Quotes: USA Men's World Cup Qualifying Team - Mexico
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USA head coach Jim Boylen
General Comment on the game:
Well, you got to give Mexico credit. Obviously, they made shots. They made big plays when they needed it. I thought we fought, I thought we tried, but we didn't have enough defense when we needed it, and that's because of their offense and their shooting.
How disappointing is this loss?
It's very disappointing. We have a great group of guys. We practiced hard. We have a lot of high, you know, all high-character guys, and that hurts. That hurts to lose. It hurts to lose any time, but this situation -- you're playing for your country, we're on the road playing the home team, and, of course, we wanted to win and we wanted to play better.
On the crowd:
Everybody's been terrific since we got here. From the people from FIBA, the officials from FIBA, the people at the hotel. The fans have embraced us. They were loud tonight. They were into the game. They're passionate about basketball. It was a great environment. It was a fun, exciting environment to be in, and you have to give them credit. They supported their team passionately.
Did you expect the game against Mexico to be this hard?
Well, I was. I think people raise their level of play when they play against the U.S. I thought Mexico played great last night, and they played great tonight. So, I was educated on how difficult it is and how physical the game is and in some ways how different the game is than the NBA game. FIBA Basketball is physical. There's more contact, and obviously Mexico shot the heck out of it tonight.
What happened in the third quarter?
We struggled coming out of the half. I thought it was a combination of them executing and making shots and us turning the ball over. We didn't play well coming out of halftime, and that's what happened.
Luke Kornet (Maine Celtics/Vanderbilt)
Coming together as a team in just a few days, how difficult has that been overcome these first two games?
It's definitely an interesting thing to come together for a team and you're there for 10 days, or whatever it is. And I really think it definitely showed. Those guys know how to play, and they know how to play together … They really play good basketball, and they play well together. It’s been interesting, because most of us haven't played before together, but no matter how you assemble teams, it’s always going to be different. They (Mexico) played a great game, and they played great together, and they play great basketball, so congratulations to them.
What has this experience meant to you?
It's a great experience to be able to play for your country. It's definitely difficult losing, especially with the pedigree and everything of USA basketball. But Mexico, they beat us. They played a great game. They deserved to win. You are never granted anything in this life, and so sometimes you have to earn it. So, congratulations to them.