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March 8, 2018

Rodney Terry

Deshon Taylor

Bryson Williams

Las Vegas, Nevada

San Diego State - 64, Fresno State - 52

RODNEY TERRY: Don't mind my voice right now. We give a lot of credit to San Diego State. They've had a great finish to their season. We knew we were playing probably the hottest team coming into the tournament. Give their seniors a lot of credit in terms of how they played down the stretch. Kell had a big game today. Pope is always a problem to deal with. Brian has his group playing at a very high level right now.

Take my hat off to my guys. I thought my guys competed hard today, like they have all season long. And we just lost to a better team today.

Q. The stretch coming out of the under 12 timeout in the second half, the five possessions.
RODNEY TERRY: You had to take care of the basketball, and this team has done a pretty good job. We felt good at the halftime, we only had four turnovers at the half. You've got to value taking care of the basketball down the stretch, especially in postseason play. And those possessions down the stretch compound without getting a stop on the other end, and those guys got a chance to get a little separation at that point. And we were fighting uphill from that point.

RODNEY TERRY: I think that at the end of the day we always talk about fundamentals is really important, that we stick to the fundamentals, and make the simple play. And give them credit, their defense was in the right position at times to take some of the things that we were trying to do away.

DESHON TAYLOR: We just didn't execute our game plan, like late in the second half, like you said, we turned the ball over like five times in a row. We were trying to put the ball inside, but it wasn't going our way.

BRYSON WILLIAMS: Yeah, we had five turnovers in a row. It was a real bad stretch. We just didn't take care of the ball. And we have to do better with that. And we really worked all year hard on taking care of the ball. And we really take pride in that. And we just didn't do a good job of it tonight.

Give credit to San Diego State, they're a real good defensive team. And we just had the turnovers.

Q. You have to play with who you have, but how much do you miss Jaron in a game like this?
RODNEY TERRY: Well, you can always have some injuries, and that's just part of the game. We tried to not let it be an excuse or something that can hinder the remainder of our season. We lost Jaron, who was playing probably as good as any guard in the league at the time. We won five in a row, and the first ten minutes in Wyoming and we're up one when he goes out.

And it changes your team. You have to adapt and adjust. We had to do that. We weren't able to play probably as fast as we were in the past. We relied on getting transition baskets. He was a speed guy for us. A guy of size. And he was our lead rebounder.

So put all those together it was a major loss for us. But we never tried to make it an excuse for us in terms of not having him. We always tried to say next man up, and somebody else needed to step up for us. That's going to happen in sports and also in life. Someone goes down, next one has to step up and do the job better and try to do it at a high level.

It was a huge loss for us size-wise, you play a big guard team like San Diego State, they did what they were supposed to do, they ran sets where they tried to isolate the ball, we would have done the same thing if we had the advantage of guards in terms of size. With Jaron you don't have that mismatch. You probably have one smaller guard on the floor as opposed to having two smaller guys. And that's worked for us at times as well.

It's a huge loss for us. We're not going to downplay like it wasn't. But we're not going to make any excuses, because we played a lot of games this year without Jaron.

Q. You played San Diego State in February. They went after you. They went up to Nevada and got drilled. And then they haven't lost since. The last time you played them until now, why are they so much different or better?
RODNEY TERRY: The senior players. You don't have a guy like -- you take Kell or Pope off the floor, it's like taking Jaron off the floor for us. That's a big piece you're missing. Kell is a good player. He was the First Team All Season selection for a reason. He's a senior, he's a good player. He's made big shots over the course of his career. You take him out of the lineup that's a big piece. He had nine assists against Nevada. He's older, he's been through the battles, he's played on good teams over there.

We played him when he was a freshman to go to the NCAA tournament. You can't put a price tag on that experience this time of year. And the urgency you have to play with. Kudos to him, kudos to Pope, those guys are playing like seniors down the stretch right now.

My young players here are good young players, and they're going to have a chance to gain valuable experience and hopefully be those type of guys as they continue to get older as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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