Additional Quotes: Australia 70, USA 67
USA head coach Dawn Staley (University of South Carolina)
Does your team’ 3-point shooting and 3-point defense worry you?
That’s probably the one area in which we really haven’t been strong in, and we’ve got to get a little bit better because that’s what we’re going to have to defend. We’ve got to put ourselves in position to shoot them as well. We didn’t shoot … 2-for-18 is what we shot. I think we’re a lot better than that. We just didn’t get it going today.
On the pace of the play:
I think we can get down the floor a little bit and play quicker. We are a step behind, because we’re still trying to figure each other out. You can see Sue out there navigating and being the point guard that we need her to be. We have seven new players who haven’t really been a part of the last two or three Olympic Games, and we have to get them up to speed and put them in a position where we can all feel good about moving forward.
I feel good about the progress that we made, especially defensively. Our offense probably will be the last thing to come for me, because we emphasized defense a lot over the past 24 hours, and we’ll have to reevaluate and emphasize the little things that we need to do offensively.
Is there any worry, after these two losses, that you’ll not be ready next week in Japan?
I’m not flinching. I don’t anticipate that any of our players will flinch. We just have to trust our process. Our process is a little bit different than it’s been in the past because we are a different team. So, we’ll get back to the drawing board. We don’t like losing. We don’t like feeling the way we feel. But if there’s progress taking place with this team, it puts us in a better place.
Chelsea Gray (Las Vegas Aces / Duke University)
What did you think of the game against Australia?
There were spurts where we looked really, really good, where we were clicking all cylinders, and there were spurts where it was just bad, on both ends. We have to take care of the ball a lot better, but we're learning each other on the fly.
And the third quarter where Australia started to pull away, what would you say about that?
Turnovers, indecisive, and they picked the pressure up, and we didn’t respond well on both ends.
Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm/University of Connecticut)
Did you see any progress in the team’s growth over the past two games?
Yeah. I think we kind of figured out our ball-screen defense a little bit. That was our struggle the other night. The big thing is just communicating, over communicating. So, if we do have lapses where we’re not exactly sure what we’re going to do, we’re able to work through it quickly on the court. Obviously, it’s not the outcome that we wanted. There’s more work to be done.
What’s going to help you click better offensively in the short time you have to prepare?
Just keep working through it. Working through the adversity. Obviously, we’re all capable of knocking down 3s, and it’s just a matter of them going in. And then, at the same time, putting pressure on the paint, getting to the paint, getting to the free-throw line. Once we get in that downhill attack mode, everything else opens up a little bit more.
On the turnovers:
The majority of the time I think we were not on the same page, and that’s just going to come with more time together, and then other turnovers were travels, offensive fouls, those things. The game is reffed differently, as far as the first step you can take, but we’re going to continue to work through it. We’ve got another scrimmage coming up, another practice, and it’s only up from here.
Sometimes it takes time with seven newcomers to figure things out. You’ve been there. Is there any way to speed up that process?
You just have to work through the kinks, work the kinks out. Dee (Diana Taurasi) was talking about it in the locker room. We do have to put this on the fast track. We are here for one reason and one reason only and that’s to win the gold medal. We need to do everything that we can to be in that headspace, mindset, whatever the case may be, so that we’re all on the same page.