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SDSU-Cal State San Marcos Postgame Quotes

Nov. 1, 2012

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SAN DIEGO --

San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher

Opening statement:

This was about as good as it could have been for us, in terms of what we saw, what we did early to create issues for ourselves, what (San Marcos head coach) Jim Saia and his team did to create problems for us. I thought early on, we were overanxious at both ends of the floor, which led to 8-for-25 from the field and 11 or 12 first half turnovers. We were trying too hard. At the other end, the same thing applied. They did a great job of making us chase them from side to side and we got too anxious. We gave them angles to get where they wanted to go and they took advantage of it. So we'll be able to show that from the tape. When we got shots in the first half, I thought we had good looks that we didn't make. (In the) second half we were more basic with `keep a guy in front of you, make him shoot over you.' They had a harder time making shots and we made a lot of shots, especially early on. So, played a lot of guys, saw a lot of things I liked and the tape will give us a lot to work on. If you want to say from a strategic teaching standpoint, everything involved was really good for us with the way it turned out. I thought Jim's team played very hard and obviously they played with a lot of energy and success, especially in the first half.

On the growth of DeShawn Stephens:

DeShawn made reference to all the news guys and the young guys. From a basketball standpoint, he's a young guy. And every experience is so good for him. He made tremendous strides in the offseason to grow his game. He's practiced a lot better than he played tonight. You never have to worry about him playing hard. He gives you every ounce of energy that he's got. He listens, tries to do what you ask him to do. As the season goes on, he will be grow his game and confidence and how he plays will be reflected in that. Chase is the wily veteran who has been a four-year starter for us. You expect him to play with a little more poise and make plays because that's what seniors who have started and been in big games are supposed to do. He made some big plays. He can score the ball, knows how to score the ball and that's what he did tonight. Kind of gave us a couple baskets to get us going and that's what we expect him to do.

On whether they made an adjustment at halftime:

We did and you know who made the suggestion? Dwayne Polee II to (assistant coach) Mark Fisher. Dwayne Polee II was the guy that suggested it. `Hey, what if we screened on the outside because they're bringing those wings up.' And lo and behold, we listened and it worked. We told him that and hopefully his teammates know here's a young guy that was out there and he came up with something. I don't know if we would have seen it or recognized it, but Polee was the guy that said, `what if we screened to the outside, we do that in man-to-man stuff when they won't let you come to the middle and they were bringing a guy up.' It was effective and then Mark (Fisher) had that guy run the baseline a little bit too, which was effective. But Dwayne was the guy that talked about one of the things that got us the very first basket of the second half.

On the different starting lineups tonight:

We told everybody that we were going to play a lot of people. Regardless of score, we're going to substitute. If you're playing well, you still might come out. We tried to do that and we'll do that again on Monday. Maybe not quite as liberally, but we will to get players that are playing in moments that are more stressful. I thought we got pretty good play in spots from everybody and we got teachable moments where we didn't play so well in others. You can't turn the ball over 22 times. One of them DeShawn got overanxious and went after a ball and if he hadn't been so DeShawn, it would been right to somebody else for a layup. He was a guy that caused that turnover because he was aggressive. We turned the ball over carelessly too many times. They know it and that's part of playing in front of people, trying to do things too fast and doing them too much in traffic. We have nice kids that are smart players that understood.

On what Cal State San Marcos did to cause the team problems:

(Jim Saia and I) talked beforehand and he said I'm going to start in a zone. I said, `you don't have to play it the whole half.' He probably should have played it the whole game. It gave us problems with what they did and what we did. We're going to be able to look and maybe some of the things we didn't do, we'll look at and say, `boy, we should have done this, this and this. So it was good for us. I thought they brought their back wings up more than we were accustomed to and we were not really good at recognizing `throw the ball inside to the low post to DeShawn, throw the ball to JJ (O'Brien) or whoever we had at the high post and allow us to make some plays. We did a little too much around the perimeter.

