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MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 13, 2014


Josh Davis

Steve Fisher

Winston Shepard

Xavier Thames


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

San Diego State テや 73
Utah State テや 39


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by San Diego State.テつ Coach, if you could make a couple remarks about today's game.
COACH FISHER:テつ We played really, really good basketball, keyed by how we defended them.テつ We had been lit up by their three‑point shooting at their place.テつ We wanted to make it very difficult for them to get uncontested threes, and we did.
So I think that spearheaded us.テつ We had a season‑high 19 assists.テつ We didn't get selfish when we got a lead.テつ We moved the ball.テつ We cared about one another.テつ When you do that, you got a chance.
Josh Davis had six steals tonight.テつ In our press, it was like he had a twin brother out there all over the place.テつ So everybody was involved and engaged.
Early on I thought Winston kind of was the catalyst when we were missing a few shots, he made some plays for us offensively that allowed us all to settle down.テつ Then at the end it was a great community team effort against a good team.テつ I've got high regard for Stew and what he does.テつ Nobody runs more effective set plays than he does.
We found a way this time to guard them.テつ So I think it helped that we played them twice before.テつ Once we got into a roll, we were really good.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll take questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Xavier, what makes you more happy tonight, the fact you held them to under 30% shooting or the fact you shot over 52% from the field and tell us why?
XAVIER THAMES:テつ Both is a positive for us.テつ We wanted to come in and play a good defensive game.テつ Offensively we wanted to come and play well as well.テつ I think we did both of those things.テつ That's why we got a big win today.

Q.テつ Did the seven assists come with the flow of the game?
XAVIER THAMES:テつ Just with the flow of the game.テつ Motion offense.テつ We was moving the ball.テつ Everybody was moving the ball.テつ It was just the flow of the game.テつ We played a great offensive game.

Q.テつ Josh, what were you seeing on the back of that press?
JOSH DAVIS:テつ Just reading the shoulders while the guards were pressing up top.テつ I mean, that's just the main thing.

Q.テつ (Question regarding finger.)
WINSTON SHEPARD:テつ It just got cut.テつ In the first half when I was making the play, the guy was pulling me down, it got cut then.
It's all right, though.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll continue with questions for Coach Fisher.

Q.テつ How important was it to be able to rest your starters for a good portion of the second half in a tournament like this?
COACH FISHER:テつ Hopefully it will help us.テつ Not often do you get the luxury of having a big lead and you can say, Okay, how much can we take X out?テつ How much can we rest him?
He plays a lot of minutes.テつ He's not the only one, but he's the one I'm most concerned about because he guards their point guard.テつ So to have that ability to do that should be helpful for us as we head into a quick turnaround for a game tomorrow and hopefully for a game on Saturday.

Q.テつ Obviously peaking at this time of the season is critical.テつ How do you feel about your team right now, the way they played today?テつ Is that about as good of a game as you've played this season?
COACH FISHER:テつ Probably, against a quality opponent.テつ We dictated the pace.テつ That's hard to do ‑ harder to do than it looked.テつ They're a hard team to guard.テつ They run around and they screen.
But we did a good job of not giving in and not having breakdowns where four guys are going and one guy's not.テつ And then when you make some shots, we made some shots, too, as the game started to unfold.
So I told our team, That's one of our best games.テつ Let's build on it.テつ Let's take it from where we are now and see what can we do tomorrow to be a little bit better.
You feel good when you win.テつ You feel better when you win the way we did.

Q.テつ At this time of year you start to play some games at times you don't normally play during the regular season.テつ Playing today at noon, the way your team played, you have to feel good about that.テつ Maybe all your games should start at noon, no?
COACH FISHER:テつ We talked about before we went out, a week from now we might be on the East Coast playing a 9:00 game California time.テつ I hope not, but we might be.
So it doesn't matter what time and how many people.テつ I thought that the crowd would be a whole lot less than it was.テつ Our crowd was spectacular.テつ I'm so proud of what San Diego State has become in terms of people involved and identifying with us.テつ Our crowd was great.
So we talked about that a little bit.テつ You have to be on edge.テつ You have to be ready.テつ Doesn't matter whether you're playing 15,000 strong or whether there are two people watching.
And they did.テつ They came out excited to play, which is very important.テつ You think, Well, it should be that way all the time.テつ We were.テつ We were.テつ And they knew it.

Q.テつ You mentioned the 19 assists.テつ You don't always have big assist numbers probably because the way you run your offense.テつ Stew said how impressed he was about how unselfish you were at this point in the season.
COACH FISHER:テつ I heard Stew talking.テつ I've known him from a distance, but I know how good a coach he is.テつ So often we get frustrated when we don't win, we talk about all the things we didn't do rather than what the other team did.テつ So I'm appreciative of the fact that he said, Boy, they were good.テつ And we were.
If you have a team‑first mentality, then you're going to give up the ball to an open guy.テつ If you don't have an agenda, if you don't predetermine, then you're going to have a chance.
We've not shot the ball a lot of games to where sometimes, you know, you look at assists, we got five or six, if we would have made a couple shots on the pass, as opposed to the rebound, we would have had more assists.
Today we were making some shots.テつ But when Xavier gets into a gap, they all know he's going to shoot it.テつ So now it draws and he's doing better at finding people on the perimeter to kick it out to.テつ So I think that's been helpful.
Then we've had guys like Dwayne Polee and others that have stepped up and made shots for us.テつ It's nice to see and it feels good when you know that the next guy in the chain is going to get the ball.
I thought tonight late in the game when Dakarai Allen, who hasn't played a lot for us lately, had a chance to shoot the ball on the wing, he immediately threw the ball, there was AQ, Aqeel Quinn, up top, for an unguarded three that went in.テつ That made me feel good.テつ I know it made not only AQ but Dakarai feel good about what he did.

Q.テつ You are coming in winning the regular‑season Mountain West title, No.1 seed in the conference tournament.テつ How do you manage the expectations that come with those circumstances?
COACH FISHER:テつ We're what everybody wants to be.テつ We're the guys that have the trophy and the nets, the undisputed conference champion.テつ Nobody else likes that.テつ We want to get selfish.テつ We want to win another championship.
It's easy to say; hard to do.
I think players, really good players, love the fact that people are talking about them.テつ They like that.テつ They especially like it when they're talking about them in good terms, positive terms.
So I think it just keeps us putting that care a little further away and saying, Now we did this, can we do that?テつ And they've responded the right way.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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