Dec. 13, 2012
LOGAN, Utah -
Previewing Utah Valley:
"It has been an odd set of circumstances with not playing but one game last week with Danny's (Berger) health crisis and Finals Week this week. All you have to do is look at the fact that we are 5-1 in playing six games and Utah Valley has played 11 games. So, we are behind most teams in the country in terms of how many games that we have played. Now we will catch up a little bit with our tournament next week and then four games in eight days when league starts. But to be honest with you, we have had too much practice and too little games. It gets to that point that at this time of year where you need to play some games. So with that being said, we went down to Utah Valley with championship-caliber teams and we've won, but we have had to really play hard and play well. They have been hard-fought games, and tightly contested. So we have been there enough to know what we are in for going down there. They are undefeated at home so far, even though they have only played a couple games, but I have great respect for the job that Dick Hunsaker does. They run a ton of different sets; they are always good defensively. He just does a really good job of coaching, and we will see where we are at. It is kind of unknown where we are at right now. We will see."
"I have concerns in terms of numbers. We are down some players that we hoped to have at the start of the year. I mean, obviously, Sean Harris and Danny Berger potentially being out for the year there is two guys. We lost Riley Bradshaw in a situation that looked like he wasn't going to play at the time. So, our numbers concern me a bit; we have to stay healthy. We have got to shorten practice a little bit. Matt doesn't really fit into that equation. He is a five man, and we have three five men. So, the number problem is at the wings that's where in terms of numbers, we don't have as many as we would like to have.
Will you ever go with a big lineup using more than one five?
"Not right now, they are all three really five men, and you know we are not looking at the possibility of playing one of them at the four. That really doesn't solve our wing problem, to play one of the fives at the four. It doesn't really solve the wing situation."
On Matt Lopez being able to play now:
"He's excited. Matt has sat out for a whole year and has done a lot of scout squad work. He has been waiting for a chance to play. I think that any time you haven't played that long it's important that you try to just go out and have fun, just be solid and not worry about trying to do too much. One of the concerns with Matt is that he is very aggressive. We don't need him to go out there and foul, get five fouls in five minutes, that is not what we need him to do. But he is excited to see what he can get done out there."
What is Matt Lopez's biggest strength and what does he bring to the team?
"He is a physical basketball player. Until we see what he can get done in a game, it is really kind of hard to say what he will bring to the table. That much I know; he is a physical presence. He will bang you around; he will try to guard you; he will try to rebound. His low-post scoring is getting better week-to-week. So we are hoping that he will be able to score the ball down low a little bit."
About the balance of minutes at point guard after Marcel Davis' success in last game:
"The last couple games they (Davis and TeNale Roland) have played even minutes. They have both been around 20 minutes. They got about half the minutes against Santa Clara and half the minutes against Western Oregon. So, Marcel had a really good game against Western Oregon. There is a chance that we will start him; you know we will just see how the next couple days of practice go. We also feel like there is a chance that TeNale could play a little bit of two guard, in terms of our wing situation. That might help us out at some point, but that is not an easy thing to do to play the one and the two in our system, but it something that we may look at."
Are turnovers an issue on the road?
"We have to turn the ball over less to have a chance to win games. That has normally been a strength of our teams, and right now it is not a strength of this team. We have to pass the ball better; we have to be more accountable. We can't just make the casual passes that don't work. So, it is something that we have been working hard on in practice and something that every coach is concerned about. You don't want to turn the ball over. You certainly don't want to turn it over for layups, "pick six" as we call them. We just turn it over, and they lay it up on the other end, that is doubly bad. So, we are hoping to get better at that as we go, and I think we will."
On having similar coaching philosophy and coaching against Coach Hunsaker?
"I don't know that Dick and I are alike if that is what you are asking me. We are both pretty demanding in what we expect. We have both been doing it along time. Like I said, I have great respect for Dick and how he coaches and how hard they play and how well they execute. We have known each other a long, long time. It is always a challenge to go up against his teams. You better be ready to play."
On UVU's team personnel, Coach Hunsaker's son Holton and the break down of UVU's team:
"Holton (Hunsaker) is the guy that runs the ship, so to speak, on the court. He is a point guard. He is fiery; he is competitive. I think he had 32, or something like that, his last time out. So, he is very capable of having a big game. The thing that Utah Valley does is they have certain plays for certain players, trying to use their talents. So they will have four, five, six plays for their point guard and the same for every other position: the two, the three, the four, the five. You can't possibly prepare for them all. It will drive you nuts if you try to prepare all 40 or 50 of their sets. They had 40 last week; they will probably have 50 this week. That is just always what they have done. They are pretty well balanced. Ben Aird is a guy has been playing a long time at the five position, leading them in scoring. They have a strong inside kind of guy that can play inside-out at the three, and (Alfonzo) Hubbard plays the three and the four. Nick Thompson is an active four man that can shoot threes. They have a lot of different weapons. Their two guard, they set him up for a lot of three-point shots. I look at their team and think that their balance is probably their strength."
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