Player Post-Game Quotes

Following tonight's thrilling rivalry matchup between Idaho and Boise State from the Cowan Spectrum on the campus of the University of Idaho, players from Idaho (Mac Hopson, Brandon Wiley, and Terrence Simmons) and Boise State (Anthony Thomas, Jamar Greene, and Mark Sanchez) met with the media.

Idaho player post-game

Q: How was it out there? Did you have fun?

Mac Hopson (MH) – "It was a lot of fun."

Q: What's it like to see that emotion? I know a lot of you guys haven't been in this rivalry for so long, but to see the emotion of your fans when you finally beat these guys to act like that (storming the floor at the final horn). What does that do for you guys?

MH: "It just feels so good to have it here for the Vandal nation. Me personally, not to be selfish or anything, but this was what I came here for, to help coach Verlin turn around this program. I mean, the stands were full. That's what we came here for. I know that's what B. Wiley came here for and T (Simmons). He wanted to change around this program his senior year too. We were out there having fun, but we wanted to win really bad."

Brandon Wiley (BW): "Personally it was just fun for me."

Terrence Simmons (TS): "I can't express how I feel right now, I promise you. I mean, being a part of this right here is so big. I'm speechless."

MH: "Me too. I mean, that was a huge win just for our program. We are speechless, though."

Q: So the Boise State players who were just in here all acknowledged you guys were athletic and much better this year. They also, two out of three, said they guaranteed they'll never lose to you again.

MH: "Never lose to us again? I know I play ‘em three more times. It ain't gonna be sweet. I mean, it ain't gonna be easy for them to get a win. We ain't gonna hand it over to ‘em. Those are our rivals. It's like they didn't give it up to us today. They kept on hitting shots…we thought it was gonna be a pretty good game. He's gonna see us three more times."

TS: "That's a big check he's writing up. That's a big check."

Q: You guys talk about your defense tonight. You were bothering them most of the second half.

BW: "Coach told us to grind. It was a grind, it was a struggle, it was a back-and-forth grind. We stuck in there. He just told us to calm down and buckle down; so we got that done."

MH: "We're a defensive team. We don't score a lot of points. We need to stick to defense. That's us. Coach is saying that to us all the time, that we're a defensive team. We've got to keep our opponents to a minimum of points. It all starts with our defense. It always starts with our defense. We feed off our defense on offense. Offense is gonna come because coach Verlin always tell us ‘Our offense is gonna come, but we need to buckle down on defense because that's how we're gonna win.'"

Q: Talk about the stretch at the end of the first half. You guys were down 26-20 then you scored the last nine points and then came out in the second half and really got after it. Just talk about that four or five minute stretch.

TS: "We just got some energy and composure. We stayed calm even though we were down by six. We stayed calm. If you can stay calm and keep your composure I think you can fight through anything. Coach always gets on us about that. Never get rattled. That's a big thing with him."

BW: "We just came together basically as team, came together as a unit. Made sure that we didn't rattle under a little bit of pressure. We got a lot of energy, from the crowd especially."

MH: "We played with a lot of energy during that stretch."

Q: Did coach kinda turn you loose there towards the end a little bit, because you weren't using all the clock and if you saw an opening and you felt the shot it seems like you were going for it, taking it. Does he turn you loose like that a little bit?

MH: "He says to shoot the open jumper. Take it. Be aggressive. He wants us to be aggressive. As long as we're under control coach Verlin will let us play our game within his system. I love the system. I know these guys love the system and everybody's buying into coach Verlin's system; so it's all going good. We're all coming together. It's so much fun out there and we're just a family out there."

GAYLEN WOOD: We've seen you play nine times here and you're eight and one. One of the things we see here and we see in the media from out of town…it seems like almost every team is saying, ‘Well, we just weren't shooting the ball well. We were off tonight.' Defense?

BW: "Yeah. That's called defense. That's what we want ‘em to do, not shoot the ball well."

TS: "Our offense is our defense. We like to get up and run."

