BCC Athletics Offers Keys to U.S Olympic Success
By Giles Malone // July 15, 2012
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA — With medal goals in mind, Brevard Community College coaches in the respective sports, offered their opinions on what the U.S. teams need to do against expected stiff competition to achieve ultimate success in London.
Among the high-profile Olympic gold medals at stake for United States athletes this summer are women’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s volleyball.
Athletic Director and head women’s soccer coach Jeff Carr:
When I look at the teams at the Olympics for women’s soccer, the U.S. has to be the favorite as it returns everyone but Ali Krieger who tore her knee up early this year.
I think the U.S. has the memory of last year’s loss to Japan in the World Cup final very fresh on its minds.
The only loss the U.S. has this year is against Japan 1-0 in March. I think the leadership and talent on the U.S. team is very deep and should carry it to the final.
The other teams that could cause U.S. problems later in the tournament are Sweden and Japan. My dark horse is Canada as it has been playing much better of late and I feel they can get on a roll in the Olympic tournament.
It should be a lot of fun to watch.
Head men’s basketball coach Jeremy Shulman:
U.S. men’s basketball will come in as the heavy favorites. Though lacking some size inside, the U.S. will be ridiculously athletic and quick, led by LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant.
After dominating the competition at the 2008 Olympics, expectations are very high this year.
The keys for the U.S. will be how quickly all of these new pieces can come together and gel together, and how they fare inside against bigger teams, such as Spain (with 7-footers and brothers Marc and Pau Gasol, among others).
That being said, the speed and sheer athleticism of the U.S. team will be impossible to match from any other nation, and a potential best five lineup of Chris Paul, Bryant, Durant, James, and big man Kevin Love offers so many matchup problems for opponents that it’s hard to see this team even being challenged in London.
Head women’s basketball coach Renee Bellamy:
The U.S. women’s team will need to work extremely hard to get the gold medal this summer.
Several Europeans who play in the WNBA are extremely talented and go back to play for their national teams. It will be a competitive Olympics and exciting to watch.
Head women’s volleyball coach Herb Tokumoto:
The U.S. women plan to rest their starters for the Olympics to give the second team court time.
The second team beats the best teams in the world and lost only four sets in five matches to win its third straight Grand Prix title – a first for the U.S. and only the second time it has ever been done.
The U.S. women are said to have depth and be the strongest team at the Olympics. It will be interesting to see if the other teams play harder and if we can maintain the focus and drive to go for the gold.
The U.S. men’s team talent level is good. Its second-place finish behind Poland in the 2012 World League with a record of 11-5 was its best performance since winning the title in 2008.
The U.S. finished third in 1992 and 2007.The Olympics will test the resolve of the men’s team because consistency will be a big part of its ability to move on and medal.
As for beach volleyball the U.S. men’s team of Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers has the best chance to medal as does the women’s team of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings.
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games begin July 27 in London, England and run through August 12.