Game 9: Iowa State 87, San Diego State 57
Iowa State – 87, SDSU – 57
Iowa State Cyclones Press Conference with:
Steve Prohm, Michael Jacobson and Marial Shayok
MEGAN GODFREY: We’ll start with an opening statement from coach.
STEVE PROHM: First off just want to thank everybody that’s a part of hosting this event, I know Coach Odom is out there, this was an unbelievable opportunity for our program our school, our team, these players, myself and the coaching staff and then our fan base the way they travel out here. So first off just thanks for a really, really great experience. Hopefully we can be back here at some point in the future. This was a great win, obviously a lot better feeling than after the Arizona game to come back and go 2-1 against a really strong field and get two wins that hopefully can help us later on down the line. Proud of these guys’ effort on both end of the floor. We got a lot of respect for San Diego State and Brian’s team. Today we made shots and were able to do a good job defensively and that kind of spear headed us. So I’ll turn it over for the guys.
MEGAN GODFREY: Questions for the players.
Q. Marial, you came into the game with a sprained knee, what kind of effect did that have on you if any today?
MARIAL SHAYOK: I had trouble moving laterally and then just wasn’t the same explosive-wise, but just wanted to come out here and play as hard as I can for my teammates.
Q. Was there any doubt that you could play?
MARIAL SHAYOK: No, I definitely had to play for my guys, man, and I knew as long as I got it warm I’ll be fine.
Q. Mike, how do you guys feel like you performed all three games I guess relative to your own expectations for yourselves?
MICHAEL JACOBSON: Yeah, I mean, obviously, we were coming out here to win the whole thing, that didn’t happen, had some trouble against Arizona, but we said they’re a very good team, but we knew we had to bounce back, three games in three days and you can’t really hold your head too much, you got to pick yourself back up and come ready to play the next day because as coach said it’s a very high level of basketball out here and we just knew we needed to be ready to go for day two and day three.
Q. For both you guys, what did you learn in these whatever three games about your team?
MARIAL SHAYOK: I thought we learned that we have to stay relentless even when you have the lead and that was a big learning experience in that Arizona game. So I think we learned from that and bounced back pretty well today, especially going into halftime with the lead.
MICHAEL JACOBSON: Yeah, I would reiterate that. Just being up 10 against Arizona we got to finish that game off better. They did some really good things but, yeah, just holding on to leads and finishing games out the right way and just staying relentless on the defensive end I think it’s going to start on defense for us and if we’ll be able to do that we’ll get out in transition and get good shots and that’s where I think our best offense is.
Q. The first two games here they gave up a whole bunch of threes and that’s how they got behind in the first two, were you aware of that and what were you seeing out there with the threes, were they giving them to you or were you just hot?
MARIAL SHAYOK: I just got — we took good shots and found each other and today they started to fall and we just tried to keep each other confident about it and we’re just glad it fell today.
Q. For both you, how has it been staying at the Sheraton during the workers strike and have you had to change any plans because of it?
MICHAEL JACOBSON: I don’t think we tried to change any plans as far as I know. It’s been good. Hospitality has been great, it’s been an awesome experience out here, something I never thought I would be able to do. I had a ton of fun with it, haven’t heard them too much or anything like that. We kind of went in a side entrance, so I don’t know if that was a change of plans from originally, but, no, it’s been good and I’ve been able to enjoy my trip to the fullest, I think.
MARIAL SHAYOK: I thought it was a great trip just like Mike said.
MEGAN GODFREY: Questions for coach.
Q. After your team had such a good showing here the question becomes what happens once you guys get healthy in the rotation, how do you work that out?
STEVE PROHM: That’s been in the back of my mind for awhile, I probably think about it every day. We have got a week off, we get home tomorrow afternoon, watch the Redskins/Cowboys game and then we’ll get back on the floor Saturday. Then we play Monday and if it’s all good Cameron and Zoran will join us back on December 3rd. And so we really have that week for me to really sit down with my staff at that point — I’ve kind of got in the back of my mind things that we may need if we’re big at times, things we need to put if in Lard and Jackson are in the game at the same time, things like that. But I think the biggest thing, especially as we add some good players back into the fold is to keep preaching the same message to these guys and that’s just don’t seek honor, honor will find you, be selfless, and play for Iowa State. And if we can do that, then everybody will benefit. Everybody’s just got to buy into their role and max out their job, but obviously it’s in the back of my mind and we just got to continue to do a good job. We have good relations with our kids, I think they trust us, so we got to continue to invest in them and we’ll have that week off though and that will be a big week for us to try to instill some other things.
