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MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 13, 2015


Steve Fisher

Dwayne Polee II

Aqeel Quinn

Winston Shepard


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

San Diego State テや 56
Colorado State - 43


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by San Diego State.
Coach, some thoughts on tonight's game.
COACH FISHER:テつ It will be good to be playing in the championship tomorrow.テつ We have beaten two good teams.テつ It's key by how we guard and our depth.
We had another game where we made it hard for our opponents to score and got ourselves a good team victory tonight.
So we're happy that we're still playing.
THE MODERATOR: テつQuestions for the student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Winston, pretty good game for you.テつ Kind of an understatement.テつ Talk about your game, how much fun it was to get into the game like that.
WINSTON SHEPARD:テつ I just wanted to bounce back from last night.テつ I thought I left a lot of points right at the rim.テつ I shot two for nine.テつ My teammates showed a lot of confidence in me, gave me the ball in an excellent position, so all I had to do was finish.
That's all it really was.

Q.テつ Winston, talk about that first dunk from the side.テつ Describe what you saw.
WINSTON SHEPARD:テつ You can ask my teammates, I'm pretty athletic, too.テつ I don't really know what I would have to say about it.
I saw the play and I just wanted to make sure that I got the two and there wouldn't be any mishaps on it.

Q.テつ Winston, it seemed like you made a real effort to start attacking the rim in the start of the second half.テつ What was the reason for that?テつ Finally figuring out what you needed to do to score and win this game?
WINSTON SHEPARD:テつ That's what we always want to do.テつ It helped tonight playing against Colorado State without their best player.テつ There was a couple times that a couple of us just got in the lane and the seas parted.テつ No J.J. Avila in there.テつ He has quick hands, gets a lot of steals.テつ It helped us a lot that he wasn't in there.

Q.テつ How much different were they without him?
WINSTON SHEPARD:テつ A whole different team.テつ They're not even the same team without him.テつ That's no disrespect to anybody on the team.テつ That guy's all conference, so it makes a big difference.

Q.テつ Winston, talk about Larry Nance.テつ You'll face him tomorrow.
WINSTON SHEPARD:テつ Can some of my teammates answer questions?

Q.テつ Sure.
DWAYNE POLEE II:テつ Larry Nance, he's a great player, one of the best in conference.テつ He has a great team behind him.テつ It's just going to be another tough game.テつ Really looking forward to playing him.

Q.テつ Dwayne, how are you feeling right now?テつ 19 minutes tonight, excellent game.テつ Seems like you're getting back to full speed.
DWAYNE POLEE II:テつ I'm feeling great actually.テつ My coaches and my teammates been giving me great confidence to just go out there and play my game and bring a lot of energy, so that's what I'm doing.

Q.テつ AQ, talk about your night.
AQEEL QUINN:テつ I thought I was going to slide out of here with no questions, y'all.テつ C'mon, man (smiling).
I would say it was a rough night.テつ A couple air balls.テつ I don't know.テつ I thought I just played solid and I played through like our system, our team's system.テつ Guys gave me the ball where I normally get the ball, behind the arc in transition.テつ I just tried to come through for the team.
And Winston does have bounce.テつ Finally he's showing it.

Q.テつ AQ, they obviously didn't have Avila.テつ Instead of going deeper in their bench, they replaced him with a guard.テつ What kind of adjustments did that force you to make?
AQEEL QUINN:テつ Well, you got to sit down on defense, first off, when they got guards in like that.テつ Especially pretty much everybody on their team likes to attack, attack, attack.テつ You have to have a hover hand up and move your feet.テつ If your feet stuck in the mud, you're not going to be able to slide them and stay in front of them.
As far as the guards, it's a lot of switching action.テつ We played a lot of guards, too, except for Skylar and Angelo.テつ A lot of our guys have to be in the stance and be ready to play D.

Q.テつ Dwayne, is this the kind of game you pictured when you were out to come back and be a part of?
DWAYNE POLEE II:テつ Yeah, me being a competitor, I want to go out there and have the best game of my life.
I was just playing through the flow.テつ I found myself open a lot.テつ My teammates did a great job of finding me.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll dismiss the student‑athletes at this time.テつ Thank you.
We'll continue with questions for Coach Fisher.

