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MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 10, 2012


Steve Fisher

Jamaal Franklin


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

New Mexico テや 68
San Diego State テや 59


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by SanDiego State.
Coach, if we could start with you, your comments on today's game.
COACH FISHER:テつ Our congratulations to New Mexico. テつWe know what it feels like to be where they are right now:テつ still on that court celebrating.テつ That's where we expected to be, which is why it hurts when you're not.テつ And yet the reality of it is we're not and they are.
I thought that we at times played too fast, did ourselves in a little bit.テつ New Mexico probably had something to do with that also.
The most important thing that I told our guys is how proud I am of what they've done throughout this season.テつ And they are, in our minds, champions and deserving champions.テつ And the beauty is tomorrow we're going to have a 180 in terms of how we feel.テつ But right now we don't feel good, and we shouldn't.
But we also have the opportunity to be playing next week, which we will have, and the following week, and the following week, which we could.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll now open it up for questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Jamaal, cameras appeared to catch you giving a middle finger to the referee just before halftime on NBC Sports.テつ Could you comment if that's what happened, it's what appeared on film.
JAMAAL FRANKLIN:テつ No, not at all.

Q.テつ The team struggled shooting the ball today, 30%.テつ What was the cause of the struggles?テつ Was it something New Mexico was doing defensively specifically?
JAMAAL FRANKLIN:テつ New Mexico played good defense, they played hard, tough.テつ We just struggled today.テつ The only person we can blame is ourself, but you have to give credit to New Mexico.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, men.テつ We'll continue with questions for Coach Fisher.

Q.テつ Did they do anything defensively with being a much more physical group than you had seen the last two times?
COACH FISHER:テつ I don't think so.テつ I thought we were atypical, for whatever reason.テつ And, again, I don't want to dismiss what New Mexico did.テつ They are a terrific basketball team.
We shot it too quickly, especially early.テつ We've talked about, Don't settle, don't settle for a quick, hard shot.テつ Quick, good shot is fine.テつ And we had some of those that didn't go in.
But I thought we looked like we were playing twice as fast as we should be playing at the offensive end.テつ And I couldn't get us to settle into any kind of a rhythm, and it showed.

Q.テつ Playing your third game in three days with a team that doesn't have much depth, how does that play into this, that you didn't want this team playing that fast that early?
COACH FISHER:テつ By 'fast' I mean we'd just get it and try to do something, just shoot it a little bit too quick.
I don't know that the lack of depth had anything to do with that piece to it.テつ We just couldn't settle into any kind of a flow offensively.テつ The more we missed, the faster we played.テつ That ain't a good combination to be able to do.
We tried to make a couple subs, tried to talk about it at timeouts.テつ We weren't quite able to get it under control.テつ I mean, I know I'm talking in circles a little bit.テつ But from my perspective, I thought defensively you can play fast.テつ You can play fast and hard.テつ You know, they're a good team.
I thought when Garrett Green came in, we found a guy that could neutralize a little bit Drew Gordon.テつ We didn't have to sink and give him as many looks on the perimeter when we had a man and a half or two people thinking about him.テつ We settled down a little bit better defensively, but we struggled offensively.

Q.テつ Last year you're sitting here and they're talking about a 1, definitely a 2.テつ When you consider how close this league has been with you three teams all year, do you have any thoughts in terms of where this league is going to fall on seeds, what you think maybe New Mexico or you deserve?
COACH FISHER:テつ I really don't.テつ I'll be real honest with you.テつ My other guys tell me what others are saying about us.テつ They always refer to Lunardi who appears to be the guys who comes closest to being on point with what is going on.
But I don't know.テつ Obviously seeding has an impact, and yet we've all seen VCU win an extra game, play in a play‑in game, all of a sudden they're in the Final Four.
We have to celebrate tomorrow, not today.テつ Tomorrow we have to celebrate how good we are with 26 wins and look forward to playing whoever, wherever, with whatever seed we've got.テつ But I don't really know.
I do think if they look and say, This is a good league, look what they've done, that it could have a chance to raise all of us up a little bit.テつ But for me to comment intelligently, I got no clue.

Q.テつ Tony Snell came out and hit some real big shots early.テつ How much of a difference did that make in opening things up for them?テつ He also seemed to be running Jamaal crazy all day with his movement.テつ Did that wear Jamaal down a little bit?
COACH FISHER:テつ Jamaal wasn't on him to start the game.テつ We were small.テつ I think James Rahon was on him to start.テつ We recruited Tony Snell.テつ I thought we had Tony Snell.テつ He played with Kawhi Leonard.テつ I knew how good he was.テつ He's good.テつ He's good.テつ Everybody's goal is you got to smother him and don't let him get an open look.テつ Sometimes he makes baskets when he's smothered.テつ He set the tenor for them with those early hard shots.テつ He was very good.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, coach.
COACH FISHER:テつ I have one comment.テつ I should have started with this.
Our women's team did what we hoped to do.テつ They cut down the nets.テつ And Beth Burns is a fantastic coach.テつ That group of young ladies represented in a tremendous fashion, so we're very proud of what they did.テつ Now our hope is that we can both go into the tournament and make some noise there.テつ So congrats to our women's team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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