Jonathan Gibson on Monday, March 8, in the Pan American Center
On last year’s WAC tournament:
“Last year was a heart breaker, we lost on a buzzer beater, the last shot. We were up by 13 at halftime and couldn’t hold the lead. This year we’ve got enough talent on the team and I think if we go in there and execute, take one game at a time we can definitely come out with the WAC championship.”
Q: Did the recent road trip take some confidence away from the team?
“We just got to clean some stuff up – I wouldn’t say it’s a confidence thing – we just got to clean some stuff up.
“Sometimes you got to lose to be able to win the big one.”
About San Jose State:
“We split one and one with them in the conference, they’re are a pretty solid team and they got a big man back. If we can go out there and take care of business on the defensive end and get stops I think the offense will come and we can get a W.”
On team morale:
“We got kind of humbled a little bit, the last loss we got beat bad, we can’t take anything for granted. We have go out there and execute, and be more defensive minded.
“We don’t need to change anything, we just got to refocus on the defensive end because we gave up 100 points to Nevada. We need to keep them to 60 or 65, and if we score 80 we’ll win all the games.” (laughing).
Q: What happened in the second half of those games?
“We had two bad second halves. At Nevada we came out lackadaisical a little bit and Fields kept driving, he found Babbitt at the end and he’s not going to miss free throws and it just kind of went from there. Utah State came out with a lot of fire and they were making shots.”
Q: Does it affect this team more than others when your not making shots?
“Maybe a little bit but we just got to clean that up When we don’t score we still have to be able to stop people.”
About playing Nevada again if NMSU and Nevada make the second round:
“It will be a big challenge because the tournament is there and they have the home-court advantage and we just got done playing them. We gave up 100 points so we got to trim that down and go from there.”
Q: What are your chances of winning the WAC tournament and getting an NCAA tournament bid?
“I think it’s a big chance we can win. We came in tied for second. If we refocus and clean up some stuff we can definitely can come out with the W. We got enough talent on the team, a great staff and great players. We just have to have a defensive mind set and stop people.”
On beating a team three times (Which Nevada would have to to to New Mexico State):
“It is hard. When I was a sophomore we beat Boise two times and then lost to them. We know each other, we know what we are going to do. We’ll watch tape. We played each other twice already so the third game is “who wants it more.”
On the Utah State crowd:
"I’ve been there three times it’s the same, its incredible."
Marvin Menzies in Las Cruces, Tuesday, March 8:
Q: How’s the morale on the team?
“They’re ready to roll, at this state of the year if you’re not ready to roll you’ll be in trouble.
“I just think that it was disappointing on Thursday, when we lost the opportunity to win the whole enchilada. It just took a few days to realize, ‘OK we’re second so let’s just go out and try to win games now.’”
“We didn’t get the one done on Saturday, but that’s a tough environment to play in. Utah State played really well.
“When all is said and done the players know they have to win three games in order to dance. We’ve been talking about it for a long time, so I think they’ll be ready.”
Q: Was fatigue much of a factor in Logan?
"I think it played a little bit of a role. Just in general that’s why the road is so tough. But at the end of the day you have to fight through that and try to do the best you can effortwise to put yourself in a position to win."
“They had their run in the second half and it was just a mountain we couldn’t climb back up.”
On the team putting themselves in the position to win the conference in the last week of the regular season:
I thought (it was a great thing) but you wouldn’t think so from reading some of the comments. In coaching you’re only as good as your last play, let alone your last game.
“I think we did pretty good being 11 and 5 and we got everybody coming back except for one scholarship kid. We’ll be OK.”