The Week In Hoops

DON VERLIN: "We've got to go back as coaches and find some positives. We've gotta adjust some lineup things. We've gotta go back and get this team playing the way it can. I mean, we show spurts of playing. Now we've got to play harder longer and play more consistently." Idaho forward BRANDON WILEY: "The coaching staff is great - coach Verlin and his coaching staff - like a real family."

Below are post-game quotes from Idaho first-year head coach Don Verlin, and Idaho's first-year starting forward Brandon Wiley, following the Vandals loss at Gonzaga this week.


Don Verlin
Idaho Head Coach


Q: It was a pretty strong blow the Bulldogs had right at the start of the ball game, 17-0 was the lead, and a little run from the Vandals making things interesting… let's talk about that start of the ball game. The Bulldogs just really started out quickly.

DV: "Well, they did, and that was obviously our concern, not letting them get off to a fast start. I thought they did some really good things. We made some defensive errors. We had a couple of lapses. We let Downs get loose a few times and he made us pay. At the other end we didn't execute very well, and they're a good basketball team. When you face Michigan State and Gonzaga in a four-day span, both on their home courts, there's not much to say. I mean, they came out and beat us in every phase of the game in that first half and obviously it did show on the scoreboard."


Q: So you've got what I hope I guess is maybe the toughest stretch of the season, two top 10's back to back on the road. Hopefully now that that's behind you do you think this might help out later?

DV: "You know, you'd like to think so. I don't know. I don't know if any time you get beat by 35 that it helps you. I think the one thing we did is we came into two tough places. I think we got the kids' attention. We've gotta go back and make sure we do some things a lot better to shore up ourselves offensively and defensively. We hope so. That's the idea of this thing. Let's hope that that happens."


Q: From an atmosphere standpoint you'll get this in Logan, you'll get this at New Mexico State, and it's not gonna be the first time they walk into an atmosphere.

DV: "No. Exactly right, and like you said we played in some of the toughest places in the country to play tonight and on Sunday. We've got to find - go back as coaches - and find some positives. We've gotta adjust some lineup things. We've gotta go back and get this team playing the way it can. I mean, we show spurts of playing. Now we've got to play harder longer and play more consistently. I told our guys, I said: This is the deal. The longer this hangover lasts, the longer it's gonna take us to get better. We need to start getting better right now. So we walked into the restroom and we flushed the toilet, and we said we flushed this thing down, and we're going to the next one, because if you let it sit in the toilet and you don't flush it, it's gonna stink it up and it's gonna carry on with you for a while; so that's what we did."


Q: Anything preliminarily about North Dakota State, the Bisons?

DV: "No, I know a little bit. They return five starters. They're a very solid, very good basketball team. We're going to have to play well to beat ‘em. The guy's done a good job. I think they were second in the Summit League last year, and like I said they've got five guys back. They're solid and can shoot. It'll be a good basketball game. Don't get fooled by their name. They're a good solid basketball team that can shoot, can handle, can pass, and we're gonna have to be on our game to get those games. We're gonna get better. I mean, this team is gonna get better. It's shown flashes of being pretty good, and it's gonna get better. Like I told our guys, there are very few teams in the country that go into these two atmospheres and play and have any success at all, and that's just the way it is. I mean, these are two high-powered basketball teams with great traditions and very good basketball coaches. Like I said we've got to flush it and move on to the next one…"


Brandon Wiley, 6-6, 225, Junior
Forward


BRANDON WILEY
6-6, 225, Jr, Forward
LARRY JOHNSON: What were the things that you guys talked about at halftime?

BRANDON WILEY: "Well, we made some adjustments as far as the press breaker. We made a couple of adjustments trying to release the pressure a little bit in the front court - trying to get it past half. We had cold shooting. It was pretty cold the first five minutes. We had some in-and-out, the ball just didn't bounce our way, but we made some adjustments at halftime and it relieved the pressure just a little bit.


LJ: It seemed like it was very difficult to get the ball inside, and they seemed to really be suffocating that. What were your thoughts on that? You seemed a little bit more successful in the second half, but it was still very tough D on their part.

BW: "Oh, yeah. They're a big team… big team. We tried to get it inside. Just about as soon as we got the ball they doubled down on us. We tried to get it out to our shooters. But ,like I said, we had some balls roll in and out for us. Shooting wasn't too good tonight. I think if we could have hit our shots we could have spread the D a little more, but it just didn't happen."


LJ: How do you like Moscow right now?

BW: "I love it… love it. The teachers are great. The coaching staff is great - coach Verlin and his coaching staff - like a real family."


LJ: Are you participating in any conditioning programs with the weight room and the conditioning staff?

BW: "Yeah. We've got weights. Every other day we've got weights we've got to keep up with just to keep us in shape - just to make sure we're staying in fine tune."


LJ: What's your major?

BW: "Communications."


LJ: Okay, we always ask this question: What's your favorite music?

BW: "Oh, Li'l Wayne."


LJ: Li'l Wayne. Anyone else?

BW: "Jay-Z"



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