (James) Harden, (Stephen) Curry, (Derrick) Rose, these guys who first of all have played for us but also have been here before. It sets the tone. Also, the guys who were at the mini-camp last summer, we’re all here. It’s not like an all-star game. We’re showing them videos, trying to indoctrinate them into USA Basketball, talking to them. So now when they come it’s not like ‘oh I don’t know what to expect.’ And I think we’re better able to see who they are with that level of comfort.”

On winning the 2010 FIBA World Championship with a young team and now having a lot of new faces:
“I think it’s a different competition though. It’s very difficult to win internationally no matter what. ’10 was one of the best (jobs) that the U.S. has ever done because you got six guys who are 21. Usually they haven’t found out who they are yet and then being in that global crucible is not an easy thing and they’ve responded magnificently. This group is not as young, obviously and this group’s strength right now is its guard play. I mean you can see that. When we end up finally having 12 there are going to be guys who are outstanding guards who won’t be on the team.”

On if you can win small in international play:
“You can’t win completely small. No way. Younger, we can press the other countries and that and they’ll cough it up or whatever. Spain, France, Lithuania, Argentina, that’s not going to have an impact on them. You have to be able to play possession by possession. Then you can play it quick, but still you’ve got to play.”

 

DeMar DeRozan

On the week:
“The whole week has definitely been great. To get out here with these high caliber players, competing at a high level to try to make a team that everybody has a great honor to be a part of. It’s just been a great week.”

On whether the 2013 mini-camp or this week’s training camp was more exciting:
“I think this time around to actually be in the pool of players to actually make the final team. I’d have to say this time around and get ready to play in the game tomorrow.”

On if he’s gotten closer with anybody during the week:
“A lot of them I probably knew for years before this. So it’s just cool to see a lot of guys that I knew before we were in the NBA here representing the USA.”

On competing against the Select Team:
“It definitely helped a lot. They’ve got a lot of great talent on their team. You can’t deny that at all. They’re coming out here to make a point for themselves as well. They’re not going to slack or let up just because we’re the National team or whatever. They definitely brought it to us and it definitely helped us.”

On if he sees any of the Select Team members having a chance to compete for a spot on the National Team in the near future:
“Yeah I definitely see it. I was in their same position two summers ago, doing the same exact thing they were doing. So I’m pretty sure a couple guys will be in the same position.”

On how much his experience with the previous Select Team helped him progress:
“It definitely helps a lot just to look around and you’re on the court with all stars, MVPs, high caliber players and you’re out there competing with them. That doesn’t do anything but raise your confidence that much higher and elevate your game.”

On if he enjoys the competition part of a tryout:
“Yeah. As a competitor it’s cool because you’ve got to think about it: We’re all here for a reason and just because you don’t make this team, doesn’t make you any less of a player. This is still a great accomplishment.”

On what his expectations are for tomorrow’s USA Basketball Showcase:
“A great game honestly. Going out there, playing extremely hard. Putting on a show for the fans and giving them what they came to see and watch 19 guys go out there and play their hearts out for our country.”

On if he anticipates the evaluation from the Showcase to be judged harder than the evaluation from practices:
“Probably. I’m pretty sure. It’ll still also give us a chance to play what we’ve been working on all week and put it all together.”  

 

 Andre Drummond

On camp so far:

“It’s been a great experience this week having the guys back out here again. Just the competitiveness and how hard the guys are working. We are playing for one common goal and that is to be on this team representing our country.”

On his performance thus far:

“Everyone’s energy level and excitement level are at an all-time high; especially for me knowing I have a big chance of making the team. I’ve been working hard and showing the coaches that I’m somebody they need on this team.”

On the game Friday night:

“The game is important as a championship game. It gives the guys a chance to showcase their talent not only in front of the coaches but the fans as well too. It’s a big night for all of us. Not only for myself but the rest of us.”

 

 

 

Kenneth Faried

On the week:
“Thus far, the experience is cool. Just getting after it and playing against some of the best, elite athletes in the world. Just us being on one team and some of us being on different teams, but all of us coming together for one cause.”

On whether this year’s training camp has been more exciting than last year’s mini-camp:
“Last year, I think was more excited than anything because it was the first time (participating with USA Basketball). But this year is equally exciting because I get a chance to go compete for a medal, hopefully if I make the team.”

On what he believes he can bring to the team if he’s one of the final-12 people selected:
“Just enthusiasm, togetherness, energy, rebounding and a whole bunch of fun.”

On battling the Select Team during camp:
“They helped a lot, especially since none of us really played that intense in a while. So it helped.”

