#AztecMBB Press Conference Quotes
March 28, 2013
SAN DIEGO -
Head coach Steve Fisher
On Jamaal Franklin potentially entering the NBA Draft:
"Jamaal has done a wonderful job of being able to separate present from future. He also is a guy that is, unlike most, not on Facebook or Twitter. So I think that's been good for him. We're in the fact-finding stage, just as we did a year ago. The NBA has a group that you submit your name to for information, and they give it to you over the phone. They do not give you feedback until after the Final Four, so we're hoping to get something sometime in that week. And then Jamaal and I will sit down again - we've talked already - and he and his mom will make a decision. I will give them the facts and they will make the decisions."
On Franklin's competitiveness:
"I think you witness that when you watch him play. He, at times, plays on the edge as his time at San Diego State has gone on. Every part about his ability to manage himself has improved. All of the things you hope would happen, did happen. We see the whole (Franklin), from the practice player to the locker room guy, and he's grown in so many ways. But I guarantee you no one from our program or from any program has been in the gym more since their last game than (Franklin)."
On if Franklin should return for his senior season:
"As I said, we're in the process of doing all the due diligence, in terms of what the NBA people say. Once we do that and I get a chance to look at it, then I'll give him what my thoughts are. So right now, it should be left at that."
On if he hears people saying it's time for him to move on to something else:
"I only hear it when I'm on a radio show or something. I'm not on Facebook and I don't have a Twitter account. When I came here, we talked about building a program. And now we have a program. I think anytime you have a program that has had success, which we've had, you grow expectations. You grow the most from within. We have high expectations as a program, and when you don't win that last game or even a conference championship, then there's disappointment. But that's everywhere. I want our fans to be passionate. I want them to be hungry to win. But I think the vast majority of our fans are appreciative of the program we've got and where we are. They're disappointed, we all should be, but none of them are more than our players, coaches and our families. But I do think most people are 100 percent supportive of what we're doing."
On how he'll replace key players for next season:
"It's the nature of the business, the nature of sports. We've got the potential for 13 guys to be on scholarship. You recruit good people who are good players and when opportunity is there, you expect them to perform. We've had players leave before and people wondered how we would replace them, and somebody steps up. Those will be the challenges the program and the individuals face. It's not a divine right if you started this year that you start next year. You earn opportunity, but then it's performance. We've got two young freshmen coming in that I love to death. I think they're going to be good players. They will compete for playing time. We've got guys on this team that didn't play as much as they thought they would that will have an opportunity. We're still recruiting. So we hope to still add someone or some ones to this program. But Chase Tapley was a four-year starter. He's done a phenomenal job to help lead us to the best four-year tenure in the history of the program. James Rahon had a wonderful career and I would throw Deshawn Stephens into that mix also. So we're going to have change, and with change comes excitement. With some people it becomes a nervous time, but for us it's an excitement that we look forward to."
On why teams in the west have struggled in the tournament:
"It's one-and-done, and all of us that aren't still playing would like to have a two-out-of-three. It doesn't work that way. I would say that if New Mexico played Harvard 10 times, New Mexico would win eight or nine out of 10. The one they didn't is when Harvard had an exceptional game and beat them. I would say that UNLV would like to have the opportunity to play again. The team that beat Boise State is still playing. Sometimes it happens, but (the Mountain West) now needs to fare well in the NCAA Tournament, and we didn't fare as well as we hoped we would. I thought there would be at least two teams in the Sweet 16, and we have nobody because we played teams that were good and played better than we did at that particular moment. We would all like to do it again, but you can't."
On if the conference's struggles will hurt its chances of getting multiple bids in the future:
"I think if we continue to schedule and have the non-conference success that we had this year, it will be hard not to have multiple bids from our league. If we have similar non-conference success next year, I would say we will have multiple teams in. Whether we have five in or not, I don't know. That was obviously a record high for us. But we need to get in and win, and we didn't do a good enough job of that this year. A lot of teams are saying that."
On his health and if he's ready to coach another season:
"My health is great. I had my annual physical back in October, and I did better than I did the year before on the stress test and all the other things incorporated with it. So I'm feeling great, excited about recruiting and looking forward to the spring, summer and next season with our program. We've got a lot to be proud of, we've got a lot to look forward to, and we've got a lot of young guys that are anxious to prove that we're still going to be really, really good."
On which area of the team needs to improve:
"I think we need to grow in every regard. We were an inconsistent shooting team and I thought we would be better. We were a terrific defensive team, but we didn't play well defensively during a stretch in our last game (against Florida Gulf Coast). That was somewhat because of turnovers, which we were pretty good with also. We need to continue to be able to say, `You can shoot the ball, and we're going to get you good shots and then you have to make them.' We did not have a significant low-post offensive presence. We've got to be able to score in the post a little bit more, and it doesn't always have to be someone 6-foot-9. These are some things that you can tweak with your offense. You have to say, `What have we won with, what do we believe in and how can we recruit to that.'"
On the immediate plans for the team:
"We met with our team on Tuesday and talked about the most important thing now is to get caught up academically, because we've missed a lot of class. Enjoy spring break and when they get back on April 8, we'll meet and decide when we'll start our spring workouts and that sort of thing, which will probably be April 9 or 10."
On the progression of players who didn't get much playing time this season:
"I think Matt Shrigley, who didn't play at all, made real progress. I'm proud of how he approached it. He wanted to be out there in practice every second and guard (Franklin) every chance he could. He said, `I need to learn how to defend at this level.' I'm anxious to see what he'll look like heading into the fall. And Dwayne Polee II and James Johnson, two guys with great expectations that didn't get to play as much as they would have liked, we've got to roll up our sleeves and go to work and help them get better. They made progress, but sometimes opportunity will allow you to show what you can do. So we'll have that opportunity as we move forward for sure."