FLAMENGO, Brazil — It is not hard to spot the number one ranked team in the world. With a flawless 5-0 journey in Rio, 45 consecutive Olympic wins, and an inordinately talented group of athletes, Team USA’s Women’s Basketball has undoubtedly proven to be the team to beat in this year’s Olympic games.
With over 40 assists, a 0-20 run in the first quarter, and a 43-point win yesterday against China, the Women’s basketball team proved once again that nothing (and no one) will stop them from getting what they want.
“What helps us the most is that we have a lot of talent,” said Coach Geno Auriemma during today’s practice at Flamengo Club in Rio de Janeiro.
“We have 12 really good players who after yesterday’s 40 assists, proved to be unselfish and play extremely well together.”
Despite Coach Auriemma’s optimism and satisfaction with the team so far in the Olympics, Brittney Griner showed she tolerates no mistakes, and is driven to do all she can to propel the team to greatness.
“The biggest thing in my head as I step on the court is to always do something good for the team,“ said Griner. “If I mess up once, that’s, even more, motivation to do two things right.”
The same win-win attitude is seen with Elena Delle Donne, who believes giving each one’s all to each game is the key to success.
“Every game is a clean slate, a new story and we have to give our best every time we step on court,” said Delle Donne, as she watched Angel McCoughtry pour in five consecutive three-pointers during practice.
So far all looks ideal for Team USA, however, when asked about their next opponent, Coach Auriemma can’t help but acknowledge they might face some challenges against Japan’s unique play.
“They do things that I don’t think any other team in the world can do,” said Auriemma. “No other team that plays as quickly and crisp together as they play. I think they are unique in the world, and I respect that.”
As for Griner, she knows exactly what she needs to focus on tomorrow.
“More rebounding. They like to get out in transition, so defensive rebound will be big.”
From the way Griner performed yesterday, she has shown she can aggressively pursue the boards after pulling down 13 boards against China.