On whether anyone stood out to him from the Select Team:
“I think the person that probably stood out the most was Mason (Plumlee). Mason stood out the most. Just how big and athletic he played. The dunks and everything he was able to achieve. He played strong and I liked it and it stood out. And obviously he made it on our team, still as a Select Player, but he’s able to come and play tomorrow night with us. So obviously he stood out the most.”

On his mindset heading into tomorrow’s USA Basketball Showcase:
“Just have fun and enjoy the moment. Only a few guys in the NBA get to experience something like this, especially playing at this high level. So just enjoy the moment and continue to play hard and do what I do.”   

Kyle Korver

On representing the United States:

“To represent your country is an amazing thing. Being around these guys helps you grow personally. When you are around excellence, your own standard gets raised. Your desire to hang and thrive in an environment like this makes you work harder. It’s a good thing for me personally. To come here and be around this group of guys is great. People talk about going through the USA process and end up having great years after that. You come here and are not going to slouch around. You are going to bust your butt because you want to compete and do well.”

On being invited to camp:

“It’s great to be here on a lot of levels. For one, a group of people are recognizing you. I don’t think of myself as a superstar. I don’t think of myself as an elite player. I’ve always tried to be the best teammate though. If you are going to build your team, you want me on it. I don’t want to be the guy, but I want to on the best team. Here, they are trying to build the best team. For me, I didn’t get to come here at the beginning of my career. I’m 33. I’m not some project that they are hoping will eventually come through. I don’t like really talking about accomplishments but it’s good that people think you are doing a good job. It makes you want to work harder and become better.”

On his role as a pure shooter:

“I’ve always felt the more dangerous the players are around me, the more dangerous I am. You can’t really lock in on me if you are locking in on other guys especially. That’s when I am most dangerous. I’m just trying to make the shots that I get. It’s a new opportunity for me. It is super fun and I’m excited about it.”

 

Mason Plumlee

On the week:
“It’s been awesome. I was just sitting here watching the other guys work out. It really is a blessing to be here and you can pick up so much in so little time. You get to watch the guys work out after practice. You get to play against them. There’s no better place to be right now in basketball.”

On his reaction to practicing with the National Team squad the last three days:
“I was very excited and then at the same time I had to adjust. With the Select Team, I was looking to score, looking to create offense. Now, if I want to make this team, I have to play a different way. I was very excited, grateful for the opportunity and I’m just making the most of it.”

On if he was surprised to be informed that he would be practicing the rest of camp with the National Team after Monday’s opening session:
“You can’t say you expect it because they weren’t looking for that coming in. But like I said, I had a good day that (first) day, but that stands out more cause I was looking for offense. I’ve had some good days since. It’s just been more screening, getting people open and playing defense. So there are different ways. You just have to kind of find your niche on each team and convince the coaches why you need to be on it.”

On what it means to him to be the lone rising second year NBA player practicing with the National Team:
“It’s awesome. There are a lot of guys that could have been out here, but I was grateful that they gave me the opportunity. I just took them up on it.”

On reuniting with his college coach Mike Krzyzewski:
“It’s been easy. He’s great. Shoot, he talked to me all playoffs. He talked to me throughout the regular season. You spend four years with the guy. It’s not like he doesn’t talk to you again once you graduate. He’s been in touch. And then, he doesn’t just start coaching the National Team now. He’s talking to these guys all throughout the regular season and postseason.”

On if Coach K’s coaching style is different with the National Team compared to his style at Duke:
“Absolutely. He’s himself, but you don’t have to say things to these guys that you have to say like when I was in college. Like you don’t have to tell these guys to play hard. There are certain things that you don’t have to worry about anymore. I shouldn’t say he’s different. I should just say he adjusts to the talent level.”

On Friday’s USA Basketball Showcase:
“I’m very excited. I’ve never played in something like that before. I’m just excited. I’m going to show what I can do and whatever happens, happens. But I know I’m going to give it my all and just stick true to what I do.” 

 

John Wall

On today’s practice:

“We are all kind of tired today but you play through it and get some rest tonight. Get a massage and prepare for the games. Tomorrow night just go out and play.”

On camp so far:

“It’s exciting and fun. We are still trying to figure things out. There are a lot of guys competing and playing hard. Everyone is trying to find a way to get a spot on this team. It’s not always the best talent they (coaches) put together. It’s the best that can mesh together, have chemistry, and things like that. It’s been a great four days.”

On making the team:

“That’s the goal. You do this to get to Chicago and New York and hopefully be one of the people to get picked to go to Spain and try to win a gold medal. Do the best that you can do to give yourself a great opportunity and chance.”

 

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