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Additional Quotes: USA U18 Men 105, Dominican Republic 73

  • Date:
    Jun 10, 2018

USA head coach Bill Self (University of Kansas)
Opening comments:
I thought we tried hard. I thought we executed poorly the first half. But in the second half, we looked a little better. Our athleticism and depth really wore them down and they got tired. All-in-all, considering the number of missed layups and the number of missed free throws, it’s pretty amazing that we scored over 100 points.

On the USA’s 19-0 run in the fourth quarter:
It was the best stretch of ball. We had a 20-point lead and I subbed the last three minutes of the third and they cut it to 13. And then we put the starters back in and the next thing you know, we go on a 19-0 run. That’s the way it is a lot of times with aggressive, athletic teams. You can putter around and putter around and then a three- or four-minute segment could be the segment that puts enough separation between you, where the other team can’t come back, and that’s what happened.

Playing six games in seven days doesn’t give you a lot of time to make too many adjustments, but is there anything you’re going to work on tomorrow?
I don’t know that we’ll do anything different, because what we need to do is tighten up how we play. And certainly we’ll worry about our opponent and scout the best we can with limited information. But, there are so many correctable things that we can do, maybe through a film session and maybe through a walk-through, that will help us. But the biggest thing is our shot selection and we got our hands on a lot of balls that we didn’t come up with. It’s really things that you don’t coach, as far as 50-50 balls and things like that. We just have to do a better job of securing the ball.

Cole Anthony (Archbishop Molloy H.S./Briarwood, N.Y.)
After a slow start, what adjustments did you make at halftime?
It was just a matter of us getting used to playing with each other. We obviously have not been together that long and that was our first real game. So, as the game went on, the team started to glue together and we were really able to find a way to win that game. We just got on a roll.

On being coached by Bill Self:
It’s an honor that really most kids will never get in their lifetime, to be coached by a coach at that level. It’s just a blessing. We just have to go out there and absorb all the knowledge we can from him at all times.

On his 18-point performance:
Thanks to my teammates, I was able to find my role, get some easy buckets. They got me open, I got them open, so I just really want to thank my teammates for that. It was all them.

Matthew Hurt (John Marshall H.S./Rochester, Minn.)
To what can you attribute your team’s slow start? Was it jitters or just playing in your first international game or something else?
I don’t want to say it was jitters. I think it was just getting used to how they play and the different rules. I think we came out in the first quarter with a little jitters, but when we settled in, we really locked in the rest of the game.

What was the difference in the second half?
We just had more energy. We pushed up on their guards more. We created a lot of turnovers and let easy baskets in. That’s why we had a good run in the fourth quarter.

What can you say about some of your teammates tonight?
Cole Anthony, Tyrese (Maxey), Quentin (Grimes), everybody really stepped up in the right way and they produced in the victory.

Tyrese Maxey (South Garland H.S./Dallas, Texas)
On playing his first game for USA Basketball:
The first game was great. We went out there and struggled a little bit early. But in the second half coach was telling us to turn it up defensively, and that’s what we did. We came out with the W.

Was the slow start just a matter of getting through the first game?
It was. Playing the first game, there’s a lot of pressure with the USA across your chest. But we got the jitters out early and finished out strong.

On the USA’s 19-0 run in the fourth quarter:
Coach Self sent us in and told us we needed a spark in the first five minutes. We really needed a spark of energy and that’s what we did. We came in, we were flying around defensively, making plays and having fun.

 

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Be sure to watch all the games, streamed live on USA Basketball’s Facebook page, as the USA competes for a fifth-straight U18 gold medal.

 

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