NCAA Tournament Press Conference Quotes :: New Mexico State Players

Q. Zach, you've probably been asked this quite a bit over the course of the year, but for those of us who haven't re been around the program, what led you to transfer to New Mexico State this year?
ZACH LOFTON: My coach back home, Brian, he spoke with Coach Jans and Jeff Mailhot and told me to come take a visit, me and my mom to come down there and check it out. You know what I mean? You don't have to go there, but check it out. We went down there and found a home. My mom loved it, so picked it.

Q. The talk earlier today with the Clemson coach was the 12-5 trending pick, every year that gets attention and a lot of people are picking. The 5, he was complimentary that you guys deserved that. What do you think when you see national media, a lot of people picking you guys as the upset pick? Would you rather that not happening and you still fly under the radar, or do you like it?
JEMERRIO JONES: We are focused the right now and when the game comes you will know. We're just going to see what happens.

Q. For both of you guys, always want to be playing your best basketball in March. Seems like you guys are doing that. Do you feel like that is the case? Why is that?
ZACH LOFTON: I mean, I don't know if we're playing our best basketball, but we're playing good. You know what I mean? Staying consistent. It means a lot. It's when it means the most. So I think we've just gotta stay consistent and stay strong.

Q. Jemerrio, everyone in basketball talks about culture and obviously you were here under a previous staff. What allowed you and your teammates to buy into Coach Jans' culture when he arrived?
JEMERRIO JONES: Our first game we lost to Texas Tech by 40 and we all bought in, because we knew he knew what he was talking about and for real. He came from a winning program. We just bought into him.

Q. Wouldn't that make you feel the opposite? If you lost by 40, didn't that make you feel like this guy doesn't know what he's talking about?
JEMERRIO JONES: No, because we was doing our own thing at first. We was arguing with him and stuff like that and when we took the loss we bought in. Uh-huh.

Q. Zach, anything on that? Jemerrio was talking about the loss to Texas Tech and how that made you guys stop being individuals and start being a group?

Q. You guys have seen an ACC team already this year in Miami. What does having that experience against a team from the same conference as Clemson do for you guys mentally and in terms of preparation for tomorrow's game?
ZACH LOFTON: It's always good to have experience against ACC teams. You know what I mean? We're playing Clemson. I think experience is the biggest role that that game played for us. You know what I mean? We know what we're coming up against, so I think that helps us prepare.

Q. Jemerrio, you have been on previous teams and New Mexico State is no stranger to the tournament, 7 out of last 9 years. But it's been one-and-done for you guys. Why is this year going to be different?
JEMERRIO JONES: I don't know what to tell you right there. It's a new year. New us. I don't know. It's different scenes, I guess. We are buying in, so everybody is buying in with us. We're just going to see how it's going to go when we play Clemson tomorrow.

Q. Jemerrio, I know there have been stories written recently letting people around the country know that there is a rebounder out of New Mexico State that is just a freakishly good rebounder. How do you describe yourself? Why are you such a good rebounder at 6-5 when you are going against guys that are much taller than you are?
JEMERRIO JONES: I'm just hoopin'. I want it more than them, I guess. I'm really playing for something. I'm not trying to go back home, so I'm playing for something. That's all it really is.

Q. Zach, when did you realize how good of a rebounder Jemerrio is?
ZACH LOFTON: Open gym when I first got here. No one rebounds like that in an open gym, but he did and obviously he's stayed consistent.

Q. Zach, what has been the key to your guys' success under Chris and what he's done and the culture that he's tried to bring in and obviously your first year, too, what has he done that's allowed you guys to buy in?
ZACH LOFTON: Defense, you know what I mean? Defense and getting us ready. He's great, great, great at preparation, and I think defensively he's great.

Q. Jemerrio, did you see his socks in the WAC Championship game? Did you have a chance to see those?

Q. They look like New Mexico flag socks. I'm curious if those are lucky socks or if you know anything about those?
JEMERRIO JONES: That's the first time I've seen them.

Q. You want him to wear them tomorrow, right?
JEMERRIO JONES: We won a Championship with them socks, so he needs to wear those if we make it to the Championship.

Q. Zach, what has this experience been like so far? Everyone talks about just happy to be here. I know you guys are looking to do something a little bit more than that, but what has this experience been like your first year here with the Aggies and getting to the tournament?
ZACH LOFTON: I was here last year and it's a different feel this year. You know what I mean? With these guys. How good we are. We had a good team at Texas Southern, but it was just a little different. I'm excited to play in front of the world with these guys and my new coach. Just ready is all I have to say.

Q. Jemerrio, this is your second time in the NCAA Tournament. Last year you obviously kinda didn't know what to expect and you went on the there and played. This year you know what to expect. Is there any difference with you mentally on how to prepare for this game, or are you just attacking it the same as you did last year?
JEMERRIO JONES: I really don't know what to tell you on that one, though. I don't know what to tell you on that. We just gotta come focused on how we got here, defend, toughness, and just gotta run with it.