No. 13/14 SDSU-No. 14/16 UNLV Postgame Quotes
Feb. 11, 2012
LAS VEGAS -Steve Fisher
On the late comeback against UNLV:
"That speaks volumes for our team. I don't for sure, but I know Garrett Green had a major impact when he came in. (Brice) Massamba had eight straight points to start the second half. Garrett rebounded the ball and helped us get going. That shows the resolve and toughness and it also shows a good team, in the fact that Vegas turned us over three times in the last 1:20. That shows some toughness on their part and also a good team."
On Xavier Thames turning the ball over:
"It was a good defender making a play. It was guys that know how to play, guarding their tails off and making a play on us. It was magnified in the last 1:20, but it's part of what we do. It's basketball. We didn't rebound a missed free throw where we had a chance down one with the ball."
"They're a good team, they guard everybody hard. They had 19 offensive rebounds on us the first time. I don't think we got quite that many today. They've been scoring 80-plus points a game. We fought and kept at a pace that gave us a chance to win. But they're a good defensive team."
On Chase Tapley:
"Chase is a three-year starter for us, he's a scorer, he's got no fear, he can get into rhythm, he can make hard shots and he's a scorer. When he makes one, the next one, you better watch out because he's going to shoot it. He's done that before and hopefully he will do it again."
On bringing last year's momentum to this year's team:
"We have good players. (James) Rahon and Tapley both have played starter minutes last year even though Rahon wasn't a starter. We have guys that got used to winning, I've said this before, and we've got a good group of guys. We got pretty good players. We're different than we were last year, but we have a good team."
On whether this is a conference rivalry:
"These are two really good teams. Both of them will show well wherever they play and whoever they play."
On the designed plays during the game:
"One play we tried to get Jamaal (Franklin) the ball on a little play at the elbow. His job was `If I can get it to the rim; If I can't, I'm going to going to do a little hand off hard with Tapley and let Chase make a play. I think that was the one where it looked like he might have been fouled when he went down. Then we tried to get Xavier (Thames) coming off of a high ball screen and they did a good job of getting into him and not letting him really get contact to use off of.
On what he attributes to being able to stop UNLV from scoring in the second half:
"We're like they are, we guard hard. They're a team that they have bursts of scoring. If you let them get a rebound and get a run out on you, you get a numbers game going, they'll do what they did to us in stops, dunks or open threes. They hurt us with that in the first half. So we have to get back, we got to get back."
Junior Guard Chase Tapley
On having a chance to win the game:
"That's the makeup of our team, we always fight until the end. Today we just came up short."
On the last couple minutes:
"We just missed on some key opportunities. We turned the ball over. They got the offensive rebound on a missed free throw. Just missed opportunities and we got to learn how to capitalize on those opportunities."
On taking over in the second half:
"I was just trying to help my team, anything I can do to help on the defensive end and the offensive end. My shot was just falling so I just wanted to contribute that way and on the defensive end. This was a team effort, but we came up short."
On whether someone on the team asks for him to step up:
"No, I just feel like if I have the opportunity to shoot the ball. (SDSU assistant coach) Tony (Bland) is always telling me just be in attack mode and that's what I wanted to be in the second half."
On being a veteran on the team:
"Being one of the key returners, I feel that's my obligation, my responsibility to carry my team. That's what I try to do night in and night out."
On whether he knew he was feeling his shot:
"Not really. As soon as you make the first shot, you always feel good. I got some great looks from Xavier (Thames) getting into the paint, getting the ball out and me setting my feet and getting wide open at the rim. I really give it to my teammates for getting those wide-open shots."
On the similarities between SDSU and UNLV:
"I see a team that's competitive as us. They have the same makeup as we do. They like to do the same concepts we like to do, play hard defense, get up the floor and knock down the open shots. Just really playing the flow, that's what both these teams do. It comes out to the last final possession, who's going to capitalize on those opportunities and that's what we didn't do tonight."
On facing off with UNLV in the Mountain West Tournament next month:
"We (might) play them in a game here in the (Mountain West) tournament. They're going to be home again, but we're going to have to, like I said, capitalize on opportunities and limit our turnovers. We had a lot. I think it was 17 turnovers today. It's going to be hard to win games when you turn the ball over like that."
Sophomore Guard Xavier Thames
On the mental toughness of the team to make a comeback:
"That's just what we do. Coach always talks about mental toughness, having everybody together. That's what we did. It was a good game, a hard fought game. It (stunk) that we lost."
On the last play of the game:
"Justin (Hawkins) just made a good play on the ball. I tried to cross over and come back to my right. Justin has long arms, I played with him in AAU ball. That's what he does. He's a good defensive player. He made a good play."
On whether it was designed for him to take the last shot:
"Yeah, or to give Chase a wide open jump shot in the paint. Either one, for me or Chase or James. Just like I had been doing the whole second half, finding guys, but Justin is a good player."
On it being frustrating not being able to get Chase Tapley the ball late in the game:
"It was kind of frustrating. That's part on me as well, being the point guard and not getting him the ball. It was frustrating. It was a hard fought loss."
On whether it was a hard atmosphere to play in at the Thomas & Mack:
"No, not really. We're used to playing in big games like this where everybody is. So it wasn't that hard.