Stew Morrill Press Conference Quotes

Jan. 27, 2009

LOGAN, Utah -


The following are quotes from Utah State men's basketball coach Stew Morrill for the week of Jan. 26, 2009.

On Last Week's Games...
"Obviously it was an awfully positive trip. We went on the same trip last year and dropped two close games. This year we got out of San Jose State with a close one and kind of escaped some missed free throws. It was a game that was weird statistically, and turning it over only four times was probably the reason we won. At Hawai'i, we played pretty well. We got a comfortable lead, a big lead, and pretty much had a good margin throughout. It was the first time since we've been in the WAC that we've won over there and only the second time I've ever won over there. Obviously, they might not be as strong as they've been some years, but it is still a hard place to win."

On Playing Nevada This Week...
"The travel coming back from Hawai'i is a concern. Nevada has been off since last Thursday when they played at home. It's a tough travel trip, and we took two days off to get ready for this week. I hope we have enough energy to compete this week. I think we will and I expect us to, but those situations always concern you a little bit."

Is There Any Pressure On The Team To Keep Winning...
"Our kids are enjoying playing basketball right now. I'm sure they feel some pressure, you always do if you are in a program that has been successful, and you want to continue that. The key thing is to go out and enjoy playing. It should be a great atmosphere Thursday night, a great opponent, and let's go see what happens."

Is This A Good Defensive Basketball Team?
"At times it's a good defensive basketball team. We still deal with quickness and size issues at times, but we don't very often deal with effort issues and that gives you a chance defensively. We've got some quality individual defenders. When Jared (Quayle) joined the starting lineup he gave us a little more size there than we had and tries to do a good job against some awfully good point guards. Pooh (Williams) and Tyler (Newbold) are pretty good wing defenders. In the post we're still trying to get better. Gary (Wilkinson) is a guy that we need to be more consistent, and he'd be the first to say that. Both of those guys (Gary Wilkinson and Tai Wesley) have worked hard to try and improve their post defense. We're getting better and we're certainly better than we were a year ago."



On Tyler Newbold's Performance Last Week...
"He got a lot of extra shots up last week and we've kept encouraging him to shoot the ball based on his ability and his percentages from last year. When he makes shots then it's a huge bonus because he does so many other things. He's a really good defender, and he's a very good passer. He has a great feel for the game. He's a pretty valuable guy whether he makes shoots or not, but it certainly helps more when he throws some in, and he had really good weekend."

On Nevada...
"They've got two guys that a lot of people think will play for money someday in Armon Johnson and Luke Babbitt. Nevada can talk about being young and not being as big as they have been, but they're still plenty good and plenty talented. They're just kind of settling in with a lot of new personnel. They are going to pressure the holy daylights out of us, that's going to be there approach and that has been there approach for the last number of games. They are going to come into our building and try and take us out of everything we do with their athleticism and their pressure. It's a normal Nevada challenge, which is always a big challenge."

On Fresno State...
"We'll have to play better than we did when they were here to have a chance. We didn't handle Sylvester Seay at all and he went for 32 points. They pressured us and we took a lot of bad shots. We played a really bad first-half against Fresno State. Anytime you go to Fresno it's a hard place to win. That does not look like a 1-5 WAC team to me, that looks like a team that could be 5-1 just as easily. They've played everybody close, they've just been a little snake-bitten."

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