Additional Quotes: USA Women’s AmeriCup Team 88, Colombia 46
Dawn Staley (South Carolina), USA head coach
On today’s game:
We got off to a slower start than we did in the first game. But as the game picked up, our defense really disrupted and bothered them. If we could just eliminate that slow start, I think we’d be good. Our offense was a little bit stagnant today. That was probably because of what we were doing defensively. We were (playing) a half-court defense. The pace wasn’t as quick as we wanted it. But we got a win, and we got better on the defensive side so, (we made) small steps.
On the team’s 31 assists:
The assist-to-field goal percentage is always high with USA Basketball. This is a place in which, if you’re open, you’re certainly going to get a shot, an opportunity to shoot the ball. And more times than not, our players can knock down shots. That’s what happened tonight. We had 31 assists. I would like to see us clean up turnovers. We had 15 turnovers, and at the rate that we’re passing and making shots, we can turn those turnovers into some points.
You play Argentina tomorrow. What kind of team is that?
Argentina is the same type of team. They’re going to pressure us. They’re going to deny us a little bit more. I’m glad that we’re seeing a lot of different defenses as we continue on in this tournament. Hopefully, we can take our time and pick people apart. If we get too quick in front of ourselves, we could turn that basketball over, but this team has always made adjustments and executed out of those adjustments.
Jordin Canada (Seattle Storm)
On dishing out a game-high eight assists:
My mindset coming into the game was to try to get everyone involved. That’s my job as a point guard, to create for others and get them some good looks. So, I’m definitely proud of the effort I put in on the assist side today.
And the team had 31 assists. Can you expand on the overall cohesiveness of the team in that regard?
We’re selfless, and that speaks volumes to our team. We have so many great players on this team, and the fact that we can share the ball and we’re very efficient, that speaks volumes, being able to share the ball, move it and knock down shots.
After being together as a team for less than a week, have you seen improvement from one day to the next?
Yes. I think our defense is starting to get better game by game. Even though the first half of this game, we were a little bit slow on our rotations, but we picked it up in the second half. Our defense is getting better, our offense is moving, we’re getting the plays down and we’re sharing the ball, moving without the ball. So, those are some of the improvements that I see.
Napheesa Collier (Minnesota Lynx)
How comfortable were you out there today?
Pretty comfortable. We’re still trying to get used to our team and just playing together as much as we can. So, I tried to out there and play as hard as I could.
What have you learned about international play from veterans like Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles?
They’re amazing. They have a lot of experience with this. So, anytime they have any questions they’re more than willing to answer them, and they’re really taking us under their wing to try to show us what USA Basketball is all about.
How can this experience help you grow as a player?
It can help a lot, especially playing with people I usually play against. It’s really cool to pick their brains and learn from their experience, play these other countries and get in more basketball.
Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky)
On today’s game:
I think we’re learning how to play with each other. Sylvia dominated a lot inside, which helped space it out and make room for the guards to drive in. Offensively we did well and defensively, we’re still trying to find our disruptiveness and stuff, our rhythm. So, we’ll just keep working.
With a 4-inch height advantage overall, was your game plan to keep sending the ball inside or was Sylvia Fowles just open often?
I think it was a little of both. Sylvia is a dominant post player due to her size and her skills. So, it was easy for us to get her the ball because she was much taller than most of the other players. But she was playing against 6-6, and she was still able to finish. She’s just really good.
Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx)
Break down the game – what did you see that was positive and what needs to be cleaned up as the team moves forward?
We had a lot of turnovers. Most of them were unforced. It’s just slowing down and stop trying to make the home run play would be okay. Our defense picked up as we went along. For the most part I think we did alright. We pretty much got every shot that we wanted. We played together and shared the ball well.
You are very vocal on the bench. Is that point of the emphases for you as a veteran leader?
Yes. Talking is kind of my weakness. So, coming into this tournament and picking the team that was selected, I knew that I would have to be more vocal, instead of just going out there and trying to lead by example. So, I’m just trying to let them know what I see on the floor, what they can do better or what they did well. So yes, I’m trying to talk a little bit more.