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USA Women's National Team

Quotes: USA Basketball Women’s National Team

  • Date:
    Apr 25, 2018

USA head coach Dawn Staley (University of South Carolina)
On training camp:
The camp has been great, in that we’ve had 19 great players, and the committee has to cut this thing down to 12. And, knowing that although this 12 won’t be the roster of our World Cup Team, we’re still very much involving all of the players in the pool. Some aren’t here, but this allows us to get a glimpse of what the World Cup roster may look like, as far as veterans or lesser experienced players. The committee has done a great job throughout history of picking the best team for any competition we play. So, I’m excited about the work they have cut out for them, but also excited they will give us some players that will compete at a really high level.

After three training camps, what’s your excitement level at to play the exhibition versus China?
It’s great. For a player who is very competitive, then practice, practice, practice can seem very boring. This is different, because we do have this exhibition at the end of the camp, and I think everyone’s awareness has been raised a little bit because we do always want to win every game that we play. That will be our approach to tomorrow night against China. We are approaching it to win the game. Obviously, we want to play a lot of people, but we need to be productive with the five that will be on the floor at any given time.

USA assistant coach Jennifer Rizzotti (George Washington University)
On the USA's preparations for China:
I would say that it's been a little bit challenging, because the film that we have and the roster that we had from the Olympics is very different from the team that we brought here. So, there's only four players on their roster of 15 that we're really familiar with. They are their better players, so our goal will be to do a good job on the players we're familiar with, and then use this as preparation for when we see them in the fall.

What do they do well?
Their guards are really in attack mode. First in transition, they do a great job of advancing the ball in the pass, and then they really look for their bigs inside in transition. They get two feet in the lane, they seal well, they use their body. So, they have the ability to be versatile at each position. Defensively I think is where they're a little bit more experienced or seasoned. They have a physicality to them, probably more versatility than they had in the Olympics, it looks like, where they can switch a lot of screens and be a little bit more athletic. So, for the minimal amount we know about them, I feel that it will be a good challenge for us.

Is the USA team ready to play?
Yes. Everybody out here, except for two (Augustus, Fowles), this is not their first camp. This is not their first time being with Dawn and being familiar with what she's trying to do. You can see the improvement even from yesterday to today's practice. So, China is in the same boat. They don't have all their best players. They're just looking to get experience and get those reps in against another international team. They're probably going to use it for their preparation for the fall as well. I think we're in a good spot, and I'm looking forward to getting out there.

Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx)
Are you looking forward to playing the Chinese National Team with players with whom you are friends?
It’s going to be fun to square off. I’ve played there for five seasons, so I know them pretty well. It’s just good to see familiar faces. I feel like I just left them a month and a half ago, and now I’m seeing them again. It will be a good experience, especially for our younger players. It’s going to be fun tomorrow, because those jokers run a lot. They run a lot. 

Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm)
How excited are you to play in your home WNBA arena with USA on your jersey tomorrow?
It’s definitely exciting. This is my first structured five-on-five since November. To actually get out here to play and learn, it’s exciting. I love this game of basketball, so not being able to be out here to play was torture last night. To be able to play in Seattle, we’re revving everyone up for our season. So, it’s cool to see that, and then it makes it even better to do it with USA across your chest.

What were you able to soak up from the February camp that you’re using this week?
Everything is just really fast, so learning patience and still being not in a rush, is something I tried to pick up. This time around, I’m trying to be patient and not force anything and just let the game come to me.

Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm)
How excited are you to play in your home WNBA arena with USA on your jersey tomorrow?
It’s a great opportunity for us to have this exhibition here in Seattle. Our fans are going to love it, and I think we are going to have some great support once we get on the court tomorrow night. Just the fact that we get to travel all over the place with USA Basketball, to be here and be home, it’s awesome.

Are you looking forward to playing the Chinese National Team with players with whom you are friends?
It’s going to be interesting, obviously. The last time I played against the Chinese team was at the Olympics, and that was before I played overseas in China. And now, with having a familiarity with all of their players, knowing what they do – we played against each other this past season -- it’s funny. I saw some of them walking on the street just last night, and I was like, ‘Hi,’ but then I knew I needed to get my Mandarin mind back.

What is it that the Chinese players do particularly well?
It’s just the way they play together. They have a lot of time to practice together – more than us, and they just know how what one another likes and doesn’t like to do. So, they put each other in spots to do the best they can.

Elizabeth Williams (Atlanta Dream)
How did you think the short, two-day training camp went in preparation for China?
I think this was really good. Even just the difference between yesterday and today, I think everyone learned a lot and picked up their intensity a little bit. When you have these short camps, that’s what is important, that you’re getting better every day.

After three training camps, are you ready to run against another team?
I think it is going to be really nice to compete against and beat up another team that’s not ourselves (laughs). I think everybody is kind of ready for that. It’s fun to see how we fare against another team. We’ve been playing really hard against each other, and learning a lot, but it will be a good test to play against a tough Chinese team.

What do you know about the Chinese team?
They have some big post players. They’ve got some long posts and some quick guards that I remember playing against. I know Sylvia (Fowles) had a couple really quick guards on her team in China, so we will need to be able to contain them.

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