SDSU Men's Hoops-Arizona State Postgame Quotes

Nov. 14, 2017

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

TEMPE, Ariz. -

SDSU Head Coach Brian Dutcher

Opening comments...
"The strength of our program has always been our defense and it wasn't there tonight. We knew they were an attacking team, they have excellent guards that really get to the rim and they got there on us in the second half. I thought our defense was not what it needed to be in a game against a good team on the road. Offensively we didn't shoot the ball great, we had some layup that just did not go in. A frustrating night for the Aztecs."

On Malik Pope...
"I think Malik (Pope) getting his third foul early in the second half hurt us. I wanted to rest him until the 12-minute timeout and it just never came. They went on a big run and eventually I had to take one to try to stem the momentum and get Malik back in the game. At that point, they had a lot of momentum in their favor and we just couldn't overcome that. Even though we had the lead at halftime, I told the kids it was about a C performance. We had nine turnovers and we didn't play nearly as good as I thought we should have played. You multiply that by two in the second half and it wasn't a great game for the Aztecs. Like I said it has to start with our defense. Offensively I though we made some decent plays. Devin Watson had seven assists at halftime and ended up with nine for the game. We just turned the ball over too much, we had 15 turnovers. Credit Arizona State, they played a good game and they've got good veteran guards that won out over ours today."

On adjustments that will be made...
"It is going to start with our defense. We tried to build it this week from one-on-one, two-on-two, three-on-three, back to the basics because we knew we had to stay in front of people this game because this is a team that drives the ball aggressively. From an X-and-O stand point I think the thing that I probably failed on was not treating their bigs with enough respect. I mean they did major work on us, usually we post double a team like that, we didn't double them. We were going to drop off the ball and try to dig a little bit, but they were too quickly into their shot, so maybe I could've given the team more help at the post defensive end. Arizona State really punished us inside and I think their bigs had an outstanding game, I think one was 7 for 7 (Lake) and one was 5 for 10 (White) and they played very well."

On injury to Max Montana...
"Max (Montana) has had knee problems in the past, so I think he was worried than anything when he went down. We just tried to calm him down a little bit and had the game been closer and we needed him, (athletic trainer) Sergio (Ibarra) said he was available to come back in. I didn't want to run the risk, I wanted to let him rest for a little bit knowing we have a game on Friday, so with the score the way it was I decided not to bring him back in to let him rest it, ice it, and make sure it's solid for Friday."

On Tra Holder...
"He led the Pac-12 in free throw takes and makes. He's a 1,200-point career scorer for them going into this season. Arizona State, you have to realize, last year were the third most three-point shooting team in Pac-12 history in terms of makes, so we know they can shoot the ball. We didn't give them any the first half, they only had two and ended up eight for the game, but what we did is we gave up way too much inside."

Arizona State Head Coach Bobby Hurley

Opening statement...
"I thought we made a strong statement early in the first half. We made some real effort plays on defense which kind of ignited what we were doing. Early in the game De'Quon (Lake) came in off the bench and continued where he left off from Friday with the blocks and the finishes. Unfortunately, he (De'Quon) picked up his second and I didn't want to go back to him in the first half. But he came in and did very well. The only negative thing that I could say, is we had a little stretch in the first half where our offense over dribbled some and stopped defending the way we have to get the lead that we got early in the first half. It was a great learning experience to come back from that adversity. In the locker room, we challenged the guys to play better, to make better decisions on offense, to make threes when your open and shoot it with confidence, and they did. Shannon (Evans) and Tra (Holder) early in that second half really got us going and Tra had a traffic all-around game again -- just filling the stat sheet in different areas. It was just great to see and watch guys like Romello White rebound and score inside with the aggression he plays with. De'Quon as well, when they were both together, it didn't seem like there was much hope to get a rebound other than those two guys for stretch in the second half. Overall, San Diego State is very good team that will win a lot of games in their conference and are well coached."

On Tra (Holder) and Shannon (Evans) taking over the game...
"That's why in the college game particularly, experienced guards who have been in games like this before, it's great to have them in the roles that therein. Both of those guys are determined for us to have a great season and have us win, with having us doing something special this year as a team. Individually, they are just really gifted players, they can make plays off the dribble and with the deep shot. That's why we're different. I think we have a chance to be better with the balance that we have and with the guards and what they can do away from the basket in getting to the rim, along with the presence of Romello and De'Quon around the basket now. It's going to make it harder to defend us."

On everything coming together at the end...
"We struggled late in the half and it wasn't a ton of life in the first half, and even in the locker room. You don't know how a bunch of guys are going to respond. They responded as well as you could expect. Just continuing to get stops and show energy on defense. I thought the defense was excellent in forcing them to miss. We got to (Max) Montana early. I think he was a part of the problem in the first half. We lost him a few times for threes. We were closer to him in the second half. The first half when we didn't do something well on offense, we didn't get back on defense as well. They had too many layups. We eliminated easy points from them in the second half."

On Remy's (Martin) defensive play on (Devin) Watson...
"We were switching a lot of their action; guard to guard. Remy was on him, but I think everyone had a turn or chance. I talked about how much of an impact he had on guarding the ball, pressuring and creating plays out there. Even though he didn't shoot well, he still was real positive in some other areas."

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