Dec. 6, 2011
SAN DIEGO -
San Diego State Men's Head Basketball Coach Steve Fisher
"I'll start with the excitement we have of getting on a bus tomorrow, driving across town and having a big game with the University of San Diego. (It's) a program that we know well and vice versa; our kids played with and against one another over the summer. We're hopeful that we will have a big contingent of SDSU fans and we always, especially when we go over there, have exciting and close games. I anticipate, regardless of what anyone else might say, more of the same tomorrow. We will be ready to play and we will need to be engaged from the beginning and play well, and I think that we will. We will need guys like James Rahon to do what he does best, to step up and not only make open shots, which he can do with the best of them, but guard. Guard the way we have been guarding. We're excited to be playing. This will be our last game before a welcome break leading into finals, which our kids are already starting to prepare for. We've got to make sure we're not getting ready for finals tomorrow, that we are ready to play San Diego."
On James Rahon:
"I think one that has been kind of dismissed a little is the fact that James hurt his foot. We all thought he had a broken foot. This was right before we opened, the Wednesday before we opened, he missed our first three home games. We found out it wasn't broken but he had a bad foot. It's still not 100 percent and for him to come back, compete and never complain, never use that as a crutch for anything speaks volumes for James and I think also for the disposition of our team. We want results like everybody. Nobody cares if you've got aches and pains. He truly had, and still has, a foot injury that could have shelved him a lot longer than the first three games."
On not being ranked in the top 25:
"I don't even get into categorizing mid-major or rankings for that matter. I will say this, and this will sound egotistical, I think we're the best program on the west coast. So I don't know what that means for major, mid-major, high-major, low-major or no-major, but I think we're the best program on the west coast. If you walk into our building we have an atmosphere that a lot of the Pac-12 schools would cry to have, with the crowds that we've got and the success that we've had. We just want to keep winning, and we let one get away with Creighton, so we just want to find a way to get a win."
On the upcoming game against USD:
"Last year the score was 34-28 at halftime and it probably was a closer game than that. We had a doggone really, really good team last year and a good team early last year. This is going to be a competitive game and we know that. We've watched tape and we know that we better come ready to guard for 35 seconds, not turn the ball over, and when we get a shot, we're going to need to make open shots."
On the rumored move to a new conference:
"I'm ready for San Diego and (I don't know about) all the things swirling around with conferences. I have great confidence in our administration, that they know what they're doing. I have great confidence in our basketball program that if we stay where we are in an ever-changing Mountain West Conference, we will be able to adapt. If we go to a completely new conference, what would that bring to us with both plusses and challenges. I know one thing, that if we go to a new conference, one plus potentially, Pandora's box being opened up for us from television. With the ability to attract ESPN and nationally ranked teams, big name teams not just from the West, but from all over, that I believe we could get in here for a nationally televised game. We will make it work regardless of whether we are in the Mountain West Conference like we are this year with no BYU and Utah, or next year with no TCU, or if we are in another league entirely.
"I am not certain what is going to happen. Let's wait for the first domino to fall. I have had multiple discussions with everyone from President Hirshman to (SDSU AD) Jim Sterk, to our coaching staff. We try not to play the `What if? (game).' We will be prepared, I have done some things behind the scenes to prepare us so I am confident that our program is going to continue to be on the firm footing that it is right now. We have a lot of people that have great respect for us. We've won 25 or more games for three straight years. We will continue to play the Arizonas, the USCs the Cal Berkleys of the world out here. I think we will have a greater opportunity to attract some midwest, east coast, Big-12 type of schools on a more regular basis. Potentially we will with a greater TV contract."
On possible recruitment effects in a rumored move:
"Recruiting is the lifeblood of any program. When I came here people said, `You can't get anybody to go there.' So I'm not going to get caught up in all of that. We're going to get guys to come here. Everyone wants to win and we're going to win. Everyone wants to be on TV and we'll be on TV. Everyone wants to play a certain style and we'll play that way. We've got way too many plusses to get hung up too much on a whole lot of things, we have to have a game plan and we'll have a game plan. I promise you we will."
On not being ranked in the top 25:
"No question, I read in the New York Times today, a little bit like us last year, Harvard, the first time in maybe since they cut the thing out of the peach basket that they have been ranked. I'm happy for Tommy Amaker. They had one good win over Florida State. I'm happy for him. I truly don't look at it but when everyone starts talking about it I look at it. And I'm like a fan now, when I'm a fan I'm saying I think were better than half the teams that are rated. I made that statement yesterday, when we play a rated team they'll probably play that. Would we like to be rated? Yeah. Are we rated? No. If we win tomorrow will be rated next Monday? I don't know. I do know if we keep winning then eventually we will be rated. We've beaten some pretty good teams. Does it have a body of work to merit us being rated? Probably. Truly we haven't gotten caught up in it. I haven't mentioned it one time in the locker room about we're not rated here's what we have to do to get rated."
San Diego State Junior Guard James Rahon
On upcoming game vs. USD:
"San Diego and San Diego State are always a great rivalry. We're very familiar with each other, like Coach (Fisher) said, we've played each other over summer. I expect another great battle like years past. We're really looking forward to this game."
On why he chose to attend SDSU:
"I was really comfortable with Coach Fisher, he recruited me a lot in high school and I felt really comfortable here, more than any other place."
On having any concerns about not being ranked:
"I don't really worry about that like Coach said, we just focus on playing our game. If we win, the accolades will come to us. All we really care about is winning."
On if he is pleased with the season to date:
"Absolutely, we're 8-2, I can't really complain. We're playing well and we hope to just build from there.
"Coach is always just telling us to give our best effort and everything should be alright. We just go out there on the court, give it 110 percent, and it has been fortunate to work out for us.
On the USD game:
"I definitely think it could be a dangerous game for a team that maybe doesn't respect their opponent and isn't ready to play. We treat every opponent like it's a top-25 team and I think we're going to come out with high energy. We're going to play Aztec basketball. We're going to be ready to play."