USU men's basketball head coach Tim Duryea addressed the media on Friday and answered questions about the upcoming Mountain West contest at Boise State on Saturday, Feb. 4. The complete transcript of the press conference can be found below.
On Boise State
Boise State is a very impressive team. They have done a phenomenal job in winning tough road games to keep themselves at the top of the league. As our recent history shows, it has been a tough place for us to play. We've gone up there and played well for most of the games, but we haven't been able to close games out there despite leading for most of the game the last few years. I'm impressed with them defensively. They are very solid. They have some veteran guys and have really established a defensive identity. Offensively, you always know what you are going to get. You are going to get a lot of motion offense and 3-point shooting. You have to do a good job of guarding the 3-point line. Chandler Hutchison is probably the best driver of the basketball in the league. They put pressure on your from the 3, put pressure on you in driving to the rim and play very solid defense.
On the health of Shane Rector
Shane's status is up in the air. We don't know his availability yet. We'll have to see when we practice at Boise today to see where he's at and see the progress he's made. We didn't do a lot of floor yesterday, so Shane spent the day getting treatment. His status is undetermined at this point. No concussion, it is all about his wrist. He got six stitches over his eye, but his head was fine. It is his right wrist, his shooting wrist, that he fell on very awkwardly, is extremely sore.
On what it will take to win on the road
The thing we have to do on the road is bring the same level of commitment on defense that we have had the last three games. Even at New Mexico, our effort and our commitment to what we were doing defensively was much better than what it had been in the previous two or three games. It starts right there, you know you are going to get a solid defensive effort from Boise and we have to defend at or near the same level we've had the last two games. If we do that, there's no reason that we can't win on the road. We've shot the ball well on the road and there have been some times when we've had some scoring droughts. But, we've played well enough offensively on the road to win, but we haven't guarded well enough on the road to win. It is really going to come down to how well we guard and how well we rebound.
On how similar the game plan will be against Boise State
It will have some differences. We did not do a good enough job against Boise in guarding the 3-point line, especially with (Justinian) Jessup and (James) Reid. We gave them too many open looks that we had prepared not to give them. But, we didn't do a good job in taking those two guys away when they played here. That was probably the difference in the game. Hutchison had a very good game, but he is going to make some baskets that are very hard to take away in transition with his size and athleticism. We did a good job on (Nick) Duncan who has been a nemesis of ours in the past. We did not do a good job with their wing players. Paris Austin had a poor game here, but is playing really well off the bench. We just need to do a better job when it comes to Reid and Jessup.
On the Mountain West schedule
Since we have been in the league, it hasn't really had a lot of symmetry from first half to second half, when you play your byes and then there are the two teams that you'll only play once. We have learned to look ahead and usually you know that you are going to be home and away. Every now and again you are going to have a couple of home and away games stacked together. We've gotten used to no symmetry and taking them as they come.
On practicing on Friday in Boise
We are going to practice up there today. That is a little different for us, but we had the flexibility of taking the bus. We had a few guys that had to take tests this morning and did not want to take them out of class. We are going to leave as late as possible, but didn't want to practice too late because we are playing at 6 o'clock tomorrow night. We'll be in their practice gym and not in their arena, but it laid out better academically for our guys.
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