Freshman Aleiah Brandon and the Aztecs hit the road to face Wyoming on Wednesday.
Feb. 18, 2013
COACH BURNS QUOTES
SAN DIEGO -
San Diego State head coach Beth Burns
"I'm pleased with where we are, obviously, and I think the most important thing we get out of these last five games is to continue to take them one at a time, although it gets harder. Some (games) loom larger than others. For us, this Wyoming game is big. Wyoming, Fresno State and San Diego State are bottled up at the top (of the standings). So it's a huge opportunity and challenge going up to Laramie (Wyo.). Then, ironically, we'll play a 1-9 (MW) Nevada team that lost to Wyoming 59-56 two games ago. And (Nevada) has been in every game except one. So the challenge of two away games is in front of us. We played (Sunday), so we will be real light (at practice Monday). We'll put in our game plan (Tuesday) and then get on the plane and go to work."
On what the difference has been in their current 10-game winning streak:
"I would say now we're playing defense and before we weren't. A year ago we had a couple really good defenders. Since we didn't have them to begin this year, (the seniors) figured out that they better start defending. We're a team that likes to shoot jump shots, and we've very quietly developed a really effective inside game as well as becoming a very good defensive team. Now we have a healthy Chairese Culberson and a healthier Kiyana Stamps. I really attribute all of it to the approach we're taking defensively. Most teams like offense, but if we can get a stop and a defensive rebound, then we can play to our strength, which is out in the open floor and use our speed. You can't do that as much when you have to take the ball out of the net. That's been the biggest difference in our team."
On if they game-plan differently playing in a high altitude:
"Yes, no question. Everybody that tells you (playing in high altitude) is all in your head, tell them to tie a plastic bag around their head, poke a hole in it and go run around the block. Then come back and tell you again it's all in your head. It's a physiological difference that really takes about two weeks to acclimate to. So you're really best served to spend as little time there as possible. We have to lengthen our bench, and you pick your spots. Wyoming is a great half-court, motion-offensive team. So you have to pick your spots when you press, and have to coach really comfortably in the first half. I've had halftime leads, and once they hit that intermission, it's just really hard to get them back going. So you have to sub a lot more frequently in the first half, then the second half you just play basketball."