USU men's basketball head coach Tim Duryea addressed the media on Tuesday and answered questions about the upcoming game against Fresno State on Wednesday, Jan. 3. The complete transcript of the press conference can be found below.
On Fresno State:
“First and foremost, Fresno State is one of the top two or three most talented offensive groups in our league. They are very impressive to watch offensively. Their shooting percentages are really unbelievable. When you shoot 50 (percent) as a team nowadays, that shows that you have a lot of talent and that you are a really balanced team in terms of inside and outside scoring. A lot of teams are playing 4-out these days and your percentages are a little lower because you are shooting more perimeter shots. They do a great job down low with (Bryson) Williams and (Terrell) Carter being able to score at the block. They are tremendously efficient at the 3-point line. They shoot 3-pointers that are not college 3-pointers. They have tremendous range as a team. Deshon Taylor, Jahmel Taylor and Sam Bittner shoot with tremendous range. They do a great job of spacing you out because they can shoot it so deep and can all put it on the floor and they can score at the block. You really have your hands full defensively with them. Like I said, they are one of the top two or three offensive teams in the whole league.”
On Fresno State’s Deshon Taylor:
“He normally does start and we are assuming he will start. He is their leading scorer and draws a lot of fouls. For a guard, he does a great job shot faking and getting you in the air. If he is behind the 3-point line or in the lane, he gets to the free throw line like crazy. He gets to the line more than probably any guard in the country. I fully expect him to start.”
On Fresno State’s ability to steal the ball:
“Another reason they shoot such a good percentage is that they score off of their defense. They are really good in turnover transition. That is a big emphasis for us. They pressure you full court on almost every made basket. They pick you up in full-court man and get out in passing lanes and have the athleticism at all five spots to put pressure on your offense. Turnover transition is huge. They capitalize on that. We played them here last year and did a good job against them defensively, but had 19 turnovers. On the half court, just guarding them we did a good job. We need to take care of the ball and need to play with a lot more defensive swag than we did on Saturday night. I thought we were on our heels on Saturday night and were a little timid defensively. We really need to take care of the ball.”
On Utah State’s defensive approach to the game:
“We’ll have a different approach schematically. We played as much zone at San Diego State as we’ve played in the last two years in a single game. Fresno (State) is not a team you can zone a whole lot. You can change it up a little bit and give them different looks, but you can’t sit back in a zone against them and think you can get all of their shooters covered. The scheme will be different, but more importantly than that, our mentality has to be different.”
On Fresno State’s Ray Bowles:
“Ray Bowles is a very solid player for them. When they go big he plays the three, or if they go smaller he can play the four. He is a really balanced player. He can score from the 3-point line and does a good job putting the ball on the floor. He gets to the foul line, and has the second-most attempts on their team at the free throw line. He is a big, strong, athletic kid that is a really solid player in all areas.”
On Utah State’s inconsistencies:
“We are 15 games in and you would think that consistency in a lot of areas would begin to show itself. Hopefully, as we get into league here, the competition level is about the same and the schedule is about the same. Hopefully, our lineup can stabilize a little bit and we can do that. We are not a good enough team and our margin of error is not big enough for us to be wildly inconsistent in any of the areas that you mentioned. We can’t overcome a lot of turnovers. We can’t overcome poor defense. We did for about 15 minutes against San José (State) because we had built such a big lead because we were so good in the offensive areas. Road or home, we just don’t have a big enough margin of error not to rebound consistently, not to guard consistently and not to take care of the ball or not shoot the ball consistently from the field or free throw line. Hopefully, with our lineup stabilizing we can find some consistency in all areas on most nights.”
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