#AztecMBB Press Conference Quotes

Feb. 18, 2013


San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher

Opening statement:
"Glad we're home. Glad we're playing Wyoming (on Tuesday), a team that we should not have to say anything other than `nine points.' So we'll be ready to play. Obviously, we wish we had five points to spread around the two games we had last week, but we don't. So we're disappointed in the losses, but we're proud of the effort. Winston Churchill said, `Sometimes you're best is not enough. Do what's required.' So that's the thought since Saturday leading into the game (Tuesday). We fought awfully hard, but in our world, you win or you lose. And unfortunately we lost two games. We will be ready for a good Wyoming team that spanked us at their place, and I'm excited to see the crowd and the energy that all of us will have tomorrow."

On his collision on the sideline during the UNLV game:
"No, I don't think it has (happened to him before). The sideline is different at every building, but their chairs are a little closer to the court. So I'm straddling the sideline as it happened. (UNLV's Justin Hawkins) didn't see me and I didn't see him. I know now how football players feel after they've been blindsided and hit. But I live to play another day, so I'm ready to go."

On if he believes this year's team is better than last season's team:
"Yes. I'm with them every day. I've watched our games from last year. I've watched our games from this year. We're a significantly better defensive team. 10 out of 13 games that came down to the end last year, we won. This year, we haven't (won close games) and (the opposition) has. They did what's required to win the game. We've got good players, and now we've got to find ways to make plays. But as I watch and evaluate, I do think we have a better team than we had last year. It obviously hasn't reflected in our recent lack of success, but I still believe that."

On if the competition in the Mountain West is better this season:
"Our league is better top to bottom. There's no question about that. Colorado State is significantly better, and they've won their share of close games. You have to do that if you want to win a championship. We need to keep putting ourselves in a position to win and find a way to get that loose ball. Find a way, when you have that shot, to make it."

On if he believes his players are trying to do too much and forcing things at the end of games:
"I don't think so. Some of the things we're doing now that aren't turning into baskets are similar things we tried to do in games we've won down the stretch."

On James Rahon's injury status:
"(Rahon's) arm is still in a sling. He did not work out today (at practice). Unless something miraculous happens, he probably won't play (Tuesday). He's doing therapy and he can do more with it now than he could (Sunday). We've listed him as day-to-day."

On how Rahon was injured:
"He got hurt the very first defensive possession that we had, and played through it another minute and a half or so, until he just realized that he did something that inhibited him from really moving his arm. He was running and turned, and ran right into (UNLV's Anthony) Bennett."

On if the team will play a different style against Wyoming at home and not in the high altitude:
"Altitude, travel, cold weather and playing in their home arena had nothing to do with how we played (in the first meeting). We had a lot to do with how we played up there. We didn't play. We got taken to the woodshed - I think it's the only time this season that's happened. So from that standpoint, absolutely not."

On Winston Shepard's season so far:
"He's doing well. He's playing in some ways like a young, first-year player, and usually you get more consistent the longer you play. We really like (Shepard). He's going to be a really good player. I would say probably the two best games he's had this season have been against UNLV. We just need to keep helping him grow and get better, and he needs to keep helping himself."

On if Shepard will play more now with Rahon injured:
"Well, we're going to go back to our original lineup. (Thames) will start, but that will move every player one notch higher. (Shepard) will get his minutes, but you'll see different guys as well that haven't gotten the time, will now get an opportunity."

On Xavier Thames' back injury:
"It's still (hurting) a little bit, but he's fighting through it and I think his conditioning is starting to get a little bit better. We need him out there. We need him playing effectively if we're going to be as good as we can. And we'll have him tomorrow."

Junior Jamaal Franklin

On if the team is mad after losing two-straight games:
"Yeah I would say we're mad. We're disappointed. I think every team is mad when they lose, but you've got to move on. The best thing about basketball is we're able to play twice a week. We play Saturday and tomorrow, so we've got to take our frustration out on Wyoming and get this win."

On what teams are doing differently against him defensively:
"When you get to conference (play), they know your plays. They're beating me to my spot and forcing me to go the other direction. I worked on a lot of stuff since the UNLV game. I've been putting a lot of time in the gym. So I'm going to see how it works out against Wyoming and see how they guard me."

On not getting the foul calls this season like he has in the past:
"I don't know what's going on with the referees, I've just got to worry about trying to play my best. I talked to (Tapley) and (Xavier Thames) about switching up my game, and they told me, `Just keep playing you're game.' I can't worry about the refs making a call. There's a lot of times when obviously I'm getting fouled and the refs aren't calling it, so I can't worry about that."

On how long he thinks about not making the big play at the end of games:
"It sticks with me forever. I'm not the type of person that gets over stuff like that. Actually, (Saturday) night I couldn't sleep until about 4 a.m. But I have to move on and get ready for Wyoming, because if I'm worried about that same play, it can hurt me."

On if revenge will play a factor from the loss to Wyoming earlier this season:
"Yes, revenge will definitely be a factor."

On what it's going to take to beat Wyoming this time around:
"We've got to convert on the offensive end. We've got to score in the half court, because we're not going to get too much early offense in transition. So we've got to score in the half court and make sure we limited them to one shot defensively."

Senior Chase Tapley

On if the team is mad after losing consecutive games:
"We're disappointed, but you can't hang your head after one loss. You've got to keep on pushing and keep on moving on. And that starts tomorrow."

On how the team can do what's required to win games:
"Just staying focused and staying with the game plan. I would say nine out of 10 times if we do what's required, we're going to be victorious. We've just got to keep doing what we've been doing, but just at a higher level. And everything else will take care of itself."

On if the team's effort in recent games would have been enough to win in past seasons:
"I'd say yes. A play here and a play there could determine the outcome of the game. If our effort stays the way it has been, I don't see us losing any more close games like that."

On if revenge will play a factor against Wyoming:
"Of course. Any time you lose to a team knowing you're going to play them again, it's always in the back of your mind that you're going to have to come out with a different type of urgency so it won't happen again. I remember last year when we lost at Colorado State, the whole plane ride home, we just talked about how we couldn't wait to play them again at home. So every time you play a team and lose to them, there's always an extra, extra, extra amount of urgency."

On if the team hears any chatter about not meeting their expectations this season:
"You hear it. Everybody is talking about it here, but the great ones, they hear it, but they don't let it bother them. On our team, we hear it, but we don't really take it to heart. We know all we've got is our teammates and our coaches. At the end of the day, it's us in the locker room, it's us practicing everyday on the court. We just know as long as we've got each other's back, everything else will take care of itself."