Dec. 10, 2016

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SDSU-Arizona State Postgame Quotes

San Diego State-Arizona State Postgame Quotes
December 10, 2016

SDSU head coach Steve Fisher 

Opening Statement:
“This is not what I’m used to. This is not what Trey’s used to. This is not what our program is used to. We’ve had a program that has played with toughness and pride and success. And we’re still capable of doing that. But, you have to do it for 40 minutes. You have to do it together. You can’t let one end dictate the other. You have to slow yourself down from the neck up, not allow frustration to affect everything you do and then compete and make plays. And make plays that are positive. The first half we played good. We played good basketball in the first half. They are a team that can make shots. They make back-to-back-to-back threes in the second half. I think that started our undoing and we tried to do things too fast on the offensive end and we didn’t fight with the toughness that we did in the first-half to make plays on the defensive end. So, obviously, it’s disappointing for all of us.”

On similarities with this team now and last season’s team last December:
 “I’m uncertain. I really am. I know we were 7-6 and we lost some games that we thought we should win and now we’re 4-4 and we’ve had games that we felt we should win and would win but didn’t win including tonight. (It’s hard for me right now to give you a lot of similarities other than the fact that we’re not successful and we’ve felt like we could be, should be and would be. But we’re not. So now what are we going to do? We are going to have to, all of us, circle the wagons, self-analyze, try to help one another, not fragment, fight together, and get one win that will give you a good taste when you leave the locker room and give you a chance to get two wins and do your job.”

On if he is concerned about the team’s current and future performance:
“I’ll be real honest. I’m not thinking March. I’m thinking what can we do right now to feel as if we’re making a positive step with our basketball team. What can I do to help as a coach? What can Trey do to help as a player? What can everyone in that locker room do to help us get off the turf, get off the court, stand tall, rely on one another and find a way to get a victory? And you do it one day at a time, one step at a time and that’s what we’re going to attempt to do. But you have to believe that you will do it and you can win when stressful times hit. And they will for everybody. They will in life, they do in games and in segments of games and you can’t give in. Whether it’s giving in and trying too hard, whether it’s giving in and not trying hard enough, you have to fight. You have to stay with it and you have to believe that you’re good and believe that you’re going to make that next play a successful one for you and your team.”

SDSU junior guard Trey Kell

On not being used to losing:
“I feel like we’ve got to look at ourselves in the mirror, and not try to put the blame on everybody else. If we start with ourselves, I feel like we’ll get a lot out of that. Being leader of this team, it starts with me. I’ve got to look at myself in the mirror and figure out what I can do better, first of all. Then, I have to see what I can do to help get this team in the right direction. I feel like if everyone has a restart and takes a look at themselves, it will be beneficial.”

On the negative fan reaction at the end of the game:
“To me personally, I don’t pay attention to it.  But it’s not something you want to hear to have your own crowd boo you.  But at the end of the day, the fans don’t control how we play, that’s on us.  So like I said, we just have to look at each other, start with ourselves, and go from there.”

Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley 

Opening Statement:
“That was a great crowd; I was impressed just to be here in front of that type of environment. We’ve played some hard games already, but when you add that crowd to it it’s impressive, very impressive. (San Diego State) coach (Steve) Fisher does a great job with his program and his players play so hard and compete so hard, so we knew it was a game (that) potentially could have been in the fifties and are we willing to play that type of game, are we tough enough to do that’ and our guys stepped up, they really did. We had some hard practices after (the loss to) Purdue and we played together at both ends of the floor. Defensively, I thought (forward) Jethro (Tshisumpa) was a presence around the basket and he made some progress in that game. I thought (forward Obinna Oleka) responded to not starting in this game and stepping up and being physical and making shots and rebounding. You can pretty much go down the line with how we executed; we played a 40-minute game. The first half, we don’t usually turn the ball over that way and if you want to look at anything that’s negative, it’s that. We were a little bit uncharacteristic in that department. You have guards that usually make good plays, but outside of that there’s really nothing that we’re not happy about. Hopefully this is a turning point for us; hopefully we found something that we need to move forward with the rest of the year.”

On the importance of this game for both Arizona State and San Diego State:
“We were in a gut check point of the season for us early because of the difficulty of our schedule and our competition. We knew this was an all-in game for us and for San Diego State. We knew how much this would mean to them based on a couple of close losses.”  

On responding to being down at the half:
“We didn’t shoot well, we had some open ones that the guys didn’t make and we were held to 32 points in the first half. We stayed within striking distance, we were shooting in the thirties and also turning it over 13 times. Then our offense came around and came to life early in the second half and that ignited us even more to play harder on that end of the floor. It was great to see.” 

Arizona State redshirt junior guard Shannon Evans II:

On responding to their recent loss to No. 18 Purdue:
“We’re just trying to keep building. (San Diego State) had a great environment, they’re a great team, so we were trying to get a tough win on the road and trying to build on this because we have some good teams coming down to Tempe to play us, so we’re trying to turn our season around. Whatever little spark we can get we’ll try and use it to our advantage and try to build from there.”

On the environment at Viejas Arena and responding when down:
“Down seven in an environment like (at Viejas Arena and responding) isn’t bad; I feel like this is one of the best places I’ve been in, to be honest. I’ve been to (Kentucky’s) Rupp Arena, I’ve been to a lot of nice arenas, but this here is something special.”

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