Dec. 7, 2012
LOGAN, Utah -
Opening statement on Saturday's game:
"It's been 10 days since we've played. It will be interesting with all the circumstances with Danny (Berger) and everything. It will be interesting to see where we're at. We went back to the practice floor yesterday, because of Danny's improved situation, the kids were a littler rusty, but in good spirits and had about as good a workout as you could expect. Everything wasn't perfect, but hopefully we'll be a little better today. Western Oregon comes in 6-2. This game was strategically placed, where we were looking at three road games in a row, with at Santa Clara, at BYU and at Utah Valley. We only play one non-Division-I game a year, so that's why it was placed this one where it's at. Obviously they're a good non-Division-I opponent. It's always a special deal for those kids. We always try and make sure our kids understand how we need to respect who we're playing, especially when you look at how well they're handing the ball and their record. They've got a big guy averaging over 20 points per game. One thing I've always tried to get across to my teams is that we don't like somebody big-timing us, let's not big-time anybody. We better show up ready to play. I've been to enough of these games to know that they're oftentimes not easy. We'll find out pretty soon."
On handling the absence of Danny Berger:
"Spencer (Butterfield) will start, he's been first off the bench at the wing. He's played both the three (forward) and the two (guard), usually comes in when Danny comes out of the game. Marvin (Jean) will obviously get more opportunities and Quincy Bair will no longer be in a redshirt status. He's available for play, and just in terms of number status he totally understood that yesterday. We've got to have enough guys to play, that's for sure. I don't want to say we've been snake bit, but starting with Brady (Jardine) then Sean Harris and now Danny, we've lost three guys for extended periods of time in the last couple of years. It limits your numbers and affects the members of your team. We're in a situation now where Quincy needs to play."
Has getting back to practicing been therapeutic for the team and coaches?
"I think it has. Danny is doing better. I'm sure it would have still been therapeutic at some point, but the fact that Danny's doing better has made it seem like it's time to go back to the practice floor."
On how he is dealing with the emotional toll of this week:
"I'm an old bird. I don't know if I'm a tough old bird, but I'm definitely an old bird and things like this are hard. The fact that he's doing so much better has made it bearable. It's emotional. You spend time at the hospital, I've been there three days in a row, and your heart aches. He's such a good kid. I told our team this yesterday, but Danny was just coming out of consciousness and he thanked me for coming. That one about got me. Yeah right, like it was a big deal for me to come. He's just an awfully, awfully good kid."
On Western Oregon's strengths:
"This is a big game to them. They do a good job of pushing the ball and they shoot a lot of threes. They've won some close games by making a bunch of threes. They pressure a little bit, they run you around in a four-out motion deal, use some of the Princeton system in their offensive philosophy. I'm impressed with what they're doing and their personnel; they're playing to their personnel. I'm sure they'll feel like they have some mis-matches in terms of size and rebounding and that sort of stuff, but at the same time we're guarding a lot and are kind of mis-matched with their four guards out there. It will challenge our defense."
On getting Preston more shots:
"I'm not worried about getting Preston more shots. He's doing fine. He's averaging almost 14 points a game, is our second leading scorer. People are concentrating on him. He's playing within the system. He's not forcing shots. When people really focus on you, you have to give the ball up. We are doing a lot of the same things we've done in the past to get guys open and people are just really focused on him. That has not been something we're worried about."
On status of finding a date to reschedule the BYU game:
"We haven't found one yet. Both schools are working on that. As I've said, they've been great in this situation. It's just a dilemma right now with conference play around the corner and both of us having full schedules. Finals Week is next week and that was looked at. We're trying to look at all the options, but that's the stage we're in right now. We have not found a date that works yet."
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