SDSU Men's Hoops News Conference Quotes

Feb. 9, 2012

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San Diego State Head Coach Steve Fisher

Opening Statement:

"Second half (of the Mountain West schedule) begins and we know the challenges that we face. Everybody asked before we started, `What's it going to be like playing Vegas and New Mexico right out of the gate?' And that's what we have this time. We go to Vegas, (which) hasn't lost a game at home (and are) appreciably greater offensively at home. So we'll have our hands full. They're coming off a loss, we're one game ahead them and on and on. It's a big game, a big game for both teams. I know we'll be ready and I'm sure that they'll be ready also. Our challenge is to be able to go in and not allow them to play an open gym and run up and down the floor and dunk and shoot in threes, which they have done against everybody, especially at home. They're very good, immensely talented at every spot and it'll be a huge crowd. This is what everybody wants to play in though, these kinds of games and this kind of environment. This is what we're going to have on Saturday. We look forward to it and we are ready to go."

On if the team is fresher because of the time off:

"You have to make sure, as a player, (that) you take care of yourself, how you manage yourself off the court, eat right and get enough rest. It's a long season, so we as coaches have to make sure that we don't have practices that take away from our ability to be ready to play. Everybody goes through periods where they feel like they have tired legs. A couple of our guys have said that. That they felt their bodies were in need of a bit of a break. So probably, not unlike Vegas and other schools, we all had this week off. TCU played a midweek game, but everybody had the ability to get a little extra rest and not have to worry about preparing for a Wednesday game. You know what we did, we took Sunday, which is a normal day off, and Monday off. Our practices have not been as long. I heard LaBradford (Franklin) make a comment about mental reps. We talk about `When you're not doing, learn by watching.' Pick a guy out and watch what he does, whether it's offense or defense and improve by doing that. We've tried to really emphasize doing just enough to make sure we knew form and technique, but not have to go over and over again on everything. I think that's like everybody."

On practice on Tuesday and Wednesday:

"They've been good. We worked on defending sets and looks. We talked about what we're going to have to do and obviously, we have to have the ability to put a body on a guy and rebound the ball. They had 19 offensive rebounds against us in the first game. We did a good job of taking care of the ball, we did not have an excessive number of live ball turnovers that led to run outs and we have make sure that happens on Saturday."

On the physicality of a game against UNLV

"We've played Vegas close game after close game after close game. Every game, home or away, has been very aggressive by both teams. So you need officials to be what they've been in most of our games this year, consistent with the whistle, let you know early what's a foul, what's not a foul. Then you have to adapt and adjust to the way the whistle is being blown. It's not much different going there than it is going to The Pit or someplace else. Obviously, the magnitude of this game right now for both teams is big. It's high level."

Junior Forward DeShawn Stephens

On the second half of the season:

"I think we're preparing ourselves pretty good. I guess we look at the second half of this season as the record at 0-0. It's like a brand new start."

On watching film on UNLV:

"We've watching that film over and over, we watch it every day. We're still going to watch it after this. We just keep watching it and try to learn from it and get better. We've been going over how we're going to defend them, what we can do differently this time, and what they did to defend us last time. We've been watching that last game to see what we can pick up."

Sophomore Guard LaBradford Franklin

On if the team is rested with the extra time off:

"I know I definitely am and I'm sure my teammates are also. We're taking advantage of this time off. We're trying to take as many mental reps in progression in watching a lot of film and shooting, not as much body taxing, but still mentally and keeping our skills sharp for this game."

On the team's perimeter defense:

"I feel like our coaching staff really stresses the defensive end and that's one of Coach Fisher's mantras, to play defense or else you won't see the court. All of the players have really bought in to that. We're running shooters off the three and we're catching first moves and closing out. We're also trying to complete plays with the rebound and that's everything that our coaches have been stressing in practice so we're trying to add that into the game."

Sophomore Guard Jamaal Franklin

On what the team is facing going to UNLV:

"UNLV is always a tough place to play and (they're) a good. They run crazy at their (place). We're in for a game so we just have to prepare ourselves and be ready to play on Saturday."

On what to focus on for Saturday's game:

"We just have to make sure we listen to the (scouting report). Take practice really seriously and make sure that we do what we need to do to be able to get a win."

On if UNLV is a big game for the team:

"It's really big, but for us, it's just another day at the office and (we're) able to play against a good team. We just need to take it as another regular game in the season, but it's a really big game. We can't be too excited and anxious and mess up so we just take it as any other game."

On the physicality of playing UNLV:

"It's going to be a physical game. Every time we play against UNLV it's a physical game, especially at Thomas & Mack. The refs always let us play so we just need to be ready and be able to knock down shots. Whoever doesn't turn the ball over wins the game. We just need to work hard and do well."