SDSU Men's Hoops News Conference Quotes

March 5, 2012

SAN DIEGO - Watch COACH FISHER | Watch STUDENT-ATHLETES

San Diego State Head Coach Steve Fisher

Opening Statement:

"We are proud to call ourselves Mountain West Conference co-champions. That's easy to say, hard to do. A goal that every team has. When you have to grind it out over a 14-game schedule, you earn it. Nobody cares when you have people hurt, nobody cares when you get a bad call. All they say is, `Did you win?' And we won just enough to be able to hang a banner and hoist a trophy above our heads and say this is ours. We're proud of that. Now the rest of the story, work to be done. As we prepared for our last two games, one of the bullet points I put on the board was `Don't settle.' That was don't settle for a quick hard shot. I don't mind you taking a quick shot, but don't settle for a quick hard shot. Now our theme is `Don't settle.' Don't settle to be co-champs. Don't be satisfied. Go in with some drive and motivation the way we finished this season with four wins. The quality of our people on our team allowed us to do this. As I've said repeatedly, this is as nice a group of guys as you could ever want to have and travel with and that wins. I'm proud of them, happy for them and for our staff. It's been a wonderful regular season and now we've got the postseason and conference tournament to look forward to."

On facing Boise State for the third time this season:

"It's what everybody has to do in their conference tournaments, (when your league has) a true double round robin. We got a very big break when we didn't lose to them at the buzzer here. They had a wide-open three, down two. Maybe we should have lost. We played a little bit better at their place and had control of the game for most of the game. It's a challenge no matter who you play. Whether they've beaten you twice or you've split, these are good teams. They know what we want to do and we know what they want to do. The trick will be who can do a better job of saying `You're going to have to go to plan B, you're going to have to do something that's not out of a set play to score' and that will be the difference. Even though we're one, they're eight, they've proven that they can play with anybody, including us."

On the possibility of a MW Coach of the Year award and Jamaal Franklin earning MW Player of the Year:

"That thought has not crossed my mind. I have been asked that question before and I have said this repeatedly. When you win, everybody's boat gets elevated, it rises. I would say that Jamaal, in my opinion, because we won, should be in the discussion between two or three people. If I made the rules, I would have a rule there are no individual awards in basketball. It's a team sport. We give no individual awards at our postseason banquet. We honor our seniors, we recognize everybody, but it's a team sport. When you win, the team wins. Yet the media and the public want to talk about what you're talking about. There will be awards that will be given. That's all a byproduct of winning and all of us want to win more than we want to win individual awards. Doesn't matter who you are, you want to win.'"

Junior Guard Chase Tapley

On the team being ready for this weekend:

"I think we're ready, it's the best time of the year, it's March. These are the games you want to play and having games every day, every other day, and it's going to be exciting. We're going to be in Vegas, family is going to be there and we just want to come out with a victory, win another championship."

On Jamaal Franklin's impact the last three games:

"He had a major impact in scoring, rebounding, getting on the floor first, his energy, and being vocal on the court. It's a tremendous progression from last year from not playing to now being considered for player of the year. The hard work, you can see it in his eyes, the fight he has and him being a soldier. He has one of the biggest hearts on the team and when you have somebody like that, you just want to play harder and that's what we all try to do."

On when he realized that this was not a rebuilding year:

"I thought that in the summer when we were playing open gym with each other. Every day I saw the kind of hunger that we had, always wanting to be in the gym playing against each other, going at each other's heads. At the first start of practices, you could really see that we were really going to be a good team and we were going to be able to get up and down the floor. We had great perimeter shooters in James (Rahon), Jamaal (Franklin), Xavier (Thames), and myself, and we have one of the smartest post players in the country, to me, in Tim (Shelton). With Garrett (Green) and DeShawn (Stephens) and all of the other pieces, you put it all together and we were going to be a force and that's what we showed. We won the key games that we needed to win. Probably after that UC Santa Barbra win, I really knew that we had the guts and the heart to play against anybody. Being down, about 14 points with eight minutes to go in someone else's arena, the game isn't televised, it's one of those games where you just had to grind out and we were all for ourselves. That's what told me that this team is going to be something great and do something great."

Sophomore Guard Jamaal Franklin

On Coach Fisher:

"I feel like he's a great coach. A lot of people thought this was going to be our rebuilding year but Coach Fisher never stressed about it being our rebuilding year in the locker room ever. A lot of teams and a lot of coaches probably stressed that it was our rebuilding year and not to let it sweat us. He could have easily started talking about a rebuilding year when we lost our three games in a row but he stressed that we're a winning team, we've been through this before and nobody else has been through this before. When you have somebody like that leading you like that, you just want to follow in their footsteps and win."

On the turnout from the The Show this weekend:

"The Show is always amazing. They travel with us everywhere so I feel like they're going to be there and be amazing for us like they always have."

Senior Forward Tim Shelton

On if the tournament will be as exciting as the regular season:

"Most definitely, I said multiple times that you just have to look at the competitive nature of our league and the game is going to be on neutral court now, except for UNLV. Any given night, anyone can beat anyone, you just have to come out and play your best basketball."

On Coach Fisher:

"He's done an amazing job. You look at Coach and you look at his resume and once again, this year, he's doing something amazing. In terms of preseason expectations from the outside looking in and what he's been able to do with this group of guys and bringing us together and being our leader. ... Coach is amazing. He's National Coach of the Year in my eyes, again. He'll get the accolades he deserves, obviously, and you can't really say enough about him."

On playing Boise State for a third time:

"It's definitely going to be a challenge. The good thing is, is that we played them recently so our game plan will be fairly similar. We didn't defend as well as we liked to last time so we're going to get back to the drawing board and watch some film today, regroup, recoup, and figure out what we need to do to get the win."

On the possibility of four MW teams making it to the NCAA Tournament:

"We're getting a little bit of respect in that sense. The guys that we're playing against are very good. We've got great coaches and great teams that we're playing. They've worked and built their resumes up just as we have so that's great for the Mountain West and I'm proud of our guys. That's the only opportunity, in the NCAA tournament, where we actually get to root for these guys because we're not playing against them."