Quotes From Head Basketball Coach Stew Morrill
Jan. 15, 2001
The following are quotes from Utah State head basketball coach Stew Morrill at his weekly press conference for the week of Jan. 15, 2001.
General thoughts on UC Riverside...
"I think when you look at Riverside and you look at some of their scores, other than the last Cal Poly game, they've done a really good job of making the transition to Division I. This is their first year. They had two games with San Jose they could have won both of them and they would be eight and eight. The win at Oregon State, and some of the wins they have had, Santa Barbara, etc. You see a lot of teams that go Division I, and the first year they go Division I they win two games. They're going to have a very good chance to get to double-digits on wins. Like I have said, they have had some interesting scores, other than that Cal Poly game. Basically, we have to prepare for them based on our last game with them. As you recall, we were up three at half. Second half we finally got away from them a little bit, but it wasn't like it was a piece of cake. We sure didn't do to them what Cal Poly did to them."Isn't it tough to get up for a game at times when you have already beaten that team on their home court?
"Yeah, it is. This group has been really good about listening, but that is always the toughest situation, is when you went on the road and won do you mentally relax? Even if it is subconsciously. Also, I think it's a tough situation when you are playing a non-league game, even though they are going to join our league, right in the middle of all the emotion of league contests. But it is the only way we could do it. It was the only way we could go to Alaska, and its the only way they could schedule home and home. One thing I would have never done is have a non-league game on the road right now. If we were going on the road right now, it would have been really like three straight weeks of travel, because next week it is split, the following week we are gone. They had a kid just light us up, the (Mark) Miller kid . They play a switching, match-up zone that can give you problems. We shot it pretty well down their last time, but it does cause you some concern, because it is something different. Which is what we are basically seeing every game. Somebody is going to do something different, play us different. It is just the nature of where we are at right now. We should be starting to get used to it I guess."Do you feel like your guys will know what to expect from Mark Miller this time around?
"I hope when we watch the tape today and they see him just lighting it up against us they'll know what to expect, because he did that in the first-half. I was really impressed with him. He's not only a good shooter, but he's strong, and he can go off the dribble. He's a very good player and a young player as well. And then they had the big kid inside, who is just a freshman, who I thought was just a heck of a freshman (Vil Morton), and he caused us problems. I think they have done a tremendous job and John Masi can coach. Look at his overall record and all the success he has had through the years. He does a great job coaching. Our mental state is real important, all the preparation is important, but our mental state is probably even more important. We had a huge home stand last weekend and we came out of it good, but now here we are having a game on Tuesday and we have to better ready to go. Relaxing won't help us much. They play a lot of guys, its like musical chairs out there. You have to stay on top of match-ups the whole time."What do you think were the biggest problems you had against their defense in the first game?
"It's just an odd defense. You play against zone, you run your zone stuff, you play against man-to-man, you run your man stuff. You play against this, you have to decide what you want to run because its not zone, its not man, its a combination of the two. It's a match-up zone of sorts, its a switching man-to-man. It presents some different things. Whatever you run, you want to run it hard and if you get to your tail-end action be aggressive, turn the ball and not get tentative. What they hope to do is kind of like when you play a triangle and two or a box and one, they hope to get you standing around looking at each other on what to do. It's a different sort of defense they play."What do you think is the most positive thing about this team right now?
"Boy that is a tough question to answer. The thing that I think has been really solid, and granted we have been winning games and that makes it easier, your not tested as much until you go through tougher times than maybe we've went through, but we have stayed very solid mentally and very coachable, and very unselfish. The kids are just excellent that way and it gives a chance to get better."