No. 19/17 #AztecMBB-CS Bakersfield Postgame Quotes

Jan. 2, 2013

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San Diego State Postgame Quotes

Head coach Steve Fisher

Opening statement:
"If we could have quit at the 9:02 mark when we were 22 ahead, I just knew that, within three possessions, it would be 30, I would feel terrific. But we have to play 40 minutes and we played 31 minutes. We had three straight turnovers after it was 21 ahead and we put six bullet points up and I said, `look at the bullet points: focus, concentrate, play smarter.' We did none of the above the last 10 minutes of the game and that's unacceptable. My job is not to beat you up and make you say `is he ever satisfied?' My job is to make you be as good as you can. I was not happy with the first 10 minutes. I thought first half, we played really, really good team basketball. We had 11 baskets, seven assists; we got to the free-throw line; we were hard to score on in the half court; and it stayed that way until we started looking at the score. Hopefully we'll learn from that but leads are too fragile. Big leads can go in a hurry - I know, we've been a part of them.

"We are 12-2 and have won 31 straight against California teams. I love our team but I want us to get better and they do also. We'll begin the second part of our season which will be very, very stressful, strenuous and challenging for every school in our league; every game, if you don't play well, you probably won't win - home or away. So we need to make sure we're ready for the opener at Fresno (State) next Wednesday."

On losing the focus in the second half:
"I thought we played really good, solid, smart, team basketball and then all of a sudden, one led to two led to three and then we looked like a disjointed group of individuals rather than a cohesive team. I asked them and said `you've got to help me. You've got to ask yourself why it happened.' We'll talk about it tomorrow."

On Xavier Thames not playing in the second half:
"They said he had a lower back strain. He tweaked it a little bit in practice the other day and then he went for that one pass that he had to reach back for is when he hurt it and he couldn't get the stiffness out of it. It's spasms they said, so hopefully he'll be okay."

On getting to the line 41 times tonight:
"We got to the free-throw line and that's what you're supposed to do. We've got to make more of them. Early on we were making them and then, sometimes, when things start to happen, good or not so good, they kind of go in bunches and we kind went in stretches when we missed several of them in a row. Forty-one free throws is a lot and that will win you games if you can find ways to get to the line and make easy ones."

On the team heading into MW conference play:
"I like our team; we've got a good team. We've got a team that knows how to win, that's been in big games, that's fought hard; they like one another and they play good together. We've got a good basketball team that cares about winning first and foremost and enjoys being with one another and that's a good combination to have."

Junior guard Jamaal Franklin

On being back on the court after a week off for the holidays:
"It always feels good to be back at home. You go away but there is no place like home."

On his performance tonight:
"It was awful. I am disappointed but we got the victory, so that is always good."

On if the team did anything different to get to the line 41 times:
"We just played our game, just playing our flow. We have always been an aggressive team and we established that (again) today. We got to the free-throw line by being aggressive and the referees were calling fouls our way tonight. We didn't make as many (free throws) tonight that we might have wanted to but just that we got (to the free-throw line) was an accomplishment."

On letting teams back into the game after a large lead:
"I don't think that is anything for anyone to worry about. We are a good team. Coach (Fisher) tried to switch things up with the mismatches, tried to put different combinations in. Sometimes those combinations don't go well with the flow. It's not anything to worry about. We are a good team and we will do anything to win."

On the upcoming Mountain West play:
"(Conference play) is really big. For Chase (Tapley) this is his last year playing in the Mountain West. For me, this could be my last time also playing in the Mountain West as we get ready to move into the Big West next year. It is really exciting, we want to go out with a boom going into the Big West."

On conference realignment:
"I love the Mountain West, we have been here for a while but we have no control over (the realignment). We just have to make sure that we are ready to play and ready to win when the new conference schedule comes next year, whether it is in the Big West or Mountain West. If we aren't ready to play in whichever conference we are in, we can be beat on any day. We just have to be ready to play."

On where the team is heading into conference play:
"We need to not turn the ball over. People might look at the stat line and think a lot of us had a good game. Everyone else on the team did have a good game but for me, being a leader on this team, five turnovers in a game is not good. I see this game (for me) as being awful, terrible and bad because (of the) five turnovers. I need to limit (the turnovers) because in big games that can hurt us."

Senior guard Chase Tapley

On if the week off affected their play:
"It honestly didn't feel like we had much of a break. When we got back (from Hawaii) some people went home. It felt like we just had two days off then we got right back to it. I think we are already in our basketball mode so we are used to it."

On where the team is heading into conference play:
"The turnovers are a problem but I think we can get better in each and every aspect of our whole game. We need to close out teams in the end. When we get to league (play), everyone knows exactly how we play so we just have to really execute our offensive play and really be focused on the defensive end. Like Jamaal (Franklin) said, we can be beat on any given day. We just have to really be prepared."

CSU Bakersfield Postgame Quotes

Head coach Rod Barnes

On the long talk he had with his team following the game:
"Coach (Steve) Fisher and his staff do a great job, and that was one of the reasons why we took the game on. We're trying to build a program, and we're trying to build it with some toughness. That's what (SDSU) has here. They talk about them now because they've had success, but nobody was talking about San Diego State (before). They never really were the talk of the town. I told coach Fisher before the game that he's a model for our program. We've got a city and a town that's got enough people where we can have great crowds. I told my guys, `I'm disappointed.' Not because we lost the game, it's because this is an example of what you've got to do. (SDSU) has kids that compete, they want to be good, they enjoy playing. I wasn't pleased with our guys and the hunger that we played with. We understand they're the better team, but we've got to compete. We did not show enough mental toughness. This was a good measuring stick for our program. I'm thankful that their staff and coach Fisher gave us the opportunity to come here. My postgame talk was really motivation for them to not be satisfied."

On how talented San Diego State is in person:
"They're talented. They're so versatile. I think (Jamaal) Franklin is the type of kid that separates them. He rebounds, he passes, he plays with good energy. Then I think they've got some solid guys. Guys that do what they do. Guys that can shoot on the perimeter. Big guys that rebound and defend. Just seeing them up close, even watching the film, I was impressed with them. In my honest opinion, if they continue to improve, they will be a handful come (NCAA) tournament time. I don't they're as good right now as they can be. I think they've still got really good upside. Their young guys like (Winston) Shepard can get better. I think (James) Johnson is a good piece for them. I think their young kids, as they continue to play, they've got a chance to be really good. They're just a hard match (for us). I don't think that's just going to happen to us, I think it's going to happen to a lot of teams. The thing I'm most impressed with that I like about their team: As the young people say, they've got a little `swag' about them. They've got a confidence about them, and it's not fake. They're willing to get nasty and defend if they have to. They come to take care of their business. They want people to know, `We're San Diego State. We're not a joke.'"

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