Men's Hoops-New Mexico Postgame Quotes

Jan. 1, 2017

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SDSU-UNM Postgame Quotes

San Diego State vs. New Mexico Postgame Quotes

SDSU head coach Steve Fisher

Opening statement:
"Disappointing, probably an understatement. When for about 34 or 35 minutes you play significantly better and then are not able to hang on, it's disappointing. Give New Mexico credit. They fought and fought their way back in. (They) did what we did to them here last year. Found a way to win a game that didn't look like they were going to win, but they found a way to win. I told our team how much was fatigue, frustration, worry. Probably a combination of all of the above. I think we were up nine points with a little over six minutes to go and we lost (Dane) Kuiper on a little ball screen and he made a three. It looked like when we had chances, we either turned it over or missed a pretty good shot. And then we took a couple of shots that probably after the fact you'd say one more pass, move it one more time. And again, how much of that was frustration, how much of that was fatigue--physical, mental. But it was a home loss and a hard home loss as we now prepare for two tough games on the road. We'll find out the resolve that we have, the toughness that we have, whether we'll bore back and say we owe the next guy something and come back with a vengeance at Nevada. But it hurts right now for everybody. We will live to see tomorrow, we will compete, we will be successful."

On the team's stumble down the stretch:
"We did not have enough playmakers that made plays. Sounds pretty simple. When you have an opportunity to make a play, especially when winning is on the line, you have to find a way to make it. We had some unforced turnovers, we had some turnovers that were the result of an ill-advised decision with the ball, whether it be to pass or to drive, and then we missed some shots. That's the bottom line. That's the recipe that you saw and we've seen it before. Rather than one guy step up and make an important basket or two, we weren't able to do it and it caught us."

On whether he agreed with the players' assessment of "hero ball" in the final few minutes:
"Hero ball probably meaning too much one-on-one. How much of that was fatigue, how much was frustration and how much of it was legitimate. I'll have a better answer when I look at the tape. We wanted to set some ball screens for Jeremy (Hemsley) and/or Trey (Kell). Then they have to make a decision. "What am I going to do with the ball. Am I going to plow it in there, am I going to get a foul, am I going to get a basket, am I going to give somebody else an opportunity?" I'll look and see. I think maybe we could've moved the ball a little bit better. But you have to be able to pass and catch. I don't know how many turnovers we had down the stretch. We had too many. And we missed some shots that were there, didn't get in. Missed a couple of free throws. And then at the other end, it's more than hero ball, it's bow your back and let's make a stop. Let's not give them two or three chances. Let's get in front of a guy. Let's limit them to one shot. Let's get that loose ball. And we didn't have enough of that."

SDSU junior guard Trey Kell

On SDSU's offense the last few minutes:
"I think we tried to play hero ball a little too much. We all just stood there and watched someone trying to make a play instead of how we were playing in the first half - driving and if someone was open making the right pass. It's one of those things that you can't just look at one person and say, `Alright, go do something.' We have the capability to do that, but are better as a team than as an individual."

On any explanation for losing a lead down the stretch:
"We've been working a lot in practice if something breaks down, just move the ball. Don't try to make the home run play. I think that's what we do down the stretch too much. We get down, things get tight and we look at someone and say, `Alright, go score for us. Go do this, go do that. Like I said, we are better as a unit than one person and we have to realize that, even in crunch time."

On if he's surprised of the same issues after a four-game win streak prior to today:
"A little bit, yeah. That's one thing we've been preaching even before we got to Hawaii. Especially after that Arizona State loss, talking about what to do when things break down. I remember against Tulsa, it was close the whole game until we went on a big run. We just have to remember those times and keep moving the ball."

SDSU sophomore guard Jeremy Hemsley

On SDSU's offense the last few minutes:
"Our plays did break down a little bit toward the end of the game. Some of it was just us standing around. In practice we've been going over that type of scenario, that type of situation, when a play breaks down to just move the ball. I don't think we did that toward the end of the game. At the same time our shots weren't falling. We had some pretty good shots but they weren't falling in the last four or five minutes. I don't think our offense was bad this game, it's a matter of making shots."

On what adjustments New Mexico made on the post double in the second half:
"I think (Tim) Williams figured out that when he bounced the ball, that's when we were going to double. He did a good job of being more patient and then just making the right plays. He wasn't trying to force any passes or anything out of character. I think that helped them out a lot on that end."

New Mexico head coach Craig Neal

Opening Statement:
"Just really proud of our guys. We kind of chipped away, chipped away, chipped away, (and) went on a 14-4 run at the end. I thought we got some really big defensive stops and then I thought we made some crucial plays at the end making free throws and making shots. I think we learned from our past experiences. That's a very good basketball team. I know they're without (Malik) Pope, who's an outstanding player, and (Matt) Shrigley, who gives them a different dimension, but they're still a good team that guards. (With) our past experience last year and then a couple of them this year with Dayton and Illinois State, it was good to come out ahead."

On the difficulty of winning at Viejas Arena:
"It's just tough. Look at their percentages. They've won so many games in here the last seven or eight years; It's a tough place to play. Coach Fisher does a great job. Their guys play the right way. They play extremely hard. But I think our guys experienced what they did last year. I think they were hungry to get in here and get a win and I'm happy for them."

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