SDSU Men's Hoops-UC San Diego Postgame Quotes

Nov. 2, 2017

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

SDSU Head Coach Brian Dutcher

Opening Statement:
“First and foremost, I just want to congratulate Coach Olan, who is not here today for UCSD, and his wife Lauren for the arrival of their baby daughter. Some things are more important than basketball, and that is one of them. Congratulations Coach. Your team played well without you. I hate to say that, but they played good. UCSD played a good game, and we knew they would. They execute, they move the ball, and their post players are stepping out and making threes. So we knew it would be a challenge. It was good for us, instead of playing a team that plays like us. They played different than USC. So we got a different look, more like we are going to see with Air Force this year or USD. Teams that move the ball, do a good job with spacing and cutting. It was good for us to play a game like that. I’m excited again to say we scored 98 points and only had six turnovers. We are scoring the ball at a good rate and taking care of the ball. That is extremely important moving forward that we continue to do that. I thought we played the right way for the most part. There was a stretch in the second half where I thought we drove the ball and tried to shoot too much when we had guys open. There is such a fine line, because we have very good players that can finish, but we have to play the right way. If a guy is open at times we have to move the ball to start that chain. I’m very pleased with our performance tonight.”

On starting lineup:
“I started (junior forward) Max (Montana) today. I told (junior guard) Jeremy (Hemsley) that ahead of time. It was more so I wanted to see a different group out there. So I will decide moving forward what I want to do game-by-game. If we play a smaller team maybe it was better suited to have Jeremy out there, but I thought Max did a good job, and more so as a stretch forward again, instead of a small forward. Max played extremely well. There were times that Max maybe didn’t get a shot and would have gotten frustrated, but he played through that. He did a nice job defensively, and continued to play good team basketball.”

On sophomore forward Nolan Narain’s progress:
“I said that in my press conference Wednesday, that I am really pleased with the progress Nolan is making. He’s just been caught up in a numbers game. As a redshirt freshman last year we had guys in front of him and he’s played himself in a new position to get minutes on the floor. How much he plays will be based off how productive he is with those minutes. It was harder to play him this game because of the way their five men step up and shoot. I was better off with a small line up and probably would have done it if it were a regular game more. But I wanted (senior center) Kameron (Rooks) and Nolan to try and play in those situations, so I played them more than I would if this was a real game and they were stretching us like that.”

On the three-guard lineup:
“In a game like this, they are spreading us out and driving us. They are driving, kicking it for threes, spreading us, and cutting. To have quickness out there and play the perimeter game is better suited for what they were doing against us. Offensively I can survive either way. We can score with the guards or the bigs, but that’s more of a defensive decision as to what I’m going to go with. This might be a rotating lineup all year based on who we play and what the opposing team puts out there.”

On moving forward with the team:
“The team is focused. That is the most important thing. They are not distracted. They are paying attention at timeouts. I can look at their eyes and see they are listening. That’s just not the five in the chairs at timeout, that’s the five guys behind them. They know they are all going to play, so I think they are paying attention to detail. I told them we are good at the things we practice. We spend a lot of time on our offense and I think it is showing. Defensively, there were situations that we knew we were going to see today that we really didn’t practice for because it was an exhibition. Their focus is the most important thing right now. They seem like they want to get better in every aspect of their game, and that’s showing in the games and in practice.”

On defensive improvement:
“We did something today. We switched every screen, which we’ve never done. We switched one through five every screen, down screens and ball screens. That was something new that we wanted to throw out there. I think it’s just the little things. The littlest thing is getting in a stance every position, every possession. The biggest thing is communicating defensively, that is the ultimate goal. In practice, we talk for them. Even though they want to talk, we (coaches) talk too much. That’s the biggest step we have to make defensively, is communicating better on the floor. I think we are getting better, but until we release our grip on that a little bit, we won’t know for sure.”

On Malik Pope’s slow start:
“We ended up playing him at the center position toward the end, so he was a recipient of a lot of nice passes from Trey. Instead of being the stretch guy out their shooting the three off those plays, we were rolling him to the basket and Trey got him both baskets on that play that we called. He hit him late for a dunk and hit him on another late pass for a layup. It’s just sharing the ball, it’s playing the right way, it’s spacing, it’s knowing where you’re looking and that’s what a veteran guard like Trey does. He got him those two baskets.”

On Trey Kell and Malik Pope’s evolution since their freshman year:
“Trey has transformed himself going into his senior year. He’s in the best shape of his life and it shows on the floor. He’s not tired, he’s smart, he’s aggressive and he’s what you want from a senior captain. I think Malik struggled the first half a little bit. We put it right where he wants the ball, on his back down to his right hand and he just missed a couple of shots in there, that jump hook that he’s shown he can make. He missed a couple shots that we take every day of the week and they just didn’t go in. I thought the only thing we did at a below-average level today was rebound. I didn’t think we had enough offensive rebounds and I think we gave up too many offensive rebounds. In the exhibition game, close scrimmage against USC, I think we out-rebounded them by about 15. I don’t know what the numbers were, but I just had a feel it wasn’t as good as it should’ve been.”

