Jan. 23, 2013
Final Stats |
Head Coach Steve Alford
On overall game
"I'm extremely pleased with our basketball team. Each week I feel better about us. We are pretty good. I think we are getting better because we beat a really good basketball team tonight. They have a lot of seniors, tough kids, hard-fought kids. Alex Kirk gave us what he could give us. He hadn't practiced all week. So to have a seven-footer down and not really be able to be productive, that was a lot of concern going into a game where this is our pride. They are the best opponent when it comes to size and physical strength inside. He gave us everything he could. Everybody played and did a lot of good things. We battled them. They are an outstanding rebounding team. I thought for 30 minutes we were really good. We lost some concentration through about a six or seven minute frame but we did the things we had to do down the stretch, whether it was make free-throws or make stops. We did the things we had to do to get the win. To start this thing 4-0 and have a two game lead on everybody in the conference, we couldn't have asked for a better start to the conference."
On Colorado State
"They are a very gritty group. They fight you. They do a great job defensively of making it hard on you. They are, without question, the most aggressive rebounding team that we have faced all year. They attack the glass on free throws. It is almost like they are trying to rebound balls in timeouts. They are a very difficult team to block out and keep off the glass. I think that is why they have won a lot of games. You got a rebound margin of 15 and it ends up being 14 tonight. They do a really good job with that. (Coach Eustachy) does a really good job with them. We got to their bench. That helped us. Getting Dorian Green in foul trouble in the first half and getting Greg Smith in foul trouble in the first half really allowed us to get into some really good rhythm."
On Tony Snell's quick start
"It always helps when someone gets a quick start. He is playing really aggressive. That is what we need. (He) didn't make his shots in the second half but I thought he was still aggressive. He made two big free throws after having two tough turnovers on the press. I thought he was really good. I really appreciated his defense, his defense that is where this kid is showing a lot of improvement. That was a tough matchup. Greg Smith is a tough matchup. I thought Tony a really good job. I thought Tony won that matchup."
On New Mexico bench
"I thought the first half was really good. I thought our bench was terrific in the first half. I thought we had a let down on the bench in the second half. I thought that hurt. We got up 20. We go to the bench and all of a sudden the lead went to 12. That is concentration. That is learning and we are going to talk about it tomorrow in film. You just can't have that one half where you are coming off the bench and do it. You have to do it both halves. I thought Jamal Fenton was really good in both halves. He is giving us a lot of confidence and a big boost. We got Hugh Greenwood in foul trouble in the second half. I thought playing Jamal Fenton has much as we had to do in the second half, he had some big plays."
On stretch before second half
"I think we made shots during that stretch and we got stops. We held them to 25 points first half. Our defense in the first half was really good. I thought until we got that six minute stretch our shot selection was really good. I thought when they made the run was probably the worst we did with our shot selection. Most of the night our shot selection was really good."
On Colorado State's 13 second chance points
"Cincinnati was kind of the same way. One of the things is our guys fight. If we don't get the rebound, we are going to fight and try to keep the ball out of the basket. That is not easy to do. If you look at stats, most second shots always result in fouls, wide-open threes or layups. That is just basketball. Our guys have a knack of if you do get a second shot off them, we don't give that up very often. We didn't do it at Cincinnati. Cincinnati was probably the second-best rebounding team that we have played this year. We did it again tonight. We just didn't allow finishes. That is what we say in practice all the time, don't stop playing. You have to finish the possession. These guys have done this all year long. They just continue to fight until the possession is over."
On scoring off of Colorado State's turnovers
"We wanted to run. I don't know about the transition game. They probably caught up to us a little bit late in the game when they got some threes in the transition. I know the first 20 minutes they didn't make any points in transition. Our defense was good. We got out and ran off our stops. That is always a key. If we can get out and transition our guys get a little bit more confident and get more open looks. They are a pretty good half court defensive team."
Senior guard Chad Adams
On CSU's dominance on the boards, but UNM's ability to hold them from getting too many second-chance points...
