San Diego State 67 MU 59

ANAHEIM, Calif. -San Diego State's Xavier Thames scored a career-high 27 points to bestt No. 25 Marquette 67-59 in the championship game of the Wooden Legacy. Thames shot 7 of 16 from the field, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range. Freshman F Deonte Burton led MU with 15 points while Sr F Jamil Wilson and Jr PG Derrick scored nine points each.

Steve Fisher and his San Diego Aztec team.

SDSU had a 44-37 lead with 12:56 remaining, but Burton scored 11 pts helping MU tie the game at 53. The Aztecs went on a 12-2 run and held MU without a FG for the over 4 minutes.

In the post game pressure, MU coach Buzz Williams said:

"The only reason there's a number[#25] besides our name is because the polls come out on Monday," Buzz Williams said. "I don't think we have earned the right to be ranked."

On the ESPN 540 post game radio show with Steve True and Jimmy Mac, Buzz said the following:

"you play on the road you have to finish teams. They had 14 pts in transition, 14 pts off of offensive rebounds and 17 pts from the FT. Those are hard numbers. When you turn the ball over 15 times on the road it is difficult to win. They apply a lot of pressure on you defensively. But in the guts of the game, we did not finish. With 18 seconds left on the shot clock, they call a time out and we get a stop but they get the offensive rebound put back. We missed I don't know how many bunnies next to the rim. You must be able to finish against high flying athletes at the rim. That is the bottom line to what I learned.

Davante Gardner

[on Deonte Burton]He is a good player. Needs to be more consistent in his work at practice which is typical for a freshman. They want to figure out what to do at practice but they have to understand the value of the reps of what we do at practice so they can do it in the game. Statistically he was great but we need him to keep going. Defensively he only got one rebound. Jamil plays 28 min and gets 3 rebounds. Chris was great but out of the 5 off rebounds that he got, 3 of them were after shots that he had missed on off glass.

15 offensive rebounds for SD State turned into 14 pts. We have to have more guys rebounding. When Derrick Wilson is the 3rd leading rebounder, that is not good.

[5 assists and 15 turnovers…they pulled a Marquette on you. How do you finish better?] Finish means a lot of things and it can be referred to with regards to ‘toughness'. Our first shot FG% defense was good entering tonight's game. They shot 31% in the first half but had 8 pts on offensive rebounds. 4 of their 10 baskets are on putbacks so you have to finish the defensive possession allowing you one shot or less.

Offensively, [I would describe ‘finish' as] let's get a shot. If you are 4 foot away from the rim you have to make the shot. We shot 42% and if we made half our bunnies we would have shot over 50%.

[ball off of Deonte's foot] When you blow up a ball, the ball does not have an agenda. I have never seen a player catch a ball on the left and drive and the ball goes into the left sideline in the first row. If he is going to the rim how can it go off his foot and go behind him.

[Derrick Wilson's injury and play]

He slipped and he strained his groin. His build [means] he is the not most flexible guy in the world. He is tight.

He missed some bunnies he should have made. It is hard to get assists vs SDS because they make you go East and West. They had 22 baskets with 6 assists. Coming into tonight 69% of our baskets had been assisted. You have to play in straight lines off the pass or off the bounce. But when there is a ‘shell around the box or paint because they are switching everything. It means that it is hard to go in straight lines and get assists. They were a negative in assist to turnover ratio as a team coming in. I think Derrick will get better. I believe in Derrick more than Derrick believed in himself. Until someone puts the ball in your hand, true confidence can only come from your work. You have to do it. I like you but I don't know if you can do it. So, just do it.

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