Dec. 1, 2012
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San Diego State-UCLA Postgame Quotes
ANAHEIM, Calif. --
San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher
"I'm very, very proud of our crowd, first of all. They have allowed us to grow our program and they displayed that tonight. Our alums and our students have something to cheer about and they were en masse and in force doing just that. We've also given them something to cheer about. I told our team before the game, I had the privilege to know John Wooden and to come here with an opportunity to play in his event and represent our program against his team, UCLA, is something you don't take lightly. I said, "He'll be cheering for the Bruins, but what I want us to do is have him say at the end of the game, `Good job, Aztecs.'" And I think he did. It was a really good win for us.
I told our players that we are appreciative of the fact that UCLA wanted to play us, so let's show them why we're a team that they should want to play with regularity. I thought it was a really good game with a tremendous crowd and two pretty doggone good teams playing against one another. They've got a very good, young team that will continue to get better. I know what it's like to have the pressure of expectations, and I like their team. Their freshmen, in particular, are very good. They're a good team and I thought we played better tonight."
On being invited to play in the event:
"If I'm a promoter and I look at what we've done in our building, it makes pretty good sense for the folks running Honda Center to say, "What about San Diego State?" No question about it. We brought a lot of fans who spent good money to get here, and I'm sure they brought a program or two and a hot dog or two. We had a big-time crowd tonight and I think that's good for Southern California basketball."
San Diego State junior guard Jamaal Franklin
On playing against high recruits at UCLA:
"You can't really worry about the politics and the mock drafts and who is better than who. You've just got to go out and play for your teammates and worry about winning, and that's what we do every day. That's all we focus on doing."
On the winning streak against teams in California:
"I feel like we did a lot to earn that respect from California teams. I feel like we're the best right now, but I'm not saying we'll be the best forever. We're done a lot to earn that position, but we've got to put this game in the past and move on."
San Diego State junior guard Xavier Thames
On his success in the game:
"I've worked hard all summer. Jamaal and I spent a lot of time in the gym working, and I'm just blessed that the ball went in tonight, so I thank God."
UCLA head coach Ben Howland
"I thought in the first half we did a good job with our zone for the most part. We had nine turnovers at halftime and we didn't handle their switching on the ball screens very well. I think we had a four-point lead with about 19 minutes to go, and our zone really got tortured by their three-point shooting. We had some miscommunications and breakdowns on our responsibilities in the zone and they shot well in the second half.
Obviously it's a very good San Diego State team. You can see why they were picked to win their conference and why they've been so good the last couple of years. They had great fan support. It was like playing a road game in white jerseys, which you don't do too often. Credit their fans and their team for the outstanding game they played tonight. They were very, very good. I thought (Xavier) Thames and (Jamaal) Franklin were especially good. They've got veteran players and they played like a veteran team.
I think it was an eight-point game and we went to man to try and switch things up because we weren't making any stops with our zone. We made some mistakes when the ball was at the wing and our guard didn't come up to take away the pass back to the point. Thames got two wide-open threes. That's a simple mistake we can't afford to make. But they played well against our man and our zone tonight.
It was definitely a hostile environment for us, and credit goes to their fans for coming here and supporting.
We're so young. We're playing Jordan (Adams) and Kyle (Anderson) in spots major minutes. Shabazz has only been in about 15 practices so far, including the trip to China, so there is a lot of learning to do. Their team executed very well, and we tried to make some changes in the game. Give them credit. They've got veteran guys who had outstanding games."
On playing with a seven-man rotation:
"Other than Larry (Drew II), the minutes were spread around pretty solidly. I don't think we lost the game because of fatigue in any way."
On whether SDSU is the best team in California:
"That's quite a big statement because there are a lot of good teams in the state. But Steve has done a tremendous job with their program. You look at what they've done in the last three or four years, its been outstanding."
UCLA freshman forward Shabazz Muhammad
On the atmosphere:
"It was hard to play out there. The crowd was erupting and it was difficult. They played really well tonight and the fans went out with a bang."
On Jamaal Franklin:
"He's a good defender and he played really well tonight. He's a good player."
On his progress:
"I've been losing a lot of weight, running a lot, so if I continue to stay in shape, everything will take care of itself."