Men's Basketball-San Diego Postgame Quotes

Nov. 11, 2016

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San Diego-San Diego State Postgame Quotes Get Acrobat Reader

SDSU Head Coach Steve Fisher

Opening Statement:
“That was a nice win for us and I was impressed with USD. I don’t know their league that well, but I don’t think that’s a tenth place team in any league. They’re young, but they played hard and we had a hard time, obviously, guarding them in the first half. They had 13 baskets. I counted eight of them layups, but they cut hard. They play with patient speed and they had us back on our heels. We were significantly better probably the last six of seven minutes of the first half and for big stretches in the second half and made them take harder shots and that’s what you have to be able to do. I think fatigue became a little bit of a factor on both sides. But that was a nice win for us, a good start. Our guards, Jeremy (Hemsley) and Trey (Kell), they’re going to have to continue to play like that offensively and they’re going to have to continue to play better defensively. So, good start. Enough bright spots. Again, teaching points: they shot 49 percent so we’ve got to guard better. It’s obvious. I felt we had stretches where we did, but you can’t let a team shoot 50 percent on you and they were close to that. We will take it, move forward, get ready for the next one, which will be a tough one against Gonzaga, but we will be excited. We will play hard and hopefully we will play well.”

On how to respond to USD scoring most of their first-half points in the paint:
“Don’t let them get layups. I mean, we talked about it. You know, a lot of those were nuances of the old guard said Princeton offense. We say, Air Force offense. And you know, we’ve been able to guard Air Force without giving up a lot of back-cuts for layups and they did a nice job. They moved. When we started guarding the ball harder, it made it a little more difficult for them to find an open-cutter. We changed our angles just a little bit. Always you know, it’s learn, adjust, next play and you know, don’t repeat bad history.”

On senior guard D’Erryl Williams:
“I thought D’Erryl, and I’m glad you brought him up, but I think he’s one for four. But the other three were right at the rim layups that could’ve gone in and he could’ve been four for four. He is relentless, he is the ultimate teammate and to be honest with you, if you look over a career, he probably has been odd man out, not gotten quite the opportunity others have and could’ve looked for reasons to not compete quite as hard suddenly. He never ever let that happen. D’Erryl is a pre-med major. He has a two o’clock class Monday, Wednesday and Friday so he’s only able to practice those three days for a little over an hour. President Hirshman put him on the selection committee for the athletic director. He was the only student-athlete on it. He’s held in very high regard in our athletic community and throughout San Diego State and if you say, ‘Tell me what a student-athlete is supposed to look like,’ put D’Erryl Williams’s face there. And he can play! And he can play. So we are going to need him. We are going to need him. Whether he can play 29 minutes every game, I don’t know, but we’re going to need D’Erryl to come out to play and play with the enthusiasm, energy and effectiveness that he did tonight.”

On showing the team the cover of USD MBB’s Media Guide before the game:
“Before we went out the last time, I did. I said, ‘Here’s the cover of their media guide.’ I think I was telling the truth. It showed Bailey actually dunk and win the game against us at Petco (Park), celebrating the way he should. That was the cover of their media guide. That was a big deal to both sides. We had won nine straight, we were the overwhelming favorite and they beat us in every way possible. So I also put on the board ‘forgive, but don’t forget.’ That was - I put that up as a sidebar from what with all the other stuff. You can forgive yourself for what happened, but don’t forget it and come out and play like a program that has pride and history and respect.”

On playing Gonzaga Nov. 14:
“It’ll be hard. They’re a very, very good team. They’re huge. So it will be a test and I think our players are excited about the opportunity. We’re going to have to play well. We’re going to have to play well. I think they’re rated in the top 10 or 15 in the country with justification. So we’ll see. We’ll see. It’s a small arena, it’ll be packed and it’ll be fun.”

On injury updates:
“I don’t know if we’ll have any of the guys that were unable to play today or not. I don’t know. We’ll just have to wait and see. I would say, in all probability, you would have to say questionable, maybe highly questionable. We’ll talk again tomorrow with Sergio (Ibarra) and our trainer and with the guys and see, ‘How are you doing.’”

On senior center Valentine Izundu:
“I was really pleased with Valentine tonight. He had missed ten straight days of practice - maybe twelve - and had only practiced a couple of days and only had one day where he looked like he could play. And he did a nice job for us – blocked a shot or two, chained the arc on a couple, rebounded the ball and he gave us good minutes and we’re going to need that from him.”

Sophomore Guard Jeremy Hemsley

On what was going through his head as he watched the team from the bench:
“I just tried to keep a level head. I wasn’t trying to focus on all of the negative things that had happened. I tried to focus on what the coaches preach to us, which is thinking about the next play. I was just trying to do that and to be a “next play” guy. I tried to forget about those two fouls and to have the mindset of playing smarter when I got back in the game.”

