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Dolson: U.S. Looking Unstoppable

Washington Mystics center Stefanie Dolson will provide her take on the women’s basketball action in Rio. The 2015 All-Star can offer a unique perspective after participating in the 2016 USA Basketball Women’s National Team Minicamp and having played for U.S head coach Geno Auriemma at UConn.

You know, Spain is a pretty good team {Ranked 3rd in latest FIBA Rankings}, it has a good roster with Alba Torrens and Anna Cruz among others, so this game gave the U.S. a chance to play some better competition. The game definitely started off a little tougher than Senegal, but I’m pretty happy with the way they played. The teamwork was amazing with great ball movement and really even scoring distribution. So they’re looking good. They definitely got the jitters out already, and should be able to just keep it going.

I know we’re only two games in, but they are already looking unstoppable.

Other international teams have months to practice together and prepare, so it’s really impressive how our team has been able to come together so quickly. They look really cohesive, and I think that’s because so many of them, myself included, have sacrificed so much over the past four years during the preparation process. Whether it’s family vacation, or time with their WNBA teams that is lost, that sacrifice shows here. They’ve had a chance to play with each other at USA camps and trials the past few years and learn from coach Auriemma. And now they are showing the world how that dedication can pay off.

When you have big leads like they have had the first two games, it’s just important to never pick your foot up off the gas pedal. You have to just keep going, going, going no matter the score, because you want to make sure they don’t come back. You can’t focus on what the lead is, you have to just focus on playing your best. That’s what they’ve done and that’s something I’ve been impressed with.

One of the players who’s really impressed me so far is Sue Bird. She’s one of the best point guards in the world, if not the best. She just has such a knack, such an ability to find open players and make the right pass. She’s showy sometimes, but she always makes the right play. It’s just so impressive to watch her change speeds, she’s always in control no matter where she is on the court.

And Diana Taurasi too. DT, she’s one of those players that knows how good she is. So if you ask her about the scoring list accomplishment, she’ll probably just say like, “Yeah, I know.” That’s why she’s so fun to watch. I didn’t watch basketball a lot early on growing up, but when I started watching, she’s the one I wanted to pay attention to. So to see her get this accomplishment is awesome, and I know she’s probably really excited and happy.

Looking ahead to next game, the U.S. has a day off tomorrow which will be huge. It gives them time to rest and practice and prepare for Serbia. Knowing Coach Geno, he’ll probably spend 75 percent of the time on the U.S. players, making sure they are getting better as a team and individually, and making sure the defense is on point. Things like that. And then probably the other 25 percent will be on Serbia. Whether it’s learning their plays, or focusing on a specific player. But usually preparation is more so on yourself than the other team.

Previous Analysis From Dolson

August 7: USA vs. Senegal