Terry, did you watch Italy qualify against Serbia on Sunday?
Terry Tarpey: “I watched the game with my wife. It was a great basketball game with a coach whose exclusion motivated the players. He made a good choice, it worked. A reversal like that is not « normal » somewhere. But this is the Euro, the highest European level here. You have to be ready to play them. We played them twice but we know it won’t be the same team. »
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You’ve faced and beaten them twice in the last month in preparation. What has changed in this team since?
“They played with more intensity. Last night (Sunday night) was awesome. With Gallinari’s injury, other players took over. When we faced them, we thought that this team was worth a “top eight”. She’s there. »
“I have always kept this confidence”
On a personal level, we have the feeling that your role in the team has changed since these two friendlies against the Italians…
“The only thing that has changed is the playing time. I tried to stay the same. But I feel more comfortable in the team. I can play more »relaxed »”.
Did you expect such individual success in this Euro?
“Before the preparation, I said to myself: ‘If I don’t make the Euro, OK, it’s a bit normal. If I do, that’s great. I always kept this confidence in the things I can do, defense, rebounds, extra passes, interceptions, defensive assists… For me, it’s not a surprise (to be there) . Maybe more for the others (smile). »
You mentioned interceptions. You are even tied for number one in this area since the start of the Euro. How do you work on this aspect?
“There’s a job of ‘scouting’ to see which systems the opponents are using… And there’s instinct. I have played basketball all my life. My father (Editor’s note: Terrence Tarpey, who also played at Le Mans as the rear of the Blues) was not too much of a defender so he tried to make me a good defender when I was little. I had good legs, good reflexes, good basics. I practiced lots of sports when I was little, soccer, American football, baseball. It helped me too…”