Saturday, January 2, 2010

Utah State notes and quotes

Sorry that I haven't posted anything until now. It's been hard to get back into the swing of things I guess. Going on vacation in the middle of the season is weird.

Anyways, here are some thoughts and quotes that didn't get into the story in today's paper.

I don't know how you feel about the Utah State game or what your expectations are for the first two games. Personally I believe that a split would be huge for this team right now. And if I had to choose a game the Aggies would win, I would pick Monday against Nevada. The Wolf Pack is on the road against a tough Louisiana Tech team tonight.

Menzies said that Gomez is facing eye surgery but didn't indicate any other injuries and I saw most of the key members before practice on Friday.

Jonathan Gibson on entering conference play
"You have to raise everything up a level in intensity and execution. Everything we did in the non-conference helped us prepare for conference. Intensity and everything else goes up."

On the Utah State rivalry
"They are right there because every year since I was a freshman, it has always been us and Utah State so I would say they are our No. 1 rival in the conference."

Hamidu Rahman on winning four straight entering tonight
"It's a big boost for us going in and knowing that we have won four straight and knowing this is the same team that took us out of the tournament. We are going to come ready to play."

Marvin Menzies
On starting conference play with two teams who are historically at the top of the league
"It's good if you end up winning because you are off to a great start. If you are not successful in the first couple, it could be a little tougher pressure wise to win the next one. If you have a successful weekend, it's a big plus. You have to play them eventually so you might as well get them out of the way.

On the league
"I'm a little disappointed that we haven't had more wins as a conference and quality wins. Our team is probably like a microcosm of the league in the sense that expectations were pretty high but didn't end up getting the 'Ws" at a high enough clip that we can feel really optimistic about our postseason bids as a result. Again it will probably come down to tournament time."

NOW the Utah State side:

I was on a little conference call with Stew Morrill the other day and I asked how his team has replaced the production from Gary Wilkinson, mostly with 6-8 junior college transfer Nate Bendell. He went on to talk a little about some other positions on his team as well.

"When you lose Wilkinson, you lose the statistical things that he did but you also lose leadership. Bendell has done a really solid job for us and I'm certainly pleased with what he has done."

Morrill said that since Bendell has missed their last two games (He was expected to practice this week after undergoing a minor heart surgery) but "the backup post situation (Modou Niang and Brady Jardine) is more solid and experienced going into conference."

"(Tai) Wesley is coming off a Player of the Week performance and Jared (Quayle) hass been shooting the ball well. We need Pooh Williams to step up and play well on the road."

Other USU personnel info if you are interested. Brian Green gets minutes at the two or the point and Jaxon Myaer backs Quayle up at the point.

Morrill on the Aggies
"It starts with their wings. They are as good as offensive wings as we have in the conference and if both of them have big nights, you are probably going to lose."

"It starts with containing those guys in transition and our transition defense is always what we emphasize."

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