San Diego State-Boise State Men's Basketball Postgame Quotes
March 14, 2013
San Diego State News Conference
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by San Diego State. Coach, if we could start with some remarks on tonight's game.
COACH FISHER: Well, first of all, we're 10 minutes to 12:00, so I know nothing is going to be in the paper, so I'll make it as brief as I can and you will, too, so we can get out of here.
Two good teams that played hard. Boise State, without question, deserves to be in the NCAA tournament. Look at their body of work, but look at what they've done the last 10, 11 games. I think they were 7 3 coming into tonight. They beat good teams. They beat good teams in non conference.
This league is so good, if Boise doesn't get in the tournament, I'm going to demand a revote, they're that good.
We played in this kind of game almost every time we played them. Tonight it was us. Saturday it was them. A little bit of a carbon copy, except we didn't fall as far behind. We never, ever, ever, ever trailed until they went on a 14 0 run. They got a one point lead. We never trailed and Boise had the ball. That wears on you if you're the other team. So we found a way to win.
I'm going to cite the good things we did. Jamaal Franklin 2 3 from the three point range. If you go back and look at stats, he's 12 21 from three point range in Mountain West Conference tournament play. So he's going to take 'em and make 'em.
We guarded. We really defended, especially the first half, as well as we have all season long. We had a rough stretch. We put four or five bullet points. One is runs. Eight to nothing or greater, don't give them any. They had a 14 0 run on us. We missed three threes. We turned the ball over three times and we missed two shots on the free throw. That's a recipe for a 14 0 run.
We found a way to bore back. Get to the free throw line, 25 for 31, that's pretty good. We move on. We're excited about that.
I'll repeat myself. Boise better be in the NCAA tournament or it's disgraceful, in my opinion.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions for the student athletes.
Q. Chase, could you talk to coach's point about locking down so well defensively in the first half, how crucial that was.
Chase Tapley: Well, that was the game plan going into this game, was just pressuring the ball a little bit more and getting into them, not letting them get comfortable in the ball screens, really sinking in on the rolling bigs. I think we did a great job in the first half. We got a lot of deflections that led to fast breaks. That's what we need to do 40 minutes. We can't do it for 20 minutes.
But I liked our new concept, pressuring the ball, getting 'em out of their comfort zone in their offense.
Q. Seems like no one's picked you to win this conference tournament. Does that put a chip on your shoulder?
Jamaal Franklin: Before I answer that question, I'd like to have Michael Lyons, prayers for him, I heard about his knee.
Last year a lot of people didn't think a lot of us. We all play with a chip on our shoulder every day. We want to win. We take it one day at a time. Like coach said many times before, we've been in that championship going on four years. We want to make it the fifth year and try to make this happen.
Q. Xavier, the three of you guys took over at the end, really stepped up. What does that do for you going forward, especially since you're getting in your groove healthy?
Xavier Thames: It does a lot. Me, Chase and Jamaal, we're the leaders. We just got to keep it going, get ready for New Mexico. I'm sure the coaches will have us prepared.
Q. Jamaal, can you talk about playing New Mexico. Will it be a defensive struggle?
Jamaal Franklin: It's going to be a hard fought game. If you haven't watched our games lately, they're all hard fought games. We had a big lead on them at our house.
We're just ready to play. It's going to be a competitive game. Can't wait for Friday.
Q. Chase, coach concentrated on the 14 0 run, then concentrated on all the things you did good. Do you agree with that assessment? Do you feel you need to play better against New Mexico?
Chase Tapley: I think we did good tonight. Only thing, negative part about tonight, was our turnovers. We had 19 turnovers. That's way too many.
We're going to have to come out and match their intensity like Jamaal said, two of the best defensive teams in the conference. We just got to keep making shots. We do that, it's going to be hard to beat us. We got to keep attacking the defensive glass. We really boarded tonight. I'm proud of all our players for that.
Q. Jamaal, you've had some pretty good success in this building, in this tournament. How comfortable do you get when this tournament rolls around?
