Below is an excerpt of comments from Tuesday's press conference with coach Menzies and several Aggie players. The conference was mostly focused on the upcoming road trip, probably the toughest two-game stretch (Louisiana Tech who?) for the Aggies.
Coach Marvin Menzies
... on the game vs. Nevada
"I think the Nevada game is one that will keep the guys full attention. I’m not too worried about them looking ahead because it’s such a quality opponent on Thursday.
The thought of having this opportunity is looming. What you’ve got to do is win or lose on Thursday you have to play the type of basketball your capable of on Saturday regardless.
Nevada had a lot of curve balls thrown at them. Hawai’i was due to beat somebody there.
The added distractions of the game being cancelled and then back on. Are we staying here or are we flying back? All that had to have effected the game preparation and routine. Not making any excuses for them but I’ve been in those shoes before and it can take it’s toll on your guys. In that game you have to be ready to play when you go there.
Kramer is a pretty good defender and shoots the lights out. Whether he comes off the bench or he starts, he’ll play a significant amount of minute and be a factor in the game.
Right now the three ball is proving to be a deciding factor in a lot of games."
... on the tight game vs. Boise State
"We need to be positive right now and keep moving forward. There’s some good lessons there that we’re going to tap into today and that we’ve incorporated into our practice Jut as much physical as mental, drilling on that winning time situation. We’ve got some game film, not just our game but other games. We’ll talk a little mathematics and we’re just going to explain the logic and those guys got to walk out and make better decisions but they got to know why they’re doing and what they’re doing."
... on the upcoming game vs. Utah State
"The Utah State team is a complete team. That’s been their biggest advantage all year long is they have such balance. They’ve got great experience and depth right now. They were picked the favorite and they’re still the team to beat.
Even though we’ve already beaten them once that was a long time ago and they still have a better record than we do now so we’re still the ones going in as the underdogs – especially on the road."
The always colorful Wendell McKines
... on winning the regular season WAC title
"This is huge, huge, huge, huge. It's going to down in history.
It’s real important. It's definitely big considering where we came from at the beginning of the year and to go down as regular season champs that would be a big accomplishment.
It would give a lot of confidence going in to the tournament knowing we are No. 1."
... on the upcoming game vs. Utah State
"I know the fans are going to be kind of hard on me so I look forward to it. At the end of the day we’re playing basketball and the best team is going to win.
Utah State -- they always figure out a way to outsmart you and catch you when your slipping. That’s their system and they run it to perfection.
It’s like a computer the way they operate and we just got to be a virus.
We have to pressure them and not let them feel comfortable at any point of the game ... no open threes to let them get the crowd going. Just pressure, pressure, pressure."
... on Utah State's ample-bellied "superfan"
Question from the audience "Are you afraid of Bill Sproat?"
After clarification from reporter:
"I’ve seen a lot of things I can be scared of, and he’s definitely not one of them."
... on Nevada's Luke Babbit
"Babbit is interesting because he can shoot it and he’s pretty much a three playing a four sometimes, so you just want to stay physical with him. It should be fun, the second matchup."
... on the Aggie bigs vs. Nevada.
"Our chemistry is pretty cool, we’ve been playing with everybody for two and a half years now, even Troy and Ham. They’ve been here since I’ve been here.
Our chemistry is good and I think we’re peaking at the right time to do something special.
Troy stepped in the place it’s good for us but its got to suck for other teams.
They have to deal with Ham and me and Troy coming off the bench. It’s another great weapon we have so we’re stacked, we just got to put everything together and stay defensive minded first and we should be fine."
Las Cruces native and Aggie sharpshooter Gordo Castillo
... on the upcoming road trip
"(The road trip) is going to be tough, they’re both hostile environments.
We are ready, it’s going to be a big road trip for us. It’s probably the biggest road trip since I’ve been here. Every road trip is big but we want tournament time, to win would give us a lot of momentum and we’re looking forward to it.
Everyone’s real focused you can tell just by looking at guys.
Everybody wants to win so everybody has been stepping their game up a lot."
Thanks to Jim Hilley for transcribing the quotes.