Sophomore Ahjalee Harvey and the Aztecs play host to New Mexico on Wednesday.
Feb. 25, 2013
COACH BURNS QUOTES
SAN DIEGO -
San Diego State head coach Beth Burns
"When our MW schedule first came out, the week we just finished was the one we were most concerned about for the obvious reasons of playing at Wyoming and at Nevada, as well as the time of year. Everybody has a lot of tread on their tires. So I couldn't be more pleased with the way we performed this week. That's 80 minutes of basketball at a combined altitude of 13,000-feet. Our offense paid the price a bit. It wasn't pretty, but we really dug in and defended really well. We had a huge game on Wednesday at Wyoming to sweep them, which was big. Then we were able to follow it up with a gritty win against Nevada on Saturday. But there's no rest for the weary. We had a night game (Saturday) so we didn't get back until (Sunday). I think New Mexico, who we play on Wednesday, is probably the fourth team in our league that I believe could win the (conference) tournament and could play beyond. We played as complete a game as we've played all season when we went (to New Mexico). We held them to 39 (points) and our offense was very aggressive. We played at a high level. So it's going to take a lot (this time). It's a big game for us on Wednesday."
On if it's frustrating not being ranked:
"You have to remember that at the beginning of the year, we had four non-conference losses. They're all in the top-25, and they're all ahead of us, as they should be. I think that's the reason why. Our RPI is solid at 37 because of what we did, and that's really more important. The first goal is to win (the conference championship), but we have to win these games in order to get an at-large (NCAA Tournament) bid if we need it. I think our focus is on winning the next game, and not worrying about that outside stuff."
On how this year's team compares to past teams:
"This is a really unique team, and it took a while to figure out what was going to make us go. (The players) are a little stubborn and I heard their coach is a little stubborn too (laughs). We lost really good role players from a year ago that did all the dirty work. When we started the season, we had no one to do it. When we didn't shoot 55-60 percent, we were a pretty average team. This team has been really unique since they figured it out and really started to defend at a high level. This team is like none other I've had. We don't have a huge margin of error. We don't have a plan B or C, but we now defend really hard and that makes up for the inconsistencies we have."
On which players do the dirty work:
"Well Chelsea Hopkins and Courtney Clements figured out that they better get dirty. They're very skilled offensively, and they never had to do a lot of the heavy lifting defensively. They have young, inexperienced players around them. It's been their change that lifted everybody else up. They figured out they have to be go-to defenders, and they have been. It's been a big difference for us."
On if she's pleased with where the team is at:
"Yes, without question. We were stubborn. We didn't buy into a lot of things. Basketball is like a symphony. You have to find a way to make all the notes play together. And it took a little longer for all kinds of reasons. But I think at this point, our spirit is good, our energy is as good as it can be and we're confident. So when you add all those things up, that's the way you want to be."