March 6, 2013
LOGAN, Utah -
On the upcoming weekend:
"It's been a long time since we've played these two teams. There's been a lot of water under the bridge and a lot of things have happened. I'm watching our first two games with Texas State and UTSA, but it was so long ago and we're playing with different people. Those games from the first weekend of conference are kind of irrelevant. You garner more by watching their recent games for sure.
"Our situation is such where we don't even know for sure who we're going to be playing with tomorrow night. Spencer (Butterfield) has not practiced. He will be very brief today, he won't be in any live situations. We'll just see where we're at tomorrow as to whether he goes or not. I don't know. It depends on how he feels and we'll go from there. That's where we're at.
"Texas State is dangerous. Talking with Idaho, they felt like they really couldn't stop them, like they had to out-score them to win. As you know, we weren't exactly a juggernaut offensively last weekend. We can't give them 81 points and expect to win. Our ability to defend them is really important. They've got a premiere player in Joel Wright. They've got some guys that can really shoot the ball. They're very aggressive in how they play the game. They press you, they pressure you, things we've seen quite a bit of. Our ability to handle all of that will be a big factor."
On Spencer Butterfield returning:
"At least there's a chance. I thought that when he first went down he was for sure done for the year, just the pain he was in and the magnitude of how the injury looked. It's gotten to feel a little bit better each day so we're hopeful. It's always difficult when a guy hasn't practiced at all to go out and play in a game. That's never easy when you haven't done very much prep, if any, and you haven't had any live action. Obviously, we would much rather have him than not have him, no matter what the circumstances. Spencer is the type of guy that the fact that he hasn't practiced, you don't have to worry about in terms of effort and intensity and all that. He's going to give you everything he's got. We'll just have to see."
On reflecting back on the oddity of this season:
"Usually my reflecting is after the season. You're usually so busy you don't do a lot of reflecting right now. I would have a hard time thinking anyone in the country is trying to manage what we've had going on. I haven't heard of anyone. With the amount of injuries and such, we've had two different teams in a sense. With all that being said, we're still trying to get our 20th win. There's stuff to play for along those lines. We want to string together some good wins before the tournament. Then we'll see what we can do in the conference tournament if we're healthy and all those things. It's been a strange one. I've never seen anything like it in all the years I've been in coaching, that's for sure."
On Texas State's guards Wesley Davis and Deonte' Jones:
"Their other kid, (Deonte') Jones, at the 2-guard position has actually been playing better than Davis. His shooting percentages are much higher. Both of them are guys that can knock down perimeter shots. It's really odd when you can look at their three-point percentage, you see 32 percent and that kind of tells you maybe they're not a great three-point shooting team. But then when you analyze it, they've got the 3-4 player (Reid) Koenen shooting 40 percent, (Phil) Hawkins is shooting 40 percent, Jones is shooting 43 percent. Some of their guys are very capable shooters, they just have some guys who have brought the team percentage down a little bit. We look at both their 2-guards, the guy who hurt is when we were there and the guy who's starting, Jones. Both Davis and Jones are very capable of getting it going from the perimeter. They're dangerous offensively, that's the best word I can come up with. They're very capable of scoring a bunch on you. They're also capable of forcing you into some turnovers with their pressure. They're an active basketball team, no question."
On Joel Wright:
"He was in a lot of foul trouble in the Idaho game. They're going to go to him when he's in there and he's going to demand the ball. He has 199 shots in league, that tells you something. He also boards it for them and is very, very aggressive. He's an odd combination of being a post guy, but just as much a face-up guy as a back-to-the-basket guy. He kind of can do both pretty dang effectively. He's an explosive player. He's not the whole show. The (Matt) Staff kid is very impressive as a post guy in that he's so active. He's kind of their 5-man, but he plays like a 4-man. He faces you up and drives by you. Our post guys are going to have to step up defensively, there's no question about that. One of the factors in us winning down there was that Kyisean (Reed) did a good job on Joel Wright. We don't have Kyisean, so our post guys have got to step up defensively."
On the team responding to his reaction after the last game:
"I don't think they would expect anything less than me. They don't want me to accept that they're a 46-point, 30-percent team. The guys that played in that game wouldn't want me to say `Oh, that's OK, we've got some guys hurt and you guys can't make baskets.' I don't go off like that all that often, maybe a couple times a year and especially less as I get older. When I do, there's usually a reason behind it. I think they needed to know that I expect them to be able to play and perform, and be able to make baskets and make shots and all those kind of things. That's water under the bridge at this point, they're not dwelling on my tirade."
On practice lately:
"They practiced fine. We're keeping practices short right now. It's that time of year and there aren't many guys out there. They practice fine. It's not an issue. They've practiced well for the most part this year."
On nearing the 1,500-win mark as a program:
"I didn't know that. I hadn't thought about it so you'd have to give me time to think about it. I had no idea. I said it long before I got here, growing up in this state, that Utah State has always had a good basketball tradition. I think we've been able to keep that going and add to it a little bit. I had no idea we were looking at that many wins. That's a lot of wins."
On Senior Night for Kyisean Reed:
"Kyisean was a different guy this year. He came out junior college very talented, but his performance and practice habits have been well documented as a junior. He made great strides this year and tried to do everything we asked of him. I was really pleased with how Kyisean approached the year as a senior. He tried to be a leader, tried to be vocal, just a whole new guy. It's just sad. My wife mentioned that last year with Brady (Jardine) and now with Kyisean, that's two tough senior nights in a row. We had other seniors last year, but with our only senior now being a guy who's been hurt since early in conference play, you mostly feel bad for him but bad for the team as well. My main wish for Kyisean is that he gets his diploma. He's so close to that. It's promising that he'll finish that up. I hope you mention it. I want him to know how important that is and to live up to what he said. I think he will and think he'll finish. That's always so important to our players is that they have that degree. He's right there. It's just a tough deal. It will be tough seeing him out there, but he certainly deserves to be honored."
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