Feb. 23, 2010
LOGAN, Utah -
The following are quotes from Utah State men's basketball coach Stew Morrill for the week of Feb. 22, 2010.
ON LAST WEEK'S GAMES...
"Last week was a good week for the Aggies. We had some hard fought games. The Louisiana Tech game was anybody's game going down the stretch. We had great crowds. We had an awfully balanced team effort, which is what we have to have in order to have a chance to win. We got a couple wins over 20-win teams, so it was an awfully positive week."
ON THIS WEEK...
"This doesn't seem like a single game week to me. With the Thursday, Monday schedule things move pretty fast. Especially when you are going out to Hawai'i."
"People talk about trap games, but to me that has always been a little bit arrogant. When they say trap games it is like you are supposed to win that game. If you don't get ready you might get upset. I have been to Hawai'i enough to know they can beat you no matter what over there. It is hard to put a finger on why. They have had a lot of good teams, but they are tough to beat over there when their record isn't as good. Maybe they have just been tough for me to beat. I think there is quite a few coaches that can say they have only won over there a time or two."
"Our team is in a good frame of mind. We have practiced pretty well. Our practices are much shorter this time of year and the players like that. Hopefully we can keep playing good basketball. That is what we need to do."
"Their athleticism and Roderick (Flemings) is tough. If we allow him to get 39 like he did the other night, we probably lose because we only score about 60. That wouldn't be a good combination. If they just pound you on the boards and gain confidence, or if you are not quite ready to play, there are a million factors that go into a game like that. We turn around and fly home after the game. It is hard to say where that will put you for your next game."
"Normally I like to take a few days off after Hawai'i, but we won't be able to do that. We will go some on Saturday and obviously on Sunday to get ready for a Monday game."
"They are a physical bunch. They are hard to keep off the boards and you better be ready to play. Our game here was just one of those games. I was disappointed because it got so much coverage as their worst loss in their history. There was no intent on anybody's part to do that. We played everyone on the bench about equal minutes. Who knows whether that is a motive for them? It shouldn't be. They have enough motives with us coming in and leading the league. They are also trying to make the tournament."
"They are very good on the boards. They are very active and very athletic. Then anytime you have a guy that can get 40, that is a scary proposition."
ON HAVING DIFFERENT PLAYERS STEP UP...
"We have got good players. You hear me say that all the time. You don't win without good players. At any point one of them can step up and get it going a little bit. That is what you need to have happen. Fortunately it has been a different guy on a lot of different occasions. That makes you hard to predict and hard to guard. We have had awfully good balance lately and it goes seven deep."
ON THE ZONE DEFENSE...
"I think our defense is sometimes over looked through the years. I guess people think of the complexity of our offense, but our defense has been really solid this year. We have had more calls this week about our match-up zone than I can remember. Coaches have been calling us about it. We are a little bit secretive about some of our stuff and we are not going to hand it out, but we talk to coaches and help them a little bit."
ON MAKING CHANGES AS THE SEASON HAS GONE ON...
"We had some things in the Louisiana Tech game that were new and really helped us. They had prepped a lot of our stuff and we had some looks that they hadn't seen. We scored a lot on some of those. I have always believed that as you go through the season you throw things out and add things. It keeps your guys' minds working and makes you harder to prepare for. The second time around in league you don't want to get stagnant and not change things."
"We added another play today and we added one yesterday. We try to keep it fresh and give our opponents something they haven't seen. I think a lot of people do that and it is kind of a fun thing. I look forward to teaching the new stuff. It is interesting which kids figure it out quicker. Some have a better basketball IQ than others. People were surprised when I said Tai Wesley was one of the smarter players I have ever had. You see him out there and he loses his head every once in a while. His fire comes out and that makes him a good player. He would be on a list of the top five guys I have ever had that know how to play and know how to prepare. He has been a perfect fit for our system along those lines."
"We have quite a few guys with good basketball IQ. This is a good group along those lines. And I think that improves with the more experience you get. That is just the way it works, like anything in life."
"My assistants always tell the players, `If you trust in the system than the system will set you free.' They say it in fun, but when kids buy in, it helps them for sure."
ON Tai Wesley's PLAY...
"He is not going to back down, he is going to compete. It can be very frustrating when he gets himself some dumb fouls, but he is getting better. He should be, it is his fourth year in the system and he is getting better. It was nice to keep him out there the other night for more minutes. Sometimes his competitiveness takes over in the game, but he has a great understanding of what we need to do."
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