Q. With especially McDaniels in the lane was it a conscious effort to shoot a lot of threes today?
STEVE PROHM: No, I know we had that question earlier, I watched the first half of Xavier, I watched the whole Xavier game yesterday, but the first half Xavier was terrific from three. I really don’t, I’m more worried about how they cover ball screens or what they’re going to do on certain situations than I am telling guys what to shoot and what not to shoot. I’m not a big fan of that. That’s why you probably watch us play and you say, man, he let’s them shoot some crazy shots and then you watch us play and then the ball moves really well. I don’t like to over analyze some of that. What we did today that we hadn’t done the first two game here is we really made threes but I thought we shot better threes too. Shayok shot it really well today and then Tyrese who can shoot it he finally stepped out and made shots today.
Q. When Cam and Solo went down, you talked about watching Mike and evaluating him differently because of a different role. With what this team did this week without the guys that you presumably will be adding shortly, do you start to judge this team different or evaluate differently against expectations, I guess?
STEVE PROHM: A day at a time. Humility. Like I said last year, going through last year was tough, you have to have great humility in success, you have to have great humility in failure and so this team just needs to stay humble. When we get home we got two days of rest, obviously Marial’s feet up, Mike’s feet up. We just got to get home, get rested, be smart with them Saturday and Sunday. I know we got a good team coming in Monday night, but our expectations is just to be great every day and wherever that puts us at the end of the year it puts us. But if we’re selfless and humble I think this team — I said from the very beginning, I like this group, I like being around them.
Q. Obviously people in your league know your style and are able to prepare for it. How hard is it for a team that’s never seen you or never played against that style and to do it in a 24 hour turn around?
STEVE PROHM: With all these games they’re tough turn around because you’re one day prep because we’re trying to figure out how you’re going to guard McDaniels. And I thought we did a good job of just trying to keep him off balance, but they’re really good and so it’s hard to prep for them, Illinois is a hard one day prep. It’s tough to prep for any team in one day and really not even one day, it’s it could be 12, 15 hours. So that’s the thing that we have got to challenge our guys with as we get into guys that know us better is what wrinkles can we do, how we have to be more efficient, why shot selection is so important because the scouting will continue to come and increase.
Q. Same question for you, how has it been staying at the Sheraton during the strike and have you guys had to change any plans because of it?
STEVE PROHM: No, we haven’t changed. Big thing I was just is the food going to be good? Food was great. Everything was great. The people over there, I think went out of their way to help us from the day we got there, Coach Odom welcomed us. And then we’re obviously leaving here tonight, there’s been not one hiccup in anything in our itinerary at all so I appreciate everybody rallying around and making a great — this was a great experience, it’s really a dream come true for a lot of us being out here.
San Diego State Aztecs Press Conference with:
Brian Dutcher and Matt Mitchell
MEGAN GODFREY: Coach, your opening statement, please.
BRIAN DUTCHER: I thought Iowa State was sensational. They shot the ball at an incredibly elite level and I think when they get all their pieces they’re going to be a very, very dangerous team. With that being said, there are so many things we have learned about our own team, one is that we are not a very good rebounding team right now and there were times where we would have three people standing under the basket and they would send one guy and end up with the ball. So we have to do better rebounding. Coaches always know, you got to recruit a rebounder, but that’s not an excuse. If you don’t have an elite level rebounder you got to get the guys you have on the roster rebounding better. And so that’s something we have learned over this week here that we have to become a better rebounding team. The other thing we have to do is we have to get out and contest some three-point shots. I mean three teams in a row shot incredible against us from three-point range. So we’re not closing out tight enough, we’re not dictating, people are towing the line on us and getting good looks at three. So you’re here to learn about your team and I said yesterday I really like my team and so I can’t be a hypocrite today and because we lost say I don’t like my team. I like my team. But there are things we have to get better at, we all know that, the team more than anybody, so I look my team, lesson learned, we have to get better. We all know that.
MEGAN GODFREY: Questions for Matt.
Q. How do you process this? This is the worst loss in I think almost 20 years by a program that usually doesn’t take big losses. How do you guys process that and what do you think went wrong today?
