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MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 13, 2013


Steve Fisher

Jamaal Franklin

Chase Tapley

Xavier Thames


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

San Diego State テや 73
Boise State テや 67


テつTHE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by SanDiego State.テつ Coach, if we could start with some remarks on tonight's game.
COACH FISHER:テつ Well, first of all, we're 10 minutes to 12:00, so I know nothing is going to be in the paper, so I'll make it as brief as I can and you will, too, so we can get out of here.
Two good teams that played hard.テつ Boise State, without question, deserves to be in the NCAA tournament.テつ Look at their body of work, but look at what they've done the last 10, 11 games.テつ I think they were 7‑3 coming into tonight.テつ They beat good teams.テつ They beat good teams in non‑conference.
This league is so good, if Boise doesn't get in the tournament, I'm going to demand a revote, they're that good.
We played in this kind of game almost every time we played them.テつ Tonight it was us.テつ Saturday it was them.テつ A little bit of a carbon copy, except we didn't fall as far behind.テつ We never, ever, ever, ever trailed until they went on a 14‑0 run.テつ They got a one‑point lead.テつ We never trailed and Boise had the ball.テつ That wears on you if you're the other team.テつ So we found a way to win.
I'm going to cite the good things we did.テつ Jamaal Franklin 2‑3 from the three‑point range.テつ If you go back and look at stats, he's 12‑21 from three‑point range in Mountain West Conference tournament play.テつ So he's going to take 'em and make 'em.
X had a season‑high six rebounds.テつ Tied a season high with five assists.テつ Winston Shepard had a career high three blocks.テつ Chase Tapley had a season high four steals.
We guarded.テつ We really defended, especially the first half, as well as we have all season long.テつ We had a rough stretch.テつ We put four or five bullet points.テつ One is runs.テつ Eight to nothing or greater, don't give them any.テつ They had a 14‑0 run on us.テつ We missed three threes.テつ We turned the ball over three times and we missed two shots on the free throw.テつ That's a recipe for a 14‑0 run.
We found a way to bore back.テつ Get to the free throw line, 25 for 31, that's pretty good.テつ We move on.テつ We're excited about that.
I'll repeat myself.テつ Boise better be in the NCAA tournament or it's disgraceful, in my opinion.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll take questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Chase, could you talk to coach's point about locking down so well defensively in the first half, how crucial that was.
CHASE TAPLEY:テつ Well, that was the game plan going into this game, was just pressuring the ball a little bit more and getting into them, not letting them get comfortable in the ball screens, really sinking in on the rolling bigs.テつ I think we did a great job in the first half.テつ We got a lot of deflections that led to fast breaks.テつ That's what we need to do 40 minutes.テつ We can't do it for 20 minutes.
But I liked our new concept, pressuring the ball, getting 'em out of their comfort zone in their offense.

Q.テつ Seems like no one's picked you to win this conference tournament.テつ Does that put a chip on your shoulder?
JAMAAL FRANKLIN:テつ Before I answer that question, I'd like to have Michael Lyons, prayers for him, I heard about his knee.
Last year a lot of people didn't think a lot of us.テつ We all play with a chip on our shoulder every day.テつ We want to win.テつ We take it one day at a time.テつ Like coach said many times before, we've been in that championship going on four years.テつ We want to make it the fifth year and try to make this happen.

Q.テつ Xavier, the three of you guys took over at the end, really stepped up.テつ What does that do for you going forward, especially since you're getting in your groove healthy?
XAVIER THAMES:テつ It does a lot.テつ Me, Chase and Jamaal, we're the leaders.テつ We just got to keep it going, get ready for New Mexico.テつ I'm sure the coaches will have us prepared.

Q.テつ Jamaal, can you talk about playing New Mexico.テつ Will it be a defensive struggle?
JAMAAL FRANKLIN:テつ It's going to be a hard‑fought game.テつ If you haven't watched our games lately, they're all hard‑fought games.テつ We had a big lead on them at our house.
We're just ready to play.テつ It's going to be a competitive game.テつ Can't wait for Friday.

