USU men's basketball head coach Tim Duryea addressed the media on Friday and answered questions about the upcoming game against UNLV on Saturday, Jan. 6. The complete transcript of the press conference can be found below.
"UNLV has a very, very talented group. Obviously, with (Brandon) McCoy being touted as a lottery pick, inside he does a great job of protecting the rim, using his side defensively, allows guys like (Kris) Clyburn and (Jovan) Mooring to really get out and jumble. They're what I call a home run type defensive teams. They make big defensive plays in terms of steals, block shots, defensive plays that a lot of times result in points on the other end. You have to do a good job executing against them and taking care of the ball.
“Offensively, they are big and strong with (Shakur) Juiston and McCoy inside. Those guys get a lot done 15 feet and in. They're not going to spread you out at all, but they are power players inside the key. Then Mooring is a big shot maker, always has been. (Jordon) Johnson's come in and done a good job solidifying their backcourt. He's a player that plays really hard, he's a winner and does a good job for them on both ends of the floor. He shoots it in and really guards well. All in all, their big, long athletic, disruptive, can make home run plays on both ends of the floor and have a couple, three, really good wins on their schedule."
On the new roster at UNLV:
"Very unusual to turn your roster over like that and be as good as they are, but impact players. (Shakur) Juiston was a junior college player of the year, McCoy is a top-50 guy, and obviously Johnson is a good graduate transfer. So, other than Clyburn and Mooring, basically a new cast. But, same type players that you would expect Vegas to have in terms of being athletic, being long, being very talented. They've gotten off to a little bit of an uneven start in the league, but when you look at the rosters throughout the league, they're on the top end in terms of talent and potential.
On the connection between DeAngelo Isby and Mooring:
"Jovan Mooring and DeAngelo Isby were high school teammates for a year, they went to the same high school, played a lot of summer basketball together and they're kind of cut from the same cloth in terms that they're both scorers. They both can score in a variety of ways. Jovan Mooring led the country in Division II junior college scoring as a sophomore. He's always hit big shots for his teams and does the same thing. He's a very well-rounded guard. He can score in the lane, makes threes, he's tremendous in the pick-and-roll game, he's a high quality guard in this league."
On UNLV's Juiston:
"Juiston is an old-school, power four man. He is power forward in every sense of the word. He's only attempted one three on the year. His game is basically from the free throw line and down. He's going to operate top of the key, free throw line, all the way to the front of the rim and at the low block. He's what you think of as a four man from 15-20 years ago. He's a tremendous rebounder and is probably pound-for-pound the strongest player in the league at his position. He's a guy that reminds me a little bit of Jordan Caroline in his style of play. Juiston may be a little bit bigger and stronger even than Caroline, but both big, rugged, tough players that get a lot done six feet and in, probably more than they should for guys their height."
On what it will take for success in true road games:
"A healthy roster would help number one. Number two, just the confidence of breaking through at a couple of these places. It's hard to do for everybody, it's been very hard to do for us, similar to the last game where you have maybe a break or two where you put yourself in the position late in the game to win and then you have to get over the hump, you have to get that key stop, you have to get that key 3-pointer to go down, you have to make those key free throws, you have to get a couple offensive rebounds, stick backs when that's what you need to keep yourself ahead of the curve and we haven't been able to do that much since we joined the league, but part of that is getting older, getting more mature. But having a healthy roster would sure go a long way to help in that."
On Alex Dargenton:
"Alex Dargenton won't play this game with a sprained ankle. You're playing probably some of the biggest, strongest group in the league in terms of on the frontline and we're basically going in there really shorthanded at the five spot. So, hoping to have Alex back. I don't know about the Colorado State game yet, that's probably a little bit of a pipe dream, but there's a chance. But he won't play tomorrow night."
On UNLV's starting five and rotation:
"(They’ve got ) a new roster and have had no issues that way. They've cut their rotation down in the league. They're playing eight guys and those starters are all playing 32 minutes and up. So, you kind of know the five or six guys that you're going to see on the floor and you have to go at a couple of them and see if you can get them in foul trouble and kind of change their rhythm a little bit. They've been very, very fortunate, probably at the other end of the spectrum than we have in terms of injuries."
On UNLV's turnovers:
"They play up-tempo, and when you do that, you have some new players that are playing at this level, they're playing together for the first time, they do have a few more turnovers than what you would think. Hopefully that will continue tomorrow night. We have to give them different looks and try to get them to turn it over some. They're so good on the glass with Juiston and McCoy and they have a couple other guys that do a great job on the offensive glass. They're actually better offensive rebounders than they are defensive rebounders. There's some opportunities there to get some second shots."
On the league's rebounding margin:
"It's unbelievable. It seems like in the preseason everybody has punished their opponents on the boards. It's not hard to see when you look at Vegas. When you see McCoy and Juiston, they are impressive, physical, strong, imposing players and you can see why they're plus eight on the boards or seven on the boards. That's where it starts. We can't go in there and give them three or four shots at possession. We know we have no chance."
On playing UNLV tough in Vegas:
"We have. We've played really well there. I didn't think we played very well over the last half of the game there last year. We started out really well. But that's been a place that we've gone and played well and give ourselves a chance to win, basically, every time we've been there. So, hopefully, that will continue."
On the first two road games being at the two toughest Mountain West arenas:
"I would rather have it that way than the other way. You tell your guys right off the bat, 'Hey, this is life on the road in this league.' Then they get a taste of the upper end of what the road schedule will be. If I had a preference, I would go from this end to the other end as opposed to the other way around."
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