No. 24/25 SDSU MBB-Colorado State Postgame Quotes

Feb. 25, 2012

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(from the postgame radio show)

SDSU head coach Steve Fisher

On the San Diego State fans:
"The crowd and our fans are so much a part of our DNA and what we have done, and the way we have done it. The pride that the crowd has in their team, in our team, we do view them as part of our team. Again, I am being a little redundant and repetitive, but I would not trade our crowd for any in the country. That includes Kansas, Pittsburgh, and all the rest of them. They have allowed us to be as good as we are. They should be very proud for what they have done to help us be successful. It was a great team win for us tonight."

On the strength of the Mountain West this season:
"I knew the conference was going to be good this season. You have to fight and claw for everything you get. Every team is doing that and you can play well and not win. We have done that too. You have to tip your hat to all the programs in this league. I think that we have steadily risen. It is not just one or two really good teams, it is a lot of really good teams."

On James Rahon's play tonight:
"The world opens up for all of us when James makes shots like he did tonight. I was very happy to see it. No one was happier than James. He deserves what he got tonight (going) 4-for-8 from the three point range. He shot with confidence and that is what we have to have from him."

On Jamaal Franklin's play tonight:
"He has such a competitive spirit and when he channels it the right way, which he did most of the time tonight. He is a gamer. He had career high points (31), career high rebounds (16), he made big time play after big time play. He was 14-for-15 from the free-throw line. He was very effective. Jamaal was as good as he has been in his career tonight."

On the talent of Colorado State's team:
"Most of those guys are coming back next year. They also have guys sitting out so the league will continue to be good. It is going to be good again next year. Right now we cannot worry about next year. We have Boise State on Wednesday and we have to be ready for that."

On San Diego State's tradition never graduating:
"Kawhi Leonard could be anywhere in America taking a deep breath from the NBA, but he is here because this is his home. I look across the arena and see Malcolm Thomas sitting there going crazy cheering for us. It makes you feel good. The kids are proud, the kids on the floor are proud, and the ones that have been here before who have passed the torch are equally as proud."

(from the postgame press conference)

Opening statement:
"As I was at home this morning until about 1:30, I was spending time watching bits and pieces of other games and then, when we came and played here, nobody was better. The crowd that we have at our building is second to none and they need to know it. We've told them repeatedly, that's the first thing I said on the radio, that we owe a heartfelt thank you to the fans, not just the show, but we can start there. They were electric again tonight, they were so good. When we got down again by nine and they were fantastic, being involved, being positive, being supportive and we are immensely grateful for that.

"Our players fought hard. We brought them in about three minutes early and I had (director of player development) David Valasquez get two good clips on every player. So we had X (Xavier Thames) getting the winning basket on USC and making another one; we had Jamaal (Franklin) making the shot against UNLV, and on and on. It took about two minutes, and then we showed, that last possession against Colorado State at Colorado State. We watched for a minute and a half as they stormed the court and celebrated, which I saw nothing wrong with. We watched three of them get up on the table and celebrate and I said `let's go out and win.' That's all I said and we went and brought them out for a second time.

"So you have to have the ability to forgive but don't forget and you have to have the ability to go out and compete. I knew we would play hard. I wanted to make sure we played smart within the hard, and we did a pretty good job of that I thought. Everybody will talk about Jamaal (Franklin) and he was unbelievable; he just wills himself to do things. Career high points: 31; career high rebounds: 16; 14-for-15 from the free-throw line. That's better than a good stat line. It was more than Jamaal. I thought we did a good job guarding. They're good, they're hard to keep out of that lane. We contested the perimeter stuff; we were them last time. They were 23-for-23 from the line and we shot 24, they got 11 tonight. (That's a) huge difference and it's all predicated on defense. It was great to send Tim (Shelton) and Garrett (Green) out this way. It was wonderful to get the 22nd win. We are healthy as we move forward and we are going to enjoy this one. Everyone knows we've got two tough road games to finish the season, but we'll be ready to play."

On the change in rebounding in the second half:
"At halftime, they had 11 more shots than we did. They had nine offensive rebounds and 11 more shots and you've got to make a play. We didn't do much different we just said `somebody's got to get in there and put a body on No. 4 (Pierce Hornung).' He had four offensive rebounds in the first half; he had one offensive rebound in the second half and sometimes, it's just get in there and knock a guy down and get knocked down and go get the ball. They had a loose ball in the first half and he dove in on it, got it and scored. We had two in the second half where we dove on it, got it and scored. It's about staying with it and making a play and I thought we did a good job of that. Jamaal got in there and shoved and pushed and got more than his share of them, too."

