SDSU Men's Basketball Press Conference Quotes
Jan. 31, 2011
SAN DIEGO - SDSU Head Coach Steve Fisher
Opening Statement: "We were very pleased that we were able to come back and play as hard and productive as we did against Wyoming, that's what I thought would happen and it did. Now we're preparing to go to maybe the hottest team in the league in Colorado State, I would say the most improved team from a year ago, and that's legitimate. They are very good offensively, they're a hard guard like us and they can score in a lot of spots. Right now Andy Ogide is playing as good as any big man in our league and they don't stop with him. So this will be a test for us, this will be the first time in my 12 years that I've gone into their arena with it full. If you haven't, take a look at their BYU game and see how many people were there. We're going to have the same thing when we come into town on Wednesday. So we're looking forward to it, it's a big game for both teams. As everybody knows, we're tied with BYU and Colorado State is one game behind us. They're not just thinking about playing a game, they're thinking about winning the conference, and so are we. It should be a really good game with two good teams playing."
On the fans: "I had another phone call this morning saying that the line was longer and deeper than last week in preparation for TCU at home on Saturday. We didn't used to have that. When others would come in here, they did not expect a full house. Now we do, and they do, and it's a huge home-court advantage. Our fans know that and, once again, we cannot express more deeply our gratitude and appreciation to our students for wanting to be here to be a part of the event. Our students were lining up early in the morning to get tickets to the game and that makes us all feel good."
On rising or dropping in the polls: "I think the number one thing we can do is win. If we win, we won't drop. And that's our goal, to win. We did not win last Wednesday and we dropped two spots in the Coaches' Poll and three in the AP."
On his thoughts after watching tape of the game: "For me, when I went back and watched the tape of the game it was wonderful to see our starters, guys that aren't used to being on the bench for long periods of time, up cheering for their teammates. In particular, Billy White played a total of 15 minutes, but nobody was happier for the guys who were playing, or took more enjoyment in the cheering for the others. I think that's important that we be able to do that. You should do that, but it doesn't always happen and that's helped us be successful."
On how other teams view playing against SDSU: "We are no longer just another game, we're a game that they star. They're not going to say we have so-and-so to play on Saturday, they make sure, subconsciously, that they're ready to play on Saturday and that's good. That means you're doing something to have people talk about you in that fashion. I do know that about Wednesday's game, not just because it's us, but because what Colorado State has done and continues to do. They have two huge road victories; they won most recently at Utah and played terrific doing it. They won earlier at UNLV and controlled the whole pace of the game and were sensational. We're playing a team that's saying `We're going to win the conference and in order to do that, we have to win on Wednesday and at home.' We will not only get their best shot because we have one loss and are rated, but because they also have high expectations."
On Colorado State head coach Tim Miles: "Tim Miles is a media delight because he comes up with great one-liners. I think he lies awake at night thinking about what he wants to tell you guys that nobody else would think about saying. Those are all not off the cuff, I know that for a fact. He's done a great job and he had a resume. It wasn't major Division I before he got there, but he had a resume of winning. And he changed the concept, culture and perception of those players in the community now in terms of what to expect. He's done a really good job."
San Diego State Senior Guard D.J. Gay
On his mindset entering the game against Colorado State: "I know it's going to be a hard-fought game. I watched the game against BYU and they had multiple chances to win that game. It was a sold-out game and we expect it to be the same on Wednesday. As Coach said, they have a lot of pieces, they can score multiple ways and are just a very good team."
On being better prepared for CSU after the BYU game last week: "The loss against BYU was hard to accept, but as Coach said we fought back hard against Wyoming and we just learned from it. Going on the road, we know that we just have to be that much better on the mental part, with not getting frustrated and sticking together."
On another high turnout for the student ticket release: "We all appreciate it. The fans are a big part of the program and they help the team get wins at home. Just knowing they're out there early in the morning just to come and see a game is a great feeling. We appreciate them and I think they know that. After every game, we go over and slap hands with them, and say thank you for coming out. We know they're a big part of the school."
On whether the team's national ranking matters at this point in the season: "No, it's just kind of like a fun fact. It is what it is, but we just have to focus on the now. The rankings and stuff, it's all fun. It's something nice, we do like it and enjoy it but the key thing is just winning ball games."
On how much of last Saturday's win against Wyoming was channeling the bad feeling of the loss at BYU: "A lot of it was. That loss was a self-check for this team. We knew we were going to be tested on Saturday and we all pulled together. Coach did a great job of getting us focused on the next game and not dwelling on the past. The anger and the feeling of that loss we channeled it all toward Wyoming and I think they knew that."
On the bench's performance against Wyoming: "It was fun. I enjoyed seeing some players who didn't get a chance to play many minutes get out there and play. LaBradford Franklin came in and did a great job running the point guard position. Alec Williams, Jamaal Franklin and Mehdi Cheriet all did well and it was nice to see my teammates get out there and get a chance to show people what they can do."
On other teams adjusting to their style of play: "Teams have tried different ways to defend us, from zones, to matchup zones, to doubling down in the post. Every team has their niche, we have gotten used to teams coming out and giving us their best start. But I think as league goes on, the level of play is just going to rise with more at stake. People are trying to get into the Tournament and play postseason. So I think we have a lot of big shot teams, but it's just going to get that much more difficult in the home stretch.
San Diego State Sophomore Forward Kawhi Leonard:
On playing at high elevation: "It's not on my mind at all. I'm not worried about it. All I'm thinking about is playing the game and getting a win. I went there last year and was feeling good."
On being the top-ranked MWC team: "I feel good about us being top-10. It's fun for me because, going into Colorado State on Wednesday, it's probably going to be a sold-out game. I like playing in atmospheres like that when a lot of people are coming to cheer their team on, or coming to see us."
On the high demand for tickets: "It always feels good to have a supporting group behind you. They're just excited as much as we are about the season. We're 21-1 and doing history right now, and they just want to see history. I feel good seeing fans out there supporting the team."
San Diego State Sophomore Guard Chase Tapley:
On the large crowds at MWC Conference games: "The atmosphere is fun. Every arena we go to is almost sold out. It shows us how far we came that every game we have a target on our back. We have to bring it every game."
On the upcoming game at Colorado State: "It's going to be a tough game. Colorado State is a great team this year. It is tough playing at that altitude, but you have to fight through it and go as hard as you can to get the win."
On the possible disadvantage at altitude: "They probably think they have an advantage over us, but once the game starts, after the first five minutes, it just becomes part of the game and something you have to get used to."
On the dedication of student fans: "It's a great sight to see. Going to class this morning I saw the line. It's amazing to see how the fans are really participating. It shows us how far we've come."
On if he would line up as a fan if he was not part of the team: "I surely would! Viejas Arena is a great experience. I would be one of the top fans watching everything happen. I would certainly buy a ticket."