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March 11, 2006

Steve Fisher

Brandon Heath


THE MODERATOR: We're joined by the Mountain West Conference champions, San Diego State. We have with us head coach Steve Fisher and student-athletes Marcus Slaughter, Brandon Heath and Kyle Spain.
Coach, if you'll open with some comments.
COACH STEVE FISHER: I was wrong, I said there wouldn't be two of you left, but we got six (smiling).
The thing that impressed me the most was the way we shot the ball in overtime. Three for five, seven for eight. We went into overtime, they not only fought and defended and guarded, but you saw the Aztecs play the way we've played a lot this year.
We struggled to make baskets in three games, so I'm doubly proud of the fact we're the last dog standing. That's a tribute to these three and the rest of our group.
We will proudly represent the Mountain West Conference in the NCAA tournament. We feel good about ourselves.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.
Q. Brandon, can you talk about your play in overtime, just what enabled you to step up?
BRANDON HEATH: I mean, we went down by six about two minutes left. Came to the huddle, everybody just tried to stay positive. It came down to getting stops and rebounding. Guys made plays on the offensive end.
That's all it came down to, make good plays.
Q. Brandon, probably a horrendous game for you by your standards overall. 7 for 27 from the field. What turned it around for you in overtime?
BRANDON HEATH: I don't know, man, just our team. Our back was against the wall. My name was called, I just tried to answer. My teammates believed in me. They got me the ball in the right situations. I just tried to capitalize. Thank you, guys.
THE MODERATOR: Questions now for Coach Fisher.
Q. Can you talk about going into overtime knowing you're playing without Marcus Slaughter, even the last minute. Talk about the team's play without two of the starters.
COACH STEVE FISHER: We talked after the game about this is a San Diego State team victory, and it was personified tonight when arguably our best player, if not right there, and tonight, for sure our best player, fouled out in Marcus. And then Richie, who had been a dynamo out, we had guys that were able to hang in there and deliver. It's nice to have veteran guys like Sharper and Trimaine that can come in and fight. Then we've got some feisty young kids, Kyle and Richie.
So, I would have felt more comfortable had we had Marcus going into the overtime. But we dug in there. You know, we should have, could have, but didn't win it 30 minutes ago in regulation when Richie just did exactly what he wanted to do, drove it to the rim. We were a little anxious and didn't finish it.
And then you got to make sure you're not too disappointed. We've had a thought: Live in the moment and don't dwell on what just happened, make that next play. And they did a nice job of that.
Q. Your thoughts on Wyoming's performance tonight. Steve McClain thought it was a phenomenal ballgame by two teams showing what the Mountain West Conference is all about. Your thoughts on Wyoming?
COACH STEVE FISHER: We have historically had some tremendous games with Wyoming, at both places. We've won there; they've won in San Diego. We won a game in Laramie that we shouldn't have early in the season. I think at times one play can make a game, one game can make a season. I said that before the game. I said, "I do believe for us, the play that Trimaine Davis made to tip in the basket, get fouled, and the hopeless cause, for us to win that game catapulted us to the rest of the story."
I think it helped make this a great, great season for us. They played terrific. They played absolutely -- they were like us. They had a hard time scoring, but you couldn't tell the effort lagging at all on either end.
Q. As you have some firsthand knowledge, this tournament over the last couple years has had a history of Cinderella teams like Wyoming winning this tournament. On this floor, they had a large contingent of their fans down here for this game. How, with all that in mind, did you prepare this team mentally coming into tonight's game?
COACH STEVE FISHER: I really don't think that we had to do anything along that line. We do have a pretty mature club. Trimaine Davis is a fifth-year senior captain. I've stated he's the best captain I've ever had, and I've had some really, really good ones.
He's not afraid to stand up and tell them what he thinks. If you come here to play, you come here to win. I know that our guys were every bit as excited about playing this game tonight as was an extremely excited, anxious and tough Wyoming team.
We were jabbing just as hard as they were.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, coach.

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