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NCAA MEN'S REGIONALS SEMIFINALS & FINALS: ANAHEIM


March 27, 2014


Josh Davis

Steve Fisher

Dwayne Polee II

Xavier Thames


ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA

Arizona テや 70
San Diego State テや 64


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher, Josh Davis, Xavier Thames, and Dwayne Polee.テつ We'll open it up for a statement from Coach Fisher.
COACH FISHER:テつ I told our team after the game how proud we as a staff were to have the privilege to have them all year, and I've never had a group in all my years that have been more willing to learn and be taught, which makes this even harder.テつ I also told them anybody that watched the game live or on TV or listened to the radio had to see a team with character, with pride, with toughness, who could play, who put themselves in a position to win, but couldn't quite get it done.テつ That is the hard part.
I told X and Josh that I feel especially bad for them because one of these days we're going to get to a Final Four, and when we do, the two of them will be there with us because that's what our program exemplifies, and that's what we are all about.
Hard when it ends, but it's ending for us tonight, and we were beaten by a very good team and we're very disappointed.

Q.テつ Dwayne, just talk a little bit about what you're going to miss about playing with the two seniors up there with you?
DWAYNE POLEE II:テつ Well, I've been knowing X for a couple years now.テつ He's not only a great leader on the floor and a great teammate, but he's a great friend.テつ He's accepted me with open arms as soon as I stepped foot on campus, so I always have love for X, and I'm going to miss him dearly.テつ Josh, he came here fifth‑year senior, you know, and we welcomed him with open arms as well.テつ He's one of the hardest working people that I know hands down.テつ So I wished him good luck in their further journeys.

Q.テつ Xavier, you guys went through that scoring drought in the second half, that field goal drought.テつ Scoring has been difficult at times this year for you guys.テつ What are you doing as a point guard when you're in the midst of that?テつ Are you trying different things?テつ How do you deal with that?テつ How do you handle that?
XAVIER THAMES:テつ I just try to get my teammates involved or get something to myself, an easy bucket or get to the free‑throw line.テつ But you've just got to give credit to Arizona.テつ They're one of the top defensive teams in the country, just like us, so we just fell short tonight.

Q.テつ Dwayne, you guys held Johnson scoreless for quite a while.テつ Then what happened there in the final three minutes with him?
DWAYNE POLEE II:テつ Well, Nick Johnson is a great player.テつ I've been knowing him for a while as well.テつ You know, he just exploded in the second half, that's all I can really say.テつ I can't say that we didn't play hard defense, but he just made a lot of good shots.

Q.テつ Josh, this time last year you had a lot of options, and you decided to come to San Diego, which was a little bit of a chance at the time.テつ It didn't look like it might be a Sweet Sixteen team.テつ Can you just talk about your decision and how you feel about playing for this team?
JOSH DAVIS:テつ It started with Coach Fisher and Coach Dutcher, having conversations with me and my family.テつ It's something about Coach Fisher that you can trust him and believe in him and me and my family felt the same way.テつ So I'm just glad I had the opportunity to be around these great guys.

Q.テつ Xavier, this was supposed to be a transition year for the Aztecs.テつ When the emotions of this game are over, how will you look upon this season?
XAVIER THAMES:テつ Well, it was a great season.テつ Nobody expected us to be here.テつ I was going to miss playing with all the guys and miss all the coaching staff.テつ Nobody expected us to be here and we were here, but all along we knew we had a great team, but I'm going to miss playing with all my brothers and coaching staff.

Q.テつ Josh, you looked like you were a little bit limping there at the end.テつ What happened to you?
JOSH DAVIS:テつ I had a little problem with my heels.テつ Both of them were hurting, but it didn't really bother me during the game like that.

Q.テつ Xavier, your time at San Diego State, your fondest memories as an Aztec?
XAVIER THAMES:テつ Well, when I first got here they accepted me with open arms after I transferred from Washington State.テつ Chase is my good friend and Jamaal and Kawhi and all them welcomed me with open arms.テつ It's just a big family here.テつ I'll never forget the days that I came here to be an Aztec.テつ I'm going to support them next year and all the years to come.テつ I just love everybody here, Coach Fisher, Coach Dutcher, Little Fish, Coach Hutson, Dave, all my teammates.テつ I'm just going to miss playing with them and competing with them and going to practice each and every day.テつ I'm just going to miss that.

