Feb. 21, 2013
COACH FISHER, TAPLEY, POLEE QUOTES
SAN DIEGO -
San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher
"We've got another big, big game on Saturday against Nevada. It's a team that is very capable of beating anyone. They've had some really close, tough losses, but they're a good basketball team. We're going to have to be prepared and play with the energy, alertness and toughness that we showed on Tuesday against Wyoming. I want to very quickly reiterate the way Chase (Tapley) has been playing is the way winning basketball is played. He's been magnificent with the ball with his passing, and we all know he can score. He's playing the best he's played since he's been at San Diego State. He's done a terrific job defensively, but his offensive ability and the way he's moved the ball has set the tone for our team. (Polee) in the last game, finally got an opportunity, and played outstanding. I'm very happy for him. We need more of that, and the way he's approached every practice, even when he didn't play, I do believe has allowed him to play the way he did on Tuesday."
On how important it is to finish strong in conference play:
"We're hoping on Saturday to have our eighth-straight 20-win season, and I don't think there are too many teams in the country that have done that. It's something to be proud of. We've got a home game. If you want to get in the tournament and do what you say you want to do, you have to win your home games. It's a huge game for us on Saturday."
On the status of James Rahon:
"(Rahon) did a little shooting on the side (at practice), just right under the rim. He's still very sore, but he's making daily progress, and we're terming it just that - day to day. He couldn't play if we played today, and I doubt he could play tomorrow. So we'll see. He's making progress, but still not ready for contact."
On how important Dwayne Polee II will be without Rahon in the lineup:
"(Polee) is going to get a chance to play, and he needs to take advantage of the opportunity. He's been shooting the ball exceptionally at practice. But he can't get overanxious. I thought it was perfect the way he played on Tuesday. And we had him guarding Derrious Gilmore some, and he's Wyoming's best perimeter player. He did a good job there. So we need (Polee) to not only play, but to play well like he did on Tuesday."
On Polee's versatility:
"(Polee) is the kind of player that we've won with. He can play multiple positions, he's tough to guard, he's long and he can defend any position 1-4. He's a good player. I know expectations have been tremendously high, and he probably hasn't gotten the playing time to have a chance to deliver to the degree a lot of people thought he would - and even he thought he would. But he did that on Tuesday, and maintaining the perspective he has, I do believe that over a career, he's going to be an outstanding player for us."
On Polee managing expectations:
"I think what has helped (Polee) is a dad that played (basketball) at a high level, who knows sometimes (success) doesn't come as quickly as you'd like it to, but you stick with it. His mom and sister are at every home game, and are supportive of not only (Polee), but the team as well. They're there waiting to hug everybody on the team whether (Polee) plays like he did on Tuesday, or if he didn't get to play. I think when you have that, it helps. When you don't have parents at home saying, `You should be playing more, they're not smart enough to use you,' eventually that will sink in and you believe it. But I think his whole support system at home has been helpful. I told this to the team today: I don't think I've ever had a player, and I don't think anybody else on our team could have dealt with not getting the opportunity and not getting as many minutes as (Polee) has. He's been fantastic."
On Tapley's unselfish attitude rubbing off on his teammates:
"(Tapley) has as high a basketball IQ as anybody we've had come through here. He knows how to play, and it's so evident when he gets the ball and puts it on the floor, he's got option one, two and three that he's prepared for. And it's really fun to watch on the bench some of the things he does. He's really done a magnificent job, and people know he can score with the best of them. He's become what they all hope they can become - a complete player. His priority is winning, and he's going to leave here hopefully with the most wins of any player in the history of San Diego State basketball."
On Skylar Spencer's development this season:
"(Spencer) sometimes doesn't look pretty when he shoots the ball, but he's got a feel for how to play. He's got long arms and a knack for always being around the ball. He blocks shots where you say, `How did he get to that ball?' He's got a good perception and awareness of where to move and how to move. And I think the future is bright with him and (Polee). (Spencer) has a made great progress. He's gotten playing time, and it's been extremely valuable to him. He's got a lot more confidence now than he did before, and he can catch and finish inside well in traffic. He gets that ball and he doesn't lose it. Usually good things are going to happen when he get the ball inside."
Senior Chase Tapley
On the importance of not overlooking Nevada:
"It's very important because that last game (against Nevada) doesn't mean anything right now. They've had a couple tough losses, so they're going to come into the game with a purpose. All their players are from California, so it's going to be a homecoming for them. All their families are going to be here and they're going to be ready to play. We've just got to match their intensity and come out with the same focus we came out with against Wyoming."
On coach Fisher's comments about how well he's playing:
"It's just something I'm doing for my team. I'm just taking what the defense gives me, and just playing. I'd say it's part of my game. I just want to do whatever it takes for our team to succeed. If it's being a distributor, I'll distribute. If it's scoring, I'll be a scorer. If it's stopping the best player on the other team, I'll do that. I'm just all about the team winning. Whatever I can do to help that, I'm all for it."
On how much his own attitude has rubbed off on his teammates:
"I think everybody wants to do what they need to do for the team. I think we all see the bigger picture. If we win, we're all going to have individual things come with that. I think we all know that, and about this time at the end of the season getting into March, that's what we need. We need everybody to be on the same agenda with the same goals."
On Skylar Spencer's development:
"I'm just proud of him. He can be a real game-changer the way he blocks shots. The sky is the limit for him if he keeps working hard. He's going to be one of the greats to leave this program if he stays focused and stays humble."
Sophomore Dwayne Polee II
On what the team has to do to execute against Nevada:
"(Nevada's) players are on hot streaks right now. They're playing with high intensity and they just haven't been able to pull it out in the last seconds (of recent games). They're a really good team. We've just got to match their intensity from the start."
On being patient throughout this season:
"I've just been staying humble and knowing my teammates and coaches have had confidence in me since I stepped onto campus. When Rahon went down, he just told me I had to step up in his place, and that's exactly what I did."
On managing his own and other people's expectations of him this season:
"It's a humbling experience, especially being coached by coach Fisher and playing behind great teammates. It's just a privilege being able to play behind them and learn about the whole program. Because when (the seniors) leave, the program is going to fall in my hands along with Skylar Spencer, Winston Shepard and other new players coming in next year."