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EA SPORTS MAUI INVITATIONAL


November 26, 2014


Steve Fisher

J.J. O'Brien

Winston Shepard


LAHAINA, HAWAII

Arizona テや 61
San Diego State テや 59


THE MODERATOR:テつ Coach Fisher, Winston Shepard, and JJ O'Brien.テつ Coach, some opening comments?
COACH FISHER:テつ When you come and win two games, you want to win the third one.テつ So we're very disappointed that we're taking home the second place trophy, and yet this was a phenomenal experience for our team, and in so many different ways, from the atmosphere from being here on Maui to the hospitality, to the game that's we played.テつ We grew as a basketball team, and I know that when we go back and look and think and talk about things that were very costly to us in this game, we'll be better as we move forward with our own season.テつ That's what everybody wants to do.テつ We wanted to win.テつ We thought we were going to win.テつ We knew we could win, but we didn't win.
So that's a disappointing thing.テつ I told our team, other than the score, I could not be more proud of our effort, our toughness. テつWe made mistakes, but so did they.テつ We will learn from them, and hopefully the next time we're in this type of an environment situation with an elite team we'll find a way to make two or three more plays, or not make two or three of the plays that we did that will allow us to be successful.テつ So it was a wonderful experience for us.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for the players.

Q.テつ Obviously, it's a very disappointing loss.テつ Just talk about what this will do for the rest of the season?
JJ O'BRIEN:テつ We played some quality teams out here, so that definitely made us better.テつ We went through a double overtime win just to start it.テつ That shows character in ourselves.テつ We played a good team tonight, and played a good team last night.テつ So we've proven something to ourselves a little bit, and we can move forward with that.

Q.テつ For both of you, outside those two threes you had late, you only had one basket in the game.テつ Could you talk about the offense?テつ Did you have tired legs?テつ Did things just start to slow down a little bit?
JJ O'BRIEN:テつ We've just got to continue to get better.テつ Continue to be aggressive Arizona ease a good team, and you've got to give them a lot of credit.テつ We'll take this as a learning experience.テつ I'm glad it's early in the season.テつ We have a long way to go.

Q.テつ Winston, did this battle with Arizona seem at all similar or was it different than your past battles with them in the last few years?
WINSTON SHEPARD:テつ All of them are pretty similar.テつ I feel like we should at least have won three out of the last four, in my opinion.テつ But like I said, they're a great team.テつ We don't take moral victories, but we've just got to continue to grow and learn from it.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for Coach Fisher.

Q.テつ It was a really good game, but what a defensive battle it was.テつ Could you talk about both teams on the defensive end?
COACH FISHER:テつ They're good.テつ They're long, they're athletic.テつ What appears to be a good look sometimes gets blocked, sometimes gets altered because of the length and the aggressiveness, and that happened to us.テつ We took a couple shots that we shouldn't have taken, and they made us pay.テつ If you're shooting a perimeter shot and you get a block, then it's probably not a good shot.テつ If you're on the bounce taking it to the rim, it's a little different story.テつ So we had some plays that we'd obviously like to have over again.テつ So did they.テつ So did they.
They have length.テつ They have elite athletes in multiple spots, and they make it hard for you to score.テつ So do we.テつ 61 to 59 game is indicative of that.テつ We had a couple of plays where I'll go back and look.テつ If I talked to you tomorrow, I'd have a couple more.テつ But the ones that stick out in my mind are the two turnovers out of bounds, and we had a two‑point lead where they scored, I know, I think on both of them.テつ Then we had another turnover shortly after that.
So we had three turnovers in like four possessions, and they hit us.テつ They hit us in the chops and we didn't respond the way we needed to.テつ We did regain our composure and come back.テつ But that was a critical little stretch there.

Q.テつ You've said all along this offense is going to be a work in progress and it's different from last season.テつ But it seems you guys reverted a lot the screen roll late in the game and you don't have Xavier Thames.テつ Is this part of the learning and maturation process for this team to go through learning stretches like that in a game?
COACH FISHER:テつ I think it is.テつ Again, if we could roll back the clock and know what I know now, we as coaches would probably have tried to do some other things before we ended up in a pick‑and‑roll.テつ So we're growing, as is every team that came here, and we'll be better served because of it.テつ But you have to find a way to make a play, and I thought we, right to the end when we threw the home run play and said, let's see if we can make it work.テつ Winston went up and got it and shot a basket.
So now there was a gasp of breath still left in us, so we competed hard, but we've got to get better.テつ That's why we came here and this will help us get better.

Q.テつ Coach, you guys leave here 2‑1.テつ BYU, who you went double overtime with on Monday, leaves you 1‑2, the only win over Chaminade.テつ Does that kind of illustrate the razor's edge and how quality this tournament can be and how it really takes a great effort to get much out of this tournament?
COACH FISHER:テつ I think that's exactly the mindset that I had when we came over here.テつ I watched BYU's game today.テつ Dave Rose and Cheryl Rose are good friends of the Fishers.テつ And Angie and I talked, and I said, one play and that could have been us in the first game.テつ One play and they could have been playing in the championship.テつ So there is that razor's edge, and there is quality right down the line.テつ You look at the teams that were here, and they are good teams that were here.テつ I told our team before the game, when I was a high school coach a long time ago I had thought of the year and I thought I was clever.テつ My first year it was George Allen, from his book.テつ I had a big hand in his trophy case.テつ The difference between winning and losing is this much.テつ I told our kids that before the game.
I don't talk about winning and losing, so I said the difference between success and failure is this much.テつ And it is, and it is, and it was proven here in a lot of the games.テつ It's a great example.テつ We could have been playing for sixth place.

Q.テつ Coach, you've seen a lot of really good players in your career and coached them both for and against.テつ Could you comment on Stanley Johnson and his performance in this tournament?
COACH FISHER:テつ He's pretty good.テつ He's pretty good.テつ He'll make a pretty good NBA player in about six months.テつ I saw him in high school a lot of times.テつ We were early on involved in recruiting him.テつ He's no surprise.テつ He's a terrific talent that competes like crazy and helps his team win.テつ So he's good.テつ He's a very good player.テつ They have a lot of very good players.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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