Q.テつ Xavier, earlier in the season when you guys played Arizona, I think outside your locker room there was an expectation that Arizona was probably going to win that game.テつ I think this time going in there was much more of an expectation that you guys had a real chance.テつ Can you talk about the season and how you guys raised everybody's expectations over the course of the season and how did you guys‑‑ was that important to you?
XAVIER THAMES:テつ I mean, we go out and expect to win each and every game.テつ At the beginning of the year we thought we could win that game as well.テつ But you know, we just fell short tonight, like I said, to a great Arizona team.テつ You know, it's just a hard loss.

Q.テつ Xavier, you kind of alluded to it in the question before that about coming back and about how the guys that were here when you got here, like Jamaal and Kawhi, accepted you with open arms.テつ Talk about kind of that family atmosphere and the fact that the alumni come back and that you guys have some ties with them?テつ You guys that are seniors that are leaving are probably going to maintain the same type of ties that those other alumni have.
XAVIER THAMES:テつ Yeah, like I said, it's just a big family here.テつ Going back to Tony Bland and Lorrenzo Wade and Brandon Heath, all those guys come back and practice with us, give us advice.テつ I'll do the same thing five or ten years down the road.テつ Coach is still coaching, Coach Dutcher, I'm going to be there supporting the guys each and every day.テつ Hopefully they can get to the Final Four, like Coach said, one day, and I'll be there front row and center.

Q.テつ Kind of piggy backing off that question, all three of you are transfer students.テつ So you kind of have a comparing and contrasting of two schools.テつ What makes you so proud to be part of San Diego State?テつ What makes you love this program so much?テつ All three of you, if you can.テつ Dwayne, maybe you first.テつ What is the difference about San Diego State?
DWAYNE POLEE II:テつ Just the family atmosphere.テつ You know, everybody is so close‑knit.テつ I think we live next door to each other, basically.テつ So we're a close‑knit group of guys.テつ We always are around each other, joking and laughing and there are no egos on this team.テつ We're really like brothers on this team.テつ Josh and X, I love them both and wish them good luck.
JOSH DAVIS:テつ I would say the main thing is there are no egos on this team.テつ That's hard to find on a lot of college teams.テつ I just enjoy being around people who believe in each and trust in each other.テつ They're great guys to be around.
XAVIER THAMES:テつ What they said.テつ We're all a family, no matter what.テつ No matter how many points we score, no matter how many rebounds we get, we just want to win.テつ We go out there and fight for each other each and every day.テつ We're really brothers.テつ We all live two apartments away from each other.テつ We're always joking around and playing video games and things like that.テつ So when we say it's a family, it's really a family here.テつ We're not just talking crap.テつ It's really a family here and we're really brothers.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for Coach Fisher.

Q.テつ Can you talk about the defense on Nick Johnson and how you guys really contained him and the first ten missed shots for so long and that kind of hurt you guys at the end?テつ
COACH FISHER:テつ I talked at halftime about the fact that he was 0 for 7 from the field.テつ He's their best player.テつ He's saying I'm going to help you, and we have to say we're not going to let him go off on us the way he has so often.テつ If you look at the box score, I think he scored a three with under approximate 3:00 to go, made ten straight free throws in the last 1:32.テつ So he got 13 of his 15 points in the last couple three minutes.テつ Good players do that.テつ We're trying to say foul anybody but him.テつ They did a nice job of finding a way to get him the ball.テつ I thought a couple times we fouled him when we didn't have to.テつ But he's a player.テつ He knows how to play, and good players stay with it.テつ Next play, and he did that, and he did that to us tonight.テつ

Q.テつ Coach, in a season where you were picked to finish fourth in the conference, ended up making the Sweet Sixteen.テつ Do you take some special satisfaction in just the fact that you've raised expectations nationally about this program that you guys are always going to be there really every season?
COACH FISHER:テつ That's what we hope we're doing.テつ We've been five straight years in the tournament.テつ We're newbies to this stage.テつ We've only been to the Sweet Sixteen twice, and we want more.テつ I think, again, having played a schedule that's gone on the road and won some games, we won in here against some good people on a neutral site, elevates the perception of the program.テつ I do think that now we have a perception nationally, hey, they're good.テつ They're supposed to be good.テつ I like that.テつ Our players like that.テつ I think a good pressure of expectations is now on our program.テつ So one of these days we're going to be here second in the Sweet Sixteen game, and hopefully that will be next year.
I've got one question, because I don't think you have any more for me.テつ Somebody help me, when was that goaltending call made?テつ What was the score?テつ Anybody know what that was?

Q.テつ Basket interference.
COACH FISHER:テつ The goaltending call they made on us.

Q.テつ 8:44 left.
COACH FISHER:テつ That many minutes?テつ Felt like it was the last 30 seconds.

Q.テつ You guys were up 47‑44, and that made it 47‑46.
COACH FISHER: テつOkay.テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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