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Additional Quotes: USA U18 Men 113, Canada 74

  • Date:
    Jun 16, 2018

USA head coach Bill Self (University of Kansas)
What does the gold medal feel like?
It feels good. I think that we saved our best for last. I thought we played great the first half, and then kind of pieced together the second half. But, guys played great. They played unselfish, they played hard and defended. And, we caught Canada on a night where they probably weren’t as good as what they have been, obviously, but I do think our energy had something to do with that.

Do you think there is a certain level of intimidation when the USA takes on any opponent?
I’ve always thought that there were certain teams, regardless of what level, when they conduct their business right, that it creates a situation where there could be some doubts. But, I don’t know if that was the case. You know, to me, Canada, obviously, they didn’t have RJ (Barrett), but they could have been pretty confident knowing what happened last year and playing at home this year. But, our guys did a great job of jumping on them, and staying on them and not letting up, and it was fun to watch.

On the crowd and if he expected it:
I actually did expect it, and it lived up to the expectations, though. I thought the facility was great. I think the town is so nice. The weather was perfect. The hospitality, and the locker rooms, and everything from top to bottom in my eyes was handled perfectly. So, I expected it to be good, and it was.

What did you tell the guys in the locker room?
I haven’t been in the locker room. So, I haven’t really talked to them yet. But, I will certainly tell them that I hope they enjoyed the experience and hopefully it will be a life-long memory for them. But, when they go to college, or whatever, just because you won a gold in the U18s, doesn’t mean that those guys are going to lay down and say, ‘Okay, spot’s yours.’ You got to go compete every day, and hopefully that will be something they will take with them.

What were some of the highlights:
Well to me, probably the biggest highlight was how we played the first half, as far as the basketball aspect. But we got better. I thought we played – for a bunch of talented kids and not being together but for a couple of weeks – I thought we shared the ball pretty well. I don’t know how many assists we had tonight, but it seemed like to me we averaged 30 for the tournament. So, we did a good job there. Guys accepted their roles, and guys that didn’t play were great teammates. So, it was a fun group to be around. 

On Quentin Grimes:
He’s a good player. I’ll go on record and say he played terrific. But, I thought Cole, I thought Cody, I thought Mat Hurt, I thought Jeremiah all played terrific, too, throughout the tournament. To me the individual things don’t mean as much. I’m happy for him, or anybody that would have won it. But, I was probably more proud and liked watching them play about how they tried to make each other better, and I think that’s hard to do with a kind of all-star cast.

Will they take rivalries into next season?
I’m sure they will. But, first of all, this was a good experience and they will be life-long friends now. This team really liked each other. But with knowing others, breeds competition, too, because they’ll definitely go up against each other some, and I’ll coach against them, fand they will want to beat our butt more because we hung out together for this. So, there will be some added rivalries to that, but I don’t think anybody is going to look at this in any way, shape or form as motivation in any negative way. It’s all going to be motivation in a fun way.

On team’s ball movement and unselfishness:
The selection committee does a good job on educating us on what wins, especially in international play and FIBA rules. We knew we had some alphas personality-wise, and we knew probably who would be our leading scorers and stuff, so we probably surrounded them with guys that could really play but were also okay with them being the leading scorers. And, I think that did help our team. Josiah James or Mondo (Bacot) or Trayce or Ayo, I mean those guys had – and Tyrese was our best player  until he got hurt – I mean those guys all had tremendous weeks. But, you wouldn’t know it by looking at the score sheet.

Cole Anthony (Archbishop Molloy H.S./Briarwood, N.Y.)
Take me through the second quarter when USA pulled away…
“Everything on the floor just started to click, everybody started to click together. We, as a team, really started to lock in. We knew we needed to create some separation and we just came through and played our butts off.”

How does it feel being together for three weeks and to come together to win?
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’m just glad I could do it with this group of people. I’m happy I could be around them.

What did you learn about yourself through this experience?
I learned I can’t be tentative. I have to learn to be patient and play within a system.

How does it feel to be named to the All-Tournament Team?
I don’t even care about that. We just won a gold medal. That’s what I’m thinking about.

