The following are quotes from Utah State men’s basketball coach Stew Morrill prior to its road opener at Weber State. Opening Comments:”Well it’s a quick turnaround. We rested our bodies a little bit on Saturday and came back Sunday. We’d like to have more time than we have. Here it is a day before the game and you try and practice a littlelighter the day before a game. It will be interesting to see what we can dodown there. I think Weber State has a really, really good basketball team, that is obvious. They were favored by everyone to win that league and have the premier player in that league (Damian Lillard), one of the premier players in the West. Obviously a challenge for us going down there, but first road game and we will see where we are at on the road. You looked at the schedule, to start with BYU at home and Weber State on the road was going to be tough, we knew that. Fortunately, we got the first one and let’s go see what we can do down there.” On Damian Lillard And How You Approach Him:”I have a good friend in coaching that used to coach at Boise State and he always used to subscribe to that theory (of letting a guy get his points) until a guy got 45 on him. I’ve never believed that you just concede that a guy is going to light you up. He may and he has before up here last year, but we’ve got to try and guard him that’s for sure. The problem is you can’t just emphasis him, because they’ve got a lot of guys to go with him. Heck, they made 17 three’s the other night in their opener and they are very good defensively. They’ve kind of shell-shocked us the last couple of years in the first half where we didn’t anticipate how physical they were going to be – our players didn’t, coaches did. That’s something we will emphasis, not to get out physicaled from the tip. They’ve got a bunch of shooters and they’re quick. Granted it was against lower-level competition and terms of not being Division I schools, but they are just real confident and aggressive offensively. You’ve got to some how try and get them slowed down a little bit and it starts with trying to get them stopped on the break. They are probably more effective right now on the break than BYU and that’s saying something because BYU has always been really, really good on the break. Just with the nature of the point guard position they are probably more effective. Fortunately for us, they are kind of like us, in that they don’t run on made baskets, they just run on misses. It would help us if they had to take it out of the net and aren’t flying up and down all night long.” On If Lillard Looks Healthy On Film:”Sure look likes it to me. I don’t see anything on film that looks like he’s ever been hurt. He’s so doggone fast and I really like how smart he is. Randy (Rahe) says he is a wonderful kid and when you watch him on film it sure looks like it. He just takes what the game gives him and makes his teammates better. He is very, very confident and he should be as good as he is. And we’re not in a situation were we’ve got multiple guys to guard him. We’ve tried multiple guys on him in the past and we’ve had multiple guys who were pretty good defenders. We’re just trying to find out who our defenders are right now.” On Weber State’s Frank Otis:”He’s kind of an undersized post that makes your post guys feel like their guarding a three in that he’s really quick and a really good rebounder that leads the break when he rebounds it. He is extremely active and a nice addition. They’ve got tons of depth, (Darin) Mahoney is coming off the bench and he’s a former starter. They’ve got a really good shooting post in (Byron) Fulton. (Scott) Bamforth is just an excellent shooter and playmaker at the two-guard. They’re very balanced and a good team that has real good players and one great player.” On Who Guards Lillard:”Brockeith (Pane) will start on him, that’s just the way the matchups fall. It’s not like we have some proven defender over at the two or the three to take him, we don’t. Brockeith will have him and we’ll see how that goes and maybe somebody off the bench will take him from there. We might give him some different looks, we’ll just have to see how it goes.” On Brockeith Pane Staying Out Of Foul Trouble:”I don’t see a game on the schedule were he doesn’t need to stay out of foul trouble. It’s like Tai (Wesley) in the past. When Tai Wesley wasn’t on the floor, and it happened far too many times, he got better at it, we weren’t the same team. That happened to us in the NCAA Tournament last year. It was obvious the other night, when Brockeith is on the floor we’re a whole lot better. Especially now, and I think it will be that way all year, but as these new guys are trying to find their way, it helps when you have his experience at the point guard on the floor.” On Playing The First Road Game Of The Year At Weber State:”It’s good for me, I’m getting tired of the travel. We’ll have a few fans there and that’s always good. It’s a really good opponent. We’ve been up to our rear-ends beating Weber State anytime we play them and even more so this year. It will tell us something. That’s what the preseason is for is to figure out where you’re at as you get closer to league and try and get better as you go through the preseason and see if you can guard anybody and all those kind of things. I think another important part of it is how do you react after an emotional good win. Do you just kind of relax or do you know what you’re in for. We’re trying to make them know what they’re in for with this Weber game. On Who Starts At Small Forward:”We’ll probably start Mitch (Bruneel) there. Mitch played good against BYU. He’s a little older and a little more consistent right now in terms of his habits. We’re excited about Steven (Thornton), he’s going to be a good player he’s just a freshman. Adam (Thoseby) is a freshman. Jordan (Stone) is a freshman. We have a lot of freshmen out there. Maturation wiseright now, that’s just what we think is best and Mitch earned it in the BYU game, that’s why he started the second half.” On The BYU Game:”We’ve got a little heart, should have in front of 10,270 fans for an in-state rivalry. We could’ve faded when we were struggling against the zone, we certainly could’ve got beat. We had too many turnovers and we talked about that yesterday. Our assist-to-turnover is usually reversed, but I was encouraged by the effort. Down the stretch we gave them way too many chances to be in the game. We didn’t play very smart and that’s to be expected a little bit. We felt pretty good about Preston Medlin that he was going to be a guy that could play this year and he certainly looked like it in that game. There are some encouraging things. We can go small and give a little different look with Kyisean (Reed) coming in. The development of our team is going to be kind of fun to watch and see how we go.” On Preston Medlin:”He’s a really good playmaker. He can shoot it obviously. We haven’t had a guy there that was a two-one, and Preston is kind of a two-one. And don’t get me wrong, God love the wings we’ve had and I would love to still have them, but Preston is a 2-1 and that just gives you a little different look in that he can come off ball screens and make plays. He has a really good offensive feel for the game. Now we go down to the other end and that’s a challenge for him strength-wise and experience-wise and those kinds of things. But offensively, he’s got some dimensions to his game that certainly can help you, he sees what’s going on out there.”
Free News Delivery by Email
Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!