Nov. 26, 2012
LOGAN, Utah -
"It seems like a quick turnaround here to head out on the road. We have practice here tomorrow and then we'll get down there, and try and get our prep going. We're playing a very good Santa Clara team. They're undefeated. Watching them yesterday, they're very, very tough on the offensive end and solid on the defensive end. They're shooting over 50 percent and over 40 percent from three. They're impressive. We've got two tough road games in a row, but as I said the other night, it's time to get out on the road and see what we can do."
On Santa Clara:
"They get a lot of looks on the break. They shoot some with guys on them and still make them. They have a really good shooting team, and a very good passing team when you look at the assist to turnover ratio. They had a tough year last year, but their two leading scorers from this year were both out for the year last season. It's no surprise I guess that they're off to a good start. They're picked in the upper half of that league."
On Mark Trasolini and SCU's standout players:
"Yeah, he's their four-man. He's the spacing forward that can also score down low. They use him a lot in the perimeter. Then there's the Foster (senior guard Kevin Foster) kid. Just looking at him on tape he looks like an NBA-type guy with all the things he can do. Offensively he's obviously really good, but defensively he's getting four or five steals a game. It's very impressive. He has extremely quick hands and a great nose for the ball defensively. He's awfully good."
On continuing to improve on defending the three-point shot:
"We're just trying to get a little bit better each day. You can't give them a whole bunch of threes and expect to win on their court, especially if they shoot a high percentage on a whole bunch of threes. You look at their stats and defensively, we've got to be able to not allow them those kind of percentages. If they shoot more than 50 (percent from the floor) and over 40 (percent from three-point range), we're going to lose. Like I said the other night, one thing we're doing a pretty good job of is rebounding the basketball. That has to be something we can count on game in and game out as our offense and defense try and get a little bit better. The defense is the first emphasis, trying to guard a really good offensive team. Secondly, we've got to get a little bit better at getting ourselves some three-point looks. I don't really mind the stats the other night when we shoot that many free throws. If you're getting to the line a ton, it kind of off-sets the lack of three-point shots. In a perfect world we'd like to get more threes and make more threes. You've got to execute a little bit better offensively to do that."
On if Mark Trasolini is the best post player USU has played so far this year:
"I don't know yet. Until I see him in person it's hard to say. He sure looks good on film. I don't know if I would go that far, but he sure looks like a good player."
On the first road trip of the season:
"We bring out our notebook and show them the road rules to begin with, as far as what's expected and what you wear, how you act and all those kinds of things. Those are just particulars of travel. Back in the day we had to wear ties and jackets to travel, so it's come a long way since then. As far as the competition itself, it's a matter of experiencing it and not thinking about it too much. We all know the percentages on the road and at home. You can drive yourself wacky thinking about that, me included. You've got to go out and play solid. You have to give yourselves a chance by the things you do. We often have a little bit different of a gameplan playing on the road and we expect our guys to embrace that. As far as them adjusting to playing on the road, I think that comes with experience. A lot of the new guys have to get the experience and that's why it's good that we're going out for a few."
On defending Santa Clara's fast break offense:
"One of the best ways to do that is just to not give them a lot of fast breaks. That's huge if you don't let them just fly up and down and get a lot of quick shots to get their momentum going. That's one of the things you hope to do is to be good on the transition D. From there you can try and figure out some other things you can do."
On Ben Clifford's game coming off bench and having a good game against Weber State:
"That was fun for all of us to have happen. He works so hard in practice. He's with you every single day and his work habits never change. You never go out there thinking `Oh, Ben's not going to be ready to play hard today.' He's a high achiever academically and in his off-the-court life. He's trying to do everything he can to improve and be successful at the Division I level. We really need some bench production and it was good to see him do that, he did a great job getting to the line. We were struggling making free throws and I think the got us over the hump a little bit. He made a few and it got a little bit contagious and we finally made some."
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