Quentin Grimes (College Park H.S./The Woodlands, Texas)
What does it feel like to win a gold medal.
It is a feeling I can’t describe. It is my first time getting an actual gold medal, playing in a FIBA tournament, playing with a great bunch of guys and going out there and getting the job done.

On earning MVP:
I was a little bit surprised. I started out the tournament a little slow, and then coach Self pulled me aside and told me to be a lot more aggressive. And, I kind of played that up, so I guess that helped me get MVP.

How much did you learn about yourself and your game during this time?
A lot. These past two weeks, coach Self pushed me to limits that I didn’t even know I could push myself to. A lot of parts of my game – I didn’t know I could lock down defensivley like I can. So, with coach Self, it’s going to be great to go out there and play for Kansas, and it’s been great to play for my future head coach.

Tyrese Maxey (South Garland H.S./Dallas, Texas)
On the game:
It felt great just to be out there with my brothers and have fun. I made a little bit of an impact, and it felt good just to win a gold medal.

On the three USA all-tournament team members and Grimes being named MVP:
They played great. They did great this week, and we really needed them to step up, especially yesterday (in the semifinals vs. Argentina). We struggled as a team, and Coby and Q (Grimes) and Cole really stepped up for us.

Coby White (Greenfield H.S./Goldsboro, N.C.)
What did you learn about yourself and your game through this experience?
You can always play harder than what you think you’re playing. You can always give more, compete every possession and never take anything for granted. Just playing with these guys was fun. I’ve never really played on a team like this, but I feel like we gelled and came together like a real brotherhood, like family, quickly. That helped, too.

How does it feel to be named to the All-Tournament Team?
It feels great. I know all the hard work is paying off, but I’m more happy that we won the gold medal and we put it on for the USA.

How important was it to you to provide the spark in the starting lineup after Tyrese Maxey was injured?
It was really important. Tyrese is a great player. He’s an energy guy, because he can score and do a lot of things on the court, but you have to step up to the plate. I just played my game and approached it like every other game I ever played.

Additional Quotes: USA 113, Canada 74
June 16, 2018

USA head coach Bill Self (University of Kansas)
USA head coach Bill Self (University of Kansas)
What does the gold medal feel like?
It feels good. I think that we saved our best for last. I thought we played great the first half, and then kind of pieced together the second half. But, guys played great. They played unselfish, they played hard and defended. And, we caught Canada on a night where they probably weren’t as good as what they have been, obviously, but I do think our energy had something to do with that.

Do you think there is a certain level of intimidation when the USA takes on any opponent?
I’ve always thought that there were certain teams, regardless of what level, when they conduct their business right, that it creates a situation where there could be some doubts. But, I don’t know if that was the case. You know, to me, Canada, obviously, they didn’t have RJ (Barrett), but they could have been pretty confident knowing what happened last year and playing at home this year. But, our guys did a great job of jumping on them, and staying on them and not letting up, and it was fun to watch.

On the crowd and if he expected it:
I actually did expect it, and it lived up to the expectations, though. I thought the facility was great. I think the town is so nice. The weather was perfect. The hospitality, and the locker rooms, and everything from top to bottom in my eyes was handled perfectly. So, I expected it to be good, and it was.

What did you tell the guys in the locker room?
I haven’t been in the locker room. So, I haven’t really talked to them yet. But, I will certainly tell them that I hope they enjoyed the experience and hopefully it will be a life-long memory for them. But, when they go to college, or whatever, just because you won a gold in the U18s, doesn’t mean that those guys are going to lay down and say, ‘Okay, spot’s yours.’ You got to go compete every day, and hopefully that will be something they will take with them.

What were some of the highlights:
Well to me, probably the biggest highlight was how we played the first half, as far as the basketball aspect. But we got better. I thought we played – for a bunch of talented kids and not being together but for a couple of weeks – I thought we shared the ball pretty well. I don’t know how many assists we had tonight, but it seemed like to me we averaged 30 for the tournament. So, we did a good job there. Guys accepted their roles, and guys that didn’t play were great teammates. So, it was a fun group to be around. 