Jamaal Franklin: My teammates make me comfortable. When I'm having a bad game, they always there to pick me up. X and James are always there to pick me up. If you worry about making a turnover, aren't playing good, they're able to pick up the slack and give you confidence. Everything works out smoothly.
THE MODERATOR: We'll continue with questions for Coach Fisher.
Q. Can you talk about the rebounding performance.
COACH FISHER: We have to rebound better. We gave too many second chance opportunities to Boise. We battled. When DeShawn got his fourth foul, we went small, then they went small, and they were better small than we were small for a long stretch.
They played better when they were smaller in lineup than we did. But we found a way to stick in there and hang in there and make a play.
But we can't give up 12 offensive rebounds and only get five. Some were second and third shots they took. We have to rebound the ball better. We're going to be going against a lot bigger guys when we go against New Mexico on Friday.
Q. What kind of game do you expect with New Mexico?
COACH FISHER: Well, I'll take a forfeit if he doesn't want to come. If he's going to be in the tournament, a second seed, he probably doesn't need another championship. They're going to come at us and they're going to want to smack us around like they did at their place.
They had 34 all over their locker room. We held them to 34 the first game. Some way, somehow, somebody incorrectly said that I said that the Pit was our second home. They responded after they beat us, sometimes the second homes aren't as good as you think they are. They were anxious to play us. I'm sure they'll be anxious to play us again. So will we.
Q. You talked a minute ago about your defensive effort in the first half. Could you expound on that, how long you played with that much energy in the opening 20 minutes.
COACH FISHER: Only a coach that follows us intently could tell what we did that was different from the Saturday game against Boise.
In this game we told them before, they got a lot of mumbo jumbo, move, move, move. All of a sudden they attack you. We made a concerted effort in two a day practice switch all the mumbo jumbo and guard the ball harder. Normally we guard the three point line. Today we went out and guarded the ball a little harder. I know it helped us especially in the first half.
Even when they scored, they never quite looked comfortable scoring. Second half we didn't guard as hard. They went smaller. They were better attacking us than we were guarding them in the second half.
Our first half defense was really good. We're a good defensive team. We've got to bring closure to the defense by being a better defensive rebounding team.
Q. This team is an entirely different animal when X is playing the way he has been of late. Talk about that a little bit.
COACH FISHER: Well, did it hurt when Lyons got injured in the first two minutes of the game? When you take one of your best players out, when you take a guy out that has the ball in his hands so often, it affects you. When he didn't play, somebody else needs to step up. I thought they did. We're better when Xavier plays, and when he plays healthy.
He's getting closer to where he was at his best both early this year and last year. So it's obvious if we want to be as good as we can, we need Xavier Thames leading, pushing. He's our best defender. He's the guy that initiates all the offense, too. We're so much better when X plays.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, coach.
Boise State News Conference
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Boise State. Coach, just some general remarks on tonight's game.
COACH RICE: Well, we knew we were playing a team that's really, really good. One of the things that maybe gets lost on San Diego State is they didn't have X for a lot of their games in January. That kid's really important to this team.
If you add him to this team, they're a team that probably contends for the league title. So that's a really good basketball team that we just lost to. They were dialed in. They played terrific defense. Got us a little flustered, especially in the first half.
But I was really proud of our guys. True to form, we kind of shuffled the deck, went small ball on them, made one last run at them.
Really proud of our guys as always. The ball didn't maybe drop like it has for us. But you got to credit San Diego State's defense. They got some big time players, juniors and seniors that stepped up. I told our guys, We've got to learn from this as we go forward. We've got sophomores that they're going to learn. The next opportunity they have, they're going to be better at it.
THE MODERATOR: At this time we'll take questions for the student athletes.
Q. Derrick, can you walk us through the first half and second half. What was going wrong?
DERRICK MARKS: My teammates and the coaches had just told me to keep on being aggressive. I knew eventually I would just make one.
So I just kept on shooting the best shot I could.
