USU men's basketball head coach Tim Duryea addressed the media on Wednesday and answered questions about the upcoming road game at Utah Valley on Saturday, Dec. 10. The complete transcript of the press conference can be found below.
On Utah Valley
"Utah Valley is off to an impressive start. I've been impressed watching them and the way they play together. Their ball movement is tremendous and they can come at you a lot of different ways. They have tremendous spurt-ability in the way they can score the ball. They've had big deficits that they've come back from and, averaging 84 points a game, can shoot the 3 at four spots.
"They play with tremendous pace and ball movement. Isaac Neilson has given them an element of balance to their offense where they are not so perimeter oriented. He does a great job in the pick-and-roll game, catching the ball on the move and has crafty finishes around the basket.
"I'm very impressed with how hard they play and very impressed with the way they've started the season."
On comparing UVU with common opponents
"It is confusing when you look at the scores with the results they had and the results we had, there really isn't a lot of commonality there. We don't do that much, but we base things off of the things we see over the last two or three games. They had a phenomenal performance at BYU, they had a double-digit deficit at Washington State, a double-digit deficit at Utah and came back in both of those games. They had the lead at Utah and came back to within one at Washington State after being down 18. The UTSA game was more of a grind-it-out, back-and-forth affair. UTSA stayed close the whole time. I've been impressed with the way Utah Valley has played late in games. They have made big shots, both from the 3-point line and inside the 3. They've made clutch 3's and have done a good job of just staying at it. They continually come at you, continually attack and that is the most impressive thing about them when I watch them. They stay on the attack and they play together."
On Utah Valley's balanced scoring
"They are very balanced, they basically have five guys averaging in double figures, from every position on the floor. That is a testament to the way they play together and the way they move the ball. They are not playing through one guy. That always makes you harder to defend. You have to look at them based on how you match up against them and then figure out what you want to take away. You can't stop everything, you can't game plan against everything they do all over the floor. But, if you think you can guard them one-on-one inside then you need to take everybody else away. If you think you have a bad matchup inside and have to double, then you are going to have to give up things on the perimeter that you don't want to. You have to decide what you want to take away and what we can live with in terms of where we are a little weaker defensively and go from there. That is hard when you play a team that is as balanced as they are, the pace they play and the unselfishness they play with. When you look at their stat sheet, some of their 3-point shooting is impressive. Neilson will surprise you if don't guard him at the trail spot because he has the ability to make 3's. If you run out there, he has the ability to drive by your five-man and score at the basket or make a play for somebody else. Overall they are a very skilled team 1 through 5."
On the quality of UVU's team this season
"Most of the games we've had at their place have been grind-it-out affairs with Coach Hunsaker. This is the first time we've played Mark (Pope)'s team at his place, but other than the team with (David) Heck and (Ryan) Toolson and the guys they had a few years ago, this is probably the most talented Utah Valley team that we've seen in a while."
On continuing the game with Utah Valley
"We haven't decided on that. We play so many other in-state games that we really would like to branch out and do other things. If we do that with our schedule, then some of these games are going to suffer a little bit. We haven't played Southern Utah in a few years and we had been playing them for a while. We will always play Weber (State) and BYU and it looks like we'll be getting back to playing Utah, which we had played forever. With those three being staples on the schedule, the Utah Valley's and the Southern Utah's may have to be on a rotational basis, more than an every year basis."
On Shane Rector's play during the year
"Shane has had some really good nights this year and has had some below-average nights. He is still the biggest key to our team because when his shot selection is good, when he is focused on making plays for his teammates, then he plays better and our team plays better. He has been steady defensively every night and has taken the challenge and guarded people fairly well. Offensively we need to have him in the mindset of getting other people shots. He can drive by people and create things for others better than anyone else on our team and we need that. We need him to create easy shots for the other guys on our team. It is hard for him to do that when he is focused on his scoring. His scoring needs to be a byproduct of how aggressive he is being in getting into the lane and making plays for other people. When he does that, scoring opportunities are going to pop up for him along the way. That is the mindset that I hope he stays in and the mindset we need him in."
On Alexis Dargenton starting at the four
Alex will start Saturday night at Utah Valley. I wanted to play Alex more minutes against Great Falls, but he got the two quick fouls. We've got to find some production at that spot and some consistency offensively. We are going to go with Alex again on Saturday.
On the matchup of Shane Rector against Brandon Randolph
That is two similar players, watching them on film. They like to push it in the open floor, like to get into the lane and make things happen and can finish around the basket. They are both strong and athletic kids. That will be a key matchup in the game and will be a fun matchup to watch. I see a lot of similarities between those two guys.
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