Post-Game Quotes: Idaho tops SJSU

IDAHO SENIOR GUARD KASHIF WATSON made the ESPN highlight reel Thursday night with his 75-footer to close out the first half. It was a spectacular shot on a night when the Vandals played one of their most complete games of the season, knocking off San Jose State at the Cowan Spectrum. Inside are quotes from Coach V, senior center Marvin Jefferson, and senior guard KASHIF WATSON.

Everyone was talking about Watson's shot:

Don Verlin: "They just informed me it was the #2 play on Sports Center tonight. I didn't know for sure if he was gonna shoot it or not then he took a couple of dribbles and threw it in. It was nice to have him make his first three-pointer that way of the year."

Marvin Jefferson: "Oh man. That had shoot-around written all over it. At the end of shoot around we all shoot half court shots. That's just ‘practice makes perfect' right there."

Kashif Watson: ""We do that at shoot around, at the end…every shoot around."


Don Verlin comments on:

Offensive tempo and shot selection: "I thought our offensive patience was as good as its been in a long time. I thought we did a great job moving the ball vs. zone, especially early. We got the ball to the open guy, and we were fortunate to make some shots…I thought our offensive patience, our offensive tempo was very good tonight. I thought we played really well in the first half. You've got to give them (San Jose State) credit. They can score their ball in a number of different ways and they came out at the start of the second half and banged it inside, then they made some 3's later in the half. They're a hard guard. I can't tell you how happy we are to come out with the victory…I thought we moved the ball very well. That's what we worked on the last two days in practice. It was good to see it happen."

About the second half and San Jose's comeback: "We missed a few assignments. You know human nature. I thought we let down a little bit. We turned it over a few times, took a couple bad shots and they made us pay, but I thought our guys did a good job. I thought we did a good job of executing our delay game. I thought we did a pretty good making free throws, not quite as good as I would like but we made a few down the stretch that helped us extend that lead."

Did you ever feel secure, that you had the game won? "Not until the horn sounded. The way they can shoot it and the way they can get it going with Robert Owen and Adrian Oliver…I think Owen made all his 3-pointers in the second half and then Oliver made all his in the second half…I mean, they made seven 3-pointers in the second half. They're eighth in the country in 3-point field goal percentage offense. I never felt comfortable until the final horn sounded or until George (Nessman) let us run it out there the last 22 seconds."

Talk about the Vandals' post play: "I thought we did a good job, and I thought that's where we had an advantage tonight with them starting small compared to the way they did at San Jose. I thought we had to attack ‘em inside and get Oakes and Webster in foul trouble, and I thought we did a good job of that. I thought Marvin did a great job scoring his ball down there. Toledo didn't score down there but I thought he was a presence in there, and then Luciano made a couple shots down around the basket which I thought was our advantage tonight. Our big guys did a good job in the first half."

Additional comment: "One thing I would like to add…I need the fans help this next game. I think Moscow, our seniors deserve them coming out and supporting this team. This senior team has brought a lot of respect to Vandal basketball, and I would really appreciate it and ask for (the fans') help coming out to the game. We need it, and those guys deserve it…We've had 16 televised games, and we wouldn't have gotten that many games if we hadn't had the success last year and I would appreciate (everyone) coming out and supporting us for this senior night game. It's at 5 o'clock on Saturday."


Marvin Jefferson comments on::

The Vandals stepped up in the paint: "Today was a big game, and coach emphasized that we had to come out with a lot of energy and out-work ‘em. We did a good job of that in the first half… This game compared to last game, they went a lot smaller. They went with Peterson, and he was a lot shorter; so we felt like we had an advantage inside. I think our guards did a good job of feeding us the ball in the right position at the right moment. It just created a flow. We had a lot of buckets as a result of that."

What is it like taking a charge against (CJ Webster 6-9, 255)? "It's a tough job, but you've got to do whatever you can to make plays. I happened to have the right position and they were coming at me time after time; so I'll take as many as I can."

You guys clinched tonight. You have to feel pretty happy about that. "We did? Okay. Yeah, I'm happy now. It feels good. This is what we've been working for. Coach said this week is our playoffs. We're fighting to get in the tournament. We did it, but we're not done yet. We have one more game and hopefully we can take care of Hawai'i and gain momentum going into the WAC tournament."

Was San Jose trying to take the Vandal big guys off the boards? "I think what happened was they were focused on boxing the big guys out; so they kinda opened things up for the guards. When we're blocking out it creates a lot of open space for the guards to come in and get rebounds and I think that's what happened."

How important is it to the seniors to put the final stamp and pick up a couple wins? "It's very important. We all want to leave our mark here. We haven't had too good of a season at home. Our home record isn't as good as it should be, but we're tying to just take this week and just give what everybody deserves --.us, the fans, the Vandal Nation. We're trying to come in and get these last two wins for you guys and also for us going out of here."


Kashif Watson comments on:

Were you getting a little nervous at the end? "We felt pretty good about it. We just had to make sure we took care of the ball and take care of their pressure in the last five minutes. It got kinda sloppy. The ball was going everywhere, but coach kept preaching to us toe take care of the ball, be strong with the ball and finish up this win."

Talk about the defensive effort. "The first 20 minutes we played really good. We were all rotating nicely and doing exactly how we pictured it to be, how we worked through our game plan. The defensive side we were very good in the first half. A little bit in the second half it got kinda sloppy, but that's basketball. Everybody makes their runs, but we stayed tight together on the defensive end and we pulled it out."

Talk about clinching a spot in the tournament tonight. "It's good that we did that, but our job's not done yet. We still have a lot of room to improve and still have a goal to achieve – that's trying to win the WAC tournament now. We're gonna try to do what we can to finish up on Saturday for senior night and our last home game and then we're gonna try to take that over to the WAC Tournament."

Talk about your last home game here. "That's gonna be a celebration. Like coach says this is a celebration, not a funeral; so we're gonna celebrate and be happy about it, that we did a lot. Our seniors did a lot these last two years; so we feel good about it, and we're happy to be Vandals. It's gonna be a good night."

The shot seemed to sum up the whole first half. "It was a pretty good first half. We all came out focused. We stuck to our game plan to the ‘T' and we did what we had to do to really put the pressure on in the first half and make ‘em change their game plan, make them do what they weren't comfortable doing. That was a big thing for us, to come out real fast and jump on ‘em and we're at home; so we had to bring the intensity and bring the pressure."

Oliver, you held him pretty well in the first half then he was hitting. Did that surprise you? "Not surprising, but he got out on us in transition. They got transition baskets easy, got a lot of transitions 3's. He always just floats around on the perimeter, and that was kinda tough for us to get back, guard the basket while our bigs get back and get out to him, but he got open sometimes and got those three-point looks and hit a couple there in the second half and that brought ‘em back in the game."

What was the key to responding to that? "Just finding him in the transition, knowing where he is at all times and just contesting his shot. He's gonna shoot a lot of shots. He's gonna put it up a lot; so it's just about being there with the hand up and contesting the shot every time."

Talk about game tempo and shot selection tonight: "I think we were just more calm and patient, more patient about our opportunities and what we wanted to take. We got up and down a lot this game, too, but it's more about just being patient, taking what's open and taking what the defense gives us. We did a good job of that tonight…There was a lot of ball movement, too. We passed the ball good tonight, too. We got it around, moving around, and our shooters just stepped up all the time and just knocked down bit shots, especially when they're open."




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