SDSU Men's Basketball Press Conference Quotes
Nov. 9, 2011
SAN DIEGO -
Head Coach Steve Fisher
On the two NLI signees:
"There's a lot to get excited about today. I'll start with National Signing Day. It's now legal to talk about our two signees that we're extremely thrilled about. Matt Shrigley, a local product from La Costa Canyon. We've recruited him since he's been a freshman in high school. He's very skilled, very athletic and he will fit how we play. He can play multiple positions and he's a very good student, an outstanding young man and an exceptional basketball player. So we're thrilled to have Matt, (since he was) recruited by all sorts of people. His father played at Boston College. We had Pac-12 teams, we had Big East teams, we had Big Ten teams that all recruited him and he opted to commit to us in the summer. We got his signature today and he is a very good recruit for the Aztecs.
"Skylar Spencer fills a tremendous need, he's a big, 6-foot, 9-inch left-hander, he has a high motor and is from Price High School in Los Angeles. He's also an exceptional athlete and also someone who was highly regarded across the country. He was recruited by multiple Pac-12 teams, and he's an exceptional student and an outstanding young man. He also will bring an ingredient of winning and skill level that will help continue the progress that we've made. So (it was a) good first step in our recruiting process to add to what we've got. We're thrilled about the addition of our two new recruits who will be with us a year from now.
On starting the regular season on Friday:
"We are also very excited about the start of our season on Friday. We have back-to-back-to-back games starting with Bryant on Friday and this will be a good test for us to see how we can prepare on short turnaround for three straight games. I'm anxious to see if we can take what we've done so far and take a step forward as the quality of competition starts to heat up. This will be an interesting three-game set for us. This is going to be, probably from my perspective, the one and only time we talk or think about last year. Whether we view it as championship replay or championship season, we're going to celebrate some of the things that were accomplished last year, starting with the raising of three banners on Friday. They will have a presentation to me (on Saturday) and then we'll have Kawhi Leonard getting presented with his All-American plaque plus his framed jersey (on Sunday). This is a celebratory weekend in some regard, so I'm hopeful that our fans will get here early and reminisce a little bit before that opening tip on the great accomplishments from the team from a year ago as we will celebrate in a fashion in all three games."
On what he expects from Byrant: "They will present a challenge. Their big guys have the ability to step out and make open shots. So this will be a test for us on how we will defend ball screens. They have a very talented and skilled three man (Alex Francis), who will present a matchup problem for us. He's 6 feet, 6 inches (tall), skilled and will test us with his offensive ability. He was freshman of the year last season for them. This will be a team coming in with some new faces and returnees expecting to have a good season."On SDSU's assistant coach Tony Bland
"I have great fondness for Tony Bland in so many different ways. He was one of the young people that believed in us. He helped us along with Randy Holcomb, Chris Walton and Aerick Sanders to jump start our program when we first got here. Tony brought a big name and he brought winning to San Diego State. He changed their perception, maybe more so than anyone in Los Angeles, a fertile recruiting ground. He proved to be that and then some when he came here. He graduated, went on to play professionally, came back and got his degree. I told him Tony, `I'll help you.' I knew eventually he wanted to coach and we're very thrilled to have him back here. He's a great ambassador of San Diego State and our basketball program and someone any parent can look to and say, `I like what I see in Tony Bland.'"
Senior Forward Tim Shelton
On what he's learned about his teammates from the exhibition games:
"Not too much that I haven't known in practice. We're growing, obviously. We still have a lot of new things that we're learning and little wrinkles that we're putting in here and there to get better. I like our team, I like it a lot. I like our camaraderie. I like our communication and how quickly that's grown. I'm excited about Friday."
On honoring Kawhi Leonard this weekend:
"We're excited for him, excited for this weekend in terms of the team being honored and an individual being honored. It's one of those things that you love to do. You love to have somebody come back after they make it to the NBA. Just to honor them a little bit more, let them know that they're appreciated, and let everybody give them that standing ovation."
On this weekend being a distraction:
"We're excited about the honoring process, but at the same time we understand that our season begins on Friday when it comes to our record and our journey to try to reach the NCAA tournament. In that sense we know what's going on, we see what's going on with the banners and celebration, but we also know we have to come to play, come with our minds right and the intensity ready to go. It's good to reflect on last year but not dwell on last year. We're definitely going to be ready to go and it's not going to be a distraction in that sense."
On whether it's unnerving to play unknown teams:
"A little bit I guess, but we're going to check the film pretty serious just like it's a league game. I'd say it's better to get these games at home instead of last year when we were in Ohio we found ourselves down by about 30 points in the first half. It's nice to have these first few home games, that's great, right on our home court."
Junior Guard Chase Tapley
On playing Bryant and UC Davis:
"We're going to get to know a little bit more with Bryant when we look at film. Growing up in Northern California, I know a little about UC Davis. Xavier (Thames) and I have a couple of friends who play on their team. They're good Division I teams who are going to come in here and play their hardest. They've seen what we did last year and they're going to try and get their name by beating us. We just have to come out and play 110 percent and match their intensity and their energy and don't take them for granted."
On keeping in contact with Kawhi Leonard: "We talk to him mostly every day. He's always coming around. We see him in the gym working on his game. It would be a great thing if he would come. He's just working on his game and being Kawhi."
Sophomore Guard Xavier Thames:
On new recruit Matt Shrigley:
"Shrigley is really good. He can shoot the ball, he is really athletic and he knows how to play the game really well. I like playing with him. He's a good kid and he's going to have a bright future here."