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December 4, 2012

Steve Fisher

James Rahon

COACH FISHER:テつ I'd like to start by doing what we have all been doing, offering a hearty congratulations to all of the successful programs, teams at San Diego State.テつ We have always said when you have success, everybody benefits.テつ Everybody's boat rises and everybody gets recognized; women's volleyball, Deitre Collins‑Parker wins the conference, Deitre is Coach of the Year, a great season.テつ Mike Friesen wins the conference, rated in the Top‑5 in the country, Coach of the Year.テつ And now Rocky Long wins the conference, Coach of the Year.テつ Those honors are not surprising.テつ When you have success, everybody gets recognized, and it's great to see what's going on in our building with the Aztecs on the Mesa here.
James is back with me.テつ We are feeling about ourselves but we have to be careful we don't feel too good about ourselves.テつ Last night's game with Texas Southern was a game whereas I watched the tape, I thought we lost just a little bit of our edge in the second half, and then they made shots.テつ They got hot and made shots.
If you look at their M.O. in their games, they have a half in most games where they shoot awful, and then a half where they shoot either good or lights out.テつ And they had that with us, again.テつ So we contributed some, and then they made a couple and thought, here we go, we're going to make every shot we take.
So we have to learn from it.テつ We have to get better and we have to not accept when you allow a team to shoot 54 percent from the field in the second half and have as many lay ups and easy baskets as they got.
But a lot of good things, 15‑for‑17, free throw line, all in the second half.テつ Shot well again from 3‑point range.テつ Guarded, I thought, very effectively in the first half, and our conversion defense, which has been suspect, is getting better.
So, progress, but we are trying to demand perfection, which, hard to get, but good thing to shoot for.

Q.テつ Can you talk about the Mountain West and the results the teams are getting; Wyoming beating Colorado, Boise State going into Creighton and winning.テつ How good is this league this year?
COACH FISHER:テつ It is more than just a top‑heavy league, you're exactly right.テつ I think most people thought at the beginning that the teams that were good last year, ourselves, Vegas, New Mexico, Colorado State, all NCAA Tournament teams would have a chance to be good again and we are.テつ We're all good.
New Mexico is undefeated, they moved into the top 20 or so.テつ Colorado State I think is undefeated, and they have had some great wins, and then ourselves and Vegas are playing pretty good, but you look at Boise, I believe won/lost at Michigan State, beat Creighton at Creighton.
Air Force, playing terrific, played Wichita State in the cross over game with the Missouri Valley, and shot 15‑for‑30 from the free throw line or they would have won.テつ They got beat by three in that game.テつ Wyoming is playing fantastic undefeated.
So that takes in almost all of us.テつ It's a really, really good league that's always been hard to win on the road.テつ And I think it's going to be very, very competitive and I pull for every team in our league to win every non‑conference game we have to make the relevance of our league be there and we are doing a pretty good job of that.

Q.テつ One thing I've enjoyed about your team is the man, low‑post defense, how is this team looking at the low‑post, doubling, causing pressure for teams that come in that have a lot of size.
COACH FISHER:テつ We will selectively double when the ball goes into the post.テつ Sometimes we don't.テつ Sometimes we will.テつ Usually double off the other big guy.テつ Haven't done a lot of that the last few years and we thought we would need it against USC and we did a lot against USC.
We thought we would need it against UCLA and it never quite turned out where we were able to get there quite quickly enough.テつ So we have not doubled a lot but we've practiced on it.
So I think we'll be prepared when we have big, strong post players on the other team.テつ I like our guys in terms of how they have guarded inside.テつ I mean, we've got one, we have alternated one legitimate post player in Deshawn Stephens and Skylar Spencer.テつ And they have done a pretty good job of defending one‑on‑one in the post.

Q.テつ Texas Southern started in the second bringing full‑court pressure and you turned the ball over a little bit, what problems did they create for you guys?
JAMES RAHON:テつ They were definitely a little pesky group of guys over there, very tough.テつ We just got to focus oncoming out I think with more intensity in the second half, being smarter, making smarter plays and being able to handle that pressure when it comes to us, maybe a little bit better, and just be prepared for that.

Q.テつ Last night you said your team kind of suffered from a little bit of mental fatigue in the second half.テつ How important is this four‑game home stand right now?
COACH FISHER:テつ I wish I could schedule like Jim Boeheim does, never league the arena in non‑conference play.テつ It's always nicer to play at home.テつ You know your routine.テつ You don't have to travel.テつ It's so much nicer to be able to do that.
So it's good; this is good for us.テつ We're happy that we're home.テつ The important thing to do is not get complacent and say, because we're home that we are going to win.テつ We have to prepare.テつ We have done a pretty good job of that.テつ Our kids have been pretty good at listening.
But a short turnaround between UCLA on Saturday and the game on Monday.テつ We didn't dress.テつ We didn't go on the court on Sunday.テつ We did meet.テつ Watched film on both ourselves and Texas Southern.テつ But we had a really good, I felt very informative learning walk‑through on Monday, our 2:00 to 3:00 shootaround.
So everything they did, we knew what they were going to do.テつ Dutch did a great job of going through their three or four sets and you can't get too complicated.
But we knew what they wanted to do, and the disappointing thing to some degree, some of the things we walked through, it appeared as if‑‑ especially second half when we are not there to yell, you know, be ready for this, be ready for that, where we got caught almost by surprise and you can't have that happen.
And it happened to us.テつ And I think that's not being quite alert and we've got to be better.テつ We have given up a lot more points and a higher shooting percentage in the second half of most games and we can't keep talking about that.テつ We have to perform better defensively together.

Q.テつ Do you feel like there was maybe a little bit of an emotional/mental hangover from the UCLA win?
JAMES RAHON:テつ Well there shouldn't be.テつ We should come out every game like it's UCLA.
But having a short turnaround, maybe there was a little slippage.テつ We just have to make sure we don't let it happen again and we come out ready to play each and every night.

Q.テつ Santa Barbara is usually a tough task.テつ What can we expect?
COACH FISHER:テつ We've had some great games over the years with Santa Barbara, some games that have been a bit bizarre, gone to the wire, multiple games have been over time.
Last year we were very fortunate to win up there in over time.テつ He's got a young team.テつ He's a terrific basketball coach, and they have a lot of sets that they run and they speed cut on their sets.テつ They run their sets hard.
So we are going to have to be alert.テつ We're going to have to be smart and we are going to have to be able to defend the cuts they have and all of the things that they do.テつ And they also have a lot of kids.テつ I think they have three freshmen in their top seven or eight.
They had a great win Saturday night in overtime at Santa Clara, really good win.テつ They have had hard games.テつ They were at LSU, at Illinois state, at Santa Clara, Wyoming at home‑‑ and Wyoming beat them at their place.
So this is a team, our players who are returning, they know what we went through last year when we went up there and they have got two or three of the guys back at a time where last year, were a bit of a role player and now they are primetime players.テつ So I think it will be a good game.テつ I think it will be a good game and we are going to make sure that we have ourselves ready to go.テつ I'm glad that we don't play them tomorrow.テつ I'm glad that we have two days to get ready for them.

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