Men's Hoops-SJSU Postgame Quotes

Jan. 10, 2017

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SAN DIEGO -

San Jose State-San Diego State Postgame Quotes Get Acrobat Reader

SDSU head coach Steve Fisher

Opening statement:
“Very, very good win. A much needed win. We had a first half that if we can play that way for 40 minutes, rather than 20 minutes we’ll be a really good team. But we did what we had to do tonight. We found a way to get a win and did it in pretty good fashion. I told Ted Leitner how appreciative I am of our fans, because they were on their feet when we walked out to start the game, and they were engaged, involved and supportive and they knew the gravity of the game. So hats off to them. We need them again on Saturday when Utah State comes to town. We rebounded better, and this team is a pretty good rebounding team statistically, if you look at the stats. We kept them from getting second-chance points, and that was a critical piece to what we wanted to do. [Brandon] Clarke’s third foul was a pivotal point in the game for them. He had seven points in six minutes and got his third foul. He’s a hard guy to stop and played very, very well for them. I thought we did a good job of sharing the ball, moving the ball. Then for whatever reason it looked like—I told them at the huddle, about seven minutes in, I said, ‘If I didn’t know any better, I would say we’re 10 behind with two minutes to go.” We were playing so fast. So, you have to have the ability to take a breath, slow down, make the right play. But we won, and that’s what we’re here for and that’s what we can teach to. We can correct a lot of the things that we did. We’ve got to play hard, and we’ll find a way to get a win on Saturday.”

On sharing the ball more as a team:
“We do a good job of moving the ball well. We don’t have guys that won’t give up the ball. At times you do things a little too fast. Jeremy (Hemsley) at times just lowers his head, and is like a fullback, but we’re better and we know the importance of moving the ball. We had 17 assists and 25 baskets. That’s moving the ball to the open man pretty good. Obviously you can’t have 18 turnovers in a lot of games, but we did. I think we had 11 or 12 in the second half.”

On Montaque Gill-Caesar:
“[Gill-Caesar] can play, and we need him to play. I told him before the game, ‘Montaque, I saw some cuts on you when you played as a freshman at Missouri, and that’s how you have to play. You can play unafraid, you can’t try too hard,’ and I think to some degree he’s gotten in and tried too hard to help the team, and been a little bit too aggressive to make a play, rather than just moving the ball when a play is there and make it. He knows how to play; he’s a smart basketball player. Yeah, you’re right, we need him. He played 20 minutes tonight and I think he had a lot of positives that he brought to our team. He’s big. He can rebound the ball, score inside, so we do need him. There’s no question in that.”

On Trey Kell drawing a foul on SJSU’s sophomore forward Brandon Clarke:
“They had a guy at the scorer’s table, and I keep saying stats don’t reveal everything. Your point is very well taken. He knew that if he attacked, one of two things would happen: either he’d get to the rim, or he’d have the potential to pick up a third foul on their best player...and it happened. It was a pivotal piece to what happened in the game.”

On Matt Shrigley taking a charge at the end of the half:
“Our DNA is we’ve not taken a lot of charges. Not a lot of teams do. But you have to have the ability when you see a guy with his head down to step in front and take one for the team. You have to be able to do that. I thought tonight [senior forward Valentine Izundu] came in and did a very good job of patrolling the middle of the lane. He changed the arc on some shots, blocked a couple of shots and was a very valuable piece to what we were doing. I thought he did a really good job.”

On Max Hoetzel’s performance:
“Max Hoetzel – whose birthday, by the way, is tomorrow – gave himself an early birthday present. He’s going to stretch the defense. You know, he took one three from way, way out, the air ball that he shot, but he’s a guy that can make shots and he’s unafraid to take shots. He’s 4-9 tonight, all three-pointers. From where he started, where he struggled to make that shot, which we know he can make, he’s an important piece also to what we’re doing. It keeps them out, it opens the lane up to drive, it gives Jeremy (Hemsley) and Trey (Kell), when they drive it in there, a guy they can kick to, they’re going to get an assist. (Hoetzel’s) four baskets were four assists for somebody.”

SDSU sophomore forward Max Hoetzel

On the game overall:
“It was a great team win. It felt good that everyone was sharing the ball and to be in front of our home crowd was a great feeling.”

On how to continue winning games:
"I think the key is to take it game by game, obviously losses hurt but I think with every lost you learn something. With those last three losses, we learned a lot about our teammates, and about our coaches."

SDSU sophomore guard Jeremy Hemsley

On getting first conference win:
“It felt good getting that win tonight. That’s what we’re used to doing – winning. It’s unfortunate that we had those losses and started conference 0-3, but it did feel good to win. Now we just have to get back on track and move onto the next game and hopefully get another win.”

On the game overall:
“The difference tonight, I think, was that we shared the ball pretty well. We ran the court, weren’t stagnant, standing around watching – we just did a really good job of moving the ball around and running up and down the court.

On Matt Shrigley’s charge:
“I don’t remember what happened leading up to the charge, but I do remember Matt behind me telling me that he was about to get a charge and he actually did it. I was blowing him off because I didn’t think he was going to do it because that’s not something we really do, but he got the charge.”

On the team’s defense:
“They’re on us about it usually when we play drivers because they talked a lot about it in that Boise game. Half of that team were drivers, but it’s not really an emphasis when we play shooting teams. I definitely think that’s something that we could add onto our defensive end that could help us take it to the next level defensively.”

On Montaque Gill-Caesar:
“[Montaque Gill-Caesar] is definitely a scorer and I think one thing that he has been improving on this season is his defense. That’s something that we all have to do to stay on the floor, and Montaque is understanding that and has improved on that. He is one of the best scorers I’ve seen and I think with him it’s just all mental. When he’s just out there playing free and not worrying about the mistakes he’s made or someone else has made, I think he can contribute like no other. I see Montaque working hard at every practice and I think it’s just a new environment for him. I’m not worried about him; I think it will all come through for him.”

On Achilles injury:
“In that Boise game I guess I landed on it wrong, but it was just stiff and I knew something was wrong. I got up and I couldn’t push off of it like I normally do, but my Achilles is fine. There’s no more pain.”

San Jose State head coach Dave Wojcik

On sophomore forward Brandon Clarke picking up his third personal foul six minutes into the game:
“I was frustrated; the game was lost in the first half because of that. People want to come and see the best players play and he’s the best player on the court. I knew that going into the game; he showed it in the second half. That really hurt us when he went down.”

On the game plan with players in foul trouble and poor shooting performances:
“Clarke went down; (junior forward) Brandon Mitchell, I had to sit him down; (senior guard) Gary Williams, I had to sit him down … I went one-time with two-three zone and I put (sophomore guard) Jalen James in the middle of the zone. At that stage you have to shift your mindset as a coach and your game plan and figure it out. Our guys, I knew they wouldn’t quit. You’re not going to beat anybody when you go 3-for-20 from the three and you go 8-for-12 from the line. You have to get more free throws. We settled for jump shots early and we should have been driving the ball more to get to the free-throw line.”

On San Jose State’s missed opportunity in the second half after a steal and missed basket by (senior guard) Isaac Thornton:
“That would have cut (the deficit) to 11, instead he misses the layup and they go down and bang a three. So instead of (being down) 11, it’s now 16, because they were up 13. We had momentum at that stage, too, when he had that steal. But that’s the game of basketball and you have to learn from it, like I told the team, and get better.”

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