On keeping his point-scoring run during the second half:
“I don’t think (USD) expected me to shoot, but that was something I have been working on for a long time and the team did a good job of getting me open and setting screens. That freed up my jumper more than they might have expected.”

On being a tough team to beat if they maintain their successful shooting performance:
“I think it’ll be tough if all of our shots are falling in, but it really starts on the defensive end. If we don’t have that going into a game or if that’s something that we’re lacking, then we’re very beatable, so I think it has to click on both ends.”

On the emphasis of the team having “active hands” during practice:
“Yeah, (assistant coach Justin) Hutson is a guy that’s going to stay on us no matter what and if you’re not playing defense, then you’re not going to play, so we try to have active hands every game or every practice. It is definitely something that is preached upon and I think that’s something that we did well today.”

On adjusting to playing on the drive instead of focusing on (USD freshman guard Nassir) Barrino’s shot:
“Coming in, we knew he was a driver, but that was really on me at the beginning of the game when I just let him go past me and get to the rim. When I came back in the game, I tried to keep the mindset that he wasn’t going to shoot.”

On (senior guard) D’Erryl Williams’ influence on the game:
“Williams has been awesome in practice. He’s been a guy who has been breaking down the defense, pushing the tempo, and is doing all of the things that we need him to do. Seeing him carry over what he has been doing in practice into the game was pretty cool to see and I love watching him do that.”

On if the team had already started thinking about the upcoming game against Gonzaga:
“During this game, we don’t really think about the next one. The focus is on who we’re currently playing, but the game is over so now and the focus has switched to Gonzaga. We have a quick turnaround because we have to go up there on Sunday, but during the game, Gonzaga wasn’t our focus.”

Junior Guard Trey Kell

On nerves starting the game:
“We came out and we were so excited and pumped up to play. We had to come back down to earth and play our normal game. They were making some tough shots in the beginning, so credit to them. We had to do what we had to do; which is keep a level head and know there are 40 minutes in the game.”

On reflecting back to last years loss:
“We talked about the loss this week in practice. Then right before the game, Coach Fisher showed us the media guide. It was a picture of them (USD) getting that final dunk before the game ended. It’s just one of those things that adds more fuel to the fire.”

On choosing when and where he shoots:
“My coaches and my teammates, they tell me to be aggressive. So anytime I get the ball I try to make something happen, whether that’s for me or my teammates. They give me that green light to just be myself and go out there and try to make something happen.”

On playing with the newer players:
“We have been working on it a lot in practice. It sucks to not have some of our key guys with us, like Matt (Shrigley) and Malik (Pope) being hurt. We are very deep, and for that reason we are glad to have that with two people going down. During practice it is time to get reps with those people and when it comes to game time it’s time to execute.”

On first half momentum:
“I remember a big shot Jeremy (Hemsley) hit, I think we they were up by nine. Then Jeremy hits a three, and then we came down and got a steal and a layup. Like you said there are a lot of different people. Jeremy started us off with a big shot, then with Valentine (Izundu)’s block and some of our steals, and Z (Zylan Cheatham) just being the energizer he is. There was a lot of different people that helped us in that run.”

On home opener win:
“It’s big because it’s the first win of the season. It’s better to be 1-0 than 0-1. Plus, like we were talking about earlier, they beat us last year. It was good to be back on the winning side, and we hope to carry that over into Gonzaga on Sunday.”

University of San Diego Head Coach Lamont Smith

Opening statement:
“We had some freshman mistakes. I really thought the difference in the game was there experience in the back court. Trey Kelly and Jeremy Hemsley were the difference in the game by scoring double figures. We address it going into the game. We knew we had to do a good job on guarding those two especially with their injuries.”

On the freshmen:
“I was really excited about how our freshmen came out and played. I felt that Nassir (Barrino) was very aggressive going in. Juwan Gray was very active and made plenty of plays. We understand that this is a learning experience and growth for these guys. We have to continue to develop them. They are going to get better each and every day. By time we get to our next couple of games they will be ready.”

On the loss and overall game performance:
“I thought we had a tremendous game plan. We were prepared. It was not the lack of preparation; it was little mistakes we had. We can’t play a team like San Diego State and go seven minutes without scoring. I thought we played very well, some ways we out-played them. However, it is about consistency. If we want to win on the road we have to remain consistent”.

On the outlook going into the season:
“We have to have a clear mind and be ready to go to war. Tonight’s game was preparation against Samford.”

USD Sophomore Guard Olin Carter III

On the overall game:
“We did not do a good job at handling the ball. We are a young team. We will look at film and correct what we did wrong. I think our execution started to slip. We got really sloppy on offense. We will correct our mistakes and be ready to play Stanford. I think that Nassir and Juwan played out of thier minds and really helped us.”

On playing at Viejas:
“They were ready for us. They wanted revenge from last year’s loss.”

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