COACH RICE: Derrick has carried us a lot of games. When there's a lot on your shoulders, sometimes you get a lot of attention. They did a nice job of guarding him. A few of those were in and out. We just wanted him to keep shooting. His teammates wanted him to keep shooting. He got it going there for a little bit.
Q. Anthony, what is the feeling now? Now you have to wait a little bit.
ANTHONY DRMIC: I feel like this season, I mean, we've had a great year. Right now we're going to go back to Boise. It's in the Committee's hands, you know what I mean?
Whatever happens happens. I think we've had a good season, so I think we're happy with it.
COACH RICE: These guys have done a great job. They've got a great résumé now. This league is as good as there is. Our résumé will stand up to anybody's, I think.
Q. Nervous having to wait these couple days?
COACH RICE: No, no. We've done everything we could. Would we have liked to win this one? Sure. Like I said, that's a really good basketball team. We just beat 'em four days ago. They're competitors. We knew they'd give us their best shot.
THE MODERATOR: We'll continue with questions for coach.
Q. Being down double digits, being able to come back, get a lead, brief as it was, make this a game.
COACH RICE: Well, you know, we were kind of playing frustrated, just kind of not clicking, couldn't get things going. So we went small ball. We tried to heat 'em up defensively a little bit, change what we were doing. It kind of got us going and changed the game a little bit. We were able to take the lead.
Then I don't know if it kind of peaked too early a little bit. Like I said, a lot always goes back to them, too. They made big plays, made some big shots down the stretch. Then they made their free throws. They were 25 for 31 tonight.
I was really proud of the way our guys didn't fold it up, didn't get their heads down. That's true to form. That's how they've been all year.
Q. Can you talk about going small.
COACH RICE: Well, we just felt like we had to change. We felt like we were running in sand, playing a little frustrated. We had to throw some different stuff at 'em.
It's a credit to San Diego State. They were really guarding us well. We kind of tried to change it, create something with our defense, got a couple steals for baskets.
It's funny to say we went small ball because we started small ball. We just went smaller ball.
Q. You expressed confidence earlier that you will get in. The No. 1 or No. 2 conference typically would get five out of nine teams in. Are you concerned at all that the Mountain West is not going to be treated with that same level of respect?
COACH RICE: No, 'cause I think if you look at our résumé with four top 50 wins, I think 16 top 100 games we played, we went out and played people. We played people in the pre season, played on the road, at Michigan State, at Creighton. We played Utah on Majerus Night there. That was a big night. That was our fifth game, four of them on the road in that little stretch.
We did all that we could do. I think the Committee really views that. Did you go out and schedule? Did you play a lot of high level teams? There's some other teams they're talking about getting in that have one top 50 win.
I think ours stands up. It's what the Committee wants you to do is play a lot of good teams, not dodge teams. You can't dodge 'em in this league. We won some of 'em.
It's not only our wins. We lost by 4 at Michigan State. We lost on a buzzer beater to San Diego State. We lost now in a close one to San Diego State. We lost in overtime to New Mexico. I know they maybe don't look at scoring margin, all that stuff, but we were really, really competitive. Then we had a lot of guys out, too, in that one stretch. I think we were 21 6 with Jeff in the lineup going into tonight.
Q. Derrick has carried you a lot. What did you see in the first half?
COACH RICE: Well, they were doing a great job of running a lot of guys at 'em. They're long and athletic. They altered some of his shots around the bucket.
I think it led to a little bit of frustration for him and Anthony. A few of their shots didn't drop. I saw a little frustration on their face. You can't play frustrated. So we kept trying to change that a little bit, getting the ball in different spots. Like I said, then we went small to try to create some easy shots off our defense. That kind of got us going a little bit and we were right back in the game.
I think we took the lead there. Then they took it right back.
Again, our guys battled. The ball doesn't always drop. We rely a lot on the jump shot, too. If that's not dropping, that can be tough.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, coach.
COACH RICE: Thanks.