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U.S. Women Beat France, Timberwolves Camp Notes, Budinger Healthy

The U.S. women defeated France easily in their quarterfinal match-up, while Wolves camp continues in Mankato.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The U.S. women's team cruised by France 94-72 in quarterfinal action at the Women's World Championships in Turkey yesterday. France, which won the silver medal at the 2012 Olympics and beat the U.S. in a preparation game for this tournament proved no match for a focused U.S. squad that opened up a 15 point first quarter lead and never looked back.

The U.S. was led by Brittney Griner's 17 points, as she dominated inside and forced France into early foul trouble. Tina Charles scored 15 and Lindsay Whalen of the Lynx added 13. Next up for the U.S. is a meeting with Australia in the semifinals today at 1:05 CDT. The game will stream on ESPN3.

Meanwhile in Mankato....

Things seem to be going well at Wolves camp. Nobody is injured yet (except for a couple of chipped teeth for Corey Brewer), and there seems to be a lot of competition which is a good thing. Most importantly on Friday:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Tonight, btw, is the annual lasagna feed for team and its staff at Glen Taylor&#39;s Mankato home</p>&mdash; Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) <a href="">October 3, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Everyone seems to be in agreement that the competition has been good at training camp so far.

"There's a lot of young guys who want to take the spot and there's the vets who don't want to let that happen," point guard Ricky Rubio said. "... I'd say that's good with a training camp."

Flip, who has said that he prefers a core eight man rotation, is suggesting that they way things are going, he's going to wind up playing more than eight guys:

"As a player, it's your job, you determine how much you play," Saunders said. "Your job is to... make it hard for me to determine who plays and who doesn't. I can see, as we're practicing right now, that I'll play more than eight."

And again through Zgoda:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Flip has preferred 8-man rotation, each playing 30 mins plus, then 9th-10th guys as needed. Said that could expand b/c of this team&#39;s depth</p>&mdash; Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) <a href="">October 3, 2014</a></blockquote>

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One player that has impressed so far is Chase Budinger, who has looked healthy and active so far after two injury plagued seasons. Our guys who were in Mankato for the Dunks After Dark event were impressed by him, and he's apparently looked good in practice as well, making shots, moving easily, and showing the athleticism that we haven't really seen since he arrived.

He attributes everything to feeling healthy for the first time as a Timberwolf:

"I've definitely got my confidence back," Budinger said. "I'm finally feeling great and because of that my confidence is back."

A contributing Budinger would be an excellent thing for the Wolves, as they need all the shooters they can find.

Today in history:

1537: Printing of first complete bible in English, the "Matthew Bible." 
1675: Pocket Watch patented by Christian Huygens
1777: General George Washington leads U.S. forces in losing battle of Germantown
1854: First political speech by Abe Lincoln at the Illinois state fair. 
1880: University of California formed in Los Angeles
1883: Orient Express first run
1904: New York City subway opens
1933: First issue of Esquire Magazine published
1949: UN permanent headquarters in New York is dedicated

Today's musical birthday is Jody Stephens, born in 1952. He was the drummer for the legendary Memphis band Big Star:

Have a great Saturday.