No. 13/15 #AztecMBB-Boise State Postgame Quotes

Jan. 8, 2014

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San Diego State-Boise State Postgame Quotes

San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher

On the game:
"Eighteen (points) ahead in the first half, 14 ahead in the second half and three ahead at the end. So I wish we had played better down the stretch, Boise State had a lot to do with it. We had a little bit to do with it. We had a couple plays where the ball bounced the other way. I told (BSU coach) Leon Rice, could our games between San Diego State and Boise State be any different? A year ago, we were up 34-17 with four minutes to go in the first half. With four minutes to go in the game, (Boise State) had a four point lead. They scored 44 points in that 20 minute stretch. They can score, they can score in bunches and they did it tonight. They're a good team. We obviously need to play a little bit better down the stretch if we want to be a really good team. But we're 2-0 (in MW play). We're not looking up to anybody in the league and we plan on going to Air Force to play against another team that's 2-0. In seven games (against Boise State), we're 6-1. We've had a one-point win, a two-point win, two three-point wins and a four-point loss. Most of our games have been a lot like this, and all three of them were last year. We'll take it, we'll film it, we'll look at it and we'll get better as a result."

On the team's defensive effort in the first half:
"We needed every stop and every point obviously that we built up early. The first four minutes count every bit as much as the last four. We'd all look at the last four (minutes), especially if (Derrick) Marks hits that last shot. But we played terrific at both ends. It looked like Skylar (Spencer) was off to another game like he had at Kansas, and all of a sudden he picks up his second foul, sat a lot of the first half and got a quick early foul in the second half. So we needed stops. Early on we stayed in front of them and didn't foul them, but later on they got to the rim. I think we got a little bit tentative in not wanting to foul. (Boise State) is an attack team off the dribble, they shoot an inordinate number of free throws - they had 36 against Fresno State - and tonight they shot 20. They're a good team and they're an aggressive team. You knew they were going to make a run and I thought when we put it back up to 10-12, they were going to hang in that area, but they wouldn't let it happen. We were a little bit a part of that, but I'd say (Boise State) was more a part of it."

On why these two teams always play such close games:
"I don't know. I think they're a lot like us in terms of resolve and sticking with it and believing they can come back from a deficit. (Boise State) was 8-0 when they played at Kentucky, but Kentucky was too big for them. When they got to the rim against Kentucky, they blocked all of (Boise State's) shots. I've watched a lot of their games, they've had a lot of close games. I think what we do lends itself to that. But for some reason, we've had wild swings against Boise State. Leon Rice has done a good job there of getting them to believe and getting good players. They play hard and they're hard to guard."

On the crowd:
"Our fans were sensational. They were loud and every seat was filled. We went to Kansas and they had 16,000 (fans) strong, and we came back tonight and had 12,414 that were every bit as loud and strong to help us win, and they helped us. They never quit cheering, and we appreciate that."

San Diego State senior guard Xavier Thames

On his thoughts during the final minutes of the game:
"We knew it was going to be a hard-fought game. Every time we play Boise State it's a close game. We just had to stay focused. Coach (Fisher) said it was going to be a close game all the way to the wire. We just had to make stops towards the end. We didn't finish the game like we wanted to but all that matters is that we got the win and we're 2-0 in league."

On the difference of not having Skylar Spencer on the court:
"It was a tough game for him. He came out and got two quick fouls but he didn't put his head down. He still played well in my eyes. He was playing hard and he came back in the second half and played aggressively. Guys get in foul trouble all year. We just have to keep playing no matter who's in foul trouble. We have enough depth that we can do that. That's the good thing with this team."

On his thought process on the last play when he was guarding (Boise State's) Derrick Marks:
"I just had to stop him any way possible. He made a touch-shot with a step-back so I knew he was going to come down and try to pull up again. I was trying to make it tough for him. Marks is a great player. He's one of my good friends. I just wanted to get a stop at the end of the game."

On his appreciation for The Show:
"I have to have a shout out to The Show and all the fans that came out tonight. I know we're on winter break right now and for them to pack the house, I want to thank them for that. They're great fans. We had great fan support tonight."

San Diego State sophomore guard Winston Shepard

On his thoughts during the final minutes of the game:
"The best thing about this is we have a lot of room to grow but we're doing it while we win. I'm sure Coach (Fisher) is going to get on us a lot for the last five minutes of the game as far as the defensive end. Like Xavier (Thames) said, it's great to be 2-0 and we're off to a good start."

On why they always play close games against Boise State:
"They always play us really close, but fortunately for us we're a good team at closing at the end of the game. Even if it might not look that good or it might not be the prettiest win, but a win is a win. Anytime we play Boise State it's going to be a great, competitive game. We're just glad that we always come out on top in the close games."

On the team's thoughts on their 12-0 win streak:
"Like we said from the start of the season, we have to focus on one game at a time. We give all the glory to God that we've been able to get 12 wins in a row. We're going to take this win, we're going to feel good about it and we're going to start preparing for Air Force and hopefully we can continue winning."

On Aqeel Quinn:
"He's great. He's been great for us. Aqeel is a very confident guy on and off the court. He's one of our team leaders and he had confidence to take that shot. I wouldn't say that's what the plan was but Xavier (Thames) drove, Aqeel was open in the corner and he didn't hesitate especially after he made three, three-pointers in the game. We have to be confident in him to take that shot. We need him to take those shots."

Boise State head coach Leon Rice

On the game:
"First of all, credit San Diego State. They dug us into a hole, they're a great defensive team. With so much focus on their defense, they're a great basketball team. They were really quick on offense, defense, turning us over. Credit San Diego State, they kind of throttled us in the first half. We were just trying to weather the storm here earlier and try to keep it close. I knew my guys would keep battling, and they did. A few shots started to drop in the end. Then we have the ball in the hands of the guy you want for the last shot and it just didn't go down.

On the last shot:
"I told my guys after the game, I still love them just the same even though the shot didn't go down. It takes guts to shoot that last one for Derrick (Marks) and I have a lot of faith in him to take the next one. I think Derrick is kicking himself for not driving."

On San Diego State:
"When a team is the 13th ranked at this time of year, they've earned it. They're a hell of a basketball team and we tip our hat to them. To beat a good team, you've got to beat them. You can't just hope that the ball falls in."

On coaching points to take away:
"(Our team) has a hunger to get better and they allow us to coach them. They don't pout, they don't point fingers and the key to being a good basketball team, in my estimation, is how much better we can get in these next two months. You know you came on the road and lost by a basket to one of the best teams in the country and I'm proud of my guys."

On atmosphere:
"You know, we appreciate this environment. It's a great college basketball arena. I tell my guys this is what you want to do when you're a kid. You want to play in a place like this. It's terrific. We embrace it and appreciate it. There is going to be a lot of teams that are going to come in here and say, "Oh my goodness, we can't score."

Boise State forward Ryan Watkins

On SDSU's defense:
"They were just pressuring us. Their defense is great, one of the best defensive teams in the country. (The tough defense) was to be expected. They came out pressuring us and it took us a while to get into our rhythm."

On having a better second half:
"We just got the ball moving a lot better, set better screens and got to the basket a lot more."

On the atmosphere:
"It's a great atmosphere, there is just no other way to describe it. It's tough to play in, the crowd is nuts and the team is great to play against. It's just fun."

On trying to outrebound SDSU:
"We came here knowing what they did against (a taller Kansas team). We knew he had to keep them off the glass if wanted a shot to win."

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