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Saint Mary'es College Athletics

Men's Basketball

Postgame Presser - Saint Mary's vs Stanford
Release: Tuesday 11/30/2016 
by SMC Athletics

Postgame Presser: Saint Mary's head coach Randy Bennett, Joe Rahon and Calvin Hermanson

Q: Can you talk about what it feels like when Calvin starts making everything?

Rahon: “Yeah, you try getting him the ball. We got a lot of good shooters on this team, and he is one of the best ones. When he gets going like that, you just try and get him the ball. He has this high release so he can really shoot it against anyone. As a guard, you just try to get it to him in rhythm and let him do his thing. It was an awesome show that he put on both ends of the floor tonight.”

Q: Were you surprised you were that open in the second half?

Hermanson: “Joe [Rahon] and Emmett [Naar] did a great job finding me and Jock and Dane did a great job down there in the low post.”

Q: What was the big discussion during the break that sparked the second half?

Rahon: “Defense. We only scored 26 points in the first half, but we felt like we had good shots. We played offense the right way. We talked about defense and getting stops. We gave up 50% or so in the first half and that is just too much to give to an opponent. I think we forced stops, played defense and kept them scoreless for the first several minutes of the second half.”

Q: What made you stop Dorian Pickens as he has been hot for Stanford as of late?

Hermanson: “Just do my assignment and I knew he is a really good shooter. He’s their guy they look for to shoot threes and just wanted to limit his shots. I was trying to make sure if he got off a shot, that it was going to be a tough one. [Evan] Fitzner did a great job showing on the screens tonight so it made it a lot easier on me.”

Q: Calvin, you only missed two shots. Were you feeling that this was going to be a game where you going to stay hot shooting?

Hermanson: “Honestly, I felt like the game came to me. The guys did a good job finding me open and I just happened to nail down the shots. We have a lot of great shooter. A lot of guys can knock down shots, and I just got the high end tonight.”

Q: Coach, how did you feel about the start of the second half?

Bennett: “Good [laughing]. I wasn’t too happy with the way we defended in the first half and we talked about that. I didn’t think we defended hard or smart in the first half. We missed shots, but I wasn’t worried about that because we can shoot. Somebody usually steps up and we just have a lot of good shooters. Calvin hit a couple early in the second half, we got some stops and we did a really good job defensively.”

“Calvin did a real good job tonight as he had the assignment on Pickens tonight. I don’t think Dorian got any clean shots tonight, and he was only able to take four of them. Dane Pineau did a super job on Travis [Reid] and those were the two guys we needed to do a good job on. We didn’t let the other guys hurt us much and they only shot 28% in the second half, so those were the keys to the game.”

Q: Which end did Calvin play better on tonight?

Bennett: “Defensively. Dorian is probably an all Pac-12 guy and he had two points. He was super defensively.”

Q: Coach, do you think about how this team may look in a month where things are really clicking together?

Bennett: “You could see flashes of Dane tonight, and we figured out how we can play Dane and Jock there together so that gives us a pretty good front-line. I think Dane changed the game tonight. I think we have a chance to be a lot better in a month from the start of the season. We have to get Fitzner clicking too. I think we have a chance to get better.

Q: What did you think got it flowing for you in the second half?

Bennett: “Making those threes solves a lot of problems. Calvin started getting them and we gained some momentum and some confidence. Then we made it hard for them to score on us. I’m really proud of these guys. These players have won a lot of games last two years, and they have a strong will to win. This was the first time we were down all year, and they responded the right way.” 

Q: Is this potentially the best team you have ever had?

Bennett: “It is up there. We’ll see. Potentially, yeah, but we have to do it. We have some gritty guys on this team, so we’ll see. When we defend, we are hard to beat. We are hard to guard, so when we defend, we are hard to beat.”

Q: You could hear your crowd here. How important was it hearing your crowd in the stands?

Rahon: “It was big time. We felt the students up there. You could hear them and we appreciated their support. That gets you going. You know the home team will have their crowd but when you hear our crowd cheer saying Gaels, it is cool to have that support from the student body. That gave us a good boost and got the ball rolling.”

Comment by Randy Bennett

“I wanted to thank Stanford for playing us. I think it is great for Bay Area basketball. I hope they and California continue to do it. It is good Bay Area college basketball games. When you heard the announcements and hear the crowd cheer in the background, it was special. It is good for us to keep playing these games.”