"We went over rebounding all week. They're the No. 1 rebounding team in the country and working up to the game, we did a lot of rebounding drills all week. It was really tedious, but at the end of the day, I think we did a really good job. They outrebounded us but still, I think we did a really good job. It had a lot to do with the block outs we were doing. We did a lot more face block outs instead of trying to put our back on them. So we just let the ball hit the ground and go get. That's really what our plan was this week."
On the Lobos' tendency to go up by 20 points (or so) and have teams come back on them...
"I think it might be a little natural sometimes when you get up by that much to kind of ease up just a little bit. Coach has really been drilling it into us that we can't do that, that we can't let teams back in the game, especially a team like Colorado State because they could be deadly when it comes to clutch time. He told us all week that they've come back in 20-point games and have even taken over the lead after coming back, so once they started coming back everyone knew what was coming. We just tried to get the ball in and get things done."
On how it feels to be a big part of tonight's win...
"It feels great. I don't think I've contributed like I know I can and like I was in the beginning of the season in the last few games. I really came out tonight with an aggressive mindset. I knew Pierce Hornung, my match up, was a great rebounder - probably the best rebounder in the league. I knew I had a good match up and I had to be aggressive and that's what I tried to do tonight. It feels good to come out with the win."
On the Lobos getting off to a good start and how Tony Snell and Kendall Williams set the table...
"I think it sets the tone for everybody. Once you see the ball go through the net, it's like lights out for everybody. Everyone just wants to hit a shot. The ball is hot and everybody wants to get their hands on it. We all feed off of each other. When somebody else hits a shot, we all want to hit a shot. I think that was really big for us. I think we're a really dangerous team when everybody is hitting shots. We've obviously won really close games without hitting shots, but when we're hitting shots and we're firing on all cylinders, we can be really scary."
On the Lobos' ability to get to the free throw line and their confidence at the line...
"Coach also drills that into us a lot. He was telling us all of our free throw stats from the year and we're just trying to keep that consistent. We work on free throws every day, in between drills, and on days when we don't practice, we still will come in and get about 100 free throws up. It's just something that we do and at the end of the day, we know that that could be the difference between losing and winning. Free throws are always really big and important to us."
On what it means to go to San Diego State with a 4-0 record in Mountain West play...
"It's really big. We realize we have a two-game lead on everybody in the conference right now. We're just trying to finish out. We want to stay undefeated for as long as possible in conference. If we could go all year, that would be great. We're all trying to get some rings. As long as we don't lose any games, or at least stay ahead of everybody by a game or two, that would be great."
Junior guard Tony Snell
On his ability to sink two key free throws at the end of the game right after having two turnovers on inbounds passes...
"I just block it out. I know that when I get out of it when I make a mistake because I really don't like making mistakes, but I've learned that I'm going to make mistakes and I need to just get over it and move on."
On whether or not he went into a shell when he made mistakes earlier in this season...
"It didn't happen. I don't go back to my shell anymore, I don't think."
On whether or not a switch was turned on after the Fresno State game (as his scoring has increased)...
"It's just me playing the game. I'm going out there and reading plays. It's not me being more aggressive, it's just reading plays. If my man is backing off, I'll take the shot or if somebody is guarding me close, then I'll look to drive. It's reading plays is all."
On the Lobos' two-game lead in conference and on what switched in him four games ago...
"It's definitely important because it's league play and every team in this league is great. You've got to give 100 percent, if not, you'll get bounced out. San Diego State and UNLV were ranked before and now they're not. It's a quick switch that happens just like that. You can't back down, you've got to pay 100 percent every game."
On whether or not his game is different now than it was at the beginning of the season...
"I feel different. I'm learning to just play the game, to just read plays. I'd go out there and play nervous sometimes, but now, I'm just relaxed and I'm just playing the game."
On his dunk in the first half...
"It just opened up. I saw a lane and I went for it and tried to finish strong."