SDSU MBB-California Postgame Quotes
Dec. 9, 2017
San Diego State-California Postgame Quotes
SDSU head coach Brian Dutcher
On initial thoughts after the game:
"A hard-fought game today at Viejas. Cal spurted out ahead of us and got ahead 14 early in the second half. I just like the toughness and the grit of my team to fight back and put themselves in the lead, and unfortunately we couldn't hold it. I told them in the first timeout, when they spurted on us, that we have to have a level of toughness and grit about us. The crowd will respond if you just play hard. You don't have to make all the perfect plays, just go out and show them you're playing hard and competing at a higher level. So we picked up our ball pressure, we got in the ball harder, we doubled some ball screens and it was a case of our defense getting us going offensively a little bit. We all know if you shoot 6-for-28 from three, you're not going to win a lot of games against a zone. I know a lot of people will say you've got to get the ball inside, but when you're shooting 6-for-28 they're not letting you get inside, they're pretty packed back in there. The thing I'll say about the shots is they were from the people I wanted shooting them, and they didn't go in. Devin Watson was 0-for-6, Max Montana was 1-for-7 and Trey Kell was 1-for-4 from three. The only one that really shot it well was Matt Mitchell, he was 3-for-6. At some level, if people are going to zone you all game, you've got to make some open shots. And I thought we missed some open shots. I thought, in particular, maybe it was a three-point game and we had a fantastic possession that ended in a missed shot, but I thought we were playing the right way. We had 20 baskets, 15 of them assisted. So we moved the ball, but not enough went in. I think Cal hurt us rebounding, we knew that was a possibility. They were 3-and-1 coming into the game today when they led the opponent in rebounding and they out-rebounded us. They rebound because they're so big and a lot of what they run, they have a post standing underneath the basket on a shot so they just kind of muscled over and grabbed a few over the top of us. So I thought the guards needed to do a better job working their way in there and trying to help the bigs out by knocking one loose out of their hands. I like the fight in my team. I told them after the game that win or lose I was going to say this, and I've been saying this: the next 12 days before our next game are going to determine how good we're going to be as a team. And I said I would've delivered the same message had we won a close game. We obviously have work to do, every team in the country does, but I like my team and I like how hard they're working. They're supposed to be disappointed over this game. I'm disappointed, but we have to move on and we have 12 days to get ready for a very good Gonzaga team on the 21st. We will be ready to respond and use these days to our advantage."
On SDSU's history against Power Five teams and resume games:
"When you're trying to get a resume built, it's always harder if you're a non-Power Five conference. We're no different than anybody else in our league. Nevada has played a wonderful season, but they got beat by Texas Tech and TCU back-to-back in resume-type games. Boise got a win at Oregon, that's a nice resume win for them. But the thing that we can't do, and I refuse to do, is obsess over games in the non-conference and let our kids get depressed because, `Oh my goodness, we're losing ground on the NCAA tournament.' Our charge is just to get better as a team and when the season's over, then the resume will be what the resume is going to be. So I don't sit there and obsess over every game like you can sometimes when you're trying to build [a resume]. Now, when you win those games, you're obviously feeling great about yourself, but I'm not going to let the team or myself get too high or low when it comes to resume building. We scheduled tough non-league games and we let a couple opportunities slip away. We've won some good games, but the only thing I can control is our level of play and how good we're going to get. So that's what my charge is. It's not to look at something that slipped away, but what lies ahead."
On how much benefit the team can gain from a game like this:
"Every time you play, you've got to learn from it, win or lose. As coaches, obviously you look at more issues when you lose. You try to micro-manage everything and look at every mistake like it's the end of the world. We can't do that. We have to look at film from a win and a loss and look at it the same way and just try to make good basketball plays. There will be things to learn from this game. We have been zoned ten possessions all year and we got zoned for 40 minutes today. That's every team in the country and it happens everywhere. Everybody is susceptible to losing a game. When you're Notre Dame and you win the Maui Invitational and you come home and lose to Ball State, or when you're Florida and you win a double-overtime game against Gonzaga and then you come home and lose to Loyola of Chicago. There's a lot of good teams out here. And it's any given night, as they say. If a team gets hot and they play well, anybody can be beaten and that's the beauty of college basketball. You have to bring it every night or every afternoon or you have a chance to end up on a losing end. That's why I love this game so much."
On only playing Kameron Rooks for eight minutes:
"Looking back, maybe I should've used Kam a little bit more. I just didn't think he was moving in the offense that well. I thought he was rolling back and forth a little bit with the ball in the zone. I want him to work one block and duck in. So I thought maybe his concentration wasn't what it needed to be. Looking back at the way we shot the ball, I'm wishing I would've played Jordan Schakel more because he can make shots. It's always hindsight. It's looking back and saying, `I wish I would've done this or maybe I should've tried that,' but that's coaching. I thought that the guys I had out there, including Kam, gave everything they had and played as hard as they could and just came out on the short end of it today."
