Additional Quotes: USA Women's National Team 86, Dike Naples 50
Additional Quotes: USA National Team 86, Dike Naples 50
USA head coach Geno Auriemma (University of Connecticut)
Were you pleased with what you saw tonight?
I thought that for about 30 minutes we played some really, really good basketball. We did some really good things. I thought the last 10 minutes we let the score effect how we played.
We tried to work on some things that we're going to need on Saturday. It's not easy playing back-to-back games in two different cities, so I understand it's not something that you want to see, but I understand it. It's great that we did so many good things that we can build on. We didn't have a shoot-around today. We haven't had a practice in a few days. We'll have a chance to get together on Saturday before we play and go over some things.
All-in-all, I'm glad that that second group got a chance to play a lot of minutes and contribute a lot. It was good for them to show what they can do when given an opportunity. So all-in-all I thought it was good.
Have you been changing around your starting five in order to give everybody a fair chance since this tour is somewhat of a tryout?
Yeah. I thought that being able to get them out there right from the beginning when it mattered was important. I thought they set a great tone in the first quarter. So for me, this is what this trip is all about. We want to give people an opportunity to make the team or to show us that they're not quite ready yet. Sometimes when you're bringing people off the bench, you're not getting them in the right circumstances all the time. So, I thought today was good for that.
What are your expectations for Saturday night’s game against USK Prague?
Obviously we're getting ready to play one of the best teams in all of Europe, one that's just coming off of a great win over a great team. So, I'm sure they have a lot of confidence right now. And any chance you get to play the United States, I'm sure they're going to be excited. It's going to be a challenge for us, going into their country. It's the last game of a long trip, so I'm looking forward to seeing what our team is made of. I think we're going to play great. It's going to be a great environment and it's going to be a great game.
Elena Delle Donne (Chicago Sky)
Because of your Italian heritage, you’ve been like a rock star in Italy. Were you surprised at that?
Yeah, it’s amazing that just my last name alone brings so many fans. It’s pretty incredible, the support that they had for me.
Stefanie Dolson (Washington Mystics)
What are you trying to get out of this tour?
I'm just trying to get better. Playing with all of these vets gives me a chance to work on my game and learn things from them. Being able to play for coach Auriemma and all the other coaches, I can prove that I’ve gotten better since college.
What was the team working on tonight?
Just getting our plays in, slowing down the game and making sure we were executing on offense and defense, and playing together, not just getting transition layups all the time.
Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks)
On playing against former Lady Vol Cierra Burdick:
We didn't play together, but it's good to see her overseas. I'm proud of her. I know she’s been through some injuries in her WNBA career, so I was happy to see her healthy on the floor.
Danielle Robinson (San Antonio Stars)
On playing her EuroLeague team, USK Prague, on Saturday night:
It’s going to be a little bit weird (laughs). I know they’re going to come out and play hard. That’s kind of our M.O., our coach prides herself on defense, and getting out and running on transition. I think it’ll be a good test for us, especially because we like to do the same thing. I think it’ll be a good game.
What were you working on as a team once the game had been put away?
Definitely working on some sets, getting some timing and rhythm with each other and trying to finish plays off and not always take the first option. We were really just trying to figure things out and play off of each other.
What have you been trying to personally trying to get out of this tour?
I bring a lot of energy, trying to just play my game and try to pick up the pace a little bit when I get out on the court. I try to get out and run, being long on defense and bring a lot of energy.
Breanna Stewart (University of Connecticut)
On tonight’s game:
We were working out the kinks a little bit. We have a big game on Saturday, it’s our last game on this tour and we want to finish off strong. This is preparing us for that.
What was your five-member group trying to work on?
Our group was trying to make sure we had the fluidity of our plays down and that kind of stuff. There are certain sets that we want to make sure, if we have to use them, we know how to do so and are ready to do that. Eventually we figured it out.
What are you personally getting out of this tour?
Personally, just getting great experience playing with all these pros. Seeing what they’ve done to have such success at the next level, preparing myself for that and using it to have a great senior year.