NCAA Tournament Presser: Utah Players

Three Utah players talked the day before their game with Stephen F. Austin in the NCAA Tournament...


Q. Delon, talk about coming and playing in this building where your brother plays professionally and how kind of a cool feeling that is.
DELON WRIGHT: I knew that was coming. It's a good feeling, I guess, playing on the same floor that he plays on regularly. Besides that, it's not too much of a big deal.

Q. Delon, are you anywhere as superstitious as your older brother?
DELON WRIGHT: Not too much. I do have my superstitions. But I think he has a couple of him coming to our games, not winning, so that's it.

Q. Jordan, this is what you pictured three or four years ago when you signed up for this program when it was at a low stage. What does it feel like now that you're here?
JORDAN LOVERIDGE: It feels good, just seeing the struggles that the program has been through. Then to see that we've brought it back. You know, it's been I think six years since we made the tournament, so it's nice to have the buzz around the program again, just to be back, being able to compete in this tournament.

Q. Brandon, talk about, now that you've had a few days to look at the competition, Stephen F. Austin, what is it about them you're going to have to take care of tomorrow?
BRANDON TAYLOR: They're a good three-point team. They get out in transition. They're a very fast team. They're extremely well-coached. We know we have to be dialed in defensively tomorrow, and be dialed in on our defensive personnel, and knowing how to guard their guys and defending the three-point line. That's something we're going to have to be dialed in tomorrow.

Q. A great shooting night against Stanford and then an off night against Oregon. What do you look at as the difference between those two games and are you pretty good at shaking off a tough game?
JORDAN LOVERIDGE: The difference was I think shots went in the first game, shots didn't go in the second. We'll see what happens. I have confidence in my shooting. My teammates give me confidence. So, you know, just hopefully when they find me in open spots, I need to knock down open shots.

Q. Coach talks a lot about culture, the values of the program. What did he do in your first year to establish that culture and build the foundation of the program as it is today?
BRANDON TAYLOR: He did a lot. He did a lot. We had team meetings. He established rules early on. Me and Jordan's freshman year. He had a saying he wanted us to be mayors of the campus, just around the city. He just wanted us to be good guys all the way around the city, not really guys that come off arrogant or anything of that nature. He really wanted a whole bunch of good guys that could be coachable, that is willing to receive coaching in the positive side.

Q. Delon, how much of a challenge is it for you, when you're on offense, to look for yourself and also get your other teammates involved?
DELON WRIGHT: I don't think it's too much of a challenge. When I play, I try to be aggressive first. If somebody, you know, commits to me, I'll look to a teammate. I think it's having a balance of the two, knowing when to shoot and when to pass.

Q. Jordan, you had Navy SEAL training in October. Talk a little bit about that. You also took boxing lessons to make your team tougher. I'm not too sure about that.
JORDAN LOVERIDGE: Yeah, with the Navy SEALS, they came in for a weekend, we went through some of the things that they go through. Made us tough. We slept together at the gym with no cell phones. We got in the water, got in the sand. We were doing all type of things just to make us closer. We had to really pick each other up. It was tough for the whole weekend. We got sore. Non-stop. We didn't sleep very much. Just tried to do the things that they did, you know, because they're so close, they have a task that they need to do. If they fail, that's their lives. With us, it's a little different. But we just wanted to come together on that. Then with the boxing, you know, it was just kind of to switch up our training. It's tough what boxers do, the training they go through. They do a lot of different things. It was tough. We had a lot of fun, too, just to get out of our little element in the weight room or just on the court to try something different. Still a good training aspect for us.

Q. Delon, did your brother have any advice for you about playing in this building or just playing in the tournament at all?
DELON WRIGHT: Before our first basketball tournament, he told me, Now is the time. You got to leave everything on the court. Every game is one-and-done. He just told me to continue playing, you know, the way I am, to be more aggressive, you know, just leave it all on the court because this is my last go-around.

Q. Delon, you've gotten a lot of hype this year, deservedly so. As you go into this, your career's coming to an end, do you feel any extra pressure or need to do anything more to try to lead this team into a deep run?
DELON WRIGHT: Not necessarily. I just know to have trust in my teammates, you know, a sense of urgency every game. I just want to continue playing well, I mean, playing well, but playing together. That's what got us here. It's not about, it's tournament time, now I have to do other things. Just want to continue playing the way we are, just go far in the tournament.

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