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MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 14, 2015


Steve Fisher

J.J. O'Brien

Malik Pope

Aqeel Quinn


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

Wyoming テや 45
San Diego State - 43


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by San Diego State.
Coach, just some thoughts on today's game.
COACH FISHER:テつ I won't tell you everything I told our team afterwards, but one thing I said is disappointment has no boundaries in our world, in what we do.テつ Nor does the sheer joy and exuberance and excitement that we felt yesterday, that Wyoming is feeling right now.
I will congratulate Larry Shyatt.テつ He's a good friend, been a long‑time friend, for what he's done, and for his team, with their grit and toughness.
But we have a team that has proven that we have that same mettle, and I'm disappointed we're not the ones out chopping the nets down.テつ But we're not.テつ That's the reality of it.
That disappointment and feeling truly has no boundaries.テつ We had opportunities.テつ We didn't take advantage of enough of them.テつ Some of it was us, some of it was Wyoming.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll now take questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.テつ AQ, just talk about the game.テつ Coach said you had opportunities that you didn't take advantage of.テつ What opportunities do you think you had?テつ Where didn't you take advantage the most?
AQEEL QUINN:テつ I mean, went up by five points, they came down, hit the jumper.テつ We came down, didn't score.テつ They came down again, scored again.テつ Momentum gone for us.テつ Momentum for Wyoming.
We had multiple times a lot of stops and we didn't convert.テつ Just didn't convert on a lot of stops.

Q.テつ JJ, how were they playing you tonight and was it different than what you had seen?テつ How did you adjust to that?
JJ O'BRIEN:テつ They were doubling me.テつ If I caught it on the wing and I started dribbling in, they came late.テつ If I caught it on a block, they came over early.
They were just doubling me, how everybody does.テつ They came over, they got a lot of length with Nance and Cooke under there.
I felt like we converted on a lot of the times that we had doubles.テつ I think Malik hit a three in the first half.テつ They were doubling me.

Q.テつ AQ, can you talk about the last sequence.
AQEEL QUINN:テつ Well, JJ had got the rebound first.テつ He threw it to Matt.テつ I was wide open in the middle of the court.テつ Winston was on my left.テつ I forgot who was on the right.テつ But Grabau was backing up.テつ I saw an open three.テつ I mean, I had confidence to shoot it, so I shot it.テつ Didn't go in.テつ Felt good.

Q.テつ Malik, I think you were the leading scorer tonight with 13.テつ Your first conference tournament.テつ Talk about the experience and growing each game.
MALIK POPE:テつ It was quite an experience, ultimately, this whole thing.テつ A lot of mistakes.テつ You know, some things we didn't do, it's just a disappointment ultimately, that's all.

Q.テつ JJ, during the regular season you beat them twice by eight and then sizable, by 26, later in the year.テつ Why was tonight such a reverse?
JJ O'BRIEN:テつ Well, there was a lot more on the line tonight.テつ They did a good job just getting hot early.テつ Both teams played hard.テつ It was a good game overall.テつ They made their shots I think a lot better this game than they did the previous two games.
Obviously having Nance back was huge for them.テつ But, you know, there was a lot on the line, and they needed that to get to the tournament.テつ They handled their business today.
Just got to give credit to them.
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 Talk about the conference as a whole after this tournament, what you've seen from it, the outlook for March Madness and the NCAA tournament.
COACH FISHER:テつ Well, we know Wyoming's going, and we think we're going.テつ So we'll see who else goes.
You know who else we think's deserving.テつ We'll see what happens tomorrow.テつ This is very, very competitive league, and it was shown in the conference tournament.
Any number of teams could have been cutting nets down.テつ Wyoming found ways to go backtoback to back, and they are.テつ So they're to be congratulated.

Q.テつ Could you talk about the process of the NCAA tournament.テつ It's real quick.テつ You don't know who you're going to play.テつ You don't have time to scout.テつ Everything is compressed.テつ Walk us through how the process goes and the timeframe.
COACH FISHER:テつ No disrespect, I'd just as soon talk to you after on that.テつ I'm more concerned on questions on the game we had today.テつ I'd be happy to talk to you later about that.テつ I'd rather talk about Wyoming and San Diego State right now.

Q.テつ You came out in the second half playing very well.テつ I think you held them scoreless in eight minutes.テつ In that stretch, you were only able to get 10 points, then things switched back.テつ Most of the season you were able to keep that momentum.テつ What changed in this game?
COACH FISHER:テつ We haven't done it most of the season.テつ We've done it at times during the season.テつ When we have, we've been successful.テつ We've won.
We started the game not guarding the way you have to guard.テつ To Wyoming's credit, they made shots.テつ But they were open shots.テつ They were too good of looks that we allowed to happen.テつ They made all of them early.
The last nine possessions of the half, they scored one basket, a three by Grabau on an inline out of bounds.テつ We scored four times.テつ So we cut into the lead.テつ Cut a 10‑, 11‑, 12‑point lead to three, or whatever it was, at halftime.
You're not going to win many games when you score 45 points, but they did today.テつ You're sure not going to win many when you score 43.テつ Six for 24 at the second half, that doesn't get you victories.
Our moxy guy, our guy that brings energy, that I love to death, AQ, was 0‑for‑5, 0‑for‑4.テつ We're not going to win many games when that happens.
He had a great look at the end, nine, 10 seconds to go down two.テつ But we had other opportunities.テつ With a minute to go, 50‑some‑odd seconds, we said we wanted two for one.テつ JJ is going to take the ball, we're going to screen him, try to get a shot.テつ Looked like he had a layup that didn't go in.テつ You have to make some plays.
And Wyoming, they showed a lot of moxy and muster.テつ They were tough‑minded.テつ Those seniors wanted to say, We want to go to the NCAA tournament, and they did.
Our five fifth‑year seniors wanted to win a Mountain West Conference tournament championship, and we didn't get it done.

Q.テつ With the last shot you took, you had multiple timeouts, think about setting something up?
COACH FISHER:テつ I'm sorry?

Q.テつ Multiple timeouts with the last shot, any chance to set something up?
COACH FISHER:テつ The last shot?

Q.テつ The three‑point shot at the end.
COACH FISHER:テつ He had a terrific shot.テつ You know, you sometimes say take a timeout.テつ We felt we had the flow, something good would happen.テつ Something good did happen, but it didn't bring closure with happiness.テつ It was a miss.

Q.テつ You played a lot of tough defensive teams in the conference this year, plus Utah, Arizona, Cincinnati.テつ How does Wyoming's defense compare with the best teams you faced this year?
COACH FISHER:テつ Wyoming says, Who do we want to shoot jump shots?テつ They go under any screens that are set, they back off, they dare you to shoot it.テつ We didn't make enough.
At the other end, the shot clock got in the red a whole lot of times.テつ Several times they shoot it with under five and got the rebound and had another 35.テつ That slows your possessions down.テつ That lends itself to the kind of 45 to 43 game that we had here.

Q.テつ The last couple weeks you started to build up some momentum, played some pretty good games, some good halves here.テつ How does this change things for the psyche of the team?テつ What do you have to do to get them ready to play again in the NCAA tournament?
COACH FISHER:テつ I don't think I know the resiliency of youth.テつ We will tomorrow be euphoric when we see our name called.テつ Doesn't matter what number's behind it or where we go or who we play.
So we'll be excited and ready to play.テつ We wanted to win today and have another one, have four in a row, five in a row, whatever it might have been.テつ But I don't think that will have any impact on our preparation and how we come out ready to compete.
We will be as energized as any team in the field of 68.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you very much, coach.
COACH FISHER:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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