USU men's basketball head coach Tim Duryea addressed the media on Tuesday and answered questions about the upcoming game at Wyoming on Wednesday, Feb. 7. The complete transcript of the press conference can be found below.
"It's a place we have not played well since we've been in the league. They seemed to have played extremely well every time that we go there, and we have had some good stretches, but haven't been able to defend them up there at all, especially from the 3-point line. Obviously, that's where it has to start tomorrow night. We've got to defend the 3-point line, we've got to defend in transition. Obviously, they shoot the ball very quickly, they play at a fast pace. Like a lot of places when you go on the road, it starts with getting your defense set. Offensively, they did a good job for a while guarding us in Logan. They were able to switch a lot of things, they're athletic, they block a lot of shots at the rim and really had us stymie for a good portion of the game in Logan. Then we came back and had a really good stretch where, really, it was anybody's game with five minutes to go, and we did not execute down the stretch at all. So, we have to play a lot more consistently and, obviously, number one, have to guard the 3-point line."
On not wanting to go to overtime against Wyoming:
"They're 6-0 in overtime. They've done two things. When they've won, they started really quickly. They've got out of the gates really fast. So, that's one thing. We have to have a really good start, keep ourselves in the game early. Then they've done a tremendous job at the end of games getting themselves to overtime, and then once they've gotten there, they've really done a good job executing and finding ways to win. They're an experienced group, and so that's kind of what you expect from that kind of group in those kind of games."
On Wyoming making over 19 free throws a game:
"They do two things: they play fast and they really attack the rims in a lot of ways. They're not a great offensive rebounding team because that's not really something they emphasize. But, they do get the ball up the floor quickly and attack you in transition which causes a lot of fouls. Obviously, (Hayden) Dalton is a very active perimeter player at his size, and he does a good job of that, as well."
On Wyoming junior guard Justin James:
"He's an unbelievably talented player. He's one of the three or four most talented guys in the league when you combine his size, his athleticism. He does a great job of scoring in the mid-range, can make a three, but really does a good job driving the ball at or near the basket and scoring. He's been on a tear. Before his last game, he was averaging 30 points in the three games before that. Really, really playing well. He, Dalton and (Alan) Herndon, you know what you're getting with those three guys, you know how hard they are to defend and you've got to do a job starting right there. That'll be our focus going into the game. We'll change defenses, change matchups and try to limit those three guys."
On how it’s been having the bye:
"It was great. I don't think there was a team that needed a bye more than we did last Saturday. It was just great for our guys to rest and get away from it for a couple days. Yesterday coming back, they were bouncy, they were energetic. They're a confident group and they're a determined group to go up to Wyoming and play well for once and see if we'll have ourselves in the game with four or five minutes to go and have a chance."
On having a practice at Wyoming:
"We're just going to try a little something different with our travel, get up there and try to get used to the altitude and run up and down a little the night before. We've always gone in and always done something only on game day with game day shoot around. We decided last year that on this trip, we were just going to try something different. It's an effect. The altitude has an effect. We're coming from altitude. When your over 7,000 feet, our guys really feel it. It's not imaginary. That being the case, we're going to try and play more people in the first half for sure tomorrow. We're going to try and lengthen our bench a little bit and see where we are at the half and go from there in the second half."
On updates for senior forward Alex Dargenton and senior guard Julion Pearre:
"Alex is not 100 percent, but available to play. Julion is probably even more healthy than Alex at this point and ready to play. Other than Quinn (Taylor), we're as healthy as we've been. I was excited yesterday to start practice. We had everybody who is not out for the year, healthy and available for practice. That didn't last long."
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