No. 13/13 #AztecMBB-SJSU Postgame Quotes

Feb. 25, 2014

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San Diego State-San José State Postgame Quotes

SDSU head coach Steve Fisher

Opening statement:
"I was really proud of how we came out and offensively shared the ball better than have in any game all season. And sometimes to a fault, but I'd rather it be that way. We did a great job of playing for others and trusting one another, so that was great to see. We did a good job with our pressure, and that made it hard for them to run set plays, and they're a team that's pretty effective with half court set plays. So it was a good win for us, and it was a win that didn't have a lot of lulls to it. I thought our energy, concentration and effort was there for the 40 minutes. We did a better job getting guys in and out before they got tired rather than right after they got tired and gave up a basket. We had great play off the bench. I thought (Matt) Shrigley and (Dwayne) Polee in particular did a good job for us. It was a nice win for us."

On if he had to make any early adjustments:
"(San Jose State) takes and makes a lot of threes, so that was what we talked about as far as our top keys - field goal defense. We set a goal of allowing five threes in the game, and they had five threes almost at the first TV timeout. You have to make them feel a little more pressure. After that first segment I thought we were better. In the second half I thought we were really good until the last three minutes. So we got better at it, and we made them take harder threes as the game wore on."

On if the New Mexico game was a reality check for the team:
"No probably not. I think anytime you lose, you say here are big reasons why we lost. This team has been really good all year about coming ready to practice and ready to play. We got spanked in New Mexico. I think we got a little jittery for whatever reason. But no, I would not say it was a reality check. I would say lost a game we wanted to win, and we got beat pretty badly. So we wanted to return the favor tonight and were able to do it."

On how critical Skylar Spencer is to the team:
"We talked about that at one timeout - you have to guard the ball harder because you've got your rim protector behind you. I thought he did a great job. You could read the stats and see how many blocks he had, but he had three times as many shots he altered. He's becoming pretty astute of knowing when to run at a guy and when to fake at him and let him come to the rim. He anchors the defense for us and when he's not in it shows too. He does a nice job with stats that don't show to help your defense."

On if Spencer's presence affects opponents' three-point percentage:
"Well you don't want to let anybody just drive by you, so you have to guard the ball. But you know you don't have to be cautious either because when somebody does get half a step on you, (Spencer) is going to be back there. (Opponents) are thinking about him also. He's getting better. He's getting better at everything he's doing from free-throw shooting, to knowing how to play, to wanting the ball, to doing what he does best - block shots and alter shots."

On how important it is to get production inside:
"We've got to get some baskets inside, and it can come in a lot of ways. It could come off the bounce, it could come off offensive rebounds and it could come off passing it inside. I was happy James Johnson got an opportunity to play tonight. When he got touches, he got baskets, and that was nice to see for everybody, especially him. We had size on them in most spots, so you take advantage of what you have on that also. We're a team that's pretty good at attacking off the bounce. When we played them at their place, we shot 39 free throws, and a lot of those free throws occurred from attacking the rim off the bounce. Tonight we shot 31 free throws. This is really who we are. We're a team that gets to free throw line, and our goal every game is to make more than they take. I thought we did a pretty good job of that."

SDSU junior forward JJ O'Brien

On winning 40 games against California schools:
"It's a great streak to have; there are a lot of good programs in California so that says something about ours. Coach Fisher has built this into a great program and to be 40-0 against California schools is amazing. We take pride in that and we have another one against Fresno State, so we have to keep the streak going."

On Skylar Spencer's presence:
"The way he alters shots, if there was a stat for that - he would lead the nation. When people get in there and he's trying to block them, it makes them miss. A lot of what he does doesn't show up on the stat sheet. He's a great help-side defender, he cleans up a lot of our mistakes. When we make mistakes, as far as people getting by us or getting to the rim - he's there to clean it up."

