USU men's basketball head coach Tim Duryea addressed the media on Thursday and answered questions about the upcoming game against Northeastern on Friday, November 24. The complete transcript of the press conference can be found below.
"Their coach, Bill Coen, has been there 10-12 years and his teams are always very well coached and poised. They remind me of the east-coast version of St. Mary’s. They play at a methodical pace, they don’t get rattled, they take good shots and they are a balanced scoring team. One through five can all hurt you and play a very methodical, even style. They have lots of ball screens that you have to defend.
"Defensively, they will play you in some man and some zone. They’ll mix it up with what is working with them or how it best matches up with their opponents. I’m really impressed with their point guard. He is a big, strong point guard, six-foot-five, and does a good job of seeing the floor and playing off of ball screens. They have good young post players, so overall they are a well-balanced, well-coached team."
On how injuries are impacting the rotation
"We are in a little bit of scramble mode with the injuries. With Koby’s status uncertain, Julion still being out and now Brock Miller out 6-8 weeks, we’ve got to move people around. Diogo Brito will play more at both the three-spot and point guard spot. Sam Merrill’s minutes will increase at the two, probably more than he should be out there, but we really don’t have an option until we get Julion back, hopefully next week. Hopefully sometime this weekend Koby will play in the tournament and we’ll get a little stability there. Right now we are in full-scramble mode."
On that status of Koby McEwen’s return
"I hope Koby plays down here in Nashville at some point, whether that is Friday or Saturday or if at all is yet to be determined. I would like to get him back in game action before the BYU game. That will be really hard to sit out that long and then have to play in a hard game like BYU and be effective."
On the challenges of playing in back-to-back games in a tournament setting:
"It challenges your game preparation more than it challenges the players. Back-to-back games, players should be able to handle those. You worry about a guy like Sam Merrill who is playing 35-36 minutes a game right now that will be a little harder on him. However, most of our guys should be fine with back-to-back games. As a coaching staff, it puts a little crimp in your style as far as how you prepare for that second team. But, we’ll do the best we can and we’ll be able to live scout for a day and that will help us."
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