The following are quotes from Utah State men’s basketball coach Stew Morrill prior to the Brigham Young game.On Pooh Williams’ health:”Don’t know, I won’t know until tomorrow. It is kind of day-to-day, he did a few things yesterday, and we are hoping he can do a few more things today. It is not always if a player gets to play, it is if they will be effective. If you don’t practice you are usually not very effective. We are hopeful that he can practice a little more today so that it gives him a chance to be effective tomorrow. I won’t know until we can get him to the court and get him warmed up, then see what happens.What Pooh Williams’ injury is:”It’s a growing strain. If you pull that muscle away from the bone you are done probably for the year. Those things can be nagging and take a long time. We are being cautious with it, but it is more a strain than anything else right now. If he does it again it would be worse.”On injuries and how it affects the team:”At some point not having guys really affects your team. As I have said before I don’t believe in making excuses for injuries, but they are a factor. We don’t have Nate Bendall and if we don’t have Pooh Williams, and obviously we lost Jared Quayle, that is a pretty big difference in our team. He is a really good defender when he sets his jaw and wants to be a really good defender. Sometimes when he plays against real good players it motivates him more so than when he doesn’t think a guy is quite as good. We have got great performances out of Pooh defensively in the past, and he also gives us a guy offensively that can get to the basket and cause some problems. He is a veteran, he is valuable in those areas, and we are hopeful that we have him, at least some.”On BYU and Jimmer Fredette:”You name it, it concerns you. He (Jimmer Fredette) is just a fabulous player. What is amazing is when a guy is as good of a shooter as he is they get labeled as shooters. As I looked at their stats, last year in conference, only about a third of his shots were three-pointers. What he does is make plays for everybody. He makes plays for himself; he makes plays for his teammates. He is just so good with the ball. You have to honor him from three, and he can go by you. He has got a killer cross over move that nobody seems to be able to guard. It certainly starts with him in terms of your worries and preparation but they surround him, as usual, with lots of good players. That is why they are ranked in the top 25. I mean this is a really good basketball team. We go down there to play them and we really don’t have guys on our roster who have played them down there that could know what they are in for. What I have told our guys is they have been every bit as good in that building as we have been in this building. They have been good everywhere, but they have really been good in that building. They have got (Jackson) Emery who is a great shooter. Brandon Davies, we recruited him, the world recruited him. The Collinsworth boys (Chris and Kyle) out of Provo (High School) were also highly recruited kids. (Noah) Hartsock is really playing well. We loved him out of Oklahoma, got him to visit campus. The list goes on and on with their talent level.””One of the things about BYU is when you guard their plays or action they are just so good at making plays. You can’t simulate the individual talent level. They make plays at the end of their offense or even in the middle of the offense they make basketball plays. They are a very good passing team and they are very good defensively. Their system that everyone talks about is how fast they play and they do a great job of that running on makes and misses, but they are also really good defensively year in and year out. It is hard to score against them. The size factor, we are going to face that a lot. When we match up we are not going to look very big out there. All that being said we feel like we are making progress day by day. We are going to go down there and we don’t need to lay down or be afraid. We have had good games with BYU lots of years for the most part. Let’s just get ready and let’s go play.””To have a chance, you can’t get blown out of the building with their fast break. If they get rolling on the break, and like I said on their makes and misses, and if they start firing threes in, and posting you up and scoring at will then game over. They don’t have to run anything but the break. That is a concern, trying to get matched up in transition. That is nothing new when you play BYU; that is always a concern.”On Tai Wesley playing in Provo for the first time in his collegiate career:”I don’t want to put words in his mouth. I am sure it is exciting for him. I don’t want to speculate. I went to school across the street too, it was about 50 years before hand, but I wouldn’t want him to speak for me and I don’t want to say for him.”On pulling Preston Medlin’s redshirt:”We really wouldn’t look at that unless we thought a guy was going to be out for a month. If you are going to try and redshirt a kid you are going to try and redshirt them. I told him if it’s an injury that is going to keep going on for several weeks or a month then we probably don’t have much choice. At this point we don’t know that about Pooh, and no we won’t play Preston.”On retiring the Old Oquirrh Bucket:”I am a tradition guy, a guy who likes tradition and I get nostalgic and all of that. Going way back when that all started, I understand why it has been retired. When it all started, a long time ago, it was the four in-state schools. Weber State had made the transition from Junior College to Division-I 20 years prior I think and so it was just the four schools. Everybody was playing on an equal basis. Everybody was playing twice and now with the changing leagues and the addition of two more Division I schools in Utah Valley and Southern Utah, that some of us play and some don’t, I understand why it was hard. There was some disagreement in the criteria. Some schools had thought they had won it and other schools thought they had won it. In all practicality it makes sense and I think it is real difficult to start something else up with the way scheduling is going and the changing of leagues. I don’t see that happening.”
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