Junior Jamaal Franklin and the Aztecs hit the road on Wednesday to take on New Mexico.
Feb. 25, 2013
COACH FISHER QUOTES
SAN DIEGO -
San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher
"It feels good to come home, feels good to get two wins. We know the task ahead of us heading to New Mexico to play who appear to be the conference champions. They're two games ahead of Colorado State and three games ahead of the field, so it's going to be hard for anybody to catch them now. They broke the home winning streak of Colorado State and have found a way to win close games. So our task will be to find a way to win what probably will be a close game. We're hoping to have James Rahon make the trip. We're not certain on that, but we could use another able body. So we're excited about the trip. We've played fairly well there over the years, and we're going to need to do that on Wednesday."
On Rahon's status:
Rahon has not practiced at all since (being injured). He's done a little shooting on the side, but nothing other than right under the rim. It was still hard for him on Saturday. I'm hoping he will be better as we move into (Monday's) practice."
On the team's maturity level:
"We've been better in a lot of respects. I think we've been better mentally. We try to go hard in our practices, but they're not as long. We've got one prep day for New Mexico (Monday). But we've been better in how we've practice in terms of paying attention, skill building and maybe as important as anything, we've been better on game day not getting frustrated. And that's keyed by your veteran guys. Chase Tapley has matured so much as this season has gone on in every part of what he does, and your veteran guys set the table for your young guys. So I like the attitude that we're approaching practice with, and it's got to stay that way because we've got important games down the stretch."
On the importance of this stretch run of conference play:
"I think we're all fighting for our tournament hopes. We're fighting to win that next game and get that resume victory or two before the season is over. We're trying to get a better seed in the conference tournament. So it's a stage where every team has something significant to say this is why this game is our most important game. We can do the same thing with how we prepare for these games also. They're going to be hard. These are good teams with good players that have won big games."
On if there's a friendly competition between the men and women's teams:
"You cheer for one another and with (coach Beth Burns) and I, it's genuine. I hope she wins every game. She's a dear friend as well as a colleague, and I have great respect and admiration for how she does her job. She's done a terrific job for San Diego State."
On past success at New Mexico:
"We've gone in and haven't been intimidated by the crowd there, which can be very loud. We've manage to minimize the long runs, and when you go on the road to play a team that's really good, there's that 12-2 run that can kill you. We've been able to stay away from those, and as important as anything, we've been able to make some timely baskets. We've made baskets when winning is on the line to hang in games and to win some games. A part of that is good fortune, part of it is having good players, and part of it is hanging in there when you have a little bit of an (offensive) dry spell, and not having that dry spell that puts you so far behind that you can't catch up."
On how much they'll look at the first matchup from earlier this season:
"We'll go back and look at it, but (New Mexico) will have bulletin board material that will have '34 points' plastered all over it. They shot the ball poorly (in the first meeting). Some of that was our doing, some of that was they missed shots. I'm sure they'll score more than 34 points (this time), but hopefully we'll have one more than they do when it all ends. Everybody has the same game plan. There's not a lot of secrets. They'll know every play we're going to run, we'll know every play they're going to run. It will come down to conversion baskets and second-chance baskets and that sort of thing."
On if he'll have the players take some time off after Wednesday's game:
"Yes. When we had our bye week last time we took two days off. Maybe we need to take no days off (this time), because it didn't work for us heading into the next game (last time). You have to be smart with what you do. We'll use (the bye) with some intelligence to get guys healthy and ready for the next game. I haven't decided exactly when we'll take off, but with no game (Saturday), we'll take an extra day off."
On balancing rest against becoming rusty:
"I've done it a long time, and when you get to this stage of the season, your practices aren't as long. We do a lot of specifics on the opponent coming up. So when you do that, we wear the scout team out, because they're out there all the time pretending to be the next opponent. Even though we might go 1-hour and 40-minutes, they're standing and watching a good chunk of that. You can't run them up and down the court for 2 and a half hours like you do in October."