Stew Morrill quotes 11-9-2011

The following are quotes from Utah State men’s basketball coach Stew Morrill prior to its season opener against Brigham Young. On The Season Starting:”Hard to believe we’re playing a game and hard to believe we’re playing BYU this early. It’s kind of unusual, the nature of this preseason stuff is that sometimes the in-state games come on you quick. Certainly with our team, we could use a lot more practice time but that’s not the case anymore, so ready or not here we go.” On BYU’s Size:”Their size is definitely an issue, they’re plus 15 rebounding the ball in their two exhibition games. That’s something we’re concerned about and we‘ve been trying to work hard on rebounding in practice. It boils down to do you need to double them, are you going to double them all the time, are you going to double them some of the time. You’ve got to try and do your best to keep it out of there so you don’t have to double them. With two experienced post guys, that is certainly a big part of your preparation, with them having (Noah) Hartsock and (Brandon) Davies that they can just throw the ball to. I know for us when we’ve had size and a dominant inside player it’s almost like a pressure release when you can throw the ball inside. But it’s not just them that rebound it, they’re big all over the court. Charles (Abouo) is a very good rebounder, very strong, very athletic and very quick to the boards. Their point guard (Brock Zylstra) is 6-6. There two guard, they will probably start Stephen Rogers at 6-8. We are going to look small out there, there is no getting around that. They are just a big team this year.” On What The Team Will Do Defensively Against BYU:”We’ll look at doing what we think we can do right now. It’s just to doggone early and you don’t want to give away what you’re going to do. If you decide to press BYU, and primarily people press on made baskets.They back your press off pretty well by flying up the floor on mades and misses, so trying to simulate that in practice with inexperience is hard, and we’re not only inexperienced with the guys that are playing, but our scout squad is inexperienced so that’s the issue. But that’s something you’ve got to consider is whether or not you can pick them up and get into it. They’re not like some teams who don’t run on made baskets and allow you to press them, they fly on mades and misses. I don’t know that they fly at the same speed as they did when they had Jimmer (Fredette) but they still get it up and down quickly.” On BYU’s Inside-Outside Game:”When you have big, good inside players it really helps if you can make some perimeter shots to kind of free it up inside, we all know that. Zylstra is a really good shooter, their point guard. They have very capable shooters in Rogers and Abouo, and guys coming off the bench as well. You got to pick your poison, if you’re going to double you’re going to give up some open shots and if your not going to double you’re probably going to give up some individual post moves. You just have to fool around in the course of the game and see what you like doing, maybe give them some different looks.” On Utah State’s New Players Handling The Atmosphere In The Spectrum:”We’re going to talk about, I don’t think you just ignore it, you’ve got to talk about it and tell them the sooner they can settle in emotionally the better off they’re going to be. They’ve maybe seen it on a highlight tape, they’ve maybe seen it in person, but they’ve never played with it and those are totally different things. It will be interesting to see who is more antsy with the magnitude of the crowd us or them.” On How Well Each Team Knows The Other Team’s Players:”They feel like they know us pretty well normally in given years and we feel the same way. You’re just so familiar, you’re in the same state, you see each other on television a bunch. You’re aware of the kids you’re recruiting, but it’s kind of a combination of all those things. Knowing how good a guy is and trying to stop him are two totally different problems. You might feel like you know a guy pretty well, but do your players know him aswell, probably not. Have they had experience taking away a guys strength? No, a lot of them have not. I’m worried about our offense, but I’m worried about our ability to rebound and defend even more than our offense.” On Jordan Stone And How Much Playing Time He Gets:”Jordan is in a position where he is going to see time. Like everyone, how effective he is out there will determine how much he plays, but I’m encouraged by some things I see from him. He’s not a polished offensive player at all yet, and that’s a ways down the road before we’re going to be able to talk about his offense, but he is a presence because of his size. He can guard alittle bit, he’s physical, he can certainly set some screens. You know that he is going to try. He tries too hard right now and you don’t here me say that very often. He’s got to slow down. I’m constantly telling him at practice, about ten times a practice, to slow down. Reminds me of when Brady (Jardine) was first starting out how often he heard that. I would rather try and slow a guy down than try and light a fire under his behind.”

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