Vincent Collet: “Be productive, without any qualms”

Vincent Collet: “Be productive, without any qualms”
Vincent Collet: “Be productive, without any qualms”

Do you feel a sense of relief after making your final choice?

I don’t know if we can say that. In any case, it’s a new stage that begins. We know that as long as we are in a selection process, it’s something that disrupts the preparation a little, even if on the one hand it boosts it since the players concerned are committed. Determined. And that was particularly the case this year. Besides, the challenge will be to not stop. It’s not a finish line. We have to keep this energy even though the players have nothing more to prove, at least to be part of the Olympic team. The motivation must, however, remain the same to progress and improve. Perhaps with more serenity for some.

When you announced a group of 19 players last May, you indicated that you had no certainties. How did you come to your final choice?

The matches contributed to these choices but not more than that compared to what we had observed in the games played in training and especially what we put in place at the level of the game identity. The players still in the running were close but also with different profiles. We chose the profiles that seemed most comfortable in the game that we wanted to play. It was not individual qualities that made the difference but the ability to fit into our project and the complementarities.

An international competition, and even more so the Games, with only six matches to play at most, is rarely played with 12 players. Did this weigh on your choices?

This is something to take into account. But these are supposed abilities. Those of managing frustration and in team sports it is important. We cannot always play with 12. It is even quite likely that this is not the case. There are necessarily, in all high-level teams, small roles. Up until now we have shared playing time. So that everyone is in rhythm and so as not to burn the leaders. When the competition arrives, the rotation is restricted and we know that in the players chosen, they have this ability to be productive without any qualms. Even if everyone has been exemplary and this is what we said to the players who left and whom we thanked for their investment and their behavior. But making an effort is very good but you also have to be comfortable, to embrace the role that is intended for you. The defensive dimension has been essential. We know where our offensive leadership will come from. And what is important, beyond the scoring, is also the way in which we can favorably install our internal game.

Your two pure point guards both participated in the EuroBasket qualifiers last February, how important was this window?

It still plays a role. We’ve known Andrew Albicy for longer. Matthew Strazel clearly scored a lot of points on this occasion. Because he was good. Both in commitment but also in scoring by playing with nerve. He showed the same things with an even stronger team. His grit is an element that goes in the direction of our desire to see a combative team. We were marked by the World Cup last year. And it is a crucial element. Beyond wanting to say it, having warriors in a roster gives you a better chance of having a team of fighters.

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