Utah State quotes

Quotes from Utah State coaches and players on the NCAA Tournament...

HEAD COACH STEW MORRILL

General Comments On The Seeding:
"I'm just happy to be playing. A year ago I was talking about not whining over not getting in to the NCAA Tournament - The last thing I'm going to do is whine about where we are seeded. You can let yourself say, ok we should have been a 12 or a 13th seed, but that is crazy. What we need to feel good about is number one, winning last night and being in the NCAA Tournament and two, being in the west where we haven't been all of these years. We have been in the tournament four out of the last six years and have been shipped all over the country and now we get to play close to home where our fans can drive and see us play. To me that is worth a million bucks."

Reaction To Being Paired Against Arizona:
Gulp! I don't know what other reaction you can have. It is kind of the reaction you know you are going to have. The last time it was Kansas and now it is Arizona. We are drawing the who's who in college basketball. We had Connecticut one time. The one time we were a 12th seed and played Ohio State that was still a tremendous name and challenge, but this game will be a challenge and we will go compete but we have some work to do to try and figure out how to keep ourselves in this game."

On Speculation That Arizona Could Have Been A Possible No. 1 Seed:
"Kansas was not happy when it played us, it thought it should have been a number one seed. I don't think Arizona thought it was going to be a number one. We are just excited to be playing out west and we know some people that face Arizona on a regular basis and we hope to look at a lot of video and come prepared with a solid game plan."

On Pacific Getting An At-Large Bid To The NCAA Tournament:
"That is encouraging for all the mid-majors out there which have a high-quality year and yet lose in their conference tournament. I know the Big West is breathing a sigh of relief right now and feeling pretty good about getting two teams in. It has been a long time since the league has had two teams in."

On Reassuring The Team That They Would Win The Conference Tournament:
"I thought that they needed to know that I had tremendous confidence in them. We suffered an unbelievable loss to Pacific a few weeks ago and we lost some close games that we didn't play well down the stretch. I kept telling them that the law of averages was going to turn our way-it always does. We worked a lot on situations and getting better in close games and I had never taken that approach in 19 years as a head coach. (assistant coach) Don Verlin who has been with me forever was stunned in the team room when I told them that. But I am going to thank them tomorrow for having my back. That could have been really stupid on my part, but they had my back. I just think they believed they could do it, I don't think hearing it from me was that big of a deal because they already believed they could do it."

Overall Team Assessment:
"I think we are playing well right now. We had to play tremendously well to beat Fullerton the other night. We couldn't get them stopped and had to step up to the challenge to get things done. In the Pacific game we got great contributions from a number of players and that proved to be the difference. We are going in feeling good about ourselves, but I think going into postseason play everyone has a rebirth of excitement. I know that with Arizona suffering that loss in the Pac-10 Tournament it will come in very hungry and ready to go. They are a high-caliber program to go up against."

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SENIOR FORWARD SPENCER NELSON

On A Better Selection Sunday Than Last Year:
"It is a good day. We are excited to stay close to home and go to Boise. We get to play one of college basketball's biggest names, so it isn't hard to be excited. I've played in that arena before in the Idaho state tournament and I'm really excited to go home and to play such a big team."

On Playing Arizona:
"They are an unbelievably talented and athletic team. They have a lot of weapons so it is definitely a tough, tough match up but we are excited for it."

On Playing Close To Logan:
"I think it is great. It is great for our fans to see us play live in the NCAA Tournament. It will be a good opportunity for us to have fan support there."

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FRESHMAN GUARD JAYCEE CARROLL

On His First Time Going Through The Selection Sunday Process:
"It has been a really fun experience. This isn't something I have ever been a part of so I am just happy and going to enjoy it all.

On Playing Arizona:
"I'm excited. I think it is a great pick. We have Arizona and I have watched them play many times and listened to [Coach] Lute Olsen speak in some coaching clinics. I just think it is exciting. Salim Stoudamire is a great shooter and now it seems that I get to see it first hand and chase him around a little bit."


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