“Aztecs Basketball…Finally A Win”
You saw it, it wasn’t pretty, but it was a win, a real struggle by SDSU, but it ended the NCAA tourney drought, turning up the heat with its defense and beating the College of Charleston.
You sat there and watched it on TV.
If you were in the Amway Center in Orlando, you could have taken in the Coaches post game press conference.
Quotes I thought you’d enjoy reading before they play in the second round against Furman on Saturday
NCAA Men’s Basketball
Championship: First Round –
Col of Charleston vs San
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Orlando, Florida, USA
San Diego State Aztecs
Coach Brian Dutcher
San Diego State – 63, Charleston – 57
THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by San Diego State.
COACH DUTCHER: First of all, congratulations to Pat
Kelsey and Charleston. They had a great season. They’re
sitting where we were last year, disappointed. But they
had an incredible season.
We knew what we were going to get into tonight. We knew
they were wired like us, tough, physical. We knew it would
be a battle. We respected the heck out of them and we
played well enough to get a victory. And I’ve said this
many times, we’re one of the few teams in the country, that
when the offense isn’t going, we can play defense and
rebound well enough to stay in the game until we make
Matt made timely shots. Micah made a timely 3, and we’re
very happy to be moving forward in this event. And we’ll
hopefully play better moving forward.
I think as much as you say it’s just another game of
basketball, don’t be nervous, be the best version of you,
there are nerves that go into this tournament. I thought we
were nervous at the start but settled in and played a very
solid basketball game.
Q. After the way things ended last season and the free
throws, to come up so big on so many late
possessions, how validating is this moment?
MATT BRADLEY: It’s a really big moment. It feels good to
have this win, especially in a game like that, so tight and so
close. And we’ve been battle tested all season, going to
Maui, the Mountain West Tournament. So just to be here
on the big stage, we’ve been through it. I’ve been battle
tested toward the ends of games and so have my
teammates. Glad we pulled this one out.
Q. How confident are you particularly with the ball
when you’re driving to the basket and finishing there?
Seems like you did that over and over in this game?
MATT BRADLEY: It’s been a mental roller coaster my
whole college career. I feel like right now I’m in a good
place mentally where late in the game my teammates, my
coaches trust me. More importantly I trust myself. So I’m
feeling really good right now.
Q. Brian, you talked about the toughness you guys
were able to display. Moving forward and going into
the next round against a team like Furman, coming off
an emotional win over Virginia what are you expecting
to see from them?
COACH DUTCHER: We’re a non-Power 5 school. So are
they. We know respect is sometimes hard to come by.
We’ll respect the heck out of them. We’ll watch tape and
get ready to play like we’re playing the number one team in
We prepare hard. We respect everybody we play and we
will do the same for Furman when we see them on the
Q. Jaedon, you almost had an identical statistical
game to the Mountain West championship. At this
point, where is your confidence level at compared to
earlier in the season when you’re getting used to
teammates and what they do here?
JAEDON LEDEE: I’m feeling really good right now. I think
we’re playing our best basketball right now. My teammates
are playing good, I’m playing good and I think we’re gelling
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at right at the time.
Q. How confident are you when Matt has the ball in
those late-game situations?
JAEDON LEDEE: Very confident. Matt’s our brother. So
Matt or anybody who has the ball, we have full confidence
in them that they’re going to do to make the team win.
Q. Micah, talk about you hadn’t been that involved in
the offense through the flow of the game early, but just
the decision to take that critical three?
MICAH PARRISH: I just try to take the open shots. I
believe in my teammates. I feel like if you’re open the ball
is going to come to you. When I got it, I knew I was open
so I shot it.
I just think that offense, every night may not be your night.
You just have to just continue to keep working, do the best
you can and just be a good teammate.
Q. Matt, how do you continue to be so strong with the
ball around the basket in those situations as you’re
MATT BRADLEY: Thank God. Thank my dad for building
a strong frame on me. We got some strong guys on the
team but the guys I was going against, he was even
To bump with him all night, or all evening was pretty tough.
You’ve got to be confident in those moments. It’s more
mental than anything. Just going in there, not looking for
the foul call but actually trying to finish is really big in those
Q. Matt, talk about you guys saw what happened in
the first game with Furman and Virginia, and you know
very well in this tournament anything can happen.