On Jeremy Hemsley's dynamic in this game:
"I thought Jeremy played really hard on the defensive end again. I wish he would've cleaned up a few of the turnovers, and he'll be the first to say how bad he feels about it. But he's got to, as a junior, make more timely plays for us. It's hard. Even the last shot -- we try to race the ball up the floor with seven seconds, and try to get Devin into a gap and kick because there's not going to be a ball screen at that point against the zone, trying to penetrate in there with a rebounder down low and they did a good job of playing that little hand-off with Jeremy. We got a shot up and I wish it would've gone in, but we didn't have enough time to tip it in. Every game has a different dynamic and flow to it and we did enough to win this game. That's what I want our kids to know. We played hard enough at the defensive end. We made enough really important plays to take the lead and come from 14 behind, but it all goes for not when you lose and you get obsessed over the outcome, which is what we get paid to do [win games]. I don't want them to lose sight of how hard they fought and the things they did to come back and put themselves in a position to win the game. We can build upon those sort of things, so that's what I want to do."
SDSU Senior Forward Malik Pope
On standouts during final game minutes:
"I feel like we kind of made some mistakes on the defensive end towards the last stretch of the game that kind of hurt us. Besides that, just offensive rebounds. That's what got us at the beginning and got them going. Everything else is on us."
On focus for this upcoming season:
"We just focus game by game, to be honest. It's really just what we can control, we control. You can't really think too far in the future. It's my last year so I don't want to do that. So, leave it at that."
On California junior guard Don Coleman and the flagrant fouls:
"Just physical, you know, a lot of emotions. [Coleman] is a chippy player, which is expected. There's no taking from him, you can only respect it. But yeah, got a little kick down there. A little retaliation by me, which is just-- a mental breakdown. That hurt us, but it wasn't really anything serious. I was hoping we got the ball but, you know, stuff happens."
On Pope's mentality during the first half:
"Just play the game, stay aggressive, play for my teammates and somehow, you know, started opening baskets. They were flaring out and it just worked out. Just stayed aggressive and played with a mind--IQ I should say."
On if Trey Kell's absence was noticeable during the second half:
"Oh definitely, I mean, that was probably a big difference in the game, [Kell] going down. But, we still got to come and pull through and get the W at the end of the day, for his behalf and the team's behalf. No disrespect to TK but he shouldn't be an excuse for us taking a loss tonight."
SDSU Junior Guard Jeremy Hemsley
On thoughts about the last few minutes of the game:
"I think if we take away the turnovers it would have been a different situation. I had maybe four or five. Then I had one right there in that last stretch that took away from us offensively, because I turned the ball over right there. I think that's what stood out. Overall, I think everybody played hard and of course we made some mistakes out there. It sucks to loose to the third PAC 12 team of the season, but like I said, it was just turnovers. Especially me, I got to be way better with the ball."
On options for the last play of the game:
"It was more of a drive and kick look, but they had double teamed Devin (Watson) in the corner. So I tried to go behind them. Then I missed Malik (Pope) on the left wing, but all I saw was two seconds on clock. I think I could have hit them; I'll have to look at the film. I think the look right there was just for drive and kick, and we just didn't get the good look we wanted."
On Cal's zone offense:
"I would say that sometimes we settled taking more threes than we needed to. I think we could have done a better job of attacking the zone, and going at the gaps of the zone. I think that is something we could have done better for sure, just not taking as many threes."
On minutes playing and roll changing on the team:
"It's hard. You go from being a starter for however many years, then your roll changes real fast, so it's hard. I think I went through a stretch where my confidence was down, but I think that would happen to anybody after a certain amount of years of starting then to coming off the bench. As of now, I am trying to stay positive, and whenever I do come in the game I just try to be that spark. I just try to let the game come to me, and go at whoever I'm guarding."
California Head Coach Wyking Jones
On the win:
"It was just a complete team effort. The guys absolutely followed the game plan, we wanted to slow it up a little bit. We said to our guys, if we play the 2-3 zone we're going to make them shoot us out of it. Kept it tight, trying to limit penetration and the main thing was not letting them get offensive rebounds or get out in transition. We did a great job today."
On expectations for his team following a 27-point loss:
"I expected them to compete today. I actually felt really good about this game because I knew that our guys would play with a chip on their shoulder against these guys because I know the mentality of San Diego State is they come in and try to out-physical you. So, I knew my guys would be ready."
On what he saw during the double flagrant foul between SDSU senior forward Malik Pope and Cal junior guard Don Coleman:
"I saw Pope fall on top of him and so I had some concerns about that. Then I saw Don trying to get up and a little skirmish but nothing too serious. [The referees] just called it a double flagrant and said that they both had contact with each other."
On the environment inside Viejas Arena:
"It's one of the best [environments] in the country. The fans are into it and their players feed off of it but our players did not let it bother them. I think more than anything it kept them motivated, they enjoyed the environment and so we did not let it bother us."
On what the win means going forward:
"It just gives our guys a tremendous boost of confidence. They should feel like they can compete with pretty much anybody. We're just trying to build this thing so it's a tremendous boost of confidence for our guys."