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Exhibition Quotes: USA 100, Serbia 65

  • Date:
    Jun 27, 2018

Box Score
• Game Story

USA head coach Don Showalter (USA Basketball)
On the game:
I thought our kids played really good defense in the first half. We kind of let up in the third quarter, and then I thought we played really good defense in the fourth quarter again.   

It was one of those really good opportunities for us to find out what international competition is like. Even though nine of our kids have played in an international competition – and three haven’t, it still has been a year since they’ve played this kind of competition. From that standpoint, it was great for us to get adjusted and find out what we have to do better. I think we learned a lot of things tonight.

Were there some let ups for the USA in the second half?
I think when you are 16 and 17, sometimes it is hard to understand that when you are up by 20, you still have to keep playing at the same level. 

Did you get what you wanted out of the exhibition games?
We did. We played two really good teams. I expect both France and Serbia to be fighting for a medal. So, from that standpoint, it was great for us to have that kind of competition. And, the final scores don’t really indicate what the game was like throughout. I’m pleased with our bench. Whoever we start, whoever comes off the bench, it doesn’t make much difference. 

Is the team ready for the FIBA U17 World Cup?
We have some things to take care of. The next two practices are going to be very tough practices for us. We have some items that we really have to shore up to become a better team.           

Vernon Carey Jr. (University School/Southwest Ranches, Fla.)
On the game:
We were aggressive in the first half, but I feel like we could have been more assertive in the second half. Overall, we played well. Some of the positives were our rebounding, because we outrebounded them, and us pushing the ball. 

Are you ready for the FIBA U17 World Cup?
We are ready for the preliminary round, but we need to get better. The next two practices will help us. 

Jalen Green (San Joaquin Memorial H.S./Fresno, Calif.)
On the game:
Tonight we did well. We could have played better. We didn’t communicate as well – they were getting a lot of stops and a lot of rebounds. But, overall, we got the win. 

On the team’s defense:
This team is full of great players from around the country, and we all can score. So, it’s just the defensive side – if we can get the stops, the offense is going to come.

What is it like playing with this team?
There is a lot of energy. We are always talking to each other. We are all having fun.  

Jalen Suggs (Minnehaha Academy/Minneapolis, Minn.)
On the game:
Overall today we did okay. I think there are a lot of things we can improve on. Turnovers we have to cut down. That would be one thing. Defensively, we played okay. Offensively, we played really well. We put up 100 points. We ran the court well and made shots. So, we have a lot of areas to improve on, but we played okay. 

Are you feeling ready for the FIBA U17 World Cup?
Definitely. Our exhibition games have helped a lot. We’ve gone through adversity already. Tonight, there was plenty of adversity throughout the game. It was close for a bit. This was really good for us, not only as a team but as players, just to get the feel and get us ready for the group stage. 

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