Q.テつ When the game ended, your players walked off the floor, shook hands, went to the locker room.テつ There wasn't a ton of celebration.テつ Is this expected of this program to get to this championship game?
COACH FISHER:テつ We were excited.テつ We were excited that we had an opportunity to get to that championship game.
I think when there are expectations, sometimes you flat line it a little bit.テつ But if you came in our locker room and saw the energy of our kids in the locker room when they came in, they were hugging and high‑fiving one another.
They are appreciative of what they've done, respectful of our opponent, and determined that we're going to come back tomorrow and hopefully find another way to get a victory.

Q.テつ We didn't see a lot of Chol or Malik Pope tonight.テつ Do you expect to see them more against Wyoming tomorrow?
COACH FISHER:テつ We got a lot of players.テつ We tell all of them opportunity that's productive will get you more opportunity.
They'll all get an opportunity to play.テつ Hopefully they'll play well.テつ We would much prefer to level out some of the minutes for some of our guys.テつ But tonight, for whatever reason, Skylar, we kept him in longer when normally Angelo plays.テつ Malik twisted his ankle in the first half.テつ I was a little bit reluctant.テつ I want to make sure he's okay and able to go tomorrow.
Hopefully they will play and play well.

Q.テつ Colorado State and Boise State have been considered on the bubble for the tournament.テつ Do you feel those are two tournament teams?
COACH FISHER:テつ I would hope so.テつ I'm more worried about San Diego State.テつ But I've got great respect and appreciation for both coaches.テつ They do a great job.テつ And I would hope that their body of work and how they played...テつ Boise State has been the best team in our league since they started that big, long winning streak.テつ And Colorado State's got more victories than anybody in our league.
If you watch them play, you say, That's a tournament team.テつ So I'm hopeful.テつ I would hope that they would get in.テつ That would be my hope.テつ I said that to Larry tonight after the game.テつ I said, Good luck in the tournament.テつ We'll be watching to see where you go on Sunday.

Q.テつ How different was Colorado State without Avila in there?
COACH FISHER:テつ If you take J.J. O'Brien off our team, how would we be?テつ We'd be different, a lot different.テつ The ball goes through J.J. a lot.テつ The ball goes through their J.J. a lot.
He creates so many problems for you at both ends of the floor.テつ So there's no question that it was a huge difference in the game.
And I feel badly.テつ We wanted to win.テつ I told Larry that before the game.テつ I said, This is not me talking.テつ I feel badly that J.J. is not able to play for you tonight.テつ I hope he's ready to play for you in the tournament.
We want to win, but we want to win going against their full complement.

Q.テつ Speaking of J.J. O'Brien, he had another great night, contributions all across the board.テつ You've never been shy about talking about how much he means to the team during the year.テつ Talk about what he means at this time, post‑season moments?
COACH FISHER:テつ J.J. doesn't care that he doesn't score.テつ He's 0‑5 in the first half.テつ It doesn't bother him at all.テつ It bothers most other players on our team and other teams if they have a doughnut when they come in at halftime.
We came out with intent.テつ I said, We're going to run a play for J.J. the first play of the second half.テつ He wound up worming his way in and scored a layup.
He knows how to play.テつ He's extremely intelligent.テつ He usually makes the right play.テつ A delight to coach.テつ I think San Diego State University is fortunate to have him as a graduate.テつ He's in grad school now.テつ He's a terrific young man.

Q.テつ Looking ahead to Wyoming, what is the biggest challenge with the Cowboys?
COACH FISHER:テつ Well, we've had two tough, hard‑fought games with them.テつ Larry Shyatt had a team that at the midpoint in the season, they were leading the league.テつ Nance goes down and it affects them immensely.テつ He's back.テつ I don't know if he's back 100%, but he's back.
And they're good.テつ They're senior‑laden.テつ Larry Shyatt knows what he's doing, and he controls pace and tempo of the game.テつ They're a hard team to speed up.テつ So we're going to have to guard them.
This should be a great game tomorrow.

Q.テつ We know about Nance.テつ But the guards sometimes for Wyoming step up big.テつ What are going to be the keys to keeping them in check tomorrow?
COACH FISHER:テつ We're going to have to guard 'em like we did tonight.テつ We're going to have to make it hard for them to get easy baskets.
Our theme, like a lot of coaches, tough twos.テつ Make players make tough twos on us.テつ That's what we need to do.
When we make shots we're a good team.テつ We couldn't make shots in the first half.テつ We had nine field goals.テつ Polee had four of them.テつ It was good for us to have our guy back, Polee, to play.
In the second half, like yesterday's second half against Vegas, we made shots.テつ We look good when we make shots.テつ If we could combine both of those for 40 minutes, we would be real good.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you for your time, coach.
COACH FISHER:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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