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Payton Pritchard

Additional Quotes: USA 96, Spain 72

  • Date:
    Jul 8, 2017

John Calipari (USA and University of Kentucky head coach)
Opening statement
The people in Egypt, the hospitality that was shown, the organization, the facilities – I could tell you, I’ve done a lot of FIBA stuff, but this was first class. The food, the security, this was first class, and everyone involved should be really proud. The second thing I want to say is, every time I’m involved with FIBA – I coached the Dominican Republic national team – I learn and become a better coach. I wish I had that game over from yesterday, again. Maybe Canada will redo that, but I don’t think they will. But, I’ve learned. I’ve learned about myself as a coach and I watched other coaches coach and I learned some great stuff. This game, I’m proud of our guys. It’s a hard game. You lose that game yesterday and really got outplayed, outcoached, everything, and you come back and play like we played. This guy here, Immanuel (Quickley), played out of his mind. He came like, okay, that’s done, bounce back, let’s play. This is a very hard game to play in, the third place game. I thought our kids fought and played from the beginning. From the tip, they played well.

How much will this U19 World Cup experience help you moving forward?
Well, first of all, I learned a lot about PJ (Washington) and Hami (Diallo), both some strengths and weaknesses. You saw, I did some stuff with Hami at the end because he was struggling, and I wanted him to know that I’m with you. I’m with you. I’m going to help you, but you have to let me coach you. And, I think those two are going to be outstanding. I can’t wait to get back to my team. I approached this, so you know, like I was coaching my Kentucky team. I tried to coach every single player, all 12, to make sure they know that this was about them, too. For us at Kentucky, those two guys, I got a better feel of what I have to do.

Do you have any rooting interest in the gold medal game?
You may not know this, but I am an Italian citizen. But, I’m very good friends with the Canadian team. But, I’m an Italian citizen and I’m also an American citizen. I’m a dual citizen. I better keep to myself who I’m rooting for.

Is there anything you take away from this tournament in terms of style of play or positioning on the floor?
The last time I did this, I spent two years with the Dominican Republic team, and we won the national title. We played different and we spread the court out differently, we defended differently. There were wrinkles of things I learned that I added. There are actions that we saw that we were like, ‘Wow, that is pretty good stuff.’ And they run good stuff to get pick and rolls, to move people, to fill, they throw skip passes. There was a lot of good stuff I learned. And for me, the way we pressed may be the way my team this year plays. Now, I haven’t played that way a whole lot, but I did some things in the press that I wanted to see so that I could take it home, and it was good.

How proud are you of the team in bouncing back today?
To be able to bounce back and play the way they did from start to finish shows me a lot about them. We were all still really disappointed. We came here to not only play for the gold, but win the gold, and to play like we did and have Canada come out and play so well, it was just disappointing that we couldn’t get it done. To come back today and play and win the bronze, it’s a good way to end.

How important was the strong start today?
I think it was very important. In these kinds of games, it’s almost like one team will go away. We just didn’t want it to be us. I thought we started really good. I thought we had a team that was capable – there were three or four teams here, like France and Lithuania, who lost early. Obviously, the two in the finals and Spain and us, any of us could have won that gold. I’ll tell you what, Canada played their butts off against us, and we did not match what we had to do.

Carsen Edwards (Purdue/Atascocita, Texas)
How important was it to get out to a hot start today?
It was important. We just wanted to bounce back. We had the opportunity to play and go home with something, so I felt like we came out and left with something. At this point, honestly, I feel like, if you have to get motivated and somebody has to get you up for any game, this may not be the sport for you. I think we came out ready, so that was a good sign.

Was this a test about who truly loves to play the game, as Payton Pritchard said last night?
Yeah, I believe that is true. It’s the truth. Like I said, if you need to be motivated at this point, then I don’t know. It’s good that we all came out ready to play today.

How important was the early, hot shooting from 3-point range?
It was important. Sure wish those would have fallen yesterday, but we got them to fall today, and we were able to pull this game out. Those 3s were big shots for us.

What was the big difference between today and yesterday?
They were different teams, but I feel that we came out with a certain energy, and we may not have had that same energy in the first half of the game yesterday. You just learn from that.

Do you feel like you came away on a winning note, earning the bronze?
Yes, of course. It was a blessing to be here, first off. To be able to compete and for us to get here and be able to win something, it’s just a blessing and a great opportunity to be here.

How much fun was this tournament?
It was really fun. For some of these guys, they’ve played twice. They’ve been on these teams before, but this was my first time. I tried to take it all in and enjoy it, learn from these great coaches, as well, and the other good players on this team.”

Payton Pritchard (Oregon/West Linn, Ore.)
Was the team’s character in bouncing back tested today?
I think we came out and we played great. Everybody is a little tired from the trip, but I think we finished it out strong. I think we just battled today.

How important was the strong start today?
It was very important. Everybody was just playing hard, really. Nobody was taking the day off or wanted to go home or anything. It’s good that we finished strong. This builds character.

The team hit a few 3-pointers early. Was the team just feeling it today?
Yeah, Carsen (Edwards) and Immanuel (Quickley) were really hitting those 3s. They were hot and got us going. It was just a different person each day.

How do you feel about winning bronze?
At least we’re going home with a medal. It’s not what we cam here for, but we finished as high as we could after losing, so I guess we’ll take the bronze for now.

Immanuel Quickley (John Carroll School/Bel Aire, Md.)
What are your thoughts on today’s game and your tournament performances?
As a team, we set out to win the gold medal, obviously, but I feel like we played pretty well overall. Congrats to Canada for beating us. They played a good game, but if we could have done a couple things differently, we could have won. Individually, I think I played okay this tournament. I got better on and off the floor. The coaches have done a great job with me, helping me with things I didn’t even know as a point guard and helping me grow as a player.

How important was the strong start today?
I think it was really important. It was the bronze medal game, so it is kind of tough, but I think we came out and played well from the jump.

Did the early 3s loosen things up a bit?
No doubt. We put a lot of work in, a lot of hours of shooting, so when you see one go in, it makes things a lot easier.

What does winning bronze mean to you?
It’s not the gold, but just to go home with anything is a blessing. We take it how it is and we go on from there.

How much fun was this trip for you?
It was great. I learned a lot as a player and things I can take back home, on and off the court, which was great.

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