Purdue men's basketball coach Matt Painter recently spoke with News-Sentinel sports editor Tom Davis regarding his role with USA Basketball this summer, as well as past international experiences.
On being involved with USA Basketball:
“Coach Keady was big into it and Bruce Weber was big into it. Both of those guys were the ones that got me my start. Hopefully, they'll keep asking me back. I really enjoy it. I think that it is a huge honor.”
On the travel experience:
“I like seeing different places, but I don't like the travel. Once I get there I like it. I don't like the 16-hour flight to Australia, but I love Australia. I don't like the 15-hour flight to New Zealand, but I love New Zealand. It was great to see China.
On having a goal with USA Basketball:
“Not really. I think that it's fun, after you've been a head coach, to just have a role. Just doing whatever they need you to do to help.”
On learning from the international experience:
“Oh yeah, without question. Without question. You learn from their skill set and the different types of players. Each country is a little bit different, but a lot of the Euro-teams are similar, but they'll have their little nuances that you pick up on or you might grab an out-of-bounds play or a side out-of-bounds play.”
On learning from the international teams:
“The thing that I've picked up from them is that they love each other more than we do. We have such an individualistic culture for young people. It's set up through the camps. It's set up through AAU. It's set up through high schools. When (the foreign players) are good, they come together as a country and play together. So they aren't representing a region of their country, they are representing their country. They really play for their country more.”
On the future of USA Basketball:
“(Stressing national pride) Is something that Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski, the people that are running USA Basketball, they've really got that pride back. You can see that in our national teams and our Olympic teams. We've done a lot better job, but we have to continue to build that. That is something that we talk to the younger teams a lot about.”