Doug Bruno Writes from Colorado Springs 7/1

DePaul women's basketball coach Doug Bruno is currently in Colorado Springs, Colo. as head coach of the USA Basketball Women's U18 team in preparation for the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women. The United States is host of the tournament that starts on June 28 in Colorado Springs.

Pool play runs June 28-30 followed by the Medal Rounds, July 1-2. The United States is in Group A with Brazil and Paraguay while Group B consists of Argentina, Canada, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico. The top three teams in the tournament qualify for the 2007 FIBA U19 Women's World Championship in Bratislava, Slovakia. When he has a few minutes, Coach Bruno will check in here with his thoughts and experiences.

Saturday, July 1

Tonight we beat Brazil 75-48 to win our Pool and guarantee us a spot in next year's World Championship 19's in Slovakia. I believe that every basketball game ever played or ever coached has a life of it's own. Last night's game versus Brazil was one of the most weird games that I have ever coached.

Our team had excellent effort and energy on the defensive side of the ball. We forced Brazil into 37 turnovers and forced them to shoot 24%. All in all an excellent defensive effort. The reason we work so hard to defend is to translate our defense into productive offense. Last night we generated an unbelievable amount of offensive opportunities and yet missed more point-blank layups than I have ever seen by talented players in my life.

Simply said, we did not finish. Thus as a team we shot less than 30% as we finished the game 25-of-102 from the field. We dominated the offensive glass and had 75 rebounds. This rebounding number was a direct function of our multiple missed bunnies. Often when a team misses shots, it is the direct result of a great defense. Against Brazil, this was not the case. We were all just too rushed in our fervor to make our short shots.

Our guards did a good job of helping our post players have great looks and we did have 17 assists on our 25 baskets.

The good news for our team is that we defended very well. We must finish with more efficiency and put together solid games on both sides of the ball.

More to come!!

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