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Additional Quotes: USA Men's Pan American Games Team 83, Brazil 93

  • Date:
    Jul 23, 2015

USA head coach Mark Few (Gonzaga)

It seemed like every time the USA made a run, Brazil hit a huge 3. Can you talk about the game?

We knew coming in that Brazil was really, really good, and thus far through the tournament, they had probably played as good as anybody. You got to give Brazil a lot of credit. They stepped up and made shots. (Vitor) Benite shot the heck out of it. Some of their other guys, some of their bigs that hadn’t been shooting it great in this tournament, stepped up and made some shots also. And, again, their physical style – they really pounded us on the glass. We had a heck of a time keeping them off the glass, and I thought that really hurt us in the first half. And then their physicality in the half court, we couldn’t really get much going. We were trying to get our guys to push it, and get it in the open floor and create early offense that way. When we did that, we were pretty successful, but when we didn’t. we got kind of bogged down with their physicality and struggled to score.
 
Were you happy to see that the team continued to battle back and closed the gap?

These guys got a lot of pride. They kept charging. We cut it to seven and with enough time, we just needed to get a stop, and then we just made kind of a silly mental error to run at the guy with the ball and gave up another 3. But I thought Keith Langford was really good off the bench. I thought Taurean (Prince), who didn’t do much in the first half, really got us going in the second half and ignited us. And that’s how we want him to play – with energy, and to play in space and to take advantage of his quickness and athleticism out there on the perimeter as a four.
 
Another big situation for us was Kaleb (Tarczewski) didn’t get many minutes. Kaleb is our best defensive rebounder, he is our best defensive rim protector and he was actually a guy that was delivering against their physical play inside. He was in foul trouble literally the whole night, so that really hurt us also.
 
You have Canada next in the semifinals in front of a home crowd for them. What will be important in that game?

I think the first thing is us, again, keeping our composure when we hit adversity. We’ve got to do a better job with that. It’s a road game. It’s just like playing a road game in college or in the NBA. So, we’ve got to control the things that we can control. We can’t control their fans, and we can’t control the officials. But, we can control our energy, and we can control our toughness. We can control our ability to stay together; we are going to have to do that. They got their two NBA guys inside in (Anthony) Bennett and (Andrew) Nicholson, and we really got to keep them off the glass. This is probably the other very, very good rebounding team in this tournament, and I think that will be a real big key. And then (Brady) Heslip is really shooting it well from 3, not unlike number Vitor Benite, so we cannot let him get going from 3.
 
Keith Langford (UNICS, Kazan, Russia/Fort Worth, Texas)

What were your thoughts about the game?

I definitely think tonight’s game was indicative of the international level. In those first two games, though we did play well, tonight’s ball club was at a higher level. I think we did some things we will be able to look at in film and grow on, because we have another high-level opponent tomorrow.
 
What was the difference in the game tonight?

The thing what sticks out is their guard, (Vitor) Benite, obviously having 30-plus points. In international competition, 30 is like 50, so we can’t let one guy have that. They matched our energy. They weren’t afraid, and I think that was one of the biggest things. If anything, we did some things we can definitely key in on if we see them again.

 
You have Canada next in the semifinals in front of a home crowd for them. What will be important in that game?

Being ready. We scrimmaged them already, so we know some of the looks that we will get. But, they obviously are the home team. They’ll be the favorites, so this is the moment. This is why the committee and the coaches decided on these 12 guys, and so we have to be ready to rise to the occasion.
 
Taurean Prince (Baylor University/San Antonio, Texas)

Can you talk about your strong second-half performance (16 points and 4 rebounds)?

I was just looking for what the defense was giving me. They were pressing still at the end of the game, or in the second half, so I was just driving, anything I could, trying to make open shots and make the right plays for the team.
 
What was the difference in the game tonight, in your opinion?

When they pressured us just a little bit, we kind of got away from what we do. We kind of got back into it in the second half, and we had a good stretch going. But in the end, we just didn’t make it happen.
 
It seemed like whenever the USA made a run, they hit a late 3, deep 3:

Those type of things take your motivation away, because you play so hard that first 20 seconds or 22 seconds, and they make a buzzer-beating 3, you’re just like, ‘Again?’ It kind of makes it tough for your to go back down on offense with the same energy and motivation. But I think we showed fight, but we've got to come out with a better first half. I think if we had done that, we would have had a better chance to win the game.

 
You have Canada next in the semifinals in front of a home crowd for them. What will be important in that game?

A lot of hard work, learning from this game and just pushing forward and not keeping our heads down. Knowing that we got just as good of an opponent tomorrow. It’s an earlier game, so get some rest, treatment and do what you got to do to comeback and perform in the next game.
 
How much does it help having scrimmaged against them?

It helps, but it is a lot different when they've got every seat filled with a Canadian in it. So, we are not only battling them, but the crowd as well. But all of us are big-time players. We wouldn’t be here if we weren’t. So, we’ve played in some big-time games and hopefully that doesn’t phase any of us.
 
Anthony Randolph (Lokomotiv-Kuban, Russia/Pasadena, Calif.)

What are your thoughts on the game today?

Brazil is a veteran, very good team. I believe they have been playing together a long time. They pressured us, and we had a tough time. We didn’t figure it out until it was too late in the game. But, I think that we showed a lot of heart as a team to be able to fight through that and continue to fight through the whole game and get the game down at least to where we had a chance to come back. We've just got to come out tomorrow night and learn from this and try to do our best to win this gold.

 
You have Canada next in the semifinals in front of a home crowd for them. What will be important in that game?

Definitely, we have to rebound better. I think tonight was the first night that we got beat on the boards. So as a whole, collectively, we have to all crash the boards offensively and defensively. And just play our game, play USA Basketball, be aggressive and attack.
 
Can you talk about the game for you personally? What were you able to do out there today?

I was just out there trying to play basketball, trying to play as hard as I can. I really want to win this gold bad. Nothing else matters besides that. So, I’m just happy that we have the opportunity to still achieve that goal, and that’s the most important thing right now. So, we got to get ready for Canada. Tonight is over.

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