Wooden Legacy post-game notes & quotes, San Diego State 75, Georgia 68

Wooden Chips
• San Diego State’s win puts a Mountain West Conference team in the Wooden Legacy championship for the third time ever, as UNLV won in 2010 and the Aztecs won in 2013.
• San Diego State is bidding to become the first ever team to win multiple Wooden Legacy titles… the Aztecs are now already the first team to appear in two Wooden Legacy championship games.
• A tournament title here has big implications, as all but one of the past Wooden Legacy champions went on to play in the NCAA Tournament (the only exception was Washington in 2014)… both conferences represented in Sunday’s title match are undefeated in Wooden Legacy championships.
• Georgia led by 12 (at 16-4) but SDSU came back to win… the 12-point deficit overcome ties for the fourth largest ever in this tournament… the record was set yesterday when Washington State rebounded from a 20-point deficit to win.
• San Diego State committed just five turnovers in today’s contest, tying the tournament mark for fewest with Arizona State in 2013.

San Diego State (5-1)
• Playing in its fourth ESPN event (10-1 record in those)… the Aztecs are now 5-0 in Wooden Legacy games.
• SDSU has now advanced to the championship game of an eight-team tournament for the sixth straight time, winning three times in that span.
• The Aztecs shot just 25-73 (.342), the fourth time in calendar year 2017 they have shot that low from the field, but SDSU is now 3-1 in those games.
• SDSU has held five of six opponents under 40% FG this year.
• Devin Watson led the team in scoring with 16 points… he has now scored in double digits in 35 of his last 38 games.

Georgia (4-1)
• Playing in its third ESPN event (3-5 record in those).
• Yante Maten scored 17 points to go with seven rebounds… he has scored at least 15 points in all four games this season… in addition, he went 8-8 from the stripe today, and is now 37-38 FT (.974) this year.
• Georgia is one of two teams in this tournament to have the same starting lineup in every game this season (along with St. Mary’s).
• William Jackson broke the career high he set less than 24 hours ago by scoring 17 points… he also made a career most four 3pt-FGs.
• Before tonight Georgia had won its last 44 games when holding opponents to .356 or worse (SDSU shot .342).

San Diego State Head Coach Brian Dutcher:

(Opening statement) – “We knew it was going to be a really competitive game. Georgia is well coached, they’re tough, they have the preseason Co-SEC player on the roster. It was a good game and it went down to the final one or two possessions so we feel fortunate to win.”

“We thought one of the really important stats going into the game was rebounding and we ended up out-rebounding them 48 to 44. Offensively we had 18 they had 11, so we thought that was really important because we knew they attack the glass with real aggressiveness. And then we took care of the ball, we only had five turnovers in a 40 minute game. I think those two stats, more than any other, led to our victory. We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well because both teams played such hard defense.”

(On scoring in the paint) – We have good inside players, Malik Pope is very versatile so he can score inside and out and then I thought Trey (Kell) and the guards did a good job coming off ball screens and getting in there and making some runners and things like that. To their credit we got in there and they blocked a ton of shots at the rim, we were attacking to rim all game with our guards and I don’t know how many blocks they got but they changed as many shots at they blocked.”

(On getting back into the game after falling behind early) – I told them right before we went out for the tip that we played Creighton here a few years ago when we won the (Wooden) Legacy and Doug McDermott shot us out of the game in the first five or 10 minutes so if that happens don’t let that bother you, it happens in basketball, hang in there and do what we do.

San Diego State junior guard Trey Kell:

(On closing out a close game) – “Dutch (Brian Dutcher) said it perfectly in the locker room after the game, last year we dropped a lot of those game but this year this team we just have a different vibe around us where we know we’re going to win those close games, we come together instead of everyone being nervous for the situation or try to do it themselves. I feel like we did a great job of  team defense, finishing the defense with rebounds and making the right play on offense… Plus adding the freshman we brought in this year, they don’t play like freshman.”

Georgia’s Head Coach Mark Fox

(Opening Statement) – “It was a hard fought game, we made some critical errors in the last moments of the game. And it wasn’t the result we’d like to see, but compliments to San Diego State.

(On why some players on the team sat out) – “I’m assuming its food poisoning, but I’m not sure to be honest. It started around 2 o’clock in the morning and effected a few players on our team to the point where they weren’t going to be able to play. But regardless of that we still have to play better as a team.”

(Regarding the fouls called on Yante Maten) – “I’m on a rules committee, so I’d like to believe that I know the rules very well. And evidently what was called a common foul and then a flagrant foul was called upon review after the whistle. So they (San Diego State) were allowed to take two free throws and retain possession of the ball and we got to play defense.”