MH: "Coach Verlin says we've got to keep our opponents to a minimum of points. Have ‘em shoot like 40 percent a half. We've got to keep ‘em to that percentage for the game, and if we do that coach Verlin says we're gonna win. That's what we've be doing, and we've been winning."

Q: Terrence, how do you keep your shooting edge? You scored in the first half and then didn't score again until late in the second half and yet you were right on the money. How do you keep focused?

TS: "I just let it come to me. Eventually I'm gonna get my shot because he (Hopson) is gonna penetrate, then he's scoring when he gets the ball. They look for me and I'm open, and if I have my feet set I'm shooting it."

Q: What did coach say to you guys in the locker room after the game?

TS: "Coach was calm as usual."

MH: "He wasn't really happy at the end how we played. We gave up some shots that we shouldn't have, but it happens sometimes. We can't let that happen anymore.

Q: What did coach tell you about the free throws tonight?

Unanimous – "Oh, man."

BW: "Me personally I know I probably had a little bit of mental lapse on the free throw line. I've gotta work on that. We have practice tomorrow; so…"

MH: "We just had a bad night shooting. We've just got to concentrate a little bit more. We've got to get it under control, though, because that's what it comes down to late in the game sometimes."

Q: Brandon, how fun was it for you to participate in the Readers as Leaders program?

BW: "It was great. The atmosphere in the elementary schools, the kids seemed really into it; so I had a lot of fun. I know everybody did. It seemed like everybody on the team was having fun. There was a lot of energy in the building. They came out to support us. I loved ‘em. You could hear ‘em during the game especially. I loved it a lot. I hope we can do it again."

Boise State player post-game

Q: Was the crowd a factor at all?

Anthony Thomas: "We've been playing with hostile crowds all year. We went to BYU, we went to Utah State. We knew going into this game there was gonna be a hostile environment. We've had experience with hostile crowds; so we were pretty much gonna be prepared for that."

Q: To lose the streak, eventually in basketball it's gonna happen, to lose it and see their fans storm the court. What was that like?

Anthony Thomas: "It was horrible. It was a 14-game streak and I didn't want to be part of the first team to lose to them. I heard that they guaranteed victory today and they did that. Just like they guaranteed, I guarantee as long as I'm at Boise State we will never lose to them again. This is how I fee. They stormed the court and that hurt, and that's never gonna happen again and I will never feel like that again. You can quote it. You can do what you want. Anthony Thomas will never lose to the Idaho Vandals again as long as he plays."

Jamar Greene: "Me being a senior, last year we came up here and beat ‘em good. We beat ‘em good at our house. Like Anthony said, I agree. It hurts real bad, especially being one of the first ones that's part of that group who lost to ‘em. I'm only here to play ‘em once, maybe twice including the tournament, and I'm guaranteeing victory too just like they guaranteed victory here. When they come to Boise State University I'm guaranteeing a victory."

GAYLEN WOOD: For you guys that were here last year, compare this year's Idaho team to last year's.

Jamar Greene – "Way more athletic. Battling guys on the floor. A lot of athleticism. They play good team ball. Everybody, one through five, has talent. It's a totally different team. It's a new team in the WAC this year, and they compete right along with everybody else. They're in the middle of the pack, but they're shooting up, trying to compete for first just like us."

Mark Sanchez: "I think the main difference is that they've got a great coaching staff. They run a good system. In the past it's kinda been like helter-skelter type basketball where they just go out there and play, but now they're under construction. I think they're just well constructed. I mean, they run their sets, they kept the tempo of the game at their pace, and we unfortunately came out with the L. I mean, I give it to their coaching staff. They've got a great coaching staff as well as make plays."

Anthony Thomas: "Yeah. I agree with them. This year they got Hopson which is a big part of them, and they got Watson also, another transfer. The thing that's big, I think the transfers were big, which added a little bit more weapons and a little bit more pieces to the puzzle for ‘em, and they're doing a good job with it this year."

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