On Quentin Grimes:
He’s a good player. I’ll go on record and say he played terrific. But, I thought Cole, I thought Cody, I thought Mat Hurt, I thought Jeremiah all played terrific, too, throughout the tournament. To me the individual things don’t mean as much. I’m happy for him, or anybody that would have won it. But, I was probably more proud and liked watching them play about how they tried to make each other better, and I think that’s hard to do with a kind of all-star cast.

Will they take rivalries into next season?
I’m sure they will. But, first of all, this was a good experience and they will be life-long friends now. This team really liked each other. But with knowing others, breeds competition, too, because they’ll definitely go up against each other some, and I’ll coach against them, fand they will want to beat our butt more because we hung out together for this. So, there will be some added rivalries to that, but I don’t think anybody is going to look at this in any way, shape or form as motivation in any negative way. It’s all going to be motivation in a fun way.

On team’s ball movement and unselfishness:
The selection committee does a good job on educating us on what wins, especially in international play and FIBA rules. We knew we had some alphas personality-wise, and we knew probably who would be our leading scorers and stuff, so we probably surrounded them with guys that could really play but were also okay with them being the leading scorers. And, I think that did help our team. Josiah James or Mondo (Bacot) or Trayce or Ayo, I mean those guys had – and Tyrese was our best player  until he got hurt – I mean those guys all had tremendous weeks. But, you wouldn’t know it by looking at the score sheet.

Cole Anthony (Archbishop Molloy H.S./Briarwood, N.Y.)
Take me through the second quarter when USA pulled away…
“Everything on the floor just started to click, everybody started to click together. We, as a team, really started to lock in. We knew we needed to create some separation and we just came through and played our butts off.”

How does it feel being together for three weeks and to come together to win?
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’m just glad I could do it with this group of people. I’m happy I could be around them.

What did you learn about yourself through this experience?
I learned I can’t be tentative. I have to learn to be patient and play within a system.

How does it feel to be named to the All-Tournament Team?
I don’t even care about that. We just won a gold medal. That’s what I’m thinking about.

Quentin Grimes (College Park H.S./The Woodlands, Texas)
What does it feel like to win a gold medal.
It is a feeling I can’t describe. It is my first time getting an actual gold medal, playing in a FIBA tournament, playing with a great bunch of guys and going out there and getting the job done.

On earning MVP:
I was a little bit surprised. I started out the tournament a little slow, and then coach Self pulled me aside and told me to be a lot more aggressive. And, I kind of played that up, so I guess that helped me get MVP.

How much did you learn about yourself and your game during this time?
A lot. These past two weeks, coach Self pushed me to limits that I didn’t even know I could push myself to. A lot of parts of my game – I didn’t know I could lock down defensivley like I can. So, with coach Self, it’s going to be great to go out there and play for Kansas, and it’s been great to play for my future head coach.

Tyrese Maxey (South Garland H.S./Dallas, Texas)
On the game:
It felt great just to be out there with my brothers and have fun. I made a little bit of an impact, and it felt good just to win a gold medal.

On the three USA all-tournament team members and Grimes being named MVP:
They played great. They did great this week, and we really needed them to step up, especially yesterday (in the semifinals vs. Argentina). We struggled as a team, and Coby and Q (Grimes) and Cole really stepped up for us.

Coby White (Greenfield H.S./Goldsboro, N.C.)
What did you learn about yourself and your game through this experience?
You can always play harder than what you think you’re playing. You can always give more, compete every possession and never take anything for granted. Just playing with these guys was fun. I’ve never really played on a team like this, but I feel like we gelled and came together like a real brotherhood, like family, quickly. That helped, too.

How does it feel to be named to the All-Tournament Team?
It feels great. I know all the hard work is paying off, but I’m more happy that we won the gold medal and we put it on for the USA.

How important was it to you to provide the spark in the starting lineup after Tyrese Maxey was injured?
It was really important. Tyrese is a great player. He’s an energy guy, because he can score and do a lot of things on the court, but you have to step up to the plate. I just played my game and approached it like every other game I ever played.

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