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Post Game Quotes


March 18, 2010

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An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: At this time we have San Diego State and student athlete Kelvin Davis. We hope to be joined by Kawhi Leonard and D.J. Gay and head coach Steve Fisher. Coach Fisher, would you please make an opening statement.

Steve Fisher: This is a very cruel business when you don't win, and the end comes very abruptly at this time of year. I told our team afterwards, it has to hurt, it has to hurt more than 30 seconds. I'm disappointed and feel very badly for them because they won't have the opportunity to experience what advancing means and how it feels. I've been there. I know how it feels. We'll have a chance next year. Kelvin won't have that opportunity so I feel badly for our team.
I didn't think we played very well in the first half, whether it was a little bit of tentativeness, whether it was Tennessee, I was very proud of how we competed in the second Hatch. And we gave ourself a chance. But we talk about, make a play to win. Make important plays. And they made one more than we did.
You saw it, we had opportunities and we couldn't just quite make a play. Couldn't quite get that missed rebound off a missed free throw, to their credit when they got it they scored it. Winners move on and losers say can we play them tomorrow? And unfortunately we can't play anybody until next year. So Tennessee played hard. We played hard and we just weren't quite able to make one last play.

Q. D.J., can you talk about that last play and passing the ball to Kawhi Leonard and what your thoughts were when the ball was in the air?

D.J. Gay: My initial thought was to get up the court as fast as I can and pull off a three pointer. But of course they weren't going to let that happen. I notice they put two guys on me and left Kawhi wide open and left the game in his hands. I saw the open man, threw him the ball and unfortunately he didn't make it.

Q. D.J., were you expecting them to foul you on that play? It looks like that's what they were trying to do?

D.J. Gay: Yeah, I heard the coach and the players yell foul him, foul him, foul him. But like I said, I saw the open man and we had a great shot to tie the game.

Q. Kelvin, could you talk about the match up? Was it something that you thought they did tonight that stopped you from winning or maybe something that you guys didn't the one thing that comes to mind, the 3 point shooting, you are 3 for 18 from beyond the arc?

Kelvin Davis: I don't think it was the 3 point shooting or anything. We came out kind of tentative in the first half and picked up our aggressiveness in the second half. In the tournament you can't come out flat in the first half because you fall behind and we did. We didn't make certain plays. Sometimes you put it in the ref's hands and things happen differently. We just lost the game, simple as that. No match ups, you can't drop no X's and O's, we just lost the game.

Q. D.J., can you just talk about, you guys are great offense rebounding team. And Tennessee actually had 13 offensive boards to your 11 today. Were you surprised at how good they were with that?

D.J. Gay: No, Tennessee, they're very athletic, very big. We knew going into the game we were kind of playing against ourselves. We're a very big athletic team, they're a very big athletic team. So one of our things was to keep them off the boards. But like I said they're very good, it would be hard to keep them to zero. It's part of the game.

Q. Kelvin, when Kawhi is loading up for that three pointer and it's going through the air, what's going through your head?

Kelvin Davis: That he's going to make it. He made big shots in the past. I think they're going to make that shot. I'm not thinking he's going to miss it. I have 100 percent faith in my teammates to make shots, so I thought it was going to go in.

Q. When you look back on this season what's the best memory you have?

Steve Fisher: I would say the whole process, from the time we grouped ourselves together for our first individual work out to now. I've told our team and I've told you, and I will say it again, I love this group of players. They are compliant, non complaining, hard working and wanting to be taught to get better. And we did all of that.
So it's disappointing that it ends now. But I'm extremely proud of them. Kelvin, in particular. He's got two classes to get his degree. I hugged him and said the most important thing you can do now is finish that degree. And then we'll help you get on with the rest of your life. The rest of us will have a chance next year. But for Kelvin he won't have next year, and it's disappointing.

Q. Could you talk about the scenario of that last play? Bruce talked earlier about the fact they were just about to foul you at half court and an execution allowed Kawhi to have that three pointer. Can you talk about the execution that allowed you a decent chance to tie the game?

Steve Fisher: Strange things can happen in this game. You can huddle up and everyone can nod their head and go yes, yes, yes. And it doesn't go true to form. I think what you said, I think they were told to foul, wanted to foul. We said we were going to crack, come back with our five man and knock them. Hit the guy and D.J. on the dead run, try to make another play.
And I don't know whether there was a guy with Kawhi that ran someplace, maybe a double D.J. or foul him. And D.J.'s awareness allowed him to throw the ball to Kawhi and he had a good look. But he was 0 4 tonight from the three point range and we were 3 18. Maybe it was fitting that it didn't go in and that we met the chance that we didn't capitalize on was the three pointer. But we obviously had an unguarded, seen the ball look, that you couldn't ask for anything better.

Q. Could you talk about the 3 point shooting tonight? Was it something they were doing or was it just bad shooting?

Steve Fisher: I think you asked about the 3 point shooting. We're not a great 3 point shooting team. We're a bit of a streaky 3 point shooting team. And Kawhi, who is a terrific player, they backed off of him. And he went 0 4. The last one he had to take.
The one that I know we will look back on and say we were unfortunate was the one we're down I think one and Chase Tapley had it right by our bench, unguarded. And Chase has been money shooting the three. He had a great look and it didn't go in. We had some good looks. We were 2 12 the first half. I told them I thought we shot too many threes the first half. The looks we had were pretty good, we just didn't make them.

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