Stew Morrill Quotes - 12-28-12

Dec. 28, 2012

LOGAN, Utah -

Opening statement:

"It doesn't seem like we should be playing conference games before the New Year, but we are. We'll head out later today as most of you know. We'll find out where we're at, jumping into league with teams we haven't played. It's kind of an odd situation with teams we'll only play one year in conference play. We've got to learn about them in a hurry and that's what we've been trying to do. I'm anxious to see how we can perform on the road, especially after the holiday break."

On getting by without Quincy Bair in terms of team's depth:

"We just need to stay healthy, that's the main thing. It mostly affects us in practice. Quincy obviously wasn't getting a whole lot of time, but it gave us another guy who was available. We'd already looked at playing TeNale (Roland) a little bit at the two and Kyisean (Reed) at the three. It's not something we necessarily want to do a whole lot of, but we have to be prepared in case we need to."

On Spencer Butterfield's status after missing the last game with an illness:

"He seems to be fine. He's practiced the last couple days so it seems to be just something that has hopefully passed."

On not having very many road games so far:

"The BYU game was another road game even though it was just a bus trip. Playing on the road is what it is. You've to go out there and pull together and figure out what you need to do. It's just kind of you and a lot of others out there on the road, without your support from home. I don't think it's a real issue that we haven't played a lot of road games. We'll just have to adjust as we go. Maybe they've (UTSA) got to adjust to playing at home, who knows. Every game is different. When it's all said and done, in hindsight, you can pick out this and that as the reasons. It's really just a matter of how you play on that given night."



Looking at the two teams for this weekend:

"Both teams are interesting. UTSA has really high-scoring guards. They look to push the ball hard, as does Texas State. UTSA has been explosive. They've had some good, solid wins and played some tough people. They're athletic, they're impressive to watch on film. It's a team that loves to shoot a lot of threes. They've shot a lot more than their opponents and they're shooting a pretty high percentage. You look at the stats and rebounding is something where we should have an edge. Again, just because you're leading overall doesn't mean you will that particular night. I think our rebounding is not as dominant as it once was, so we need to try and get that advantage back. They're going to play a good, solid man-to-man D and a 2-3 zone. We haven't seen a lot of zone, so we're trying to get prepared for that as well."

On the state of the team overall at this point:

"I don't know that I have a real good feel for where we're at. I think halfway through conference play I'll have a better feel. There are some areas we are deficient in that we're trying to get better at. One thing we've talked about is that we've won championships, and we've won four of the last five WAC season titles, but when you're in that situation, especially when you're 9-1 this year, everybody kind of looks at you, gets ready for you and is excited to play. The areas where we've been really strong and have been able to win championships is when we've been at the top of the league defensively. We are not there. That's an area that is definitely a concern - our ability to defend. That even becomes more of an issue on the road if you have some weakness defensively. We're in the middle of the pack defensively and we've got to try and get better in that area."

On UTSA's Kannon Burrage:

"He's got a lot of shot attempts, and is very aggressive. He kind of does it all. He's at the line more than anyone else on their team. He's got more threes and more shots than anyone else on their team. He's looking to score any way he can."

On Marvin Jean's improved progress:

"Marvin is settling in. He's a good three-point shooter. He always plays hard, trying to learn the nuances of our system. That has sometimes been a challenge, but he does better every week and in every game. We're pleased with his play. Spencer (Butterfield) went down and he responded. He played 33 minutes and did a real good, solid job."

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