Men's Basketball-Fresno State Postgame Quotes
March 8, 2018
LAS VEGAS -
Brian Dutcher: First of all, I think the Aztec fans travel. What a great turnout for us today. If history is any indicator, we'll have double that at tomorrow's game. And they're important to our success. We want to thank them for traveling and supporting the Aztecs. I think we saw the improvement is we're better defensively. We're harder to score on. We look like Aztec teams of old, where we can struggle through an offensive period or two because our defense is so strong. And that has kind of spearheaded our 7-game streak right now. And we have to continue to defend if we want to advance in this tournament.
Defending the three was a big part of the game. I think they only had three 3s, we only had three 3s. It was old-fashioned basketball, it was slug it out, nothing easy, two opponents that knew each other well, and both played well.
We actually hit a spurt where we came away with a victory. So proud of both my seniors. When I took this job I told them I could think of two better seniors that I want by my side than these two with me, Malik and Trey, and I told them that when I was named many months ago. And they've been the key to everything for us and me to be able to rely on them on the floor over this last season. And I just want to tell them how appreciative I am of them. Along with the freshman Matt Mitchell, who he's learning from the seniors, I hope.
So with that I'll take any questions.
Q. They had a stretch there where they didn't score
for six minutes, they had five straight turnovers.
What's that like on defense when you're just
getting stop after stop? Can you sense their
frustration or does it energize you to get those
So they made some tough shots. But at the same time, I feel like we did a good job of playing one-on-one defense, but at the same time having the help side ready and making plays.
Q. Matt, you took two charges, talk about taking the
charges, and Tim Shelton is sort of the master of
that. What did you see on those plays and how
important was that to you?
Brian Dutcher: I had that on the board defensively, who is going to take the first charge? I asked that question in the locker room and had four or five guys raise their hand. We're not the shot-blocking team we've been in the past. But we have to stop the ball somehow in the paint, and we've done a good job over the last two or three weeks of sacrificing our bodies and throwing them out there and taking charges to let teams know that it's not a free path to the rim whenever they want.
Q. It seemed like you got the ball early a lot and
were doubling a lot. Was that part of the game plan
to establish that inside game with you?
Brian Dutcher: Both Trey and Malik do the right things. If they draw a double team, they move the ball. If they play one-on-one, they're both capable of scoring. There's great comfort as a coach to put the ball in their hands and know the right thing is going to happen.
Q. This is your 11th straight win in a quarterfinal in
the Mountain West Tournament. Were you aware of
that streak and why is this team so good in these
Q. San Diego State has been known for how great
they played defensively the last several seasons.
This season you started off and you didn't seem to
have that defensive prowess. What is it that turned
on in the second half of the conference season that
you guys have really started showing up
And added to that, we didn't take a lot of charges early. So we've made an emphasis that if we're not going to block shots, we have to take charges. And over this last win streak we've taken quite a few. We had a few we tried to take today that were blocked, but at least we're thinking that way, we're throwing our bodies out there and trying to protect the paint area. And we've done a lot of better job of that over the last seven games.
Q. What was your sort of take from the sidelines
watching that stretch where they didn't score a
basket for six minutes and kept turning the ball
To our credit, we didn't give them a lot of second shots. I thought we did a pretty good job on the glass in the second half, we held them to one shot pretty much every possession down the stretch.
Q. So you get Nevada now. How hard is it to have
to beat a team that good, ranked team that quality,
twice in six days?
We'll come out and try to defend them at a high level and limit their three-point looks, like we did tonight. And then hopefully do a little better job on Caroline. He was sensational against us the last game. He had 29 and was a dominant player in the game.
The Martins are good, Caroline is good, Stephens shoots the ball. They've got a lot of talent. They're shorthanded without Lindsey Drew. But what they have is good enough to win this tournament and what we have is good enough. I think it's going to be a real battle tomorrow.
RODNEY TERRY: Don't mind my voice right now. We give a lot of credit to San Diego State. They've had a great finish to their season. We knew we were playing probably the hottest team coming into the tournament. Give their seniors a lot of credit in terms of how they played down the stretch. Kell had a big game today. Pope is always a problem to deal with. Brian has his group playing at a very high level right now.
Take my hat off to my guys. I thought my guys competed hard today, like they have all season long. And we just lost to a better team today.
Q. The stretch coming out of the under 12 timeout
in the second half, the five possessions.
DESHON TAYLOR: We just didn't execute our game plan, like late in the second half, like you said, we turned the ball over like five times in a row. We were trying to put the ball inside, but it wasn't going our way.
BRYSON WILLIAMS: Yeah, we had five turnovers in a row. It was a real bad stretch. We just didn't take care of the ball. And we have to do better with that. And we really worked all year hard on taking care of the ball. And we really take pride in that. And we just didn't do a good job of it tonight.
Give credit to San Diego State, they're a real good defensive team. And we just had the turnovers.
Q. You have to play with who you have, but how
much do you miss Jaron in a game like this?
And it changes your team. You have to adapt and adjust. We had to do that. We weren't able to play probably as fast as we were in the past. We relied on getting transition baskets. He was a speed guy for us. A guy of size. And he was our lead rebounder.
So put all those together it was a major loss for us. But we never tried to make it an excuse for us in terms of not having him. We always tried to say next man up, and somebody else needed to step up for us. That's going to happen in sports and also in life. Someone goes down, next one has to step up and do the job better and try to do it at a high level.
It was a huge loss for us size-wise, you play a big guard team like San Diego State, they did what they were supposed to do, they ran sets where they tried to isolate the ball, we would have done the same thing if we had the advantage of guards in terms of size. With Jaron you don't have that mismatch. You probably have one smaller guard on the floor as opposed to having two smaller guys. And that's worked for us at times as well.
It's a huge loss for us. We're not going to downplay like it wasn't. But we're not going to make any excuses, because we played a lot of games this year without Jaron.
Q. You played San Diego State in February. They
went after you. They went up to Nevada and got
drilled. And then they haven't lost since. The last
time you played them until now, why are they so
much different or better?
We played him when he was a freshman to go to the NCAA tournament. You can't put a price tag on that experience this time of year. And the urgency you have to play with. Kudos to him, kudos to Pope, those guys are playing like seniors down the stretch right now.
My young players here are good young players, and they're going to have a chance to gain valuable experience and hopefully be those type of guys as they continue to get older as well.