Stew Morrill quotes 2-11-2011

The following are quotes from Utah State men’s basketball coach Stew Morrill prior to the Fresno State game. Opening statement:”Our charter flight (home from Idaho) certainly helped with the rest. We had a chance to get back at a late hour (Wednesday). but it allowed us to get a practice in today to help us get ready for Fresno State.” Is this a character check for this team after its loss at Idaho:”That was probably an over statement on my part, you know we lost a game, these kids have proven their character over a very long haul. That was an after game statement that I made that should’ve been shelved, this group has been as good as gold. We had a game where we got beat on the road, which happens a lot in college basketball, we missed a lot of our shots and Idaho did a good job against us. This team is fine, I think that when you have been on such a long streak it becomes a shock to the system when you do lose and you have forgotten what it tastes like to lose. It certainly isn’t fun to lose but I don’t anticipate any problems arising from the loss.” On Brockeith Pane and Pooh William’s health:”They looked good watching film yesterday, we haven’t practiced yet today and I will know more today. They have been treated several times but we will have to see how they move around today.” What does the team have to clean up following the Idaho game:”Make open shots, that is the best thing that we can do. We had a lot of open shots that we missed, but I felt like we played hard. We just had one of those dismal offensive nights, I felt like we were still in the game throughout. But when you look at the shooting percentages; that basically sums up the game. It’s not like we have to overhaul the program or work on anything new, we just need to make open shots.” On Fresno State’s Bracken Funk:”We are certainly aware of Bracken Funk and he is a player that we a familiar with, because he is an in-state kid. I know that he had a good night the other night against Boise State. When he comes here he will have a lot of reasons to play hard and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the starting line-up after what he did the other night.” On the Fresno State game at Boise State Thursday:”I thought that both teams played well, Boise State was able to make several more three’s than Fresno did but Fresno still shot a very good percentage in that game. It was a fast-paced game and it was an entertaining game to watch. Boise was able to make a few more three’s and got a late spurt and was able to hold on for the win.” On Fresno State’s Tim Steed:”Anytime you are coming off an injury you aren’t going to be able to go full strength, he’s is an extremely good player. They do a great job of posting him up, they are able to push the ball up the floor to give him open looks, and a player like Greg Smith is always a concern. They have several new players who are very athletic and the Fresno team has been able to put together some very good nights in conference play. If they come in here and have a good night and we aren’t able to take some things away, obviously it could be a long night for us.” On Utah State holding Fresno State to low point totals in recent games:”We have had some of them for some reason with Fresno State and I don’t really know why that is. Sometimes that’s how it happens. The game that we played in Fresno was really kind of an ugly game to be honest with you. I have been watching it the last several days and it wasn’t an offensive showcase. It was an ugly game and we were able to hold on and were fortunate for the win. It certainly wasn’t a masterpiece.” On Jerry Sloan:”To me Jerry Sloan is a man’s man and a coaches coach. That basically sums up Jerry. Whenever I think of Jerry Sloan I think of the old Frank Sinatra song ‘My Way.’ He is a coach who took the blows and did things his way; I love Jerry Sloan. I love what he is all about and he will be desperately missed in the game of basketball. I doubt that this is sad for him but it will be sad for the rest of us not to have him in the game.” On Phil Johnson:”Phil Johnson played here and he has always been great to me and our program. His name is on one of our lockers down stairs, he has never forgotten that he was an Aggies and he never will. I think it was fitting that he made the decision to leave at the same time as Jerry. It just shows Phil’s class in a situation like that, he has been a big part of all the success the Utah Jazz has had. He has always told me that when he was done I would get to see a lot more of him and I hope that holds true.”

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