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Champions

Additional Quotes: USA 103, Japan 71

  • Date:
    Aug 15, 2017

• Game Recap
• Box Score
• Photo Gallery

USA head coach Jeff Walz (Louisville)
On the game:
I thought that was the best we have played in our three games. The kids came out and did exactly what we asked them to do. We knew that Japan was very disciplined on defense, and we tried to attack early, which we did. We shared the ball extremely well and made open shots. It was the best we have shot the ball as well, but a big part of that was because of how well we shared it.

What has this experience been like overall?
It’s been awesome, having the opportunity to work with the best of the best in our college game. I told the team after the game, as impressive as they were on the floor playing, was half as impressive as they were off the court. They are great young women. They are great ambassadors for our game, and I’m excited to watch not just my team play this coming season, but these young ladies’ teams, because college basketball is in good hands with this group.

Asia Durr (Louisville/Douglasville, Georgia)
On the game:
We started off fast. We pushed the ball, and we played as a team, which was key. We knew that they were aggressive, and they played hard and they played fast. We figured if we could jump on them soon, then we could take them down quick.

Linnae Harper (Ohio State/Chicago, Ill.)
On the game:
I think it was great – the atmosphere, the fans, our team playing together and enjoying the moment. It was a great experience.

Did you feel the team improved through each game, and was today the team’s best outing?
Yes, I feel like as we had those chances to practice and learn more things, we got better, and today was probably one of our best performances since we’ve been here.

What’s going to stick with you from this experience?
The learning and all the teaching from the coaches. Just being around great players and learning from each other. We all come from different conferences, but being around each other and being out there with each other on the court, that’s one thing I’ll keep. And most importantly, my friendships. Being around them, exchanging phone numbers and creating new friendships, that’s always great.

Kelsey Mitchell (Ohio State/Cincinnati, Ohio)
On the game:
It was a really, really good game. It was a great team win, to be able to see everyone out there smiling and able to contribute in a lot of ways. Overall, it was a great experience to play against a team like Japan, which was a really good team. I enjoyed it.

What did it mean to you to have this experience with your first USA Basketball team?
I’m very grateful. I’m not sure I would have ever made it to Japan without this experience. I want to say thank you to USA Basketball. I’m really proud to accomplish what we did with this group. It was a special group.

What’s going to stick with you from this experience?
Offensively, I learned that my style of play is a lot different at my school. To come here and learn a lot from Coach Walz and these players was amazing. I’m going to take this back to my team and grow in areas that, I think, I should have grown in a long time ago.

Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon/Walnut Creek, Calif.)
On the game:
We came out with a lot of intensity and matched theirs. They are a quick team, they are well coached and the crowd was really engaged.

What has this experience been like for you?
It’s been so fun, especially being younger and being able to learn from the older veterans. Just being with the team, and the great coaches and all of the great staff, it’s definitely been something I will never forget.

Jamie Nared (Tennessee/Portland, Ore.)
What did it mean to you to have this experience with your first USA Basketball team?
It was fun, just getting this experience to know everybody and come over here to play in this tournament. I’m super competitive, but I didn’t really know what to expect with overseas ball. But, it was fun to play with this group. They are super talented, and it was cool to see our different styles of play come together.

Was today the team’s best outing since being here?
We just played hard. When they got a transition point, we always came back. We didn’t hang our heads. We pushed it back at them. We knew that they would like to play a very uptempo game, and we know we like to play uptempo, as well, so I think that was hard for them, because they are so used to controlling the game with that aspect. But, they are a great team and this was a great experience.

What’s going to stick with you from this experience?
Definitely the experience, and what I’ve learned from our coaches. Playing with this group of players was fun, and it was just nice getting to know all these players and their styles of play. It helps you grow playing on a team of talented players. It makes you find a way to contribute in some different ways, so I think that was a big thing.


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