On Winston Shepard playing point guard:

Winston is as good a passer as we've got. He really sees the floor. We get movement and he has the ball right at the top, he's going to make a good play. He likes to pass the ball. So if you move and get open, he'll find you. He has to make good decisions that don't lead to turnovers, but he's a good player. We're not just putting him there to try him out. He can play the point. It will be good for Xavier Thames to allow X to either take a deep breath sitting next to me or move over to a wing and play where there's not so much of a demand with the ball in his hand all the time to get us into something.

San Diego State senior guard Chase Tapley

On playing in front of a big crowd:

Coach Fisher says in the locker room, `this is a dress rehearsal - it is the real thing' and we just have to go out there and play like it's a real game. San Marcos, they came out with a lot of energy and they matched our energy at the first but we came back in the second half. Just have more energy - that's what you have to do. I think it's a good thing for the freshmen and the newcomers to have that feel before we get into the real (games).

On the team's chemistry at this point of the year:

It is hard to say, at this point, after one game but we all play hard. We all want to do what (Coach Fisher) is telling us to do and all want to get the concepts down. I would say our chemistry is better than past years in the first game. I feel like we were comfortable with each other on the court, knew each other's tendencies, how to play together. All we need to do is keep on improving.

San Diego State senior forward DeShawn Stephens

On playing in front of a big crowd:

I think the better chance of it feeling `game real,' the better it is for our freshmen and newcomers. I think it gave them a chance to feel how it is in the actual season.

On his performance tonight:

I just went out and played. I try to play as hard as I can every time I get on the floor so I try to get too caught up in stats and things like that. I just do whatever Coach Fisher or the other coaches or even my teammates tell me to do. I just go out and try to execute.

Cal State San Marcos head coach Jim Saia

On the game:

The first half we kind of slowed the tempo down a little bit, but we weren't really sharp offensively. I thought our kids really competed. I thought we did a really good job in our zone. They had a hard time figuring it out. The second half they figured it out and shot 9-for-10 (to start). This is an exhibition game so I wanted to play a little faster in the second half because that's the way we're going to play against the competition that we play against. I wanted to get our offense some movement. (SDSU) switched everything, which was difficult for us. Then when we'd get in a gap, they are so dang long. We'd get layups and they'd block it. That's why they are a top-20 team.

On San Diego State:

We played them last year and they have a lot of returners. They are just so athletic and long. They protect the paint so well defensively. If you have a shot, they have the athleticism to block it. It's like the first play of game and these guys jump over the rim. They're long, they're as long as any team. They're as athletic as any team in the country. That's why they are a top-20 team. This group has a chance because they have the depth to maybe make a run in March.

On Jamaal Franklin:

Jamaal (Franklin) is a heck of a talent. I don't know what his line was tonight, but he's a gamer. He's just got nerves of steel. He doesn't necessarily always make the greatest decisions, but all of a sudden he makes a great play. He makes very difficult plays look easy.

On San Diego State as a program:

I was an assistant coach at Fresno State and we played in Peterson Gym. The transformation of this program is phenomenal. Give coach (Steve) Fisher, coach (Brian) Dutcher and that staff credit. They have recruited well, they have run a clean program and they have it going. I have so much respect for coach Fisher and how he manages his players. It's not easy to do what he does. He has a lot of talent to manage over there, and he does it as good as any coach in the country.

Cal State San Marcos guard Danny Redmon

On the exhibition game:

Overall it went well. It's good to go against SDSU. Obviously, they're a powerhouse. I think it's a good experience for us. They kicked our butts rebounding and got a couple dunks that got the crowd going (In the second half).

On what makes SDSU so good:

They're so athletic. They were everywhere on defense. When they hit shots, their momentum took them a long way. They're just an energetic team.

On guard Jamaal Franklin:

He's really good. He's athletic and he can shoot. I think he's a lottery pick in the (NBA) draft. That (put-back) dunk was one of the best dunks I've ever seen. I think he's ready (for the NBA).

On playing at Viejas Arena:

It's the best crowd I've ever played in front of. Last year we played against UNLV and BYU. San Diego State's crowd is amazing. They have a great fan section, they have loyal fans. Coming to a preseason game like this shows how good their fans are.