Coach Justin Hutson, Fresno State – (On the Tournament): “We like to pick up early and get aggressive. We can always back off if we feel like it hurts us. It gets us in the mode of playing hard and gets us to the tempo that we want.”
(On his team’s foul trouble): “They go together, we want to pick up in pressure, but we can’t foul. We have to work on doing it without fouling. In this young part of the season, sometimes those are things you are going to have to work on. You get up in pressure, you get a little overzealous, so you reach in and foul. We have to go back to the drawing board a little bit and keep guys out of foul trouble and learn how to do it without using our hands.”
(On how his team refocused during the off-day): We watched the film and it showed us some good things that we did and things that we needed to do better. Everybody listened and payed attention. I feel we said, “Let’s let it go now.” That’s college basketball and sports. You’ve got to be able to build into the next play and next game. The guys did some homework, went to Disneyland, came back and we got prepared for Hawai’i in the evening time, so it was time to put it past us.”
Fresno State guard Deshon Taylor – “I feel like this is a great confidence booster for us. I feel like this is a whole new team basically. A lot of new guys, a brand new system and coaching staff. Getting to a win, I feel like the team confidence is real high right now.”
(On playing close to his hometown): I felt like it was good to see a lot of my family, some who I haven’t seen in a while. Its kind of felt like a home game for us as well. Fresno’s not that far, so I felt like it was good for a lot of guys who are from this area.”
Coach Eran Ganot, Hawai’i – Opening Statement: “It was a tough game for us. We’re showing the flashes of the potential of where we could be but the inconsistencies are hurting us. That’s what’s great about these tournaments. I will say it’s an honor for our program to be part of this. Our partnership with ESPN between the Diamond Head Classic and the Wooden Legacy, these are really first-class events with great fields, great coaches, quick turnarounds and so for our program to be a part of that is truly an honor. Obviously the competition that you face, like I said there’s some really good fields. In terms of the game, credit to Fresno State, they did a really good job. In the first half they turned us over but I thought in the second half we did a better job but we just missed some shots. You want to get good shots and we got that for most of the second half and they made theirs. I thought one of the biggest differences in the game was late-clock execution. I thought we did a good job on defense for the first 15 seconds of each possession but they got us late quite a bit. Credit to them and it’s definitely something to learn from.”
On the team’s defense: “We did a great job of rotating and taking charges in the first half, I think we took three or four charges in one half which was a step in the right direction for us but we needed to have that more consistently. Our point of attack, we’re getting beat so badly off the bounce and they made us pay for that and good teams do that.”
Forward Jack Purchase, Hawai’i – On Fresno State’s pressure: “In the first half we didn’t handle it well, I think we had nine turnovers. I think that’s what hurt us. I thought we did a good job in the second half of handling the pressure and getting into our sets but yeah, that pressure hurt us.”
Continued on pressure: “Yeah, a little bit (on feeling rushed). I think it’s hard when you get the ball over (half court) and you’re trying to get guys in the right spots, it takes a couple extra seconds to get guys in the right place. They sped us up a bit and that’s what hurt us.”
- Hawai’i had five players reach double figures, the fourth time this week that a team has accomplished that feat, but the first time that a team lost when doing so.
- Fresno State extended its lead in the all-time series to 27-19.
Fresno State (3-2)
- Fresno State is playing in its first ESPN event (2-1 record in those).
- Fresno State shot .520 FG today, and is now 40-3 in its last 43 games when shooting at least 50% FG.
- Fresno State made 11 3pt-FGs today, and has made at least nine in every game this season… The Bulldogs are 19-3 the last 22 games making at least 10 3pt-FGs.
- Braxton Huggins scored 13 points today, the 12th time in his last 13 games that he has surpassed 10.
- Deshon Taylor contributed 20 points…This is the 20th time Taylor has scored 20 or more, and 16 of those have come in either road games or at neutral sites.
- Sam Bittner had his sixth career game with 10 or more points, scoring 11 today… FS is now 5-1 when he reaches double figures in points.
- New Williams added 12 points for Fresno State, the third time this season he has had at least 10.
- Brocke Stepteau contributed 10 points, his 29th career game with 10 or more.
- Hawai’i is playing in its 10th ESPN event (15-15 record in those).
- This season Hawai’i is averaging 86.8 ppg in its four wins, but just 56.3 ppg in its three losses.
- Jack Purchase led the team in scoring with 14 points, but Hawai’i fell to 11-4 when he scores 14 or more.
- Zigmars Raimo scored 13 points, the sixth time in his career with at least 10 points (UH is now 4-2 when that happens)… Raimo fouled out for the first time in his career (this was his 60th game).
- Samuta Avea scored 11 points to go with a career-best eight rebounds… This is the third career game for Avea with 10+ points… He had a total of 10 points in his last four games combined.
- Eddie Stansbury was limited to just four points today, marking the second time in his brief seven-game career he was held under 12 points.