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They said what? Mountain West Tournament Day 2

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The UNM Lobos, and three other teams, saw their seasons end on Thursday in the Mountain West Tournament quarterfinals.

After each game, the coaches and select players from each team spoke with the media. Thanks to the transcription of the postgame press conferences by ASAP Sports, we posted the best quotes from Wednesday’s opening round, and here are a few of the quotes that stood out from Thursday:

Tim Williams, UNM senior forward

“I think definitely me getting hurt was a shot in the foot to our team. I think we were still at the top of the Mountain West in the hunt before I went down. And we let a few games slip away during that span, and even when I was playing, we let some go, as well. If we want to be a championship team, we have to win those type of games.”

Rodney Terry, Fresno State head coach

On UNM’s Tim Williams: “He’s a great scorer, you’re not going to stop him. You try to do the job containing him. And the thing that we really tried to wall up and not give him a second opportunity. If he missed the shot, we couldn’t give him a quick stick-back. It was going to be by committee. No one guy was going to be in charge of doing that. And we tried to throw the kitchen sink at him.”

Cameron Oliver, Nevada sophomore forward

“I crave the first game (of the tournament) every season. I think postseason, this is crunch time.”
• • • • •
On Utah State forward Jalen Moore: “Kevin Durant would be a comparison. He actually dunked on me, too. But it’s all good.”

Craig Neal, UNM head coach

“The thing I’ll take most, these kids never gave up. They went through some serious adversity. Some people questioned them. I thought they really hung together as a group.”
• • • • •
On team getting two technicals and a flagrant foul: “I think it’s a sign of a team that wants to win, that’s competing. I just don’t know — I’ve watched a lot of games this year, and I’ve got two very unusual technicals, and that was one of them. … I don’t think any of those affected the outcome of the game. We’re up one with three minutes to go and we weren’t able to close it out.”

Dave Pilipovich, Air Force head coach

“Now, the next step is to play in the semifinals.”
• • • • •
On CSU guard Gian Clavell: “I told him when I was walking in here (the press conference room), he was walking out, 30 years of coaching basketball and being around, he’s one of the best competitors I’ve ever seen. Scouting and seeing all the games through the year, Gian Clavell coaches that team.”

Larry Eustachy, Colorado State head coach

“Gian (Clavell) is not the only one having fun. They like each other, which isn’t mandatory, but it helps. It really helps. They get along. They have each others’ back. It’s obviously been an up-and-down season with a lot of events. And I’ve often said people have tried to break us, but this team has not even bent, let alone break.”

Nick Duncan, Boise State senior forward

“I love my school. I always will. Hopefully I can get one more (game), wherever that is. But I just love everybody at the Boise State community.”

Leon Rice, Boise State head coach

“Don’t mean to break down up here, but these guys are amazing. And no matter what circumstances they face they’re always amazing. They step up for me when I don’t want to be up here talking about it, because it was a tough way to end the season. And just it’s a group I’m really, really proud of that I coached. And you can see why. Apologize for breaking down, but this is a special group led by some pretty amazing guys, these seniors. So I just want to say thank you to them and how much they mean to me and this program. So thank you.”

Hayden Graham, Air Force senior forward

“There’s an extremely bright future for Air Force basketball. There’s some talent on this team that maybe hadn’t been around Air Force before.”

Malike Pope, San Diego State junior forward

QUESTION: How much do you guys want this other shot at Colorado State given how the two games turned out earlier this year?
Pope: “Oh, very bad, come on. Buzzer beaters for both games. We’ve kind of been itching to play them.”

Steve Fisher, San Diego State head coach

“Dakarai Allen is a delight to coach. All he cares about is winning. In his career we’ve called one play for him and he’s never batted an eye.”
• • • • •
“We played the best we played all year, and we picked a nice time to do it.”

Jalen Moore, Utah State senior forward

“There’s nothing like college basketball. It’s been a really fun four years of my life.”

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