Q.テつ Chase, coach concentrated on the 14‑0 run, then concentrated on all the things you did good.テつ Do you agree with that assessment?テつ Do you feel you need to play better against New Mexico?
CHASE TAPLEY:テつ I think we did good tonight.テつ Only thing, negative part about tonight, was our turnovers.テつ We had 19 turnovers.テつ That's way too many.
We're going to have to come out and match their intensity like Jamaal said, two of the best defensive teams in the conference.テつ We just got to keep making shots.テつ We do that, it's going to be hard to beat us.テつ We got to keep attacking the defensive glass.テつ We really boarded tonight.テつ I'm proud of all our players for that.

Q.テつ Jamaal, you've had some pretty good success in this building, in this tournament.テつ How comfortable do you get when this tournament rolls around?
JAMAAL FRANKLIN:テつ My teammates make me comfortable.テつ When I'm having a bad game, they always there to pick me up.テつ X and James are always there to pick me up.テつ If you worry about making a turnover, aren't playing good, they're able to pick up the slack and give you confidence.テつ Everything works out smoothly.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll continue with questions for Coach Fisher.

Q.テつ Can you talk about the rebounding performance.
COACH FISHER:テつ We have to rebound better.テつ We gave too many second‑chance opportunities to Boise.テつ We battled.テつ When DeShawn got his fourth foul, we went small, then they went small, and they were better small than we were small for a long stretch.
They played better when they were smaller in lineup than we did.テつ But we found a way to stick in there and hang in there and make a play.
But we can't give up 12 offensive rebounds and only get five.テつ Some were second and third shots they took.テつ We have to rebound the ball better.テつ We're going to be going against a lot bigger guys when we go against New Mexico on Friday.

Q.テつ What kind of game do you expect with New Mexico?
COACH FISHER:テつ Well, I'll take a forfeit if he doesn't want to come.テつ If he's going to be in the tournament, a second seed, he probably doesn't need another championship.テつ They're going to come at us and they're going to want to smack us around like they did at their place.
They had 34 all over their locker room.テつ We held them to 34 the first game.テつ Some way, somehow, somebody incorrectly said that I said that the Pit was our second home.テつ They responded after they beat us, sometimes the second homes aren't as good as you think they are.テつ They were anxious to play us.テつ I'm sure they'll be anxious to play us again.テつ So will we.

Q.テつ You talked a minute ago about your defensive effort in the first half.テつ Could you expound on that, how long you played with that much energy in the opening 20 minutes.
COACH FISHER:テつ Only a coach that follows us intently could tell what we did that was different from the Saturday game against Boise.
In this game we told them before, they got a lot of mumbo‑jumbo, move, move, move.テつ All of a sudden they attack you.テつ We made a concerted effort in two‑a‑day practice switch all the mumbo‑jumbo and guard the ball harder.テつ Normally we guard the three‑point line.テつ Today we went out and guarded the ball a little harder.テつ I know it helped us especially in the first half.
Even when they scored, they never quite looked comfortable scoring.テつ Second half we didn't guard as hard.テつ They went smaller.テつ They were better attacking us than we were guarding them in the second half.
Our first half defense was really good.テつ We're a good defensive team.テつ We've got to bring closure to the defense by being a better defensive rebounding team.

Q.テつ This team is an entirely different animal when X is playing the way he has been of late.テつ Talk about that a little bit.
COACH FISHER:テつ Well, did it hurt when Lyons got injured in the first two minutes of the game?テつ When you take one of your best players out, when you take a guy out that has the ball in his hands so often, it affects you.テつ When he didn't play, somebody else needs to step up.テつ I thought they did.テつ We're better when Xavier plays, and when he plays healthy.
He's getting closer to where he was at his best both early this year and last year.テつ So it's obvious if we want to be as good as we can, we need Xavier Thames leading, pushing.テつ He's our best defender.テつ He's the guy that initiates all the offense, too.テつ We're so much better when X plays.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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