Terri Mitchell's USA Basketball Experience -- Entry 6
July 26, 2008
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Hello Everyone! It's hard to believe it's Saturday already and that we have three games under our belt. If you missed seeing the scores, we are 3-0 defeating Venezuela, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Canada was our biggest challenge so far, however, our next two games will be tough. We play Brazil today and they are a very physical team. I thought Canada was physical but Brazil makes Canada look gentle! They will pressure the ball on every possession the entire length of the court whether it is a make or miss. Our guards will be key today on both ends of the court, and staying composed when we possess the ball will set the tone for the game. I told our guards to not expect any calls and that they have to keep playing through. We need to have a total defensive effort. The Brazilian guards are quick and want to go to the basket. We need to keep them in front and not foul, because their guards are nearly perfect from the free-throw line. We really can't afford any silly fouls. Our plan is to send two players back in transition because Brazil will release early to get easy baskets. When we handle their pressure (I am being positive expecting the best), we will have plenty of opportunities to score. We have a great advantage inside and will be able to create shots with our quickness and ball reversals. We have been passing the ball well, so as that trend continues, great things will happen!
After we play Brazil, our last opponent will be Argentina on Sunday. It will be the final game on the last day of the tournament. The gym gets packed when Argentina plays, and the noise level is incredible! Their are no rules about noise makers so the cow bells are ringing. Kids also like to pop balloons all throughout the game. I love how many little girls come to the games. They mob our players for autographs and pictures. This is good experience for our team to represent our country in a positive manner. I am not so sure they will be cheering for us tomorrow, but up until now, the crowd has been good to us.
Besides the challenge of our game today, we also face another one - no water all day! I guess they need to work on some pipes so we all had to get up early to take showers because the water supply will be shut off until the evening. We all hope it will be back on later. We are not sure what that means for eating today in the cafeteria. I do want to confess that I did break down and eat McDonald's yesterday. The golden arches were calling my name and I gave in. A quarter pounder with cheese never tasted so good. I really have been good about trying different things, but the time had come for some comfort food!
I am going for a walk now. The sun has come out which is a welcomed sight. It is still cold but at least it is bright outside. When I get back to the states, I will be flying to Atlanta to spend the day with my brother before I go recruiting again. All I want to do is be outside in the heat!
I will be in touch at the end of the tournament.
Going for the Gold,