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04/09/2014
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Team work, togetherness the index of measure for Coach K

BILBAO (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Winning four games in a row, by an average of almost 27 points, is a sure sign of a team's superiority over its opponents. But given a competition like the FIBA Basketball World Cup, how does the coach of such a team measure its performance considering the fact that the business end of things begins now?

USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski had a spontaneous answer to that question after the defending champions sealed the top in Group C on Wednesday night with a 106-71 win fellow FIBA Americas team Dominican Republic.

"We are looking for togetherness. Team effort," he said without batting an eye-lid.

"For me, we are looking at how well we play. How we shared the ball. How well we played overall. I thought well everyone left the court feeling good how they played. These things matter."

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins who had a tournament-best 13 points on a perfect 5 for 5 effort in the paint added to what his coach said.

"I believe everyone felt good," Cousins said.

"You could see it on everybody's faces. The guys on the bench especially."

Everybody was cheering for one another, everybody was happy for one another. That’s what this team is about. - Cousins

"We are happy to know we are finishing number one in the Group," Krzyzewski said.

"We didn't start (the game against the Dominican Republic) well," he said.

"I think part of the starting trouble was that we missed three lay-ups and five free-throws. I think they were short-handed. I thought the bench did a great job.

"I thought Derrick's (Rose) ball pressure was amazing tonight. DeMarcus and (Rudy) Gay were terrific. Rudy gave us that four-point play at the end of the first half. And after that played we played at a very high level."

Cousins' Sacramento teammate Gay had 9 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks.

"Nothing's given," he said.

"We've worked hard, we've been tested and we've overcome that, and also got some pretty big wins."



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