Nov. 14, 2012
LOGAN, Utah -
On Saint Mary's game:
"We'll see where we're at tomorrow. It's going to be really interesting playing an experienced, high-quality team with a lot of really good, proven players. Obviously, that's what jumps out at you when you watch it on tape. They have a lot of guys who have had a lot of success. They're used to winning and used to winning on the road. We are a work in progress, I guess you could say. We're trying to figure ourselves out as we go. We're a lot of parts that are trying to fit together. It's going to be interesting."
On what jumps out about Saint Mary's and the biggest challenge:
"They're just so physical. The way they play the game is extremely hard and they're big at every position. They just can overpower you in terms of on the boards. They play great man-to-man defense. They have a pressure-type man-to-man where there are denying lanes and getting in the passing lanes and getting up to the post. You try and make a post move and they're going to body you. You're going to have to be strong. That's one of the concerns with our team right now. How physical are we? That's not just because of this game, but going into the season. That's what we've talked to our guys about and what we've been trying to work on. We'll find out where we're at.
"They have a lot of skilled guys to go with the physicality. They have one of the best guards in the country (Matthew Dellavedova). Watching him on tape, besides being a little scary, it's fun to see all the things he can do. He's in on a ton of their plays, he's either shooting it in or he's passing to somebody or he's stealing a basketball. He's all over the place. It's really easy to say, okay that he's what we've got to focus on, but then they've got their size guys inside. Several of them are experienced, picked to be in the perimeter and all-conference.
"We're well-aware of Saint Mary's, having played them so many times. We've played a lot of their good teams, but a lot of our guys are not well-aware of them. They will be soon. We're trying to educate them as fast as we can."
On possibilities of Preston Medlin guarding Saint Mary's guard Matthew Dellavedova:
"No, I don't think that. Dellavedova is a point guard and Preston is a two-guard. Preston may have him some, but I don't even know if Dellavedova will guard Preston. I doubt it. It's their team versus our team, I don't see it as something Preston has to prove. He's proven he's a good player being first-team all-league, so it's about our team trying to prove ourselves against Saint Mary's."
On Matthew Dellavedova:
"You just watch him and know he's played a lot of basketball - international and college. He's a guy who's going to be playing for a long time. He's big and strong. You sometimes forget that he's 6-4, 195 pounds. He has such a court-awareness out there, on both ends. He's amazing to watch defensively as well as offensively. He has kind of just taken the reins for the team last year and this year. Everything they do is about him making plays for himself and for others. It kind of all starts with him in terms of their offense and their defense."
On the focus and execution in preparing for this game:
"We've worked on trying to get more physical, number one. We've had a few days of practice. I don't think we're anywhere close to the team we'll be later in the year. We're not where Saint Mary's is right now. We are playing at home, so certainly that's a positive. We just have some things to get better at. We have to really grow to be any sort of contender in our league. That being said, our guys need to believe they can win. They have to go out there with that in mind. We're trying to give them every bit of confidence we can."
On short turnaround between last Saturday's game and Thursday's game:
"I think every day at practice is a deal right now where we're not sure what to expect in terms of practice habits and execution. We only get better by playing games right now, but it's early. It's going to take some time for us, that's obvious to me, for us to get to where we're a competitive WAC team. We have to get there before we're a contender. I think that it was obvious in the Idaho State game that we have a ways to go. That's what we're trying to do. We're trying to get better. There are opponents that you schedule sometimes that are going to show you exactly where you're at. Saint Mary's is going to show us that."
On former USU player and current Saint Mary's player James Walker III returning to the Spectrum:
"I think he's a more confident player now. He was a freshman when he was here. He had a good junior college year. I see the same guy who's really fast, but he's in a role where he's coming off the bench. My focus was not on James to be honest with you, it was on the guys who are playing more minutes. I hope he does well. It's a good program, so good for him."
On the difference in pace and tempo from the early season games:
"It'll be a more, normal college basketball game if you will. Normal just in the sense of the pace of the game and the style of play. They're very good defensively so it could be abnormal in terms of trying to score. Idaho State in the first game slowed it down and played a funky zone. That was a little bit of an odd situation for the first game out. It will be interesting, I keep using that word, but that's where we're at. We're going to go out there. I don't know exactly what's going to happen, our guys don't know exactly what's going to happen. We're trying to figure it all out."
On preparing for Saint Mary's pressure defense:
"Especially since we turned it over so much in our first game. They turn it over by playing aggressive pressure, man-to-man. We're doing everything we can to simulate that in practice, but it's a different sort of defense than we play. We like to play physical man-to-man, but we're not quite where they're at. We're trying to have some possessions that we've simulated. They don't play any zone, they don't pressure much. They're just 'We're going to guard you man-to-man, that's what we do' and they do a good job of it."
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