SDSU Men's Hoops Post-Practice Quotes
March 2, 2012
SAN DIEGO -
SDSU head coach Steve Fisher
On if the team is playing their best basketball at the best time:
"We've reacquired our offensive groove. I thought that we shot the ball with confidence for the full Boise State game. Even though they didn't all go in, I think we felt like they were all going to go in. We looked better even when they didn't go it. Our defense has been solid all year so if we can continue to progress in that fashion then I will feel really good about our chances to play at peak efficiency.
"Winning helps everything. We have now won three in a row, which makes everybody feel better. It makes you look better, even when maybe you're not playing a great deal, different than you were when you lost three in a row."
On having players that have experience playing for a championship:
"We have a group of people who are on this team that are used to winning. They all played different roles last year, but they saw a team, and were part of a team, that won 34 games. Xavier Thames, who didn't play, sat on the bench for every home game and pined to be on that court. So the newcomer is Garrett (Green). He has been a valuable part of what we have done; he has given us size that we didn't have. Between he and DeShawn (Stephens), our two bigs that weren't here last year, they have played pivotal roles in the added success. The fact that we won a year ago is truly helpful as we move through all the pitfalls and all the stresses that go into the season like we've had."
On if it's surprising to see TCU having as good of a season as they have had:
"TCU is a good team. I tried to tell people that in the non-conference when they were the only team to beat Virginia. Jim Christian has done a wonderful job with that ball club. They are athletic, they are led by a fifth-year senior in (Hank) Thorns, who wins, who knows how to play and who is a catalyst for everybody there. To say that they have won every home game? Maybe. To say that you are surprised that they are a good team? Absolutely not."
On if there is something about TCU's home court that makes it tough to win there:
"If you look at their scores, they have had a lot of close games, just as we have. They have won some close home games; they have come from behind to win games. I think it's just a situation where we all feel a little more comfortable in our own confines, in our own building. When you win and when you win games the way that they have won them, you almost say, `Well, we're supposed to win. This is our building.' I think that all of those things wrap into helping you. I'm sure they will have the best crowd that they have had in my time going there, because of what they have done, but they don't fill the building like we do and like some of the others do. From the crowd stand point it doesn't have quite the same feel, but they have good players that now have won and now are saying, `No one has beat us in our building and no one will.' That is the mindset that you have."
On if he has discussed the implications of Saturday's game in regards to a championship:
"We've talked about it. Everybody knows if we win we at least tie for the conference championship. That's what we all play for, to win the conference, to have number one after our name when we finish. Now we have the opportunity to do that. I don't think you can beat it to death and dwell on it. Our kids will be ready; they know the significance this will have - both short term, conference championship; next week, conference tournament seeding and NCAA tournament implications. They all wrap into the importance of this being a big game for both teams."
On if he is surprised being in this position after the recent skid:
"I would say that most people said that when New Mexico had the two-game lead that (New Mexico) could probably measure themselves for rings. This is a funny business that we are in, strange things happen and sometimes they happen to you. I'm pleased that we have the opportunity, but we had to have help from other people to be in this spot that we are in. But now we can take care of ourselves, now we can control what we do and that is a good feeling also."
SDSU senior forward Tim Shelton
On how he is feeling:
"I'm sleeping great and feeling great. We are excited, trying to win a championship tomorrow so everyone is ready to go."
On if the team is worried about TCU being 6-0 at home:
"No, not at all. (We) just understand that they are a good basketball team, what their coach has done, how they have responded to having losses on the road and (they are) ready to play at home. (The Mountain West) is one of those leagues where you have to hold serve at home and they are definitely doing that right now, beating good teams that are coming in. They are going to be tough."
On play not getting easier whether or not they win at TCU:
"Exactly, that's just a testament to our conference. We have some good teams, even if we get the number one seed and play Air Force; we've lost to them once this season. It's just one of those things, our conference is tough. No matter what happens, we are going to have to play a tough team every night."
On what the team has relied on to beat TCU in the past:
"Just focusing on what we practice, sticking to the game plan and toughing it out. It is always a tough game, always been a close game (at TCU). Just sticking to what we practice, being solid and staying together. That's what always helps us to win."
On the motivation of getting to hang a banner/win a championship if they win:
"Definitely for us, coming into the season people think we are a rebuilding team and to be able to say that we are going to play for a championship on Saturday is phenomenal. It's just a credit to our coaches, a credit to our guys. Knowing we have one more it's like any nicks, any bruises, any aches, whatever you have, you have to let that go and leave it all on the court on Saturday. That is the mentality we are going to have, we are going to come out and play our hardest. It is senior night for them and we know how Hank Thorns has been playing lately, so there is definitely extra motivation on that side. We are going to come out and play our hardest knowing that we have one more game to hang a banner."
On knowing what playing and winning at home can do for a team's motivation and the potential impact that has had on TCU:
"You can see what kind of effect it has had the last couple of games watching them at home. Even if the stands aren't packed they still feel that home energy, that home atmosphere. It's a lot easier when your fans are behind you. You can miss a couple of shots and the crowd can still get you going. They are playing good basketball right now, which is the bottom line. Just going in there, knowing they are at home, knowing the atmosphere we are going to face. I think we will be ready for it mentally; physically we are just going to have to fight through it and get that win."
On if the momentum has been raised after the three-game skid:
"Most definitely. We are playing good basketball lately. I feel like our Boise State game was a good win for us. We still haven't played a complete 40-minute game, getting down early and fighting our way back. The last game we didn't really do that, we were down by about six, came back and kept the pedal to the metal. I feel like (the momentum) is definitely going, our shooters are shooting the ball better now, building their confidence back up. If we keep knocking down the free throws and stay aggressive I think we will be all right."
On if the mentality has changed now that the team has a chance to win the championship:
"The mentality before was `Let's just win the next one.' A lot of people were talking about the seeding for the tournament, but we were just thinking about winning the next (game). This next one is huge for us, it means we could get another banner, it means all of the championships (awarded), we have (won) over 50 percent of them (after winning the regular season title) in the past couple of years. This is huge for us, just in terms of winning the next game; let's just win the next one; like we have been saying. The motto has been the last three or four games, `I believe that we will win.' Coach (Fisher) has been writing it on the board and we are going to stick with that motto and do it."