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Basketball - 11. February 2012.

USA - Taurasi, Americans have 'unfinished business'

USA - Taurasi, Americans have 'unfinished business'

ISTANBUL (Olympics) - The United States went unbeaten en route to the gold medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women in the Czech Republic.

No team came close to beating them.

Here is a frightening thought for those sides that could face the Americans at the London Games.

The United States can be much better than they were two years ago.

That's the belief of the team's superstar, Diana Taurasi, a two-time Olympic gold-medal winner.

"If you think about the World Championship," Taurasi said to FIBA.com, "there was no Candace Parker.

"Sylvia ( Fowles) was coming off a knee injury.

"(It was) Tina's ( Charles) first international experience.

"So, we have the ability to be better. Whether we put it together and make it work, that's up to us."

Geno Auriemma didn't have much time at all with his full team before the World Championship.

His starting point guard, Sue Bird (Seattle) and forward Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta) played in the deciding Game 3 of the WNBA play-offs on September 16, and the World Championship tipped off on September 23.

The WNBA will run up to July 13 before taking a break for just over month, which allows various players to join their national sides for the Olympics.

The women's tournament at the London Games gets underway on July 28.

Taurasi, who is now playing for Galatasaray in Turkey's top flight and the EuroLeague Women, doesn't believe having only two weeks together will be a stumbling block for the USA.

"I hope not," she said.

"I hope we can come at a very quick rate of getting together on the same mental page.

"Physically, we're really good.

"We've got all the tools, we've got all the talent.

"But are we willing to put all that aside and work as a group?

"We've done it a lot before and I think we have that conditioned in us when we put that USA jersey on."

A player in the 2010 squad that was still in college at the University of Connecticut, Maya Moore, will have professional experience under her belt when she shows up in London.

Maya Moore, who like Taurasi, Bird and Charles was an NCAA champion at UConn, captured the WNBA title as a rookie with the Minnesota Lynx several months ago and is now tearing up the EuroLeague Women and the Liga Feminina with Ros Casares in Valencia, Spain.

She faced Taurasi and Galatasaray last week and had 17 points in the first quarter alone to give her team the perfect launch pad for victory.

Moore finished with 26 points in 28 minutes.

It was after that 98-80 Ros Casares victory over Galatasaray that Taurasi spoke to FIBA.

"The great thing about Maya is, which she showed tonight," Taurasi said, "she had a quiet 20 or whatever.

"She does it in the flow of the game where she makes the people around her better.

"She doesn't need the ball in her hands the whole time.

"That's a special gift that a lot of people don't have."

Taurasi has travelled the world over but this summer will be a first for her.

"London is one of the European cities that I've never been to," she said.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the country and I think we (USA) have some unfinished business.

"We're a relatively young team and want to go there and prove that the World Championship was something that we worked really hard for."
 

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