When that gets tight, one possession, tie game late,
what’s going through your head?
MATT BRADLEY: Today was one of those games like
Furman, like last year against Creighton. We’ve been
battle tested, though, so for us to be in this position now,
we had to have a bunch of games, some losses, some
wins that came down to the wire like that.
I think we were under control for most of the game. We
didn’t really lose ourselves, we kept to ourselves and
trusted our teammates and coaches. When the game got
tight I don’t think we got tight. We just wanted to win the
game. That’s what we did.
Q. I think Mountain West had lost 11 straight NCAA
Tournament games. You snapped that streak. Were
you aware of that? Is this more one of those
happenstance things based on matchups?
COACH DUTCHER: Everybody makes us aware of it, so
yeah. The thing you can’t lose sight of is every team and
every season is different. There’s no history. This team is
creating its own history right now.
There are some returning players off last year’s team that
experienced some things that were disappointing, but you
learn from that. And so we’re not worried about past
failures or successes. We’re only focused on the moment.
And that’s how you win games. You’re focused on the
moment. You’re not worried about the past. You’re
staying in the present. That’s what we’re doing.
Q. They’re a very good 3-point shooting team. What
did you do to stop them from getting going on the
MATT BRADLEY: We trusted our game plan. The biggest
thing was boxing them out on the glass. I think the first half
they had one offensive rebound, but then the first three
minutes of the second half they had five.
We had to come together tightly and quickly in order to
stop that. And I think we did a good job. They hit some big
shots, but I’m really proud of our guys and how we
MICAH PARRISH: Coming into the game, Coach Dave
made a point about how they were a really good 3-point
shooting team. So we had to keep our hands in, keep our
heels (indiscernible) on the line to close out. We really had
to respect them, basically.
Q. How much of this moment is kind of a chance to
exhale? I know you guys say you don’t look back, but
there’s that history and you’ve gotten over that hump
now. Even the Mountain West Conference has had a
tough run in recent years in this tournament that you
guys finally broke through. There has to be a little bit
of relief in that.
COACH DUTCHER: Not really. Every season is its own
season. And so you can’t obsess over that or you’re going
to stress yourself. I told the story about when we won the
national championship Glen Rice was sleeping on the
training table before the game.
So I told them if we (lost audio) play Furman and I’m
sleeping on the training room table, wake me up.
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We’re just trying to be relaxed, enjoy the moment, try not
make too big a deal of it. It’s basketball. We have a good
team. We want to play well, but we can’t stress ourselves
over what’s happened in the past or things that we can’t
control. We just are going to embrace the whole thing,
have fun with it and try to continue to win games.
Q. How good does this one feel? And just talk about
JAEDON LEDEE: It feels good. This is my first NCAA
since freshman year, so it feels real good to get this win.
But we’re not done yet. We’ll get ready for the next game.
MATT BRADLEY: This feels really good, our first March
Madness win. Looking forward to many more and excited
for our team.
MICAH PARRISH: This was my first win, too. So I mean
just living in the moment, just trying to stay present, really.
Q. I saw you guys down in the corner. You saw it,
watching the end of the Furman-Virginia game. Just
sort of a reminder what can happen, you know from
last year what can happen in these tournaments. How
much of that going through your mind, like, we’re not
going to have that kind of finish here and just close the
door? Maybe you can start, Matt.
MATT BRADLEY: Like you said, a lot of the guys that
were here last year are here this year, with the Creighton
situation. And it wasn’t just some free throws. We
watched film and we were up nine with three minutes left.
So we understand how important it is to close out games
because in March Madness anybody can win. Ranking
doesn’t matter, nothing matters. The hardest team is going
to win and that’s what we did.
Watching the Furman game, I think that was a good thing
to see right before we got on the court because as good as
Charleston is and as good as we think we are, it’s up to
anybody to take the game. I’m glad we saw that and we
locked in for those final minutes.
Q. Jaedon, as the game went on, particularly the first
half went on, it became clear they were having trouble
guarding you. What’s your mindset there? Did you
just think it’s going to be bully ball from here on out?
JAEDON LEDEE: I thought we could have worn them
down on the inside. They were physical. They were a
physical team. But we got a lot of physical dudes as well,