menu close twitter facebook snapchat instagram youtube article basketball gallery graph left-arrow right-arrow search star trophy video net clipboard shield-check shield-star stopwatch filter reset Share
Women's National Team

U.S. Depth on Display in Scrimmage Against Canada

  • Author:
    Abigail Lorge
  • Date:
    Sep 15, 2014

The USA Basketball Women’s National Team will take on Canada at 7 p.m. (EDT) on ESPN2. Tickets are still available at Webster Bank Arena for fans in the Bridgeport, Connecticut, area.

Bridgeport, Connecticut

Roster Set

Additional Quotes

The 2014 FIBA World Championship, slated to begin on September 27 in Turkey, may not turn out to be the fiercest women’s basketball competition of the year. Instead, there is arguably more intensity and depth on display at the Americans’ three-week national team training camp, which continued on Sunday with a scrimmage against Canada, than will exist at the World Championship itself -- the prize at stake for all the pre-Turkey toil and travel.

The dazzling depth at the Americans’ disposal is a good problem for U.S. head coach Geno Auriemma and the selection committee to have. There are 24 first-rate American players, including seven who played in the recently-wrapped WNBA Finals and 17 who participated in Sunday’s scrimmage, vying to make the 12-woman U.S. team, which will arrive in Istanbul as the prohibitive gold-medal favorite.

All 17 Americans saw minutes against Canada’s national team during the scrimmage, held at midday in Bridgeport’s Webster Bank Arena, host of the 2013 NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Regional Finals and a familiar venue for the six former or current Connecticut Huskies who played for the U.S. on Sunday. The scrimmage showcased the usual brilliance of Maya Moore, the day’s leading scorer with 13 points, two blocks and two steals (and a mortal lock to make the USA World Championship team), but did little to clarify the rest of the U.S. team’s murky roster situation.

“I don’t think any of the post players have come out and clearly just blown everybody away,” Auriemma said afterwards. “They’ve all had their moments where they’ve been really good, and they’ve all had their moments where they struggled. That’s why it’s going to be difficult [to pare down the roster], and the same with the guards.” 

Auriemma would not tip his hand about whether Breanna Stewart, the 6-4 forward/center who earned National Player of the Year honors last spring as a sophomore for Connecticut’s NCAA championship team, was likely to make the upcoming trip to Paris for the tournament the U.S. is playing against France, Australia and China as part of its World Championship preparation, although later that evening the committee decided to move Stewart through to the next round.

“Stewie’s doing great, she does what she does,” he said of the 20-year-old Stewart, who scored 4 points against Canada on 2-of-3 shooting but was chided with a “Really?” from her head coach when she launched an off-target 3 early in a USA possession. “You’re not gonna play 30 minutes, but you have to be impactful while you’re out there, and so far she’s done that. But I don’t know that she has stood out more than anybody else.”

The composition of the American team is partially contingent upon the health of Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Sylvia Fowles, three women who played in the recent WNBA Finals but who are struggling with eye, back and foot problems, respectively.

“We’re leaving Tuesday [for Paris], and there’s no guarantee that any of them are going to be available, or they could all be available,” Auriemma said. “We just don’t know.”

But the 2012 Olympic gold medal-winning coach did not equivocate when it came to praising the Americans’ performance on defense Sunday, when the U.S. outscored Canada by an unofficial tally of 75-52.

“We haven’t had a chance to spend a lot of time on our defensive stuff, and I thought we did a really good job today,” he said of the U.S., which outscored Canada in three of the four 10-minute quarters and forced four shot-clock violations. “Canada is not an easy team to play against because of all the movement and all the screens and all the cutting that they do, and I thought defensively that we were pretty good, given that we haven’t been together a long time.”

Moore said after Sunday’s scrimmage that she prefers international play to intra-squad games—“Now that we’re playing against other countries, instead of beating up on each other, it’s a little bit easier”—but acknowledged the inevitable difficulty of saying goodbye to some teammates before the team heads to Europe.

“No one in this group is somebody that you just don’t like as a person,” said the 2014 WNBA MVP. “Everybody here is humble and cool and understands what USA Basketball is about. It’s definitely sad to know that everybody can’t go, but it’s a part of why the United States is so dominant. It’s a really cool state that we’re in, that we have so many players that could be on the team.” 

Related Videos

Dawn Staley, playing in her third Olympic Games, was elected by her peers - all U.S. team captains - to carry the flag and lead the U.S. delegation into the 2004 Opening Ceremony. She reflects back on her selection and what it meant to her.

Several notable athletes on the USA National Team sat out most, if not all, of the 2019 WNBA season and are gearing up to get back on the court with their pro teams as the league launches the 2020 season.

USA Basketball National Team standouts Nneka Ogwumike and Napheesa Collier offer their thoughts and insights to seven of the nation's best collegiate athletes in USA Basketball's first Junior National Team panel discussion.

The 2018 USA Basketball Women’s National Team overcame a 16-point deficit in a 74-68 win over Canada on Sept. 8, 2018 at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The USA outscored Canada by 18 points in the final two quarters to avoid its first loss on home soil since a 65-64 exhibition defeat at the University of Tennessee on Nov. 7, 1999.

Four years ago, after the 2016 USA Basketball Women’s National Team had been together for less than a week and played one exhibition against the USA Select Team (a game that will be re-aired in two weeks), the USA squad traveled from Los Angeles to Newark, Delaware, for an exhibition game against France. Tina Charles finished with 17 points, five rebounds and two assists, and the U.S. used a potent second half performance to seize an 84-62 victory.

The home of the Blue Hens also was home to Elena Delle Donne during her collegiate career. It was where during her four years, she helped lead UD to a 104-32 record (.765 winning percentage), the 2013 NCAA Sweet Sixteen, 2012 NCAA second round, a pair of WNITs, two Colonial Athletic Association regular season titles and two CAA tournament crowns.

Related Content

Brittney Griner has won three gold medals and compiled a 34-2 record in a USA Basketball jersey.

The dynamic duo of Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart were the one-two punch that helped lead the Seattle Storm to a fourth WNBA title – all four of which featured Bird.

Seimone Augustus has won seven gold medals with USA Basketball.

In recognition of her selfless act to defer her athletic career to pursue criminal justice reform, two-time Olympic and two-time FIBA World Cup gold medalist Maya Moore has been named as the recipient of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s 2020 Jack Kelly Fair Play Award.

One of the most decorated athletes in USA Basketball history, Sue Bird has a career 142-6 record in a USA jersey.

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login

Forgot Password?