Additional Quotes From USA's Win Over Mexico at FIBA Americas U18 Championship
Colorado Springs, ColoradoHead Coach Dawn Staley (University of South Carolina)
Overall thoughts on the USA’s first game:
We came out energized; we made a conscious effort to get the post players the ball and take advantage of our size. I think for the most part they executed the game plan.
Did you think you gave up to many threes?
We just discussed that with our team. To give up eight threes is too much. That’s an area we’re going to have to get better fairly quickly because a team like El Salvador, they like to shoot the three. Hopefully, we’ll do a better job and get better as the tournament progresses.
On whether her team started off the tournament on the right foot:
Yes, I think from a defensive standpoint, the intensity was there. I think some of these teams pose a different challenge to our post players because they’re not used to chasing players up on the perimeter and getting through screens on the perimeter. But I think as the game progressed, we got a little bit better with that, but over a 40-minute period, it’s hard to sustain that.
Marina Mabrey (Manasquan H.S./Belmar, N.J.)
On tonight’s team performance:
I thought we played really well. I think we gave up too many threes and we need to get the ball inside a bit more, but overall I think we played well and it was a good win.
On playing in her first international game:
It was different. I had a lot of fun. Everything is just different; the players, the referees, the crowd- so it’s a little bit of an adjustment but it’s definitely a lot of fun.
On finishing with a game-high six assists (USA finished with 27 assists compared to Mexico’s six):
When coach told us to get the ball inside, I looked more for the inside post players rather than a shot, and that helps for more buckets and definitely more momentum for our team.
On what they need to do to protect the 3-point line after allowing Mexico to shoot 41 percent from beyond the arc:
I think we need to be a little bit closer and get in better position so when they get by us they can’t get their shots off.
Jessica Shepard (Fremont H.S./Fremont, Neb.)
On her overall thoughts of tonight’s team win:
I think tonight we came out and showed the other teams how we can play. I think we used the inside really well and I think if we keep doing that it will open up the outside shooters a lot.
On her first experience playing for the USA:
When we were walking out for opening ceremonies, it just kind of gives you the chills. To be representing you country and to actually get out there and play, it’s just an amazing feeling.
On how well the team executed the game plan tonight:
I think our game plan was to get the ball inside and I think we did a good job of that and finishing.
What does the team have to do in order to maintain their advantage on the boards?
I think for rebounding it’s all effort, so if we keep going hard to the boards, that will be a big advantage for us.
Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S./Pearland, Texas)
On the team’s performance on their first game:
I think we did well. Mexico was really physical on us, so we had to combat that but overall, we did a good job.
What was the game plan? Did you guys execute it?
The game plan was to play our game, play fast and play strong and I think we executed well.
On whether it was hard to maintain focus when after they built a 49-point lead?
No, we were on the bench just cheering our teammates and that was good to for us and to not be so quiet.
On what the team can improve for the next game
Probably just posting up stronger and hitting our outside shots more.
On getting started after being in the U.S. Olympic Training Center for over a week:
We’ve been here for a while now, so to get the tournament started was actually really good.
A’ja Wilson (Heathwood Hall H.S./Hopkins, S.C.)
On the team finally getting started at the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship:
It was a great game. I loved it and I love playing with these girls Just getting out here and it being our first game, we played great together. It was so much fun. I’m excited to see what’s to come.