Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  01/12/2013

Jan. 12, 2013

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Coach Alford Quotes vs. Fresno State

Opening Statement...

"Well a tremendous win. I couldn't be more pleased. They had some guys out, we had some guys out, so we knew it was going to be a slugfest and a grind. I just thought I guys really responded well. Our offense moved well. We got the ball going inside-out. We didn't take bad shots. It was another game where we did a really good job of getting to the free throw line. Our board play was tremendous. The two bigs: our guards did a great job of getting it to them. It was Cam in the first half and pretty much Alex in the second half, so it's a pretty good one-two punch we got going inside right now.

It was a great win. We needed to get this thing to 2-0 and get it started well. We haven't had a chance to do that in a long time. We've normally been slow starters in the his league race, so it's nice to wake up Monday morning and know we're atop of the league and that the series has been reduced by two games. So we're excited about that."

On the play of his big men, Alex Kirk and Cameron Bairstow...

"I thought Cam, the last time he responded to starting, I thought he was very anxious. And you're seeing some maturity in Cam. I'll tell you what, those two bigs, they're a load. And we're starting to get an identity down low with what we do with those two guys. And it's unfortunate, because we're just as big as we had hoped we were going to go into this season. Next season, we're going to be much bigger and we don't about wearing guys down and even the threat of injury and those types of things, like we've had to do with these two. We went through a very difficult non-conference schedule. I thought I played Alex too much. But we haven't had a game like this. We've had all nail-bitters, and we've had to really lean on those guys a lot. And I thought today they were just outstanding. And Alex just continues to prove he's one of the better centers out west. And I believed that in the beginning of the season, and he's done nothing but solidify those thoughts. He's a go-to-guy, he's a great defender and Cam's doing a great job playing along side of him or in place of him."

On the play of Tony Snell...

"I thought there was pressure on him today. I didn't think he handle that as well as he could have the last time we had adversity. And I thought today he took that upon himself. And we saw that in the UNLV game. And I talked to him about that. I think he went to the next level with his leadership and toughness in the UNLV game, and he carried that forward today. He got some wide-open looks and missed them and I told him that doesn't matter. He missed a couple free throw, which he never does. But I thought he was really productive. He made a great play in transition on a block. He ran the floor, he drove the ball, he guarding. He's just asserted himself at a much higher level, and we need that."

On the defensive performance from his team...

Obviously they had a couple guys out, but as did we. But we're only the second team - and we've talked a lot about our offense for a long time - but we're only the second team now (ULCA and ourselves) are the only two teams to score in the 70s against Fresno State. And we did good things offensiveley, and I thought our defense had a lot to do with that. To hold them to 22 of 23, 33 percent shooting, out guys ave done a really good job of being tough and doing the things we want to do defensively. And I thought making it hard on them to score would be a big key in this game and we did that."

Player Quotes

Cameron Bairstow

On playing as a natural four/power forward....

"I think Alex and I work well together even though we don't get a lot of practice time. We both look for each other. The high-low has been good for us so far and in terms of rebounding as long as we can get up and down with the quick four in the league we should be alright."

On fouling out...

"We always get the speech that we need to stay out of foul trouble and unfortunately in the second half I got a couple quick fouls. It is obviously a concern but as long as we get out of the first half relatively foul-free we (Alex) should be able to play together."

On playing with Alex or as the five...

"I prefer to play with him because it is an easier game. He is a great rebounder and we work well together. I don't mind either way. So far it has been good."

On the rocky start without Kendall vs. South Dakota...

"That experience showed us how to handle adversity and learn from that and while guys are out other guys will step up. When that happened during South Dakota State we were affected by it but tonight we did a good job of learning from that experience before."

On becoming a force on the team...

"Of course with Kendall and Chad out everyone has to step up. Basically, I am just playing the game and my teammates did a good job of finding me early on and we just went from there."

On the first half....

"It was pretty good."

On becoming a dominant force down low...

"The game plan was to get down low early because Alex was supposed to have a 6-8 guy but they started (7-footer Robert) Upshaw. I still had a 6-7 guy on me and was able to take advantage of it to begin with."

Tony Snell

On the difference today....

"Since Kendall sat out, I had to step up my game and help get the win."

On driving the ball...

"I try to be aggressive and not rely on one thing. I try to do multiple things out on the court, if someone pressures me I try to drive them and make plays."

On the distraction of having a starter not starting...

"It's definitely a distraction but we as a team have to put that behind us and focus on what we have now. We need to tell everyone to step up."

On talking to Kendall...

"I definitely talked to him because I am his roommate. I told him that we are going to overcome this. You need to come back the next day and bounce back. When he rooms with me he is always on time but when he goes back home we have to check up on him."

On being 2-0 in conference play...

"We just try and defend home. It is a good thing being 2-0 but we are trying to get better everyday."

On having a cushion during the game...

"We just try to be aggressive and make sure that we are up by a lot by the second half. We try to maintain the lead and make sure that they have no confidence to come back in the second half."

On the first half shooting....

"It is all concentration, we just have to make sure that we punch first. We need to send a message because they are new to our league that this isn't going to be an easy game."

Wednesday, December 31
5:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
vs. Fresno State
Saturday, January 03
6:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
vs. Colorado State (Alumni Day)
Tuesday, January 06
9:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
at San Diego State
Saturday, January 10
7:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
at Utah State
Wednesday, January 14
7:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
vs. Air Force
Sunday, January 18
4:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
vs. Boise State
Wednesday, January 21
9:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
Saturday, January 24
8:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
at Wyoming