View Full Version : WBC Interviews: Aymeric Jeanneau and Florent Pietrus

08-29-2006, 06:29 AM
From Fiba.com: link (http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fe/06_wcm/news/inte/FE_news_inteArti.asp?newsID=16056&lid_6751_eventID=3507&lid_6751_langID=1&roundID=3507)

Jeanneau: "The game against Greece is going to be a great one" SAITAMA (FIBA World Championship) - A year ago, Aymeric Jeanneau was watching at home as France came agonisingly close to reaching the EuroBasket final only to see a seven-point lead evaporate in the last minute of their semi-final against Greece, the eventual winners.

Now, almost a year on, Jeanneau gets a chance to help Les Bleus as they try to get over their biggest foe of the moment in the quarter-finals of the FIBA World Championship.

However, Jeanneau's role may be more important than had been expected during the team's preparations.

The 27-year-old was inserted in France's starting line up when Tony Parker had to pull out on the eve of the FIBA World Championship with a broken finger.

Head coach Claude Bergeaud decided not to re-jig his entire starting five by putting Boris Diaw as a big point-guard, instead opting to simply promote the traditional playmaker. The move has so far paid off great dividends.

Jeanneau has orchestrated France's offense better than might have been expected and is a big reason why Les Bleus are in the last eight.

FIBA correspondent Simon Wilkinson caught up with him a day after they beat Angola.

FIBA: It seems everyone except the French team are talking of this quarter-final in terms of a chance for you to get revenge for last year's heartbreaking loss. Why don't you think of it that way?
Jeanneau: Because this is a different tournament, a different team for France and maybe a slightly different one for Greece. We lost last year and we learned a lesson. Now who knows how this one will play out? We could win or they could win again or a team could give the game away. The one thing that is for sure, is that this will be a great game.

FIBA: You didn't play against Lebanon - France's only loss of the tournament so far - is that just a coincidence?
Jeanneau: I don't think you can interpret it that simply. Even if I had played, we still could have lost the game because there was a lack of concentration on the part of the team. Winning or losing a game is not down to one player not playing.

FIBA: However you do play a big part in keeping a good pace on this team. You don't rush anything and seem to always play under control.
Jeanneau: I guess Tony and I were the team's more traditional playmakers and behind us there are guys who aren't as pure point guards as us. But with Tony out, I'm getting more of an opportunity to be that one pure point guard and I enjoy that role.

FIBA: Claude Bergeaud said that when he had Parker and you at the team's two point guards, he had the right balance because, as you say, you're a traditional point guard and Tony was that too as well but could also be a bit of a scorer. Do you feel that in his absence you have to compensate for what you lost by not having him on the team?
Jeanneau: No I can't do that. All I can do is play my role to the best of my ability. I may have scored some points against Angola yesterday but I just took the shots that I was given. If we beat Greece and I don't get a single basket, that's fine with me because it's all about the team. So far I have played my way and it's worked well for France so I don't see any reason of changing things now.

FIBA: Let's talk a bit more about the game against Greece. You beat them before the tournament but that does mean anything?
Jeanneau: No it doesn't. We played them in a warm-up games and even though we won, we know - having seen the way that they've played so far in this tournament - that the result on that day doesn't mean anything in relation to Wednesday's game. Their goal is not to stop at the quarter-final stage. Their goal is to beat Team USA in the semi-finals and to then move on to the final. We may not have the same goals as they do, but we definitely will do our best to go further in the tournament.

FIBA: Greece have a lot of good players but they have a bit of a revelation in Sofoklis Schortsanitis also known as Baby Shaq. He pushed Yao Ming around yesterday. How are you going to contain him?
Jeanneau: Well it's going to be very tough obviously. He's a very good player. He's very big and very strong and when he sets a pick, it's going to hurt. But we'll have to try and contain him as a team. We don't really guard players individually so just like we have to guard the other four players collectively, we'll do the same with Baby Shaq.

FIBA: Finally, how's your injured right thigh holding up?
Jeanneau: It's fine now. I don't have any pain. I'm good to play.

08-29-2006, 06:31 AM
From Fiba.com: link (http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fe/06_wcm/news/inte/FE_news_inteArti.asp?newsID=16060&lid_6751_eventID=3507&lid_6751_langID=1&roundID=3507)

Florent Pietrus: "We can't be happy to just get this far" SAITAMA (FIBA World Championship) - To many, Florent Pietrus might be known as the brother of Mickael Pietrus, a high-flying swingman for France and for the NBA's Golden State Warriors.

But to his team-mates on the national team and to fans of Les Bleus, the one they call "Flo" is an integral part of Claude Bergeaud's team.

In the past, Florient Pietrus has shown he could do all the little things that win games but fail to appear on a stats sheet - dive for loose balls, play tough defense and out-hustle just about everyone on the court, bringing about comparisons to Dennis Rodman.

But this year he has added a consistent outside shot to become even more a threat to France's opponents and quash the comparisons to The Worm for good.

According to his brother Mickael, Florent Pietrus was the revelation of the group stages in Sendai, so much so that itís quite likely Les Bleus might not have gotten this far in the tournament without his all-around play.

FIBA correspondent Simon Wilkinson caught up with him as France look ahead to Wednesday's quarter-final against their nemesis Greece.

FIBA: Let's talk about the upcoming quarter-final against Greece. How tough is it going to be?
Pietrus: It will be our most difficult game of this competition. The two teams match up very well and this will be a very defensive-minded game. Itís going to come down to who can keep up the intensity the longest. That team will win.

FIBA: Everyone is talking about how this could be the time to get your revenge, but it seems to be a notion the French players refuse. Why?
Pietrus: We donít refuse it, but we have to put it at the back of our mind so that we don't take away from this game and what it means. This is not the same as last year in many ways.

FIBA: Considering France hadn't taken part in the FIBA World Championship, getting to the quarter-finals has to be a good result.
Pietrus: It is a good result but it shouldn't mean that we should be satisfied to just get this far and end our journey here. The deeper you go in a competition, the more you want to go even further.

FIBA: So what is the mindset going into this game? Do you think that you're going to win or do you just say to yourself 'We'll give our best efforts and see what happens?
Pietrus: We'll start off thinking about giving our best effort and if we end up winning the game then obviously that's a big bonus and a huge step forward for us.

FIBA: And should you end up on the losing side of this quarter-final, you obviously can't take the classification games lightly as they are important for future competitions.
Pietrus: No we can't relax and play them just for the fun of it. They do count for something. That's why they are played.

FIBA: Your style of play has improved this year. You used to be an athletic hustle player and now you've added a new dimension offensively with a consistent shot. Can you talk about the transition?
Pietrus: I'm definitely taking more outside shots than I did before. I've put a lot of work during the year to add that dimension to my game so that I can become a better player and help my teams more. It's already paying dividends but the work isn't done yet. There's still a long way to go.

FIBA: The purpose of that work is to help out your teams - both club and country - but is it also to attract the attention of NBA scouts?
Pietrus: I came here wanting to help France go as far as possible and I'm able to do that by playing well so that allows me to showcase myself for the scouts. So really I can combine the two things without taking away from the team.

FIBA: Do you feel that you lead by example on the court?
Pietrus: I don't really think about it that way. I just feel great out on the court and I just go out and play my game to help us perform. But I don't necessarily lead. I couldn't do anything without my team-mates. They make me want to do my best and that's what I give.