Utah State Sophomore Guard Sam Merrill
"As everyone can tell, we came out a little bit flat, but at the same time, we have to give some credit to them. They made a lot of shots early on. We can't have those kind of starts, but starting at about the 10-minute mark, we guarded really well and moved the ball really well. We started to hit some shots and were finishing. Other than those first 10 minutes, which we have to clean up, we're happy with the way we played. Defensively we're continuing to improve and offensively we're getting better."
Utah State Redshirt Freshman Daron Henson
"I thought we started out really slow, as you can see. Coach told us not to underestimate them, and I think we did a little bit. At halftime, the coaches just told us to regroup, settle down and play our game, to push the pace and get stops. I think that's what we did in the second half, and that pushed the lead open."
Utah State Head Coach Tim Duryea
Opening statement to the media:
"We had a slow start and some lessons learned. I felt like we were flat in shootaround today. I told the staff that I thought we were flat and we tried to subtlety warn the guys that we were flat, but we came out flat. I give Mississippi Valley a lot of credit. They brought it right at us and played well. Lesson learned that if you're not ready to play at this level, you're going to look bad in some cases. You have to respect every opponent. I thought we were poor at the beginning of the game. In the last five or six minutes of the first half, we really started to guard and rebound. That carried over to the second half. I thought we played extremely well in the second half, both offensively and defensively."
On the halftime message after the slow start (opening statement to radio):
"In the last five minutes of the first half, we actually defended really well. Lesson learned today. I could tell in shootaround that they were flat. We talked about it as a staff, but I didn't say much to the team. I tried to warn them a little before the game. When you've been doing this a long time, you can feel the vibe of your team. We were flat. I don't think we gave Mississippi Valley State quite the respect they deserved. Like I told the team, when you do that at this level, you're not going to look very good. They're good enough, when you're not locked in, to play well, and they did that for 12 or 14 minutes. When we locked down and went man-to-man, keeping the ball in front of us, we guarded them for the last 25 or 26 minutes. Chalk it up as nothing more than a lesson learned. I told them in a timeout huddle in the second half when they were playing really well on both sides of the ball. They were moving the ball, every guy was trying to make a play for his teammate. They're a fun group to watch when they do that."
On the defensive changes in the second half:
"At halftime we said that the only thing we were going to zone was out-of-bounds under. We started the game doing what we call "Changing D," where we play zone on makes and man on misses. We need reps on that. It's something we can use in games on the road and at home against certain opponents. It wouldn't have mattered what we started in, because of our state of mind we weren't very good. At halftime we said we were going to stick to guarding in man the whole second half. Going man, I can tell whoever doesn't block out or who gives up a second shot, they were coming out. When you go man, everybody has an assignment and it's pretty easy to tell. To their credit, they came out, got together and played a really good second half."
Mississippi Valley State Head Coach Andre Payne
"I thought we played really good basketball for the first 16 minutes of the game, then we fell apart and just didn't execute. They did an outstanding job in the second half. Their guys came out and did what they were supposed to do and put us away early in the second half."
Eric Peterson Named...
LOGAN, Utah – Utah State head men’s basketball coach Craig Smith has named Eric...04/20/2018
Tauriawn Knight Set to Join...
LOGAN, Utah – Utah State head men’s basketball coach Craig Smith announced the...04/17/2018
Transcript - Introductory...03/27/2018
Craig Smith Named Utah...
Utah State University Vice President and Director of Athletics John Hartwell announced Monday...03/26/2018
Koby McEwen Named Second-Te...
LOGAN, Utah – Utah State sophomore guard Koby McEwen has been named second-team all-distric...03/13/2018
Tim Duryea Relieved of His ...
Utah State University Vice President and Director of Athletics John Hartwell announced today (Mar...03/11/2018
Utah State Loses 83-68 to...
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Utah State men's basketball lost, 83-68, to New Mexico on Friday night in its...03/10/2018
Utah State Men's Basketball...
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - For the first time since joining the Mountain West Conference, Utah State men's...03/08/2018
Official Aggie Gear