Additional Quotes: USA 121, Argentina 49
USA head coach Don Showalter
On today’s game:
Our first goal was to come out and really deliver the first punch, so to speak. We wanted to score first, get into it defensively and take away everything they wanted to do. Coach Waterman and coach Fitch had a great game plan. They did a great job letting the kids know what to expect from an Argentine team than was much better than the score indicated.
Were you pleased with the team’s defense?
This is my fifth year coaching the U16s, and I don’t think we’ve had a better defensive half than we had tonight in the first half. It was every bit as good as we hoped it would be. The kids were talking, communicating and very quick to help. They were doing all the little things, the details that we wanted to take care of defensively. They’ve really taken it to heart that that’s the way we’re going to win. Our defense spurs our offense, and you saw how powerful that can be tonight.
North American final tomorrow night. What do you think about Canada?
Canada has played very well this tournament. They have some really good shooters. Their perimeter game is really good. They’re going to be ready for us, no question about that. It’s going to be a great gold medal game.
Scottie Barnes (Cardinal Newman H.S./West Palm Beach, Fla.)
On his play tonight:
I knew it was a big game that would get us into the gold medal game. Coaches just wanted us to go in and play our hearts out and show our respect to Argentina. I felt that I should play my heart out and give it all I’ve got for my team and for my country.
On the team’s depth:
Everybody’s really good, and anybody can produce on the court. The other teams don’t have as many good players as we do. So, when they’re tired in the game, we have fresh players come in the game, play hard and dominate as soon as we get in.
What will you need to do tomorrow night against Canada?
Just play the way we play, with high energy, with a high motor, keep moving the ball like we do, run the fast break and play great defense. We have to communicate as a team, come together and show off our abilities. I think we’re going to come out and win that gold medal, because we have more depth, we play hard and we play together.
Jeremy Roach (Paul VI Catholic H.S./Leesburg, Va.)
On tonight’s game:
We wanted to come out and give them the first punch, because we knew they were going to have a good crowd. We knew they were going to be into it, so we just wanted to come out with great energy. It felt good, though. Their crowd was really getting into it. It was fun.
Did you let off a little bit in the third quarter?
No, I wouldn’t say we were off. We just kind of took a step back. We knew we had to still get it done.
You face Canada in the gold medal game. What will you need to do to win that game?
Just, bring good energy like we have been doing all four games. We also need to rebound, play good defense, get out on the break, just play hard.
Have you seen improvement in your team the past four games?
Yeah, we’re moving the ball around better. We’re getting everybody involved. It’s been fun.
Romeo Weems (New Haven H.S./Chesterfield, Mich.)
On tonight’s game:
It was just fun. The crowd actually brought us energy. They were just cheering the whole game. We didn’t have a crowd all week. So, this was fun.
What was the key to the first half?
Just come out with the first punch and play with energy, and it worked. We were up 50 at the half. We just came out and played hard the whole game.
Have you been working on defense?
Yeah, we’ve been focusing a lot on playing defense the whole game instead of just a few quarters. I think we locked in on defense tonight.
On Scottie Barnes’ play:
He did good. He was just there today. He was locked in. He had a lot of and-ones, a lot of free throws, a lot of nice plays. He did a really nice job tonight.
What do you need to do tomorrow night to win the gold medal?
We need to continue to play hard the whole game and play together.
|2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship|