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March 16, 2012

Steve Fisher

Jamaal Franklin

James Rahon

Chase Tapley


NC State テや 79
San Diego State テや 65

THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by San Diego State student‑athletes James Rahon, Chase Tapley, Jamaal Franklin and Coach Steve Fisher.
Questions for Coach Fisher.
COACH FISHER:テつ I told our team afterwards that it's always hard when it's the last game.テつ And no one ever, ever thinks until the last game it's going to be the last game.
So we're very disappointed and yet immensely proud of the season that we've had and the program that these young men have helped built and grow.
And I do think that the best will be yet to come.テつ Yet today was difficult when it ended.テつ We got beat by a very good team who has been playing very, very good basketball.
That doesn't make it any easier on us coming up here first.テつ But if you look at these three and the other seven in the locker room, they've given a lot to San Diego State and our program, and I said to them I thank you for that, and we don't forget.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Jamaal, the last play before the buzzer, you put one up off the glass and slammed it.テつ Was that a preview of coming attractions, and are you already thinking ahead?

Q.テつ The last play you put the ball off the glass, came and slammed it in.テつ And I was wondering if that was a preview of coming attractions, are you thinking ahead to next year already?
JAMAAL FRANKLIN:テつ Yeah, we lost to a good team and it was just do something in the last play.

Q.テつ Chase, you had a hot hand there in the second half and seem to be keeping them, keeping the game close.テつ Was there a sense that you guys were too reliant on outside shooting tonight?
CHASE TAPLEY:テつ I wouldn't say there was a sense too reliant on it.テつ They were giving us great shots.テつ Coach said when you got a good shot, shoot it.テつ That's what we did.テつ Somebody involved with something, we try to get to the hole like Jamaal does all the time and draw some fouls, got a couple of fouls and we knocked down some shots, but it just wasn't enough.

Q.テつ Could you talk about the size difference and they went inside very often and how hard was it to defend guys like that; you haven't faced anything like that all season?
JAMAAL FRANKLIN:テつ They were big, but, like I said before, I'm not scared of no man, and I'm sure my teammates are not scared to go against anybody man.テつ And they have to guard us on the other end, which they did.テつ But they had the upper hand, they won.テつ But we're looking forward to a comeback next year and get ready.
We have to give them the credit.テつ They did a good job and they won.
CHASE TAPLEY:テつ Same with what Jamaal said.テつ They attacked us down low early.テつ We know coming into the game that's what they were going to do against our small lineup.テつ And it was wrong, they just kept feeding it in, just couldn't get a stop when we needed it the most.
But like Jamaal said, we're looking for it next year and can't wait.

Q.テつ Chase, is this one tougher or last year's in the Sweet 16?テつ Which one tinges the most?
CHASE TAPLEY:テつ Difficult kinds of feelings.テつ Last year's team we were a close, close group, and knowing that you have four of your closest friends leaving, not coming back next year, that was hard to bear.
And us getting far like that, and this year's group it's just different.テつ It's a different feeling.テつ About the same feeling.テつ Nobody likes to lose.テつ And it hurts.
But just gotta‑‑ can't dwell on it.テつ Life goes on.テつ But just gotta move on.

Q.テつ James, what were you seeing out there tonight?テつ Seemed like you got in a rhythm for a minute.テつ Kind of went away, how were you feeling out there shooting the ball?
JAMES RAHON:テつ I felt good.テつ We played our game, unfortunately tonight it wasn't good enough.テつ That's pretty much it.

Q.テつ Jamaal, I know you're disappointed, but is it possible to look at the big picture of what you guys have accomplished this season?
JAMAAL FRANKLIN:テつ Yes, I'm very disappointed.テつ A lot of guys out there thought that was a rebuilding year, as you all always mention, but I'm glad of what we accomplished.
But I can see us going farther.テつ That's why I'm disappointed.テつ But my teammates, we all played good.テつ We all played well and we just gotta get ready for next year.テつ We have to remember what just happened now, but we have to move on.

Q.テつ Were you guys surprised at all, number one, how Leslie's been their big scorer but he seemed to be stepping out and taking shots that really were unusual for him?
CHASE TAPLEY:テつ It's DI basketball, NCAA Tournament.テつ He was hitting his mid‑range shot.テつ Getting wedged down in low, getting easy buckets.テつ He came to play, and that's what good players do on the bigger stage, come to play.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for Coach Fisher.

Q.テつ Steve, there was inside power that you were going to have to contend with.テつ Was it more difficult than you anticipated?テつ And anything that you tried, that you might have wished to go to earlier?
COACH FISHER:テつ It's one thing to be big.テつ It's another thing to be big and good.テつ And they're big and good.テつ Obviously Richard Howell was fantastic for them out of the gate.テつ He had about every basket they had, either scored it or skipped to Brown early for a 3.テつ He was a load.テつ And our thought was we wanted to get down and double, take it out of his hands.
We weren't as good as we were in practice doubling our scout team, but that's because of who we played.
We were aware that they were going to pound that ball in early and often.テつ They did it and we weren't quite capable of repelling them.
And we fought hard.テつ We had chances.テつ They're scoring inside and we had some attack off the bounce, but they knew what they wanted to do and they did it.テつ And we had a hard time with their size.テつ It's obvious that we did.テつ I thought we guarded them pretty good.テつ But they still scored.

Q.テつ Kind of a more general question, same theme.テつ Given the size issue that you've had all year, what do you make of how far you were able to go and how much you were able to overcome that?
COACH FISHER:テつ I said recently that if we could play Iowa girls basketball from way back and play one group at one end and a bigger group defensively at the other end, we'd be better.テつ But they won't let you do that.
They knew we were small.テつ So we thought, well, maybe we can have Jamaal put them a little bit off balance with their bigs, but they were effective.テつ When we went to the rim, they didn't make anything easy.テつ They had big, long arms coming over to take away what looked to be a really good shot and turn it into a hard shot.
I'm very, very appreciative of our team this year.テつ And I said this before.テつ Rarely are you flying in under the radar where they don't think you're going to be very good and you supersede that.
Usually expectations are higher than they need to be.テつ Our kids are a proud group that felt they could be good.テつ And yet we had a lot of moving parts to replace, and I thought they did an admirable job from Game 1 to now of doing that.
So, yes, to win 26 games and be co‑champs in our league, that's a really good accomplishment.テつ First time ever as an at‑large team in the NCAA, and yet we're going home.テつ And that's what hurts for all of us.
Given all what you said and I've said, we thought we could come in here and win.テつ But we didn't.

Q.テつ You guys made runs about the nine‑minute mark at halves and Mark called timeouts there.テつ Coming out of those timeouts, did you sense any defensive adjustments they made coming out of those timeouts?
COACH FISHER:テつ May have been.テつ But I didn't.テつ I know after one time, I don't know if it was after a timeout or not, they went to zone.テつ I think we got a basket out of it.テつ Then they went out of zone.
And I think you do that to try to stem the flow that's going on the floor, make you sit for two minutes and 15seconds and at least take a deep breath.
But they're well coached.テつ They're playing with a togetherness that you have to have to win, and they're a good team.

Q.テつ Can you talk about‑‑ obviously, like you said, size was a problem, but having never faced it this year, it's one thing to face a scout team, but it's another to have actual game speed against that.テつ How much did that affect you not having faced‑‑ having to double team a post in live game action?
COACH FISHER:テつ I'm not sure whether it did or not, how much that piece affected us.テつ You're right, we did not do a lot of post doubling this year, even with a small group out there.
I think more of the‑‑ what happened in this game should go to what North Carolina State did as opposed to what we didn't do.テつ I thought even when we doubled‑‑ we had some really good doubles.テつ And they'd kick it out and go back in, skip it across.テつ Before we could move and reestablish, they were in for a quick angle or they had a good shot coming out of it.
And I made this comment early on in the game:テつ Howell, he was an All‑American, the way he played, with the pace that he played with, and X came to double and he made a bullet perfect pass for the 3.
They're good.テつ So I think it was more that than we haven't done it a lot, I think.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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