The U.S. women continued their domination, displaying astonishing teamwork. The evidence? 40 assists on 46 buckets
Let that sit there for a moment… 40 assists on 46 buckets
USA Basketball: U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team 105, China 62 and additional quotes:
Geno: When you have 40 assists in a basketball game, and I talked to the team about it, there can’t be anything better in the game of basketball then when you get an assist. You can get rebounds, blocked shots, whatever, all that’s great, you get a bucket, but when you know you made it possible to help one of your teammates get an easy basket, that to me, that’s basketball. You can’t play it any better than we played it in the first half. That was really fun to watch.
Tamika: On the state of the team:
I’m feeling good about this team. I think the best about it is the unselfishness that we have. I think even the turnovers at the end, you want to make the best play. You want to get it to the open person. Sometimes the open person is not there. I feel like we’re playing at such a high level right now. We have definitely gotten better from the first game that we had together in LA against the (USA) Select Team. Every single game, every single practice, we’ve gotten so much better, moving the ball really well. A couple of games ago, we talked about the defense and just not being a good rebounding team. I feel like the last couple of games, we’ve really focused on that and have done a much better job on that end.
The booing started late in the second quarter, once the crowd grew tired of watching the Chinese team get relentlessly pounded. At the beginning of the game, the fans, most of whom were Brazilian, gamely rooted for both sides — but when Brittney Griner scored an easy layup, boosting the U.S. team’s lead to 43-17, a few boos tinkled through the arena. A minute later, Maya Moore missed a jumper and the audience howled with glee.
A small, vocal section of American supporters, which included friends and relatives of the team, tried to counter with a USA cheer. They were shouted down by the Brazilians, who had thrown their weight behind the underdogs and incorporated “China” into a variety of Portuguese chants.
There were not many opportunities for them to cheer.
Swish Appeal: Tower of Power: Griner flourishes in rout of China
Against China, Griner was more active than recent Olympic games and scored the only double-double of the game with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Griner grinded on the defensive end of the court, pulling down 10 defensive rebounds.
She said defense was something the team focused on for today’s game.
“We started off the game really well on the defensive end, getting stops and running out in transition,” said Griner. “That was a big part of our game today — getting boards, getting deflections and kicking it up the floor for easy baskets.”
Coach Auriemma said he believes Griner is getting more comfortable with international play, but she still hasn’t really been challenged yet.
Kevin Tresolini, News Journal:
China coach Tom Maher asked the question rhetorically after the United States had demolished his squad 104-62 on Sunday in the final game of Olympic women’s basketball pool play.
Could anyone, on any other national team, even make the U.S. roster?
The U.S. has been that deep and dominant en route to five consecutive gold Olympic medals, and its 2016 performances have done nothing to limit present-day expectations.
Is this best USA Basketball defensive team ever?
The question is unanswerable statistically, but let’s not ignore just what goes into this remarkable team-wide ability to make it extremely difficult for opponents to score.
Dan Devine, Yahoo: @YourManDevine 9 minutes ago: If you’re mad the U.S. men’s national hoops team isn’t dominant, watch the women, who are. U.S. women’s basketball steamrolls China to cap perfect group stage
Early in the U.S. women’s national basketball team’s Sunday morning matchup with China, NBC’s cameras caught Elena Delle Donne seated on the bench, holding an ice pack over her right eye. NBC’s Kerith Burke later reported that the reigning WNBA Most Valuable Player and ace Team USA reserve had caught a stray elbow from a teammate during pregame warm-ups.
That was the most damaging blow Team USA took on Sunday.
The floods in Louisiana are on Seimone’s mind: Augustus’ 100th game with USA Basketball brings joy, heartache
Minnesota Lynx star Seimone Augustus was wearing a hat with “USA” in large, block letters. She was celebrating the U.S. women’s basketball team’s 105-62 victory China, and its Olympic record 40 assists.
She was crying. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m trying to control my emotions.”
Augustus found herself preoccupied and proud. After playing her 100th game for USA Basketball, Augustus revealed that the flooding in her hometown of Baton Rouge, La., had forced her parents to evacuate and had endangered the horses she keeps on her land.
“My parents actually had to be boated out yesterday,” she said. “They’re safe. Everybody’s safe.
The U.S. Women’s National Team is full of WNBA players, but there are numerous W players suiting up for other countries as well. With a few days of competition in Rio complete, check in on how international W players are faring at the Olympic Games.
In case you missed it the first time: An Oral History Of The First U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team
In April 1976, USA Basketball opened five regional tryout camps for the Olympic women’s team. Over 1,000 women showed up.
Gail Marquis, forward: There was an advertisement in the newspaper: “Come try out for the Olympic team.”
Trish Roberts, forward: I didn’t even know that women weren’t in the Olympics until they told me that 1976 would be the first time women’s basketball would be.
Ann Meyers, guard: Anybody and their mother could try out.
Billie Jean Moore, head coach: We wanted to give everyone, every young female athlete, an opportunity.
Marquis: The only people who didn’t have to go through the tryouts were the 12 players who were on the previous national team.
*Spoiler alert, Louisville dude!*
While the NBA is progressive on this front – reconfirmed recently when it decided to move the All Star game out of Charlotte because of a North Carolina law that eliminated some protections for the LGBT community – the fact remains that no player since Collins has felt comfortable enough to come out. And that, as their female counterparts see it, is something that needs to change not only in basketball but men’s sports across the board.
“I would love to see more (come out) on the men’s side, more players feel comfortable to come out,” said Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner, the former No. 1 pick who came out in an April 2013 Sports Illustrated article that was met with similar shrugs. “But I also understand it because as a player, I’ve been that person where it’s really hard to come out. It’s super hard. You’re just not comfortable with it. You’re worried about not being accepted, being rejected, being cast out. It’s tough. It’s really tough.”
Looking ahead: Picking 2016 WNBA All-Stars