Post Game Quotes: (RV/--) New Mexico 72, San Jose State 47
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  02/01/2014

Coach Neal Post-Game Quotes


February 1, 2014

Albuquerque, NM

 Opening Statement:

 “We’re really happy. I was a little bit concerned yesterday at practice. After our trip, I sensed that Kendall and Cam were a little tired. I tried to play them fewer minutes and we played well enough that I was able to do that tonight. I kind of knew there would be a little physical let down after such a long trip. I’m really pleased with our guys’ performance. Anytime that you can have 20 assists and 3 turnovers, that’s outstanding. I really challenged the guys to hold them to hold them to under 50 points and they did it. It was great to have Alex back tonight. His leg is better, we have no issues. That was a great decision by our trainers and doctors to not let me play him for a few games. We have a great trainer and excellent health care for our team. We are getting better, but we have a long way to go. It is great to be 17-4 and 8-1 at the halfway point. It was great to see a sellout crowd for our game. I’m just really proud of what our guys have done.”

Thoughts on being able to pull players off the bench now:

“SJSU is competitive and they can make shots, but it was a good chance to play some of our guys. Deshawn, Cleveland, and Cullen all played well. Anytime that we can play those guards 25 minutes is great. Nick did some good things. Merv also did great. I think Merv was a little nervous because it was some primetime minutes at home.”

Alex’s Injury:

“I think it was bothering him three games previous. It was an all the time ache. We were fortunate to catch it and give him some rest. I think the days off helped him. He looked like he had a lot of energy and played well tonight.”

“He got twenty minutes tonight and I wasn’t going to give him anymore.”

Last minute decision that Alex was going to play?

“My decision was going to be based off of how he felt today, but as of yesterday I didn’t think he was going to play. You don’t lose your starting spot because of an injury. To Obaj’s credit, he has done an outstanding job.”

Hugh’s injury:

“It does not look good, but he’s tough and he’ll bounce back.”

People made comments that you were a better defensive team without Alex Kirk?

“I don’t know who would think we were better without him. He is one of the leading shot blockers to ever play here. People were voting for him as defensive player of the year last year, so that’s not the case at all. He was a huge part of our road wins last week. He was encouraging, he was in the huddles, talking to me, and talking to our guys. That is was a great team does.”

Cullen Neal Post-Game Quotes


February 1, 2014

Albuquerque, NM

On a good home game:

“It was awesome, it’s always good to get home play in front of the Pit crowd. I mean the game was sold out right when we got back, there’s nothing better than that.”

On coming out of first five minutes:

 “We just tried to show we came out with energy. You come out with energy, you can do really good things. So we just made sure that’s what we did.”

On difference without Alex playing:

“I mean he’s one of our leaders he’s one of the four captains. He’s one of the best centers in the country. It’s huge to have him back.”

On having Kirk back:

 “Of course I feel more comfortable. He’s good, he talks on the floor. He’s just a well rounded leader. Makes it easy for us.”

Different without him:

“There’s a bunch of different things. A.K. can score really well and Big O is just an athlete so of course we look for Alex more than we do O but that’s pretty much the big difference.”

On defensive side:

“Well he’s really good at talking, he’s really good at blocking shots, he’s really good at defense. He does a bunch of good things on the defense end.”

Alex Kirk Post-Game Quotes


February 1, 2014

Albuquerque, NM

On how it feels to be back:

“It felt pretty good, it’s crazy how much a week does just on your body. Yeah I was hurt, so that was rehab and that kind of stuff. But just to take a breath and relax. I mean I learned some stuff just from sitting there and watching those guys play so that was good. It’s just weird because you just watch the game and see stuff where you could fit in. I see Big O, and how we were running strong, and Big O was out kind of deep, and I can get a little lower. Just little things, you pick up on little things. Like I talked about my red shirt year. I mean I never learned more about basketball than that year and you just kind of look and see little things. And coach would sit there and walk to the end of the bench and ask you something and you come up with a response. And I mean I could kind of, I don’t know if I’ll ever get into it, but my dream is to coach college basketball. So you just pick up on the little things that coaches do on both side lines.”

On how his leg is feeling:

 “Really good, I can’t feel anything. Keep working on it and it’ll be good.”

On how long it was bothering him before sitting out:

“I mean quite a while, we thought what it was and it wasn’t that. It ended up being something else and we ended up taking care of it.”

On the two-game rest:

 “It’s been awhile, I think that’s all. I’ll just leave it at that. It’s been quite awhile. We were working on it and it got better at times throughout the season and other times it was bad and finally it was just alright we need to figure out what this is before we get to the meat of the schedule. They did a really good job in figuring it out and I thank them a ton.”