Dec. 15, 2012
Head Coach Rodney Terry
(On what happened at the end...)
"I think it gets down to urgency. It gets down to guys understanding. Until we take the next step in this program in understanding how important it is to finish our games. We talking about finishing our games all the time, and it's going to be on our guys. We got older guys at the end of the game not understanding the urgency to finish out games right now. We're not talking about freshmen, we are talking about older guys. They gotta do their job. You're up five at the end of the ball game, you gotta close it out. You gotta close it out no different than the way we do in practice. You gotta score, stop, score. We're at the free-throw line, you get a score, now we gotta get a stop. That's the next step for our guys. They gotta understand the urgency to finish it out. Until an older player helps out those young guys to figure it out.... They played a lot of minutes to this point right now. That's the next step right now. Guys gotta understand the importance of each and every possession."
(On shot selection...)
"Down the stretch right there, we could've had a little bit better execution in terms of what we're trying to get done. We wanted shots at the basket. We got the shots at the post. You're not going to drop any player that's getting shots at the basket. There's not one player and not one coach that's going to put you right at the rim. You gotta make a play at the end of the game. We gotta continue to get better at that. Some point we will have somebody step up and understand how important that is. All we can do is put you in the right position, you gotta play to finish."
(On how much Upshaw's technical and not being able to help the rest of game hurt...)
"It's just growing. It's the growth curve. Our guys are taught not to talk to officials. Only the coach is going to talk to officials. If that calls for tough lessons to be learned then we will do it every single time. You just play the game. As a player you just play the game. If there's any communication that's going to go on with the officials, it will be with the coach."
(On finishing the game and Daman Starring...)
"He's a senior. He stepped up. He's their leading scorer. He's the best player on the team. When it got crunch time, he made a play. He made a play, he got to the line, and he finished the game. They had older players, and I give them a lot of credit. I'm not taking anything away from what they did. They hung tough and they've been on a lot of close ball games all year long, too, with a older group. They just found a way to get it done at the end of the game with their main guys."
(On UCLA next weekend...)
"If you can't be excited about playing any college basketball game, then you can't be at Fresno State. Just because it's UCLA, it doesn't matter. This game tonight was a big game. Every opportunity you have to play at collegiate Division I game is an unbelievable opportunity. If you are not excited about that then something's wrong."
(On Tyler and his hustle...)
"I can never fault his effort in terms of how hard he tries to do good and work. For right now he had to take some possessions off from time to time because he's playing so hard. There is never a doubt that he isn't giving us the effort that we're asking to give to us right now. We do need some more leadership at some point. That's what this team is lacking, in terms of guys stepping up and wanting to take a leadership role. Guys that play extensive minutes since I've been here have got to take on some ownership for what's going on right now. It can't be just the coaches who want to win so bad. We've said that to them before. They gotta want it as much as we want it right now. That's just the bottom line."
(On if it's just a quick fix like picking better shots on offense and getting team to mesh...)
"I would say make some shots. I wouldn't say figuring out the small fixes. It isn't the offense right now. Guys gotta step up and make shots. We've talked about that already in terms of game preparation shots that carry over in the game. If you've got an opportunity to step in, you gotta make it. At some point, we will come together and guys gotta step up and do it. I think again we've got some great looks in the first half. We were able to capitalize on those. We got some great looks in the second half, we just gotta make those shots to finish possessions. That's what it gets down to."
(On if anyone on the team does not have green light if they have an open look...)
"I think we've settled in in terms of our roles and what we're expecting from the guys and when we want to take shots and what's not a good shot. I'm not one of those guys who's going to sit there and pigeonhole guys and say you can't shoot because I don't want a guy that's afraid after playing. I want a guy that's going to play with instincts, make plays. If you're out there on the floor where you expected to execute, then be a guy that's confident and be able to get it done."
(On how to fix this and get guys to be confident...)
"There's not secret to it. You just gotta got back and work. You gotta work and play practice just like it's a game. When the game comes, you have carryover. The game's the easy part. You gotta put the work in and understand how hard you have to work. We've been working, but we gotta have carryover in the game and we gotta have it for 40 minutes. We've shown throughout this year at this point that we can guard, but we gotta do it for 40 minutes. We can't have a three or four minute lapse and expect to win the game. The game's for 40 minutes. This opponent tonight has been in a lot of close ball games. We knew we were going to have to play for 40 minutes against these guys. It wasn't going to be a shortcut or half, it was going to be 40 minutes tonight. And we didn't play 40 minutes. We got down to 36 and shut it down."
(On development in Upshaw, Giddings, and younger players...)
"They're getting better. They are young guys just learning how physical it is at both ends of the floor at this level. How hard you have to play and compete at this level. You can't take any plays off and the physicality of the game. Again, understanding how hard you have to go. Those post moves in practice are really important to understand how hard you have to go because when you get to the game it's not like a light switch where you can just turn it on or off. You better go hard in practice and you'll have carryover in the games and you'll have the same kind of shots. Those guys are getting better and they have to continue to get better on physical block-outs. Tonight we got 19 rebounds. We gave another guy 15 rebounds tonight. A kid that we knew was athletic and basically that's what he could do. We didn't do our job."
(On younger players getting more minutes...)
"As we move forward, our young guys will have to continue to develop and the only way to develop is through game experience and being out on the floor and learning what it takes to compete at this level. Those guys are going to have opportunities and they just gotta continue to work better and continue to work hard."
(On handling loss)
"Coach said it best. We're disappointed. We put ourselves into position in the game with 5 minutes to go and the coaches aren't out there making the plays, it's the players. Coach puts the players on the floor that he feels have the best chance to win the game and he put the older group out there and like he said no one stepped up. We gave up two straight scores, tied it up, got another empty possession and they scored. It's frustrating that we don't have that type of urgency throughout the whole game. You saw glimpses of big defensive possessions and then when we really needed it most we didn't break it down. You can only say it's frustrating."
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