bleedCrimson.net: Your overall thoughts on where your team is heading into conference play?
Marvin Menzies: We're still very much a unit, we've still got good chemistry. Fortunately and unfortunately we've got a lot of young kids more minutes and more experience than I would have liked at this point. Overall we're probably just a couple of games away from having our full squad back which would be a welcome change to attacking these conference games.
bc.net: What are some of the things that your team was able to take away from the loss against St. Mary's last week?
MM: One, we've got a long way to go offensively. We did some good things on defense and we did some good things on offense but our overall dilemma right now is sustaining any consistency for a duration of time. Looking back at the video we did a lot of things well, we just lost to a better team.
bc.net: Who are a couple of players that heading into conference play you'd like to see some better performances from?
MM: We've got a few. I think when we're full complement, it'll be easier to answer that. I'd say the younger kids are the ones I want to see. It's just a matter of putting all the pieces together before we can really evaluate that.
bc.net: Tomorrow night you take on Idaho, this is one of the earliest starts to conference play we can remember and Idaho's students are still on break and they're not expecting a very big crowd. How do you prepare for that type of environment?
MM: I think the Spectrum is a different type of arena to play in because it's a football arena converted for basketball so it has a different feel to it. You want to make sure you get your kids a lot of shots in there the day before and on gameday before the game. We've performed relatively well there but every game is a tightly fought match. Don does a good job with his club. Regardless of how many people are in the seats, it's unique environment to play in and it can cause problems if you're not prepared.
bc.net: What are some of the matchups that you feel like you have an advantage in against Idaho?
MM: Again, if we're at full complement I think we have advantages at a few positions but at the guard position I think they have more experience than us with some junior college kids and some returners. It's going to be interesting to see. With it being the first time to see a lot of these players it's hard to go out and say we've got an advantage here or there. I think it's just going to be a matter of two teams approaching this thing 0-0 and letting them fight it out and let the best team win.
bc.net: On Friday you take on Boise State and they have a brand new head coach and they seem to have been re-energized from that coaching change.
MM: Yeah, they re-energized but they re-energized with the same players. He hasn't had a chance to go out and get his players. They have a ton of players that are returning. We know what to expect in that game. It'll be another situation where I think the style of play for both teams, the players will decide that one as well. We'll know them very well and they'll know us very well.
bc.net: Is there a difference in the style of play that Coach Verlin uses versus at Idaho what Coach Rice uses at Boise State?
MM: I don't know if I'd say a big difference. They're both utilizing their talent, specific to their strengths. I think both coaches do a good job in that vain. Idaho has eight guys that play a bulk of the minutes and understand their roles. Boise State pretty much has the same core group of players with a couple of new kids. I think at the end of the day you're going to have two talented teams playing on their home court that you have to be prepared mentally and focused to do the best that we can to come out of here with the 'W'.
bc.net: What are some things that you'd like to see from your team in these first two conference games?
MM: Obviously I'd like to get two wins but that's gotta be done with a lot of defensive effort and we have to take a step forward in our rebounding which we haven't done well in the last few games. We've got to make a major adjustment to how we're rebounding the ball on the defensive end as well as doing a much better shot on our shot selection and pushing the ball. I think we've got to run more than we have in the past and we have to continue to develop our defensive play in the last four or five games.
bc.net: And will you be playing without Hamidu, Troy and Wendell for these two games?
MM: There's a chance that a couple of guys can play. I'm waiting to hear from the trainers after practice tomorrow.