USU men's basketball head coach Tim Duryea addressed the media on Monday and answered questions about the upcoming Mountain West contest at Colorado State on Tuesday, Feb. 7. The complete transcript of the press conference can be found below.
On Colorado State
"They are a little short-handed in terms of numbers, but not short-handed in terms of talent. They have very talented offensive players and maybe the best shot-maker in the league in Gian Clavell. He takes and makes tough shots. He is their heart and soul. He is their energy leader and gives them confidence, along with (Emmanuel) Omogbo. Those two guys have really carried them all year long through their personnel issues.
"They did a great job at our place in making shots, being hard to guard and then you throw in Prentiss Nixon. Then you throw in their center, (Nico) Carvacho, who plays his role very well. He screens, he rebounds and keeps balls alive. When you have seven or eight guys, your roles really become so defined and that is what has happened with them and they are playing really well."
On the limited rotation for Colorado State
"As long as you don't have an injury or get into foul trouble, everybody takes ownership and everybody knows they are going to play. In the short term it can help you. You don't want to go through a season like that every year, but it is about having the right seven or eight guys. If you do, then with all of the timeouts in college basketball then you can make it through. They are a tough-minded group of kids and that helps out as well."
On the play of Emmanuel Omogbo
"He is an activity guy. On the frontline, he is the same guy that Clavell is in the backcourt. He has a lot of energy, activity and has a relentless effort. He fits Coach Eustachy's persona really well that way. He coaches kids like that and wants kids like that and Omogbo has done a good job of improving as an offensive player over last year. He is shooting the 3 really well and when you put him, Nixon and Clavell out there, you have three really good scorers."
On what is needed defensively on the road
"It wasn't a lack of effort or try at the beginning of the game, it was more missed assignments. I thought we played really hard for 40 minutes. Even at the beginning of the game when we weren't successful in guarding them, it wasn't an effort thing, but more of game plan mistakes that cost us. We got those shored up and guarded them better the rest of the game. We are still giving away a few too many easy baskets on the road. We just need to cut those out and then scratch one out and give ourselves a little confidence. If we do that it will snow ball a little bit, hopefully tomorrow night is the night."
On the first matchup against Colorado State
"We never settled into the game offensively. We were jittery and played in a hurry. We played really young that night in terms of decisions we made and in our shot selection. I didn't think that was us for the most part. You have to give them credit because they did a good job of guarding us and getting out to a good start. We gave them 52 percent in the first half and 34 percent in the second half, so it was a stark contrast in our defensive performance. We've got to have 40 minutes like the second half tomorrow night."
On the status of Shane Rector
"He is still day-to-day. He is still improving. He did a few things in practice today, but still wasn't able to go live. I'm hoping in the next 24 hours for more improvement to where he can use his right hand. He can't use his right hand to shoot it at all right now. He can handle it and pass it, but it hurts him really to shoot it."
On what Norbert Janicek needs to do to be consistent on the court
"He is a guy that has been giving really good effort every night, it isn't an effort issue. He's got to do some things to help himself out in terms of getting some offensive rebounds and running the floor in transition. We also need to do a better job of finding him and giving him touches in the post. He only got three looks at Boise and Colorado State usually does a good job of keeping the ball out of the post. He'll have to work hard for his touches tomorrow night. A guy like him has to be more well-rounded offensively, or else you can take him out if the only thing he can do is catch on the low block and score."
On the confidence of the team following the loss at Boise State
"I don't think it had much of an effect. We had a good practice today and our guys are confident in themselves, as confident as you can be without having a road win. Eventually, if we are going to do anything we want to do in the league then we will have to win a few on the road. I don't think it is a confidence issue, per se, but a confidence issue in closing out games. It doesn't feel like an unconfident group to me, so hopefully that will be the case tomorrow."
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