On Jalen McDaniels and comfort on the court:
“Jalen is just all energy. He goes all the time. It’s good to see him have some success at the end in that low-post sweep and then driving the ball. He didn’t do a great job on the glass today. He’s got to do a better job rebounding the ball. As skinny as he looks, he’s 25 pounds heavier than he was as a freshman. It’s coming slowly. I think strength will continue to add to his game and his dynamic, the way he plays.”

On the two freshman, Jordan Schakel and Matt Mitchell:
“They played real well today. They played within themselves. I thought Matt made a couple really good passes. Jordan shot the ball well and moved it. They didn’t try to do too much, and that’s a credit to the veterans. It’s easy if you’re not throwing five freshmen out there, they’re playing with veterans. So it’s easier for them, they just have to play off the seniors and the juniors. They don’t have to come in and do anything other than fit in. And they both did a good job of that.”

On Steve Fisher’s new seat:
“I told him he could send me notes down at halftime and at the end of the game, but I didn’t want any notes during the game. It’s great having Coach Fisher there. What better person to watch and give us a real evaluation of the team than him.”

On Adam Seiko:
“Adam’s fighting back, so hopefully we’ll get him back into practice on Saturday and we’ll see where he’s at. And (Montaque Gill-Caesar) has been out with a concussion protocol, so we had him practicing light and he warmed up today. Hopefully we’ll have him back out on the practice floor, because we can’t get better unless we practice. We have to get those guys back out there and that’ll help all of us.”

Senior Guard Trey Kell

On scoring more:
“We’ve been working on it a lot, just focusing on running our sets right, getting our spacing right. Plus it feels like our talent this year--we got a lot of players that can attack and make the right play at the same time, so with all that combined it's going to be really hard to guard us. Plus right now we're making shots, so it is all working out for us.”

On junior guard Devin Watson as an extra element:
“He is a really aggressive but smart guard as you can see when he gets it on the break. He's always looking to attack, he can pass the ball really well, he can shoot, so it just puts a lot of pressure on the defense, and it can take the pressure off of me or (junior guard) Jeremy (Hemsley) or all our other guards. He's been a great addition for us. As you can see, he is helping a lot.”

On if it’s a different feeling when the other team gets ahead:
“It was a little bit challenging because we weren’t really worried about the offensive end. That’s the main thing I was trying to tell the team that was out there. Offense isn’t our problem right now, it’s all the threes. You can hear it from the crowd, you can see their frustration, just three after three kept going in. No team is where they want to be at the beginning of the season and that includes us. So we’ve got some things to clean up, but we’ll be ready.”

On locker room and court dynamic:
“Right now I think it’s just a locker room where you can’t look at two people and be like, ‘They don’t like each other,’ or, ‘they have some kind of disconnect.’ Everyone likes everybody, you can see it on the floor. No one cares if someone’s getting all the shots or all the points, it doesn’t matter at the end of the day. We are here for the same reason. We’re trying to win games, so I think that’s the reason why our locker room is so close. We all have the same goal.”

UC San Diego Assistant Coach Clint Allard

On how the team played:
“I was very pleased with how we competed throughout the night. We did a lot of things we asked for. We took care of the ball. We competed on the glass. Our energy level in general was good. We still need to shorten up the defensive end. That’s kind of been a theme in our early scrimmages and season, but overall I’m very proud of our effort.”

On keeping up with San Diego State’s game:
“I think we stayed with them for a big chunk of the game. They’re going to make their runs, but I was proud of how we at least fought back and didn’t let that one problem snowball into a blowout. We kept it in arms reach throughout the game and I was happy about that.”

Thoughts on starting the season next week:
“There are definitely areas of improvement. We’ll get back to work tomorrow watching the film and seeing what we can shorten up. There’s a very good team in that room right there. I’m excited for what we can be, but we’ve got a long way to go.”

On the team’s new additions:
“I was very pleased with some of the guys. Brett Oossdyke missed a couple seasons and came in giving us a huge spark. Kennedy Koehler stepped in there and played hard and competed. All of our fours and fives came in and gave us something. Christian Bayne did good. He will have some things to work on, where he can be stronger with the ball and improve defensively. He will be an impact guy for us going forward. Tyrell Roberts and Martin Tombe also got in there for us for a little at the end of the game and I was pleased with their effort as well.”

On the three-point performance tonight:
“I wasn’t surprised we took a lot of them tonight. I was happy to see some of them go in, but I do think it will be something we’ll do throughout the season. We do have guys that shoot it at every position. We have a really balanced attack from outside the three-point line, but we also want to get paint touches and have an inside out attack as well.”

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