USU men's basketball head coach Tim Duryea addressed the media on Friday and answered questions about the upcoming Mountain West road opener at Air Force on Saturday, Dec. 31. The complete transcript of the press conference can be found below.
On Air Force
"Air Force presents the problems they always present in the unique offensive system that they run. You have to guard the 3-point line, they are shooting 40 percent as a team. They are dangerous there. The most underrated part of their offensive game is how well they drive the ball. Their offense gives them great spacing to drive it and that's what creates a lot of their 3-point shots.
"Defensively, they try to confuse you by changing defenses. It is easy to get confused offensively if you let yourself. You have to go and play with a clear mind and be aggressive. A key to us playing against them up there is that we have made a lot of three's. We have to do that again. We have to pass it well and shoot it well. They are hard to score against inside."
On AFA's balance
"That system lends itself to balanced scoring. That is what the Princeton offense is all about. It is equal opportunity and high percentage. It has a big emphasis on layups, 3-pointers and free throws. They all have chances to get those, from one through five. They can all post up, they can all shoot the three and can all drive the ball to the basket."
On preparing for the Princeton offense
"Our scout team does a good job of running their system and giving our guys a look. We've had to change some of our defensive rules in order to guard them. Anytime you play the Princeton system you try and limit the number of backdoor layups you give up. What you can't do is give up backdoor layups and three's. You have to try and take one of those things away and that is what we do when we play them."
On who will start at the five
"We'll start (Norbert Janicek) at the five. He's been getting better health wise and today was his best day yet. He isn't 100 percent yet, but he is close."
On what was ailing Janicek
"He had strep throat and a 102 degree fever. He didn't practice the day before the Boise game and was under the weather during the Boise game. He didn't play very well and didn't have a lot of energy or pep in his step. He gave it his best. He had a steroid injection and antibiotics in his system on Tuesday and by Thursday he was feeling better and today he was even better."
On the early tip time at Air Force
"We told our team that today was really their shootaround. We had two days to prep. As a coach, you would like another day of prep on gameday, but with a noon game there is no way to do that. We'll show some film and walk through in a ballroom, but that really doesn't do you too much good when you are playing that system."
On the success that Utah State has had at Air Force
"We have a feel for how to prepare for them and how to play against them. It comes down to making shots. Three years ago we were in a good position to win and then didn't make a field goal in the last six minutes and lost by one. The two years after that we have shot the ball really well. Last year we made 14 three's. That is what you have to do against their system. They are going to pack it in and make it very hard to make it into the lane and get it into the post. You have to have good ball movement and you have to shoot the ball well."
On the importance of getting wins on the road
"Road wins are like gold in the this league and they are hard to come by. We try to take each one as a separate entity. We don't need to look behind or look ahead. We need to take this challenge with the early tip time, with the unique system we are playing against and just focus on tomorrow. If we can do that, we've played well there and hopefully that will continue."
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