On Jamaal Franklin's physical strength:
"I'm not sure how strong he is, but he is tough. He gets it and pushed and if he gets knocked down, he bounces back up and bounces back at it. He's got a knack for finding the ball, too. He worms his way in and all of a sudden he's there where the action is. He gets his share of them; I think a lot of that is just Jamaal being who he is. He's somebody that, if he continues to grow from the neck up, he's going to continue to grow as a basketball player and so will our team."

(from the postgame press conference)

SDSU senior forward Tim Shelton

On Senior Night:
"In the huddle before (the game), I said that this game does represent some seniors leaving, but it also represents a showcase of what we have coming back next year. I expected nothing less than for Jamaal (Franklin) to show off (his abilities) tonight and he definitely did and got us all going."

On his Senior Night experience:
"It would have been better if I got that dunk that Chase (Tapely) passed to me, it slipped out of my fingers, but it was amazing. My career here has been phenomenal. I couldn't have asked for a greater experience, a greater fan base, greater people, including all (the media). Garrett Green, coming from LSU, has been a great senior teammate with me so I'm glad to have him along. These guys next year, I'm going to be excited for them. For now, it's no more home games for me, but it's been awesome and I'm very grateful."

On rebounding in the second half:
"It's not like you can sit in the locker room and do rebounding drills or something like that. We just put more emphasis on it. Coach (Fisher) comes and gives us his pointers before he goes to the coaching staff and then he gives us an opportunity to speak as a team. In terms of effort and in terms of team rebounding, we talked about that a little bit. It's ultimately effort and realizing that the opportunities we have and the things that we need to do to get it done."

SDSU sophomore guard Jamaal Franklin

On taking over the game offensively:
"I don't really ever feel like I have to offensively take over the game because we have a lot of offensive threats in Chase Tapley, Xavier (Thames) and James Rahon, who all shot the ball like crazy, including Tim (Shelton) and Garrett (Green). I try to let the game come to me and I just play my game and if it comes, it comes."

On holding back from fear of injury:
"I feel that if you hold back, then you're not playing. I feel like I have to do whatever I need to do for my team to win and if I'm holding back, then I shouldn't be playing. My sleeve is for my shoulder. I took a hard foul against UNLV so I keep a little patch on it and I like to cover it up so I wear long sleeves, so I can keep my shoulder warm after that foul."

Colorado State head coach Tim Miles

On the game:
"As a coach, when you're walking away after the handshake line, you're saying to yourself, `OK, what am I going to say now? How am I going to face the gauntlet? What happened?' And I felt we just had a few empty possessions, where we had good shots and good looks. I wasn't upset about our offensive execution. We had five turnovers the whole night. We were in a position and they made plays. Jamaal Franklin was really good. I thought (Xavier) Thames was great the second half, we just couldn't stay in front of him. I thought he played with energy and like a halfback coming downhill at you. It just feels like there's no way you can stay in front of him. We tried to mix in some man and zone, but at the end of the day, I thought they made great plays. I thought it was the epitome of when we're down two or four, we literally had the loose ball. We make a great play to come up with it. We start to dribble out and I think Chase Tapley steals it and throws it to (Jamaal) Franklin for a dunk. I don't know if that went from two to four or four to six, but that was a huge momentum play and probably stuck a fork in us."

On the play of Jamaal Franklin:
"We've had really good luck with a four-guard lineup, a legit four-guards out there. It's hard to guard, but it's got to be doable. I trust Dorian Green to do just about anything in my life and (Franklin) got Dorian pretty good on a few plays. Just making good plays, it's just a mismatch for (Dorian). You have to credit Franklin. He's coming off a bad injury where he couldn't play a week ago at Air Force. (Franklin) had a pretty good night, albeit it was slow, he was good at the end. And then I thought tonight (Franklin) was just electric."

On the atmosphere at Viejas Arena:
"I thought the atmosphere was unbelievable. I know it's called "The Show" and it truly was "The Show." It's fun to be part of even as an opponent. There's just so much energy and enthusiasm. The fans are outstanding, they're so into it. We're going to miss them in our league, there's no doubt about it. I'm so disappointed they're leaving our league. But we're going to enjoy it for a while longer. We're going to come back next year and try to find a way to get a win."