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Additional Quotes: USA Men’s U16 National Team 115, Dominican Republic 51

  • Date:
    Jun 11, 2015

USA head coach Don Showalter (Iowa City H.S., Iowa)

On the game:

“Part of what we do is we just get better every game. I saw a lot of progress today from yesterday. Our kids are playing our defense extremely well. When they’re all on the same page and rotate like we are, we can get a lot of easy baskets off of our defense.”

The USA fouled a lot in the first quarter especially, was that a result of playing such tight defense?

“That was it a little bit. These kids are sometimes over anxious on defense. But in the second quarter we settled down a little bit and went to a little different type of defense and really stymied Dominican Republic.”

On the USA’s 3-point shooting:

“It was really consistent. When they were open, you felt that everything was going in from the 3, especially Gary. And then we had other guys step and hit 3s as well. What that does is it spreads the defense out and we’re really tough to cover when our 3s are going in.”

On Brazil, the USA’s next opponent:

“We’re not going to overlook Brazil at all. They’re a team that didn’t do very well yesterday, but I think they want to come back and certainly try to prove that they can play with us.”

 

Jaylen Nowell (Garfield H.S./Seattle, Wash.)

On the game:

“Our coach always says to respect our opponent, respect every team we play. We came out and we did what we were supposed to do and got the win. By a lot.”

How tough is your team’s defense?

“It’s very tough. Coach has been emphasizing defense since day one, since before people were being cut. He was telling us that we were supposed to be playing defense and they were looking for the guys who can play defense and defend well. That’s what we’ve been doing ever since.”

On the USA’s record-setting night:

We got the first-game jitters out yesterday. So today we came in and were more poised and we were able to knock down shots. We were able to trap. Our traps were very aggressive today. That’s one of the main reasons we were able to get so many steals. And our rotation was great, too.

How difficult is it for teams to guard the USA team?

It’s really difficult, because we have 3-point shooters. We have guys who can get to the hoop. We have everything, guys who can shoot mid-range. There’s no one way you can guard us. So, it’s just ‘pick your poison’ with us. We’re going to give what you give us.”

Gary Trent Jr. (Apple Valley H.S./Apple Valley, Minn.)

Were you feeling it tonight?

“You could say that, but not really. It was just my teammates. They put me in the right spots. It was up to the point guards running the offense and finding me.”

How difficult is it for teams to guard the USA team?

“The way the score looked, it seems like it’s pretty hard for teams to go against it. We’re pretty long and athletic. It’s hard to get from one end of the basket to the other end. So, if we really keep up the pressure, we can keep it going and we’ll win every game.”

Does it make things easier for you, knowing you can go all-out and there will be five more coming in to do the same?

Oh yeah. That’s what coach always says. He says that we’ll always win with the second set of players. So, we’ll go out there, the first group goes out there and wears them down and the second group comes out and cleans it up.

What does it mean for you to be listed with Bradley Beal in the USA and FIBA Americas U16 Championship record books?

“It’s really great. I’m glad I have the opportunity to play for USA Basketball. Without this opportunity, I couldn’t even get close to that record. So, I want to thank USA Basketball for having me.”

 

Robert Woodard (Columbus H.S./Columbus, Miss.)

On today’s game:

“It was very fun. The team really played very well together. We passed the ball well, shot well and we just played together as a team.”

On the 3-point shooting record:

“I didn’t realize what the record was, but I knew we were making a lot of 3s. We were just having a good time shooting the 3s and making them.”

How difficult is it for teams to guard the USA team?

“We’re practically un-guardable. It’s just hard to guard, because if you try to crash it in on the inside, we just pass it out and the jump shots are wide open and we’ll just knock them down.”

On Gary Trent Jr.’s shooting:

“Excellent. His shooting was excellent from behind the arc.”

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