USU men's basketball head coach Tim Duryea addressed the media on Friday and answered questions about the upcoming game against Nevada on Saturday, Jan. 13. The complete transcript of the press conference can be found below.
“Nevada is a talented group. Probably, top to bottom, the most talented team in our league, arguably. I’m obviously very impressed with the Martin twins (Caleb and Cody). They’re a very versatile group. You look at, really, one through five, the guys they put out there, they can all pass it, they can all handle it, shoot it, put it on the floor, and it makes for a very hard guard when the whole lineup is that versatile and that talented. They’re really hard to guard. No matter what defense you play, how you choose to guard them, they have the ability to attack you inside and out, so we’ll have our hands full.”
On Nevada’s ability to be interchangeable as far as the players’ positions:
“Top to bottom, it feels like the whole roster is 6’6” or 6’7”. I think you have to play and prepare for players, not plays. One minute, one of the Martins can be at the four, they’ll make a substitution, and now that same kid could be playing the point. It’s really almost impossible to prepare, in terms of plays or sets, you have to prepare personnel and know that everybody you’re guarding can bring the ball on the break. Everybody you’re guarding could be posting up. They’re really modern-day basketball personified. We’re all going to that style a little bit, but they, more than anybody, personify modern-day, interchangeable, versatile players on the floor, one through five.”
On Utah State’s history of playing well at Nevada:
“I think that’s a source of confidence for our team. Year in and year out when we’ve gone to Nevada, they’ve always been very talented. It’s a tough environment. They usually have a very good crowd and a good environment and atmosphere to play in, and yet our guys have risen to the occasion. It feels like almost every time we’ve been there, we’ve been in the game with a chance to win down the stretch. We just haven’t made those plays or free throws or whatever we’ve had to make to get it done. Hopefully this team will build on a little road confidence they’ve gotten this year, and that’ll give them a little feeling down the stretch to get over the hump. Obviously, we know we’re playing a very talented group. Yet, the two home games they’ve had in league have both been very close games. Hopefully we can dwell on that and draw from that.”
On Nevada’s depth:
“They’re really playing seven guys in league. The eighth guy, (Elijah) Foster, the big kid, is playing about five minutes off the bench. The starting five that’s out there, even though they are interchangeable, that’s going to be the five or six guys you play against for almost 40 minutes. Hall does a good job coming off the bench, and the wing, Hallice Cooke, does a great job coming in and shooting the ball. Those seven guys really are playing the majority of the minutes.”
On the Air Force-Nevada game:
“Air Force played really well that game and had them down and kind of had them on the ropes a little bit. But Nevada is one of those teams that, they get points off of their defense. They can pressure you a number of different ways. They’ll play up-tempo, so they’re never really out of a game. They shoot it quick and can shoot it well. Their stats are unbelievable as far as shooting the ball. Then they’re really good on the boards. Jordan Caroline, is probably pound-for-pound the best rebounder in the league. So, they can hurt you a variety of different ways. If they fall behind, they have the ability to come back with the style they play and the talent they throw out there.”
On how the team responded after the Colorado State loss:
“We spent a long time in the film room yesterday. I think our guys were down a little bit. I think lesson learned in terms of, we talk all the time about you have to pay a mental price to prepare for every single game at this level. If you don’t pay that price, then things come back to bite you. I’m not saying our guys didn’t prepare to play or didn’t respect Colorado State. That wasn’t the case at all. I just think, mentally, we had a little bit of a let-down, let our guard down a little bit and paid the price. We know we have a tough stretch coming. We can only focus on tomorrow night. I expect them to be ready and bounce back with a great effort.”
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