Oct. 22, 2013
#AZTECMBB PRESSER QUOTES
SAN DIEGO -
Head coach Steve Fisher
"Josh Davis and Matt Shrigley are with me, for those of you who are not familiar, but you should be. They're not new but (Davis) is a first-time player and (Shrigley) is a redshirt freshman. He's definitely not new. (Davis) is the oldest player on the team. He graduated from Tulane University and is going to grad school at San Diego State. They're joining me, and I'd like to have as many questions for them as possible. We are very quickly closing in on the start of our season. It's exciting and a little bit unnerving, but as we prepare, I've said before, I really like our team and the two of them are big reasons why I really like our team. They're coachable, they play hard, they want to get better and they have prioritized being a good teammate and helping the team win. Very talented, both of them, and I know our fans will love watching them play."
On Josh Davis:
"Josh, as you probably know, was one of the leading scorers in Conference USA. A year ago, he was first-team all-league, one of the best offensive-rebounders in the country and we expect more of the same from him. He does bring great energy and will be a fan favorite I'm sure."
On Matt Shrigley:
"I've said this before: Matt progressed as much as any redshirt player we've had a year ago. He came in and it was hard. It was hard for me and him to say, `I won't play this year.' The training last year, as you look down the road, will benefit Matt in our program immensely. But he did not waste a year. He worked extremely hard on every part of his game. I think that will show also."
On Josh Davis' toe injury:
"Josh wound up having a bone spur removed in his big toe. It was a pretty significant bone spur that they removed. They gave him a recovery time possibly up to 12 weeks. This was in early August. He was back, full scale, within eight weeks and when he started practicing I couldn't believe the condition he was in, physically. He did stuff with our trainer that showed that he is committed and was in as good of shape as anyone we had on the team, and for almost eight weeks didn't do anything with the team."
On his assessment of the team so far:
"I think every coach in America was happy that we had a longer stretch to practice with our teams. The sticky wicket is you have 42 days before your first game, which means you start practicing in September where normally we would've started on the 15th of October... less than about a week ago. We have had I think 19 or 20 practices now. It's a world of difference. The thing that I kept saying, we want to make sure that we're doing enough but that we're not doing too much because no matter what you say, it's a long season and you don't want to be at your best in November. We've had some nagging injuries that we probably wouldn't have had if we started on the 15th of October. We've had several ankle injuries, Xavier Thames missed a week of practice, Winston Shepard missed a week of practice, Dwayne Polee II got hit on the chin and missed over 10 days of practice because of concussion-like symptoms. But with all that being said, it's going to benefit every program in America a great deal to have this period. We take one day off in the middle of the week and one day off on the weekend as a rule. I think all of us like that also."
On if they are anxious to begin the season:
"You're always anxious to play somebody else. After two days of practice the kids are saying, `When's our first game? When do we play somebody else?' I think we're anxious to play. We have an exhibition game a week from Friday with Cal State San Marcos, which will be a good indicator. We'll have a crowd there and see how much game slippage we have, and then we open up the following Friday. It's coming in very quickly for us and we're happy about it."
Senior forward Josh Davis
On where the team is at right now:
"It's been going well. As time goes on we've been getting better. We're working hard every day. At this point I know we still have a lot of room to grow, but at the same time I think we're all starting to gel together."
On his role on the team:
"I feel like it's energy, rebounding and just playing as hard as I can. Doing whatever I can do to help the team win."
On his toe injury:
"I feel like it's improved. I don't have any issues with it right now. I'm just moving forward."
On how often he is mistaken for Kawhi Leonard:
"Since I stepped on the campus. But now it's more of, `You look like Kawhi,' rather than, `Hey Kawhi.'
On some of the similarities between the team last season and this season:
"I see the intensity level every single day of practice. You have to bring all you have because everybody on the court is extremely talented."
Freshman forward Matt Shrigley
On how he feels about his first season playing:
"I'm really excited to be able to get out there and be able to help the team out this year. Last year was a great learning experience watching the team grow and take on challenges, and now I'm just excited to be part of it even more and be able to go out there and make an impact."
On his role on the team:
"I guess come in with a lot of energy, run the wing, knock down shots...just do anything they need me to do."
On if there is anything he thinks he's improved on while redshirting:
"I think, overall, I've improved everywhere: Mentally, physically, seeing the challenges that the season brings with the tournament and the conference games. It's just overall everything. It's just about knowing what to expect and what I need to do and prepare for."
On how long the season felt not being able to play:
"It was always a tough decision. I talked to my dad. I talked to my cousins. I talked to everyone in my family. Initially it's hard but it's a growing process and it's another year to learn and experience what college basketball is. It was beneficial."
On if he feels extra pressure playing in his hometown:
"Not really. It's just more excitement toward the season actually arriving and getting here. I'm just excited and ready to play."