On the press:
"In the second half of the last game, we went on a huge run and it started because of our press. That's been our go-to this year when we want to create turnovers and pick up the tempo and get some easy buckets. It worked really well tonight; we got a lot of easy buckets off of it. It was great for us to get into it and the fast-breaks enabled to be able to score without getting into half-court offense."

On the defense:
"We know that they're known to take deep three's - they'll take a three from anywhere. They started off the game with a couple made three's, so we were focusing on that. We came out for the second half and had a better effort on that. That's what they do, so they're going to make some but that was definitely one of our focus points this game. "

SDSU junior guard Dwayne Polee

On Skylar Spencer's ability to defend the rim:
"That's every guard's dream guarding on the perimeter. When you know you've got you're big guy willing to come over and clean the glass and block shots. Having Skylar (Spencer) down there is a big presence. From my standpoint, teams seem a little nervous going down there into the paint. He makes them take shots that they really don't want to - makes them take tough two-pointers."

On a renewed focus after New Mexico game:
"I almost feel like the New Mexico game was a kind of reality check for us. It re-focused us and we were able to hone in on our ultimate goal of winning the national championship. We came out this game with focus. "

On seeing the walk-ons get some playing time:
"They work so hard in practice and most games they don't really get an opportunity to go out there and play. It's great to see the fruits of their labor pay off in a game and it's exciting. You see we have a lot of fun watching them score on the sidelines."

SDSU sophomore forward Skylar Spencer

On moving the ball around:
"We are just trying to get everyone involved, you know last game, it was a big emphasis. Afterward we noticed that a lot of fast breaks in place, that the ball kind of stayed in one place, so we want to move around and get everyone going."

On his defensive game:
"I take pride in defense, my offense is coming along but defense is what I do, so I take pride (in it). I make sure every game I come out there and I have a big presence. If I have 10 points and I only have one block, I don't feel like I am having a good game, so I just always make sure do some defense that stands out."

On the progress of his offensive game:
"I spent some time in off season working. I have been working a lot with Coach (Justin) Hutson, we have been working in all get in position and a lot of small stuff that a lot of post players forget. (The little things) are kind of easy to forget. So I just kind of working from the bottom, working my way back up. So I think it's coming along, it gets better and better as the year goes on."

San José State head coach Dave Wojcik

On opportunities that the SJSU missed:
"We had 14 turnovers in the first half. That's one of the things we talked about the last three days going into this game. We have to take care of the basketball. (San Diego State) scored 44 points in the first half and 20 of them were from our turnovers. You can't do that against that team. To give them credit, they are long, athletic and keep the pressure on."

On SDSU being physical:
"Our fouls were high school fouls. I told our kids, `You are fouling like you're in high school and you can't do that.' If you're going to get a foul, you better get your money's worth and don't let them get it up on to the rim."

Foul issues that showed the depth of SDSU:
"I'm proud of my guys. We battled and played hard but we just didn't play very smart tonight. And when I say smart, that's taking care of the basketball. If we take care of the basketball, you limit that. You take 22 of those turnovers and you take half that, that is more opportunity for us to score."

On a pretty good first half keeping up with the Aztecs, Devonte Wilson having a good first half:
"We shot 10-for-27 from the 3-point line, but we have to get to the free-throw line in the first half like I alluded to earlier. We didn't do that. I thought we did a better job of that in the second half."

On coming back after the first half with 19 free-throws compared to that of the first half:
"We had to be more aggressive going to the basket. We were settling for threes and when you settle for threes, they are going to get run outs and easy baskets and that is what happened in the first half. That is one of the things we tried to cover at halftime, driving the ball and getting to the free-throw line more. I think our kids did that more and better in the second half."

In the past, SJSU has shot as many as 43 3-point shots in a game, was that the intention tonight?
"One of the things we've done is shoot threes all year and we have done that pretty consistently. We have got one post guy, Chris Cunningham, who can score the ball inside but other than that we have shot the three this year and we have done that consistently. We came out early and did too much and it obviously cost us in the first half."

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