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Austin Wiley

Exhibition Game 1 Additional Quotes: USA 89, Lithuania 66

  • Date:
    Jun 28, 2017


USA head coach John Calipari

Overall thoughts about the exhibition game:
We were a little sluggish in the first half, and I thought in the second half our pressure and our athleticism kind of wore them down.  But, our execution is not great. Our biggest issue right now is defensively we don’t talk enough, and they haven’t been together long enough to really know how we wanted to play. I’ve got 10 days to get these guys talking more, playing off one another more. I’m happy were doing a couple scrimmages, so we understand how it is.

I thought Austin (Wiley) was terrific and so was Brandon (McCoy).  I love the way Kevin Huerter played off the bench, and Carsen (Edwards) played good off the bench.  I thought Louis King played well of the bench, and I thought the starters all played pretty well.   Immanuel (Quickley) struggled a little bit, but he got two early fouls. That’s why you don’t foul.

It’s kind of like I told them at halftime, being the coach at Kentucky I see this all the time. First half early in the game teams go crazy, eventually you try to wear them down and then you try to get them at some point in the second half, and I told the guys that.

We’re not where we need to be defensively. That is the whole key to what we’re doing.  Offensively, I thought we shared the ball, but we still held it a couple of times where we didn’t need to hold it. We need to have that ball bouncing around the court.

I thought Immanuel (Quickley) got two fouls and kind of screwed up his game. I thought (Kevin) Huerter and Carsen (Edwards) off the bench, along with (Louis) King and (Brandon) McCoy off the bench, really played well. Josh (Okogie) is the reason we went up 20, because he guarded their best player and did well. Hami (Hamidou Diallo) didn’t play for me last year, he practiced, so this is all new. But, he’s going to be fine, and PJ Washington is what he is, he’s a beast.  I thought Austin (Wiley) was good too.

Hamidou Diallo (Kentucky/Queens, NY)

Overall thoughts about the exhibition game:
It felt good to get out there and get back on my feet after the flights.  I feel like we played well, but there are a bunch of things that we can get better at.

How important is it to have a good chemistry with all your teammates?
I think it is definitely important. You just have to do it with guys and the team bonding off the court as much as on the court as well, and just try and build a frame that can’t be broken. And then, go out in these games and just compete and go after everybody.

How did you feel personally out there?
I felt good. That’s the first time in an official game in a long time, and I felt good. I think I played well, but I’ve got to get better on a bunch of things, I’m still a little rusty, but I felt  like I played well and helped my team come up with a W.

What is key for this team to win?
Just defending and playing together I would say definitely is key, and just competing day in and day out.

Anything surprise you tonight?
No, nothing really surprised me. As coach said earlier, every team is going to play great in the first half, and it’s just all about how the team come comes out in the second half. It’s a long game.

How important is it for the USA to have such a deep bench?
It’s definitely important, because the first half is just going to be a crazy game, teams are going to be hitting crazy shots, because they are playing against us and everybody wants to beat us here.  We just have to stay level-headed and just always remain on task, and that’s winning.


Carsen Edwards (Purdue/Atascocita, Texas)

How did you feel in the game today?
I felt good, just being able to play with these guys and things like that. It’s just a blessing to be here, the opportunity is great, so just getting out there, it was fun.  They played well in the beginning, but we were able to pull it off in the second half.

In the second half, the USA defense really shut down Lithuania which led to some easy baskets:
Yeah, we were trying to play off of our defense, trying to keep them off of the foul line and stop them from shooting 3s because they can shoot the ball well.  Once we were able to stop them from shooting 3s we were able to get on a run, score the ball, things like that.

What about playing in your first FIBA international game?
It felt good. It’s not my first time playing international, ball but it was my first FIBA game. It was fun, it was a good experience and I’m still learning, but it was good though.

What will be the key to success for this team?
Just kind of what coach Cal says, just getting stops, stopping them from shooting 3s and stop from fouling and then we can get out and run, and we don’t think many teams can keep up with that.

Kevin Huerter (Maryland/Clifton Park, N.Y.)

Overall thoughts about the exhibition game:
I think we came out a little slow in the first half, and they made shots. Obviously, they’re a good team. I think we went into the second half focusing more defensively, bringing more energy toward that end and we created more turnovers that led to easier baskets.

Did you feel more comfortable in the second half?
In the first half, I think I was just focused on coming in and playing hard, in the second half I started to get in the flow a little more. They were playing zone, and I made a layup to start it off and that kind of gets you going, then I hit jump shot in there. Everyone in the second half played better. We were moving the ball a lot better, and I think everyone got easier shots.

What is going to be the key for this team to be successful?
Just play with energy all 40 minutes.  We can’t ever get lazy. We’ve got to bring it every single game on the defensive end. That will lead to our offensive getting easy shots.




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