MATT MITCHELL: I think we just got to learn from it. Coach said it, it was not a very good defensive rebounding team. Every time they went it felt like they got the ball. We just weren’t putting bodies on their bodies and what we got to do is learn from it moving on in practice and in the upcoming games and get better.
Q. In terms of three-point shooting, all three games teams got out to a really, really hot start against you. Were they just making threes or was there something you guys weren’t doing?
MATT MITCHELL: We just weren’t closing out tight enough. All three teams got hot, but at the same time we got to be there and we know we’re a good defensive team, we know we can be and we know our potential, but at the same time we have to learn and excel and especially in tournaments like these and which we want to be in and we know we can be in and play up to the level and the level of intensity that these gyms partake. I feel like just moving on we’ll learn from it and we’ll get a lot better.
MEGAN GODFREY: All right. Take questions for coach.
Q. Same question, you guys have a history of not getting blown out and you have taken two of your worst losses since you’ve been at San Diego State. How do you get over that and process that?
BRIAN DUTCHER: Got to use it as a motivator. Can’t sit here and cry about it. Got to use it as a motivator to get the team better. And test their pride a little bit. I will say this, Jeremy Hemsley — and I used him as an example — we’re down 25 with four, five minutes to go and you look up and Jeremy is playing as hard as any guard you’ve ever seen play at the defensive end. And I got on the freshmen, I put you guys in for the last three minutes and you’re on an audition for me and you don’t meet that intensity from a senior that played all the minutes? And I used him as an example to show what is required if we’re going to be great. I thought the only game that we won was the game we dictated defensively. We got into the ball harder, we set the tempo. Everything else we were on our heels reacting to everything the other team did. And so lesson learned, we have to continue to be aggressive. Matchup-wise, we were going to switch the five man ball screens at the start of the game so I put Matt on the five man and Jalen on the wing and the wing went to work on Jalen right away. Hit a three on him, ran the baseline on him, and so maybe I set the tone by not having the right matchups, but I thought we had a good game plan we just didn’t execute it very well.
Q. A lot of things you’re talking about those are effort plays, those are the kind of things that are published in the locker room sometimes with the players. How do you poke and find those folks who in that space hold each other accountable for these kind of efforts and being consistent?
BRIAN DUTCHER: I had — I did talking after the game, but I thought it was important to hear from the players. So I had Jeremy stand up, talk to the team about what he felt. Just felt we had to compete harder, said we got big brothered in the two games we played, we have to be tougher, we can’t be the little brother. We have to be tougher. And then I had Devin stand up and Devin’s not one for a lot of word so I had to coax it out of him, he just basically delivered the message we have to play harder. And it’s always easy to say play harder, there’s some strategy in there. There’s being alert when you’re on the floor, knowing where the ball is, play with your head on a swivel — playing hard is just easy, everyone says you got to play harder, so now we have to use that play harder to teach and say, how do we play harder. Is it getting up on the ball tighter, is it picking up full court more, is it over playing a little bit. We’re a gap defensive team, how can we adjust to what we do instead of just say, play harder, you know, what things can we do to get better at and make it look like we’re playing harder.
Q. Injuries to your freshmen in the pre-season obviously stunted their growth a little bit and you had a pretty short rotation here and probably some tired legs today. How much did that hurt you and how much do you need at least a couple of those freshmen to give you quality minutes going forward?
BRIAN DUTCHER: We have to get quality play from our freshmen. I thought Nathan had some moments, but missing a month of practice sometimes you watch them out there and he can’t get to where he’s supposed to be or if he gets there it’s that half second late where, instead of grabbing the ball it falls to the other team. So we have got to get him up to speed game minute wise and I think if we do that he’ll continue to improve, AG, I like AG a lot, we have to get him playing at the pace of the game a little better and that’s just freshmen. So I think they will get better, I thought the six veterans played pretty good for the most part and Nathan had some moments in the tournament where I thought he looked like he belonged out there. AG’s got to catch up. And we have to just keep — Adam Seiko obviously was a freshman, a red shirt freshman, I thought he gave us a good level of play off the bench. So we are a work in progress. So we got to keep progressing, that’s the key, we don’t want to be a work in progress all year we want to progress and be ready to play on Tuesday when we take the floor again.