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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 August, 2004, 09:58 GMT 10:58 UK
Brown calls for improvement
USA basketball coach Larry Brown and some of his star players
Brown (left) watches from the bench with some of his big-name players
The USA basketball team have some hard work ahead if they are to win Olympic gold, according to coach Larry Brown.

Brown has repeatedly called for an improvement in all aspects of their play in the build-up to the Games.

"We have a long, long way to go if we are going to be successful in Athens," he said ahead of two games in Turkey.

"The competition [European tour] has been great so the experience has been very helpful. Hopefully the Turkish games will help us make more progress."

The USA have long been tipped for gold but have had mixed results on their tour as Brown's young charges gain greater experience of international competition.

They lost to Italy and only narrowly beat Germany before finding their rhythm against Serbia and Montenegro, a match Lamar Odom credited with helping cement a new team spirit.

"Everyone on the team is a superstar in their own right, so to play the right way you have to sacrifice something in your game to make the team better and I think we did that," he said.

"Our defence has to be our best offence. We pressured the ball, we spread the game up a little bit and we were successful."





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