The following are quotes from Utah State men's basketball coach Stew Morrill prior to the Cal State Bakersfield game.
Dec. 10, 2010
LOGAN, Utah -
Thoughts on Cal State Bakersfield:
"This is the best Cal State Bakersfield team we have played and we've had a series with them since they've made the move to Division I. They've played really well the last couple of games and I think it's the best personnel they've had. They have a premier player (Stephon Carter) averaging 19 points a game and he's tough to deal with. Their two other guards, (Donavan) Bragg and (Alex) Johnson, are averaging 14 and they've got a guy averaging 10 rebounds (Rashad Savage) and a five man shooting 60 percent (Cory Brown). That's a pretty good starting lineup. Hopefully our guys are aware that this is a lot better team than we've seen in the past. We've always had respect for (Cal State) Bakersfield and the job (head coach) Keith (Brown) does."
"We're trying to get better, it was nice to have a few days of practice. It was nice to be able to work on some things and add some things. Hopefully we are making progress."
On Nate Bendall playing more minutes:
"It kind of depends on the game and it kind of depends on foul problems. I wouldn't hesitate as much to play him that many minutes as we have to this point. He's getting to where he could play that many minutes, he's getting closer to that. A lot of it depends on match-ups, whose in foul trouble, how's Brady (Jardine) playing of course. Brady has had some really bright moments this year. It's also day-to-day on the nature of his feet, so we will just see how it goes."
On scheduling Cal State Bakersfield in the future:
On having some added practice time this week:
"I hope there's more to come. He's (Keith Brown) told others that this might be it and that they don't necessarily want to continue the series. I hope he changes his mind. I don't think it is anything negative toward us, I just think that maybe he feels like five years is enough. It's a good series for us, a good home and home and we will see what happens."
"We've added a few things. We've tried to improve our execution in terms of specific things we're looking for in some of our sets. We tried to make sure we continue to grow defensively, that's been a plus and we can never take that for granted. When you do so much prep work for games, defensively, you sometimes neglect your basic rules, your basic fundamentals defensively, so we've went back to that a little bit and will do so even more next week. Next week becomes kind of a juggling act with finals and trying to work on things, but trying to shorten practices, but at the same time we do have a one-game week and that gives us more practice time. That is something coaches look forward to and players don't, that is just the nature of it."
On using practice to get ready for league play:
"You have to go work on it in practice and then you have to go do it in the games. It's kind of weird to have a stretch of a few days here, which is nice, then a one-game week, then three days in a row we play right before Christmas. Normally we come back from Christmas and have a non-Division I game or something of that nature. This year we come back from Christmas and start league. I think everybody is trying to get better this time of year and everybody knows league is just around the corner. It's about getting better as a team, but it's also about individuals playing better in the areas they need to play better in. I have told our team on a couple of occasions this is not when we want to be playing our best basketball. Sure we would like to be good now, but it's more important that we're good in February and March and that's what your ultimately shooting for is to be playing your best basketball down the stretch. We've just got to keep chipping away and trying to get better in some areas. It's not like three days of practice and all of a sudden your going to be 100 percent better at something, it doesn't work that way. You just have to get a little better as you go."Stew Morrill QUOTES