Women's Basketball Press Conference Quotes
Feb. 24, 2011
SAN DIEGO - San Diego State Head Coach Beth Burns
"I would like the moment to say he defers everything to everyone else but himself. Steve Fisher is as good as it gets and we are all appreciative of what he's done, what he's continued to do and will continue to do. Don't let him kid you that this isn't all about him. These great players are here because of him and these coaches are here because of him. He's just a pleasure to work with and real easy to cheer for. I have a dilemma. We have a really critical game at 3:00 Mountain Time on Saturday, which means we'll probably have to leave the hotel and head to the bus with a tie game and about two minutes to go on CBS in our hotel rooms. I'm hoping we take care of it quickly and they don't shoot 70 free throws so we'll be able to cheer them on and then take care of our business. All that aside, I'm excited that we in the second round have figured some things out. Out of our four-game streak, BYU is the one team that really beat us in the first round. First round, I think we could have won six or seven of our eight games. They're old at every position, really experienced and deep. As a matter of fact, one of their freshmen off the bench was the player of the week, and I think that's the first time since I've been here that that's happened, that a key frontline player wasn't player of the week. Our hands are full, but I think we have an opportunity to continue with confidence and momentum. I would not be surprised to see us win the next three games. I would not be surprised to see us lose the next three games. I think that's what is going to make Las Vegas on the women's side really remarkable. Everybody has just about beaten somebody. The weakest, if you will, already has three wins, so it's really going to be something the next couple of weeks."
On getting hot going into the tournament:
"Because of the way we started, we shifted into that mode three weeks ago where the only game that matters is the next game in order to gain momentum and try to get these younger guys better. Very quietly both Paris Johnson and Jessika Bradley have just been terrific this past month. You can't score on us in the paint. I think the last week we were third in the nation in blocked shots between the two of them combined. I think they're playing at a really high level. To beat a team like BYU they need some people to come along with them. We've shown that we've learned from round one. Our round one errors were for first-year kids. They've learned and applied and we've been able to do enough. Our bench helped us beat New Mexico. Paris and J.B. helped us beat Utah. BYU is going to take a collective effort. TCU was our preseason champion and they've lost at Air Force, they have a home loss to New Mexico - it's crazy. What's scary is it's a good year to be a lower seed. It's scary to be a high seed. Our RPI is still one of the strongest because we had such a competitive non-conference schedule. I really have no idea what our tournament, beyond the conference tournament, is going to hold for any of us. I really don't."
On where Senior Center Paris Johnson ranks among the all-time Aztecs:
"It's a little too early to go to that because you hate to get to the final buzzer. It is true what my grandmother said, `it goes faster every year,' because I feel like she just walked through the door as a freshman. She's started every game. I think this year has really been a testament to what an Aztec she is. She does anything we ask her to do. She's played the two, the three, the four and five. She's guarded everybody on the floor. She's done a lot of personal sacrifice to do what's best for the team. She's already broken a couple records that have stood for the longest of times. Hopefully, at the end of it all, it's her body of work that is how she is going to be remembered, versus what most people remember which is that last little part of it."
On the mindset of the team at this point in the season:
"Just win the next game. This is the strangest league season I've ever had or seen anywhere at any time. BYU is really complete. They have four senior starters and are eight deep legitimate. Beyond BYU, everyone really has a strength and a glaring weakness. We were 2-6 at the break, and I think four of those games were four point games and one was an overtime game. It wasn't like you were getting rolled or weren't competitive, and I think I can say that about seven other teams. I think it's kept everyone's interest. We are right there. It's been easier for me to tell them `come on, we are right there.' There is no one that you fear. You fear no one, and no one fears you. With that said, I think it's just been the next game, but we're not giving up. First we have to have a winning record. We've been in a hole since the season started. We've gone three steps backwards, fought like crazy to get back, gone two steps backwards and fought like crazy, and the whole season has been like that. First, we've got to cross the Mendoza line, and even then a